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Legislative Report - Week of 5/29

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By Peggy Lynch, Natural Resources Coordinator, and Team

It’s mostly about budgets now, unless the Senate Republicans return to vote on policy bills awaiting a Senate chamber vote. Of interest is a new strategy of creating large budget bills combining a number of policy bills that need funding. Look for “packages” in this report’s Budget section. The latest word is W&Ms may finish by June 9th and then will wait for a return of Senators to the Senate chamber for a quorum. Otherwise, adjournment is June 25. 

Air Quality 

LWVOR joined with others in support of HB 3229, to modify federal air quality (Title V) operating permit program fees. The bill sits in W&Ms without recommendation. We should see the DEQ budget next week.


The Full Ways and Means Committee met May 31st with this agenda. Bills in this report not included here may be scheduled for June 2nd. We expect them to meet again June 7 and 9. The Capital Construction Subcommittee may meet next week also. Look for large bills packaging groups of policy bills that were sent to W&Ms under themes such as “drought” or “climate”. Bills assigned to each subcommittee are listed under those subcommittees. 


HB 3124 is expected to be amended. See the Drought Package Press Release. The League provided comments on the bill, including a list of our priorities, using our participation in the HB 5006 Work Group as our guide when the bill was heard in the policy committee. Expected to be included are three of LWVOR’s priorities:

HB 3163A, to renew the Place-Based Planning program with a Fund to help groups participate in this program, sent to W&Ms. The League participated in a Work Group last year to help develop program sideboards, and provided testimony in support.

HB 3100 A, addressing the Integrated Water Resources Strategy (IWRS), is in W&Ms. The League provided testimony when the bill had its public hearing. Then we worked behind the scenes to provide guidance as the IWRS is updated and we support the bill. 


HB 2813 A, a bill that creates a grant program to protect drinking water sources, is in W&Ms. LWVOR supports.


The climate package bill is HB 3409. Look for a substantial amendment that will include a number of bills supported by LWVOR. (See Climate Report) One bill included and followed by Natural Resources is HB 2647 A. The League supports HB 2647 A to continue to address harmful algal blooms, a public health issue.


In addition, a number of Agency Policy Option Packages (POPs) and new climate-related programs are included in the Climate Package. We have yet to see the Dept. of Environmental Quality budget posted for a Work Session but expect it next week.

HB 5020, Oregon Dept. of Forestry budget: LFO Recommendation - Revised (Moves 2 Capital Construction projects from this bill to the Capital Construction bill to allow for 6-year implementation) Work Session held May 30. LWVOR testimony

HB 2087 Relating to forest products harvest taxation -1 amendment, LFO Recommendation (The changed rate is required to support up to 40% of the budgeted expenditures for administration of the Forest Practices Act based on projected harvest volumes as of 3/31/23) Work Session held May 30th. LWVOR testimony

HB 5002, Oregon Dept. of Agriculture budget: LFO Recommendation. Work Session held May 30. 

HB 5003 Department of Agriculture - fee bill: LFO Recommendation Work Session held May 30.


SB 5509, Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife: LFO Recommendation Revised Work Session held May 31st. Among changes in this and some other budgets, includes directly assigning money to the state agency assigned the task rather than “pass through” monies from one agency to another because the program idea originally came from one agency. For instance, monies to the Dept. of Justice (DOJ) for poaching prosecution will show up in the DOJ budget rather than to ODFW and being “passed through” from ODFW to DOJ, thereby saving administrative work.

SB 488 A requires the owner or operator of municipal solid waste incinerator (Covanta in Keizer) to develop a plan for continuous monitoring or sampling of specified emissions for 12 consecutive months, was worked in W&M Natural Resources Subcommittee. 

LFO Recommendation includes -A 7 and – A 8 amendments, passed out of Committee May 31st.

SB 835 A Directs Environmental Quality Commission to adopt rules authorizing single-family dwelling and accessory dwelling unit constructed on same lot or parcel to be permanently connected to same subsurface sewage disposal system or alternative sewage disposal system.

LFO Recommendation The League engaged w/the sponsor and DEQ to get the bill amended to require the rules to assure septic systems have the capacity to accept additional sewage. The bill passed out of Committee May 31st.

