Business Bulletin: December 18, 2020

Governor Kate Brown called a special session of the Oregon Legislature this coming Monday, Dec. 21, to address a handful of time-sensitive issues as federal relief money runs out on Jan 1. The session will be held in-person at the Capitol, which many lawmakers had expressed concerns about due to COVID-19 risk. Legislative leaders negotiated for weeks to finalize a list of priority bills to consider for the special session – the third one this year.

The final list includes only a few bills:

Legislative Concept 10 – Allows restaurants to serve cocktails to-go.
Legislative Concept 18 – Extends the residential eviction moratorium and financial assistance for certain landlords.
Legislative Concept 21 – Establishes certain liability protections for school districts.

The Legislature is also expected to allocate $600 million to the Legislature’s Emergency Board for use in wildfire relief effort as well as COVID relief. Public hearings on these bills began yesterday evening and continue through Saturday morning. You can view those meetings and submit testimony here.

Importantly, the agenda will not include the proposed disconnect from the tax provisions of the U.S. CARES Act. OBI has opposed this proposal, which would deprive thousands of small businesses of much needed tax relief. We do expect the Legislature to take this up in the regular session, which begins Jan. 11.

Keep an eye out for our Capitol Central newsletter next week for a recap of the third special session.

Read other business and industry related news at OBI.