Legislative Update – March 27, 2017
On Monday, March 27th a contingent of 11 McMinnville Chamber and Board members visited the Capital to meet with legislators and attend the Oregon Chamber of Commerce Day at the Capital. We heard presentations from Senator Lee Beyer on a transportation package; Representative Mike McLane on the Pay Equity bill and the importance of grassroots; Senator Ted Ferrioli on PERS and the major issues of this session; Senator Betsy Johnson regarding transportation and the budget. We later had lunch with Representative Ron Noble and visited the office of Senator Brian Boquist who was unavailable to meet with us. Nevertheless, it was a productive meeting with his Legislative Assistant (and wife) Peggy Boquist.
The legislature continues to work through the thousands of bills that are being presented. At this time, many of the bills are in committees for discussion and will either be sent on to the Senate or House for consideration or ‘die’ in committee.
Employment Bills: ALERT – HB3087, SB828 and SB984
Your immediate attention to HB3087 is needed. Paid Family Leave is being considered in the House Committee on Early Childhood and Family Supports. Most businesses support the idea of family leave and many already offer some form that can be used for extended leave. This bill creates a situation that would make it costly and problematic for businesses to function. Additionally, this bill would impose a new tax (0.5%) on employers and employees to pay for the required 12 weeks of leave. Tell your legislators this is not good for business or employees.
I have included some talking points for you regarding HB3087 at the end of this update. A work session is scheduled for April 6, 2017. Send your letter or email today to:
SB828 Predictive Scheduling – Requires employers to pay the employee equivalent of at least four (4) hours of work if employee is scheduled or called in to work but, due to the employer, does not work entire shift. Prohibits retaliation against an employee who requests a preferred work schedule. It requires large employers in specified industries to provide new employees with estimated work schedule and to provide current employees with two weeks’ notice of employees’ work schedule.
I was informed by a legislator if you have employees, this bill will likely impact how you do business. Write to your legislators as soon as possible and let them know how SB828 will impact you. You can find contact information for State Senators and Representatives at https://mcminnville.org/contact-senator-representative/.
There is a PUBLIC HEARING on April 3, 2017. Send your testimony is as soon as possible.
HB 2005 Pay equity – makes unlawful employment practice to discriminate in wages against employee in a protected class. According to a legislator that spoke to us on Monday, laws already exist that protect pay equity and this bill would open the door to unnecessary litigation. This bill passed the House today (36-24) and was sent to the Senate desk for a first reading.
SB 984 Daily/Weekly overtime fix – Overtime pay for manufacturing employees to be calculated for weekly and daily and to pay the greater of two amounts. There is a
Public hearing in the Senate Committee on Workforce on March 29, 2017.
Provide testimony regarding how this would impact you at this email address: email@example.com include the bill number so it can be directed to the proper committee. You can also send emails to the Senate Committee on Workforce: firstname.lastname@example.org, Sen.TimKnopp@oregonlegislature.gov, Sen.SaraGelser@oregonlegislature.gov, Sen.BillHansell@state.or.us, Sen.LaurieMonnesAnderson@oregonlegislature.gov.
This would roll BOLI’s interpretation of overtime to historic methodology.
Real Estate Bills:
HB2006 – disallows Mortgage interest deduction for resident’s other than taxpayer’s primary residence.
Healthcare related Bills:
HB3079 – Hospital Provider tax: This bill would impose a huge tax bill on hospitals. It relates to the state medical assistance program funding. The tax would impose an assessment on the net revenue of each hospital in the State that is not a waivered hospital. Provider taxes are assessments levied on healthcare providers (hospitals, doctors, etc). According to a source, the Hospital Association has proposed a solution to legislators. More to come on this as time goes on.
SB487 – Damage awards – Restricts the limitations on awards for wrongful death. Work session scheduled for 3/29/17 in Senate Committee on Judiciary.
Business Tax Disclosure:
HB2019 – Corporate tax disclosure: This bill would require the Oregon Department of Revenue to report to the Legislative Revenue Officer (LRO) information from Oregon Tax Returns about certain corporations doing business in Oregon.
HB2941 – detaches federal depreciation computation and federal rules for expensing depreciable business assets for purposes of personal income tax.
HB2940 – would require the Dept of Rev to report to the Legislative Revenue Officer information from Or Tax returns about certain corporations doing business in OR.
HB3087: Paid Family Leave Talking points
- Every business, large and small will be impacted and will be especially hard on small businesses with few employees. Businesses will struggle to replace workers on leave.
- The length of leave is generous, and allows for an additional six weeks for parental leave. For some small businesses this amount of time could leave them short staffed for a majority of the year.
- This bill creates a tax on employers and employees of .05%.
- Mandates to file annual reports to the Department of Revenue on employee hours worked and amounts due to family leave fund place an added burden on business.
- Businesses are still adjusting to mandatory sick leave and minimum wage increases.
- Paid family leave would be provided on a first come first serve basis, and should the money run out, those that have paid into the system would not receive benefits.
We provide this update to you as part of our commitment to educate and activate members regarding public policy. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please do call me at 503-472-6196 or email at email@example.com.