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OSCC Legislative Report
Review of past week (March 2-6):
- Low Carbon Fuel Mandate – SB 324 – passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 31-29, the slimmest possible margin. As we speculated in last week’s report, the difference was Rep. Betty Komp (D-Woodburn) switching her vote at the last moment to allow the bill to pass. Although passage of the bill was a disappointment, there will be viable efforts undertaken to possibly refer the legislation to voters.
- Mandatory Paid Sick Leave – SB 454 – underwent a series of negotiations with Republicans/Democrats and business/labor. The negotiations have not yielded any fruit. Democrats and labor are not prepared or willing to put a preemption clause in the legislation that would prohibit local government from enacting any law regulating the terms or conditions of employment. This is the only possible amendment to the bill that would cause Republicans and business groups to consider standing down on the bill. OSCC should be prepared to activate against the bill because it’s unlikely the bill will change in any meaningful way.
- State Run Retirement Plan Mandate– HB 2960 – received its first public hearing in the House Business & Labor committee on Friday. Much more in the coming week on this.
- HB 2007 – the unlawful employment action legislation that would increase the potential for liability for employers that take adverse employment actions on an employee subsequent to discussing wage concerns, passed the House on a 34-24 vote. This is a very bad bill that will alter workplace policies significantly around discussion of wages. OSCC testified against the bill in the House and will actively work to oppose the bill in the Senate.
- SB 565 enjoyed a very active and supportive public hearing in the Senate Revenue Committee. OSCC supports the bill which creates a state tax credit for the restoration of historic properties. The bill carries a significant price tag however, which will dampen prospects for passage.
What we see coming up (March 9 – 13):
- Corporate Tax Disclosure – HB 2077 – was postponed from last week and is up for a hearing in the House Revenue Committee. OSCC will oppose. This is a scary bill that would require any C corporation, even a closely held corporation, to file their tax information with the Oregon Secretary of State for purposes of including the tax filing on a public website.
- State-Run Retirement Plan legislation – HB 2960 – will be heard for the second time in the House Business & Labor Committee on Friday morning, March 13. The Senate Business Committee will take up the companion bill – SB 615 – on Monday, March 9. OSCC has adopted a position in opposition to the bill as written and has joined a broad business coalition in opposition to the current version of the bill.
However, it should be noted that there are several amendments being proposed that would allow OSCC to be neutral or support the bill. This legislation will be the primary subject of our OSCC Legislative Committee call on Friday, March 13.