McMinnville Chamber Legislative Update 3.30.15

by Nathan Knottingham
Greetings Members,
Below you will find the most recent updates on Legislative Actions in the House and Senate provided by Oregon State Chamber of Commerce and your McMinnville Chamber of Commerce.
As you read these over I urge you to consider a very real issue all businesses in Oregon are facing.  Jeb Bladine wrote a great article about this in his Viewpoints section last Friday (–1427460236–17248–commentary).  He mentioned the Job Killers List which can be found here:  Our Federal representation is calling out the fact that Oregon is becoming very UN-friendly to businesses.
The topic got me thinking about a saying I hear from time to time: Silence is Consensus.  You hear it in committees, or business meetings, “If there is no other input or disagreement I will take the silence to mean we have consensus.”  Really what is being said is that the person leading the meeting wants to move forward and depending on who you’re in the meeting with raising your objection could be damaging to your future.
It’s not such a far cry to realize the same tactic can happen in our State Capitol.  Proponents for the job killing bills do NOT want to hear from you and other businesses.  They don’t want your testimony, real life stories, and clarification of your struggles to be known to the committees because those stories can defeat a bill.  Do not be silent!  If you have something to say on a subject it is very easy.  Your testimony will give them knowledge that they cannot ignore, they have to reason how a bill will affect the testimony given, and most importantly they know you’re watching.  I have attached two documents as example of letters written by business owners as testimony on HB 2005 (Paid Sick Leave).  You can see that the letters can be personal, with your own calculations, and a compelling reason why said bill would help/hurt your business.   Mr. Rooter Testimony   HB 2005 Testimony Gamborettis
Do not give Silent Consensus to the senators and representatives in your state capitol.  Make sure your opinion is heard and that they know the business community is fully engaged.
Tomorrows Conference call with Rep. Weidner and Senator Boquist’s office is on:
McMinnville Chamber Member Legislative Report – March 30, 2015
Review of past week (March 23-27):

  • HB 3025 got a very significant 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.  The bill makes convicted criminals a protected class with certain major elements of employment law.  The bill compels an employer to prove that the criminal history is directly job related in order to deny the person employment.  The bill also allows a job applicant with a criminal history to appeal an employer’s decision not to hire the applicant to BOLI, who can subsequently declare the employer’s action to be unlawful.
    • Read the Bill overview here:
    • Weidner sits on the committee of Business and Labor and would be a perfect contact for your input on this bill.  You can email your letters/comments to
  • HB 2386 – the bill that gave BOLI the unchecked ability to issue cease and desist orders if the Labor Commissioner “has reason to believe” an employer has committed an unlawful employment practice – was defeated on the House floor.   The bill was sent back to committee.


  • Both the paid sick leave bill (SB 454) and the mandatory state-run retirement plan bill (HB 2960) were moved to Ways & Means to position for the end of session.  Meaning they will be heard and rewritten in a way expected to pass.
    • In the meantime, the Legislative Revenue Office came out with official numbers that indicate that the paid sick leave legislation will cost small business approximately $750 million per biennium in additional costs and liabilities.  This number is roughly equal to the tax increases contained in Measures 66 & 67.       
    • The fight on these bills in not up.  In fact your letters and testimony are still extremely important.
    • Updates on SB 454:
    • Updates on HB 2960:
    • You can read current testimony supplied on both of these bills.  On each link please click the “Meeting Materials/Exhibits” tab and will be directed to all of the testimony to date.

What we see coming up (March 30 – April 3):

  • HB 2005 – the House version of the paid sick leave bill – will get some attention this week, presumably to send the bill to a different committee for end-of-session positioning.
  • Very quiet week on the legislative calendar this week.  No bills on OSCC’s tracking are currently scheduled for hearings or votes this week.  See attached document for the full list of bills tracked by OSCC (the McMinnville Chamber has not taken a position on any bill, only providing the attachment for your awareness). OSCC Full Bill Summary 3.30.15

NOTE –  Please anticipate a couple of things in the coming week from OSCC:

  1. We will likely engage in HB 3025 and urge legislators to defeat this legislation.  OSCC will issue talking points.  Please be on the lookout for them and please contact your legislator with these messages!  If you would like a copy of these talking points please email
  2. With the new cost projections on paid sick leave coming out of the Legislative Revenue Office, we will want to make sure we are talking about the cost of paid sick leave.  OSCC will issue new talking points on paid sick leave to share with your legislators.  We need to be talking about the cost now that we have the official figures.