SB 931 A Permits Department of Environmental Quality to issue a permit to repair or replace a subsurface sewage disposal system or alternative sewage disposal system without regard to the availability of a community or areawide sewerage system under certain circumstances. LFO Recommendation The bill passed out of Committee May 31st.

HB 2914 A Establishes the Oregon Abandoned and Derelict Vessel Program in the Department of State Lands (DSL). LFO Recommendation. The League has consistently supported funding for this program outside of the Common School Fund. The bill passed out of Committee May 31st with the statement that funding for this program would be in the end-of-session bill, SB 5506, and may be from the Monsanto Settlement Agreement per the Governor’s recommendation. 


SB 5524: Oregon Business Development Dept.: LFO Recommendation (includes $10 million for distribution to the Oregon International Port of Coos Bay to support the continuation and final completion of the engineering and design work related to deepening and widening the Federal Navigation Channel at Coos Bay to support existing businesses and promote new business opportunities. The original $15 million appropriation was provided to the agency in the 2022 legislative session.) A Work Session was held May 31st and the bill passed W&M Transportation and Economic Development Subcommittee.

HB 3410-2 is one of the many “package” bills and includes a variety of economic development funds/grant programs, mostly for rural Oregon, LFO Recommendation adopted May 30th. To learn the policy bills folded into this bill, listen to Rep. Gomberg’s testimony


SB 5527, the Oregon State Parks and Recreation budget bill, was heard June 1st. LFO Recommendation. It includes updating the park reservation system, additional staff in Central Services, additional limitation for parks repairs and authorizes additional hours for parks seasonal staff positions. 

HB 5048 with -2 amendment funds, starting Jan. 1, 2024, for new Elliott State Forest Research Authority Board staffing and expenses, LFO Recommendation. Heard June 1, it is expected that the 2024 session will review this new agency’s fiscal needs, but this funding provides for an Executive Director and two other positions. 


SB 546A (toxic free cosmetics) had aMay 30th Work Session, passed to Full W&Ms. LFO Recommendation.


SB 5506 is the end-of session (Christmas Tree) bill. We are learning of items to be included as hearings on other bills are worked. 


The League provided testimony in support of funding for the Oregon Conservation Corps in HB 5025, the omnibus Higher Education Coordinating Commission budget bill. LFO Recommendation with a Work Session set for June 1st. We do not see money for the Corps in the recommendation so can hope it will be included in the end-of-session bill. 


Sb 538 A would allow DOGAMI and other agencies to offer permittees the ability to use a credit card to pay fees and the agencies to charge for processing costs charged by those card businesses. On May 25, the bill was moved to House Rules.

The Governor signed HB 5046, to allow state agencies to continue to operate until Sept. 15th at current levels. With the current Senate Republican walkout, this bill is increasingly important.


By Claudia Keith and Team

We encourage you to read both of the overlapping Climate Emergency and Natural Resources sections of this report.

Coastal Issues

By Christine Moffitt/Peggy Lynch 

HB 3382 A has an -A 11 amendment posted for a June 1st public hearing and Work Session in House Rules. The amendment clarifies which tribes can apply for an exception and also states that no fossil fuel projects would be allowed to be approved.

HB 2903 A, funding to continue work on marine reserves, is in W&Ms, LWVOR supports. This 10-year-old program now has support from a diverse set of interests in coastal communities. We were disappointed that this position was not included in the ODFW budget but Sens. Anderson and Dembrow both encouraged inclusion in the end-of-session bill, SB 5506.

Dept of Environmental Quality (DEQ)

We are awaiting DEQ budget posting. In the meantime, work goes on at the agency

DEQ will hold two virtual listening sessions to discuss updating its Supplemental Environmental Project policy in which funds from violations can go towards a community project that benefits public health or the environment: 

Session #1: June 6, 2023 | Noon – 1pm, Zoom:

Session #2: June 7, 2023 | 6– 7pm, Zoom:

The focus of these listening sessions is to hear how community-based organizations and communities think DEQ could update policy to be more equitable and accessible. Read more about supplemental environmental projects. Feedback can also be provided by email:

Dept. of State Lands

HB 2238 A, filed to provide permission for robust rulemaking to increase fees for the removal/fill awaits a vote in the Senate chamber. It will need to go back to the House for “concurrence”—to agree with the Senate amendment. The League continues to support.

