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OSCC Legislative Report
Review of past week (March 16-20):
- HB 2077 – a bill to mandate corporate tax disclosure to the Secretary of State – had a second public hearing in the House Revenue Committee on Tuesday. This bill is an initiative of the government employee unions and seeks to make public – on a public website – very sensitive tax information for any Oregon C corporation with at least 25 employees. There is now a very focused lobbying effort happening on this bill with the “swing” members of the House Revenue Committee. OSCC is part of that effort. We remain on very high alert with this bill.
- HB 2386 – the bill that gives BOLI the unchecked ability to issue cease and desist order if the Labor Commissioner “has reason to believe” an employer has committed an unlawful employment practice – was approved last week by the House Business & Labor Committee on a party line 6-5 vote. OSCC has engaged on this issue with an action alert to OSCC members (see more in the “What we see coming up” section).
- SB 63 – a bill we cautioned about last week – was passed out of the Senate Finance Committee last week, but it was not used as a vehicle to implement significant tax changes. The bill simply re-connected Oregon’s tax code to the federal tax code for ease of compliance. In fact, the bill is now broadly supported by business.
- The two bad insurance bills we mentioned last week – SB 313 and SB 314 – both received hearings last week in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Whether these bills move out of committee will largely depend on whether they have the votes to pass the Senate. This is uncertain as of now.
What we see coming up (March 23-26):
- Legislature will have a short week this week. The legislature is taking Friday off.
- Mandatory Paid Sick Leave – SB 454 & HB 2005 – will both have work sessions in their respective committees this week. The Senate Bill will be sent to the Ways & Means Committee, while the House Bill will be sent to the House Rules Committee. Both bills are likely to sit in those committees until decisions are made about which bill to move. As of today, prospects for passage remain good in the House, but very uncertain in the Senate.
- HB 2386, the bill that gives BOLI unchecked authority to issue cease and desist orders without going to court to gain approval, will be on the House Floor this week. However, we believe at this point we have more than enough votes to kill the bill on the floor. The most likely outcome at this point is that the bill will be sent back to committee. OSCC grassroots really helped make the difference on this bill. Stay tuned.
- HB 3025 will get a hearing this week in House Business Committee. The bill makes it illegal to inquire about a job applicant’s criminal history until after a conditional job offer has been made. This is part of a national “ban the box” initiative of the AFL-CIO to prevent employers from seeking criminal background information from job applicants. The bill is even worse than it sounds because it gives new civil rights of action for people denied jobs because of a criminal history.
- SB 565 – the bill that gives a tax credit for the restoration of historic properties – will get a work session in the Senate Finance Committee. The bill, supported by the OSCC, comes with a hefty price tag, which will diminish its chance for passage. However, the committee may amend the bill this week to soften the state budget impact.
- The Oregon Talent Council bill – HB 2728 – will start to move this week. This bill is a significant workforce development bill to increase efforts in fostering relationships between Oregon traded-sector employers and Oregon public universities and community colleges for purposes of developing a better workforce pipeline.