OSCC Legislative Report – January 19, 2016
Key Items for OSCC in coming week (thru Jan 22):
Passage of the Governor’s plan will be the worst of all worlds for Chambers and local business. Not only will it mean that metro-area businesses will be saddled with a $15.52 minimum wage and a $13.50 minimum wage for the rest of the state, but it also likely means that we will also be facing a ballot measure in the fall. The “$15 NOW” group has pledged to take their campaign to the November ballot even if the Governor’s proposal passes.
Chambers need to activate now to defeat this proposal. (Please see attached messages). All Chambers and all Chamber members must direct their opposition to all legislators ASAP.
Oregon Clean Electricity Plan. Many Chambers have inquired about the “Oregon Clean Electricity Plan” that was negotiated by PGE/PacifiCorp and the environmental activists.
Attached, please see the legal analysis conducted by the Davison Van Cleve law firm. It concludes that business ratepayers are severely disadvantaged by the legislation.
Also, please see the following Oregonian investigative article on the bill:
Review of Past Week (Jan 11 – 15):
Governor Releases Minimum Wage Plan. Governor Kate Brown released a minimum wage plan on Thursday that divides the state into two regions – the “metro” region (inside the Metro Urban Growth Boundary) and the rest of the state. Her proposal would raise the minimum wage to $15.52 in the metro region and $13.50 in the rest of the state by the year 2022. The Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association was quick to respond to the Governor’s plan (attached). ORLA and OSCC are in lockstep and working together with NFIB, NW Food Processors, AOI, and the Oregon Farm Bureau on the issue.
Business Groups Try To Negotiate Alternate Minimum Wage Increase. (Please see attached statement.) From our experience working this issue over the past week, it is clear that at least some of these organizations are still looking to cut a deal. Business is not unified.
Minimum Wage Hearing a Success for Chambers & Business Grassroots. At the Thursday evening (January 14th) public hearing at the State Capitol, 46 people signed up and testified in favor of increasing the minimum wage. On our side, 71 people signed up and testified in opposition, of which 35 people traveled more than 100 miles. We had at least 10 of our people who still had yet to testify when the committee closed the hearing after three hours.
This was a huge effort! The unions bussed all of their people in and we still exceeded their numbers. Chambers are helping to turn the tables of the legislative discussion. This is unprecedented. Chambers are making a huge difference.