Elliott State Research Forest (ESRF) 

By Peggy Lynch 

The prospective Board will meet June 6th via Zoom from 12:30-4:30 p.m. Join the meeting: Zoom meeting link. Meeting agenda

Meetings of the prospective board are open to the public and include time for public comment.  See the Department of State Lands Meeting notes and YouTube channel video. They tentatively plan to meet again July 24th (time and location TBD). Visit DSL's Elliott webpage to learn more.

Land Use/Housing

By Peggy Lynch

Until the end of session, LWVOR will continue to watch the bills in this report.

HB 3414 would create a new Housing Accountability and Production Office in DLCD and also includes a section related to processing variances under certain circumstances. Variances are used to address exceptions to a code’s “clear and objective standards”. It is unclear how this provision will change a community’s control over residential development. The bill has a new public hearing in House Rules June 1st where a new amendment may address some prior hearing concerns. The League has concerns about the burden being placed on cities and we’re not clear if that issue has been resolved.

HB 3179-A7 sits awaiting a vote on the Senate floor. The bill would double the maximum allowable acreage for solar photovoltaic power generation facility siting in the context of county land-use planning, allowing counties to approve more and larger solar projects while preserving existing protections for land use and wildlife. The amended bill now requires an applicant for a land use permit for a renewable energy facility to provide a decommissioning plan to restore the site to "a useful, nonhazardous condition," assured by bonding or other security. The Siting Table group will continue during the interim to address ways to site renewable energy projects while also protecting farmland and addressing environmental concerns. 

There are still a number of land use planning bills sitting in Senate and House Rules Committees, not subject to deadlines until Leadership closes those committees, so we wait and watch—holding our breath that these bills are not trade bait should the Republican Senators return to their chamber to vote before the end of session. 

SB 1096 to “expand development into farmland”, has been referred to Senate Rules. The bill, similar to SB 1051 which the League vigorously opposed and has died, is a topic of discussion. The bill continues the false narrative that simply adding land to urban growth boundaries will solve Oregon's housing crises.


No new news on SB 1087, filed on behalf of a farm in Lane County where they want to add a “café” (with seating for 250-300 people) on their Exclusive Farm Use (EFU)-zoned property. The League opposes this overreach of our land use program. The bill is in Senate Rules.

SB 70A would allow housing on acreage in Malheur County. The League provided testimony in opposition on Feb. 8th. On April 3, the bill moved without passage recommendation to Senate Rules. LWVOR still opposes.

 SB 1013, to allow a recreational vehicle to be sited on a rural property, was amended by the -4 amendment and passed the House floor. The League worked with the sponsor and Sen. Hayden to assure that, should a recreational vehicle be allowed, issues of sewage and clean drinking water would be addressed by the counties. Rep. Helm also stated that for the record in committee, which the League appreciated. Again, this bill will require “concurrence” with the Senate.

HB 3442 A, a bill to allow coastal communities to develop in hazard areas under certain conditions, passed to the Senate floor on May 10 where it sits until there is a quorum. The amended bill responded to League concerns on the original bill. 

HB 2983 A, to help with manufactured housing and housing parks is in W&Ms. LWVOR supports

See also the Housing Report in the Social Policy section of this Legislative Report.

Northwest Energy Coalition (NWEC) 

By Robin Tokmakian

A Semi-Annual NWEC meeting was held on May 18. The primary business was to adopt a resolution on Gas Utility decarbonization. A caucus of the Oregon members was held May 24. Most of the work in Oregon relates to the Public Utility Commission including activity on Utility Integrated Resource Plans (IRPs), Utility Clean Energy Plans (CEPs), Distribution Planning by the utilities (PUC activity), Rate Cases, and transportation electrification (TEs) plans.(Contact , if you need more information on this.) NWEC has 6 priority bills in the legislature:

* HB 2531, the clean lighting bill that would phase out mercury-based fluorescent light bulbs; * HB 3459, which would extend the temporary increase of $5 million in energy assistance for two more years; and * SB 868, 869, 870, and 871 which form the Building Resilience package stemming from the Re-Building Task Force last year. We believe these bills will be in the climate package, HB 3409.NWEC is helping to facilitate the Community Cohort - spelled out in HB 2021 - that requires Clean Energy Plans be submitted to the PUC by energy companies active in Oregon. This activity provides a unique opportunity to reshape how utility regulation analyzes and distributes benefits in the context of emissions reductions. A group led by Coalition of Communities of Color, Rogue Climate, Multnomah Office of Sustainability, and Verde and supported by NWEC is engaging with about a dozen community members from around the state to educate them about PUC processes and help them identify key issues that are important to their communities so that those issues can be amplified in the regulatory process. Started about six months ago, the great work of the community cohort is beginning to be integrated with the broader work of other energy advocates.


