McMinnville Chamber Legislative Update March 23
Please add to your calendar: Weekly Legislative update call Tuesday mornings at 8:30AM. http://cm.mcminnville.org/events/details/legislative-update-call-03-31-2015-5950
The McMinnville Chamber’s Government Affairs Council wishes to keep you up to date with current business legislation and activities in the capital. See below for quick hits on some of the current issues facing business at the State Capital. Feel free to pass this email around to anyone you believe would benefit from these updates.
Remember that your testimony and activism can make a HUGE difference in our capital. Find a couple moments to type an email to the Chair of a Committee, Rep. Weidner, or Senator Boquist and tell them how a particular bill is going to affect your business, your community, your employees, etc. The main goal of the McMinnville Chamber and Government Affairs Council is to Educate and Activate our members for the good of all business.
The Attached document is the Full Bill Summary provided by the Oregon State Chamber of Commerce. The opposition/support noted on each board is from the Oregon State Chamber and does not necessarily reflect the feelings or positions of the McMinnville Area Chamber of Commerce and our members.
McMinnville Chamber Legislative Update – March 23
Review of past week (March 16-20):
- HB 2077 – a bill to mandate corporate tax disclosure to the Secretary of State – had a second public hearing in the House Revenue Committee on Tuesday. This bill is an initiative of the government employee unions and seeks to make public – on a public website – very sensitive tax information for any Oregon C corporation with at least 25 employees. There is now a very focused lobbying effort happening on this bill with the “swing” members of the House Revenue Committee. OSCC is part of that effort and remain on very high alert with this bill.
- Follow this bill: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2015R1/Measures/Overview/HB2077.
- Committee Chair is Phil Barnhart: https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/barnhart. You can address your testimony to Chair Barnhart and the committee.
- HB 2386 – the bill that gives BOLI the unchecked ability to issue cease and desist order if the Labor Commissioner “has reason to believe” an employer has committed an unlawful employment practice – was approved last week by the House Business & Labor Committee on a party line 6-5 vote. OSCC has engaged on this issue with an action alert to OSCC members (see more in the “What we see coming up” section).
- SB 63 – a bill we cautioned about last week – was passed out of the Senate Finance Committee last week, but it was not used as a vehicle to implement significant tax changes. The bill simply re-connected Oregon’s tax code to the federal tax code for ease of compliance. In fact, the bill is now broadly supported by business.
- The two bad insurance bills we mentioned last week – SB 313 and SB 314 – both received hearings last week in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Whether these bills move out of committee will largely depend on whether they have the votes to pass the Senate. This is uncertain as of now.
What we see coming up (March 23-26):
- HB 3025 will get a 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. This is part of a national “ban the box” initiative of the AFL-CIO to prevent employers from seeking criminal background information from job applicants. The bill is even worse than it sounds because it gives new civil rights of action for people denied jobs because of a criminal history.
- Update from Rep. Weidner on this morning’s legislative call: Many amendments have been put forward on this bill, many by Rep. Weidner himself who sits on this committee. These amendments called to cover attorney fees if a business was found without fault, full restitution of lost business, etc. No amendments were accepted, but the bill is being pulled back into committee because enough concern was raised that the bill gave BOLI and Commissioner Brad Avakian too much control to shut down business and job sites without liability. Rep. Weidner has asked all businesses to call Democratic House and Senate members to communicate the unfavorable outcomes of this bill
- For Bill information please see: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2015R1/Measures/Overview/HB2386
- Committee members: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2015R1/Committees/HBL/Overview
- Committee Chair: https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/holvey
- HB 2386, the bill that gives BOLI unchecked authority to issue cease and desist orders without going to court to gain approval, will be on the House Floor this week. However, we believe at this point we have more than enough votes to kill the bill on the floor. The most likely outcome at this point is that the bill will be sent back to committee. OSCC grassroots really helped make the difference on this bill. Stay tuned.
- Weidner gave an update today that there are amendments being heard about this bill authored by him and other representatives. The amendment, in a broad summary, would create a personal account for each employee, managed by the Unemployment Department, allowing employees to put in a max of 3% of their wages to be used in times of illness. The balance carries with the individual, not dependent on employer, and if there is a balance in that account upon retirement then the account becomes a supplement to retirement income. A new bill is being authored now and will be submitted either this afternoon or tomorrow. More information to come.
- Mandatory Paid Sick Leave – SB 454 & HB 2005 – will both have work sessions in their respective committees this week. The Senate Bill will be sent to the Ways & Means Committee, while the House Bill will be sent to the House Rules Committee. Both bills are likely to sit in those committees until decisions are made about which bill to move. As of today, prospects for passage remain good in the House, but very uncertain in the Senate.
- Legislature will have a short week this week. The legislature is taking Friday off. Representative Weidner will be visiting our area on Friday.
- This bill was initially thought to not be an issue that is outside normal practices anyway. However, a caveat in the bill “Creates right of civil action for violation”. Concerning language is used on Section 2, point 2 (page 2, line 33 and following). Section 2, subsection 6 also give the applicant, if denied a job based on criminal history, the right to appeal to the Commissioner of BOLI. If HB 2386 were to pass then the Commissioner would have all authority to halt the business until the dispute were settled, not allowing a person to be hired for the needed position and accruing legal fees.
- Follow updates on the bill here: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2015R1/Measures/Overview/HB3025
- Read the Bill in its entirety here: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2015R1/Downloads/MeasureDocument/HB3025/Introduced
- The bill is assigned to Business and Labor Committee, Rep. Weidner sits on this committee. Send all testimony and input to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- SB 565 – the bill that gives a tax credit for the restoration of historic properties – will get a work session in the Senate Finance Committee. The bill, supported by the OSCC, comes with a hefty price tag, which will diminish its chance for passage. However, the committee may amend the bill this week to soften the state budget impact.
- This is an important bill for towns like McMinnville. It would help business owners restore and upgrade historic properties and support them in doing such with tax incentives. The MDA is supporting this bill locally. We will continue to watch it.
- Follow the bill here: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2015R1/Measures/Overview/SB565
- Submit testimony to Finance and Revenue Committee: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2015R1/Committees/SFR/Overview
- The Oregon Talent Council bill – HB 2728 – will start to move this week. This bill is a significant workforce development bill to increase efforts in fostering relationships between Oregon traded-sector employers and Oregon public universities and community colleges for purposes of developing a better workforce pipeline.
- Bill Summary: Establishes Oregon Talent Council.Specifies responsibilities of council. Requires council to develop Talent Development Plan and update plan each biennium. Establishes Oregon Talent Council Fund in State Treasury. Appropriates moneys to council for purposes of Act. Abolishes Engineering and Technology Industry Council and associated fund and account. Transfers moneys in fund and account to Oregon Talent Council Fund. Requires council to identify state agency with which council is to be affiliated. Declares emergency, effective on passage.
- Current Committee assignment: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2015R1/Committees/HHEDIW/Overview