McMinnville Chamber Legislative Update 4.14.15
by Nathan Knottingham
Monday evening was a very long night of testimony on multiple bills related to minimum wage increase (started at 6pm and ended just before 10pm!). It was a joint hearing of the House and Senate committees. Information on the 4 house bills receiving testimony last night can be found here: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2015R1/Committees/HBL/2015-04-13-18-00/Agenda. Information on the Senate Bills: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2015R1/Committees/SWF/2015-04-13-18-00/Agenda.
Written testimony on this subject (and these bills) can be sent until Friday April 17, 2015 at 4pm. Please email your letter/email to me at email@example.com and I will be happy to handle submission for you. Or if you are comfortable submitting on your own please send a copy of your testimony to me please (for our own internal knowledge).
What’s Ahead This Week?
The next 10 days, without a doubt, are the busiest of the session.
April 10th (Friday) was the first major deadline of the 2015 session. All bills needed to be posted for a committee vote by midnight on Friday in order to survive for the session. This is typically where we see the number of viable bills reduced significantly. But it appears that nearly every bill OSCC is actively engaged in has been posted for a committee vote in the next week and a half. The next major deadline is Tuesday, April 21. All bills need to pass out of their original committee in order to survive for the session.
The following bills are still alive until April 21st:
- HB 3377 – which authorizes employees to engage in “flex scheduling,” is scheduled for a vote in the House Business & Labor Committee on Wednesday, April 15.
- HB 2764 – on the “job killer” list – this bill increases plaintiff attorney fees in workers’ comp cases and increases workers’ comp costs by 5 percent. It’s scheduled for a potential vote in the House Business & Labor Committee on Wednesday, April 15.
- HB 2386 – the bill that gives 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. However, it is back in committee and scheduled for a potential vote in the House Business & Labor Committee on Friday, April 17.
- HB 3025 – the legislation that prohibits employers from conducting criminal background checks on job applicants until after a conditional job offer has been made – is scheduled for a potential vote in the House Business & Labor Committee on Friday, April 17.
- Minimum wage increase legislation is scheduled for a potential vote in the House Business & Labor Committee on Monday, April 20.
- SB 477 – which eliminates coal as an electricity generation resource – will have major cost implications for electricity. Scheduled for a potential vote in the Senate Environment & Energy Committee on Wednesday, April 15th.
- SB 888 – which authorizes employees to engage in “flex scheduling,” is scheduled for a vote in the Senate Workforce committee on Wednesday, April 15.
- SB 718 – which authorizes liens on employer real and personal property due to allegation of a wage claim – is scheduled for a potential vote in the Senate Workforce Committee on Wednesday, April 15.
- SB 845 – which levies fines and penalties on employers with 50 or more employees who reduce hours and health benefits due to the federal Affordable Care Act – is scheduled for a potential vote in the Senate Workforce Committee on Monday, April 20.
- Minimum wage increase legislation is scheduled for a potential vote in the Senate Workforce Committee on Monday, April 20.
While these bills are certainly among the most harmful to local business, this is by no means the entire list.
It should also be noted that while these bills are all scheduled for committee votes, many may never receive a vote at all.
We will keep you updated on these issues and let you know when and where you can testify if interested.
The Chamber wants to hear from you, our members, on these issues. Please keep us in the loop with your questions and comments so we may better understand what issues you are facing in your business.