The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is proposing rules to clarify and implement the Plastic Pollution and Recycling Modernization Act of 2021. The Act requires producers of packaging, paper products and food service ware to support and expand recycling services in Oregon for their products. This is the first of two anticipated rulemakings related to the Act. For this first rulemaking, DEQ is proposing rules related to topics including producer responsibility program plan content; DEQ's administrative fees; the funding and reimbursement of local governments for eligible recycling-related expenses; and the materials suitable for recycling collection in Oregon. The DEQ is seeking public comment on the proposed rules.  Anyone can submit comments and questions about this rulemaking. More information on this rulemaking, including the draft rules, can be found on the Recycling Updates 2023 Rulemaking Page. DEQ will accept comments by email, postal mail or verbally at the public hearing. Send comments by email to or mail to Oregon DEQ, Attn: Roxann Nayar/Materials Management, 700 NE Multnomah Street, Suite 600, Portland, Oregon 97232-4100.

Please register prior to these DEQ Public Hearings: 

DEQ will only consider proposed rules comments received by 4pm, July 6.

DEQ will hold the first Recycling Modernization Act Rulemaking Advisory Committee meeting for the second rulemaking. DEQ will be providing an overview of the Act, the rulemaking process, and will be presenting the Commingled Processing Facility Worker Living Wage and Supportive Benefits rule concept. 

SB 542 A (Right to Repair) continues to sit in Senate Rules until more amendments are made or until there are enough votes to pass it in the full Senate. The League provided testimony in support on Feb. 14th


By Paula Grisafi 

HB 3043A was amended by the A3 amendment and is awaiting a quorum on the Senate floor. The bill revises provisions relating to chemicals in children’s products.

SB 426 A (toxic free schools) was sent to W&Ms without clarity on the fiscal impact. The bill’s advocates are working to assure that the fiscal impact statement is not over inflated by agency staff. 


By Peggy Lynch 

It’s time to engage in the Integrated Water Resources Strategy 2023 update. See the survey link on the webpage. 


HB 3207 A, related to domestic well testing and data collection, is in W^Ms. LWVOR supports


HB 3125 would create a Ratepayer Assistance Fund to help low-income people pay for sewer and water bills. It is in W&Ms, LWVOR supports


We all need to pay attention to the potential for harmful algal blooms. “When in doubt, stay out.” Visit the Harmful Algae Bloom website or call the Oregon Public Health Division toll-free information line at 877-290-6767 to learn if an advisory has been issued or lifted for a specific water body. 

Thanks to a substantial snowpack, our drought in many parts of Oregon has lessened. However, the recent hot weather has begun to melt that “storage”. League members may want to check the U. S. Drought Monitor, a map that is updated every Thursday. Governor Kotek has signed drought declarations under ORS 536 for these counties: Crook, Jefferson, Grant, Deschutes, Wasco, and Harney. Governor Tina Kotek has declared a drought in Sherman and Lake counties through Executive Order 23-08. Jackson County has requested a drought declaration. In addition, many counties in eastern and southern Oregon have received Secretarial Disaster Designations from the US Department of Agriculture due to continuing drought conditions. 


By Carolyn Mayers


SB 80A, the omnibus Wildfire Programs bill, is in W&Ms as is SB 509A, which aims to scale out neighborhood collaboratives in order to help whole neighborhoods reduce risk. LWVOR provided support for SB 509 A. 


VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: What is your passion related to Natural Resources? You can help. Volunteers are needed. The 2023 legislative session is half way over. Natural Resource Agency Boards and Commissions meet regularly year-round and need monitoring. If any area of natural resources is of interest to you, please contact Peggy Lynch, Natural Resources Coordinator, at Training will be offered.

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