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Legislative Report - Week of 6/12

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By Peggy Lynch, Natural Resources Coordinator, and Team

*Action Needed: Please contact your State Senator and Representative to encourage them to support these Bills * 

These bills are in Ways and Means: 

HB 3229 - Would increase federal air quality (Title V) operating permit program fees that have not been increased for many years.

HB 2903 A - Funding to continue work on marine reserves.

HB 3207 A - Related to domestic well testing and data collection.

SB 426 A - (Toxic-free schools) Sent to Ways and Means without clarity on the fiscal impact. Unless money is included in the end-of-session bill, this bill is likely dead for the session.


HB 3125 - Would create a Ratepayer Assistance Fund to help low-income people pay for sewer and water bills.

HB 2983 A - Would help with manufactured housing and housing parks.

SB 509A - Aims to scale out neighborhood collaboratives in order to help whole neighborhoods reduce risk.

HB 3125 - Would create a Ratepayer Assistance Fund to help low-income people pay for sewer and water bills.

Air Quality 

LWVOR joined with others in support of HB 3229. The bill would increase federal air quality (Title V) operating permit program fees that have not been increased for many years. The bill is in the W&M Capital Construction Subcommittee where amendments are being discussed. In the meantime, the DEQ budget passed out of the Natural Resources Subcommittee and authorized the 11 staff being requested in HB 3229. But that staffing approval needs HB 3229. Some of our partners are considering a direct application to the EPA to help assure Oregon is addressing the U.S. Air Quality Act. 


The Full Ways and Means Committee met on June 12: agenda  The W&M Subcommittees are now closed except for Capital Construction. The bills awaiting consideration by this committee are listed here with checkmarks. They include the bonding bills and the end-of-session bill.

HB 2903 A, funding to continue work on marine reserves, is in Ways and Means. LWVOR supports. This 10-year-old program now has support by a diverse set of interests in the 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, At Full Ways and Means, Rep. Gomberg joined in encouraging funding.

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 can charge for the processing costs charged by those card businesses. On May 25, the bill was moved to House Rules.

HB 5046 The Governor signed to allow state agencies to continue to operate until Sept. 15th at current levels.


By Claudia Keith and Team

The Climate Emergency and Natural Resources sections of this Legislative Report overlap. We encourage you to read both sections.

Coastal Issues

By Christine Moffitt/Peggy Lynch

The Oregon Ocean Science Trust has a meeting on July 5th from noon-3p, in-person and via Zoom, open to the public at the Department of State Lands, Land Board Room

775 Summ​er St NE, Salem, Oregon. OOST membership and agenda 

To Join remotely: Join online - click hereMeeting ID: 851 1191 9008

(Passcode: 4theOcean!)Join by phone: (253) 215-8782 (Passcode: 7641510674)

Dept. of State Lands

HB 2238 A, to provide permission for robust rulemaking to increase fees for the removal/fill awaits a Senate chamber vote. 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 ESRF Board tentatively plans to meet July 24th (time and location TBD). Visit DSL's Elliott webpage to learn more.

Hanford Nuclear Site 

Yakima Nation Youth are learning about the Hanford site. OPB has a great article on the issue.

Land Use/Housing

By Peggy Lynch

League is waiting to see if HB 3414 is part of any “deal” between the political parties. The bill that would create a new Housing Accountability and Production Office in DLCD and also includes a section related to processing of variances under certain circumstances, now called “adjustments”. Variances are used to address exceptions to a code’s “clear and objective standards”. 

Added to the bill in other amendments is a new provision around a process for urban growth boundary expansions. The bill’s 27-page -19 amendment  was not posted on OLIS until 7p on June 7th,  (actually -17s on June 7 but -19s not until almost 1p on June 8th!) but had a new public hearing in House Rules June 8th where the League provided verbal testimony based on our Nov. 2022 LCDC testimony, pointing out that it’s not more raw land we need; it’s funding for infrastructure and planning staff. The UGB section relates to SB 1096, a bill that would “expand development into farmland” and was similar to SB 1051 which the League vigorously opposed and has since died. Although there are sideboards around what lands can be considered, the HB 3414 -19 amendment continues the false narrative that simply adding land to urban growth boundaries will solve Oregon's housing crises. League members’ voices in opposition to much of this bill would be appreciated.

A number of land use planning bills are sitting in the Senate and House Rules Committees or awaiting a vote in the Senate. Those committees are not subject to deadlines until the Leadership closes them 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. 

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 was 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. This bill will require Senate “concurrence”

HB 3442 A, to allow coastal communities to develop in hazard areas under certain conditions, passed to the Senate floor on May 10, third reading scheduled June 20. The amended bill responded to the concerns of the League on the original bill.


HB 2983 A would help with manufactured housing and housing parks, is in Ways and Means. LWVOR supports. We believe that money is in the Oregon Housing and Community Services budget but some monies might also show up in Capital Construction. 

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


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. From sponsor Sen. Sollman: Representative Courtney Neron has agreed to use one of her priority bill concepts to get this bill introduced on the House side as HB 3631, and it has amazing support right out of the gate with over 30 sponsors! While it may be a long shot to successful passage this session, based on time left to complete business, I am committed to keeping the momentum and conversation for the Right to Repair movement going. An article by Boondoggle shares positive actions in other states with judicial rulings supporting the concept. 

DEQ is proposing rules to clarify and implement the Plastic Pollution and Recycling Modernization Act of 2021. More information on this rulemaking, including the draft rules, can be found on the Recycling Updates 2023 Rulemaking Page

DEQ will hold the first Recycling Modernization Act Rulemaking Advisory Committee meeting for the second rulemaking: 9 a.m.- 12:30 p.m., July 13 (meeting agenda). DEQ will provide an overview of the Act, the rulemaking process, and will present the Commingled Processing Facility Worker Living Wage and Supportive Benefits rule concept. To attend the meeting please Register via Zoom. To learn more about this rulemaking and the advisory committee, view the rulemaking web page at: Recycling Updates 2024.


By Paula Grisafi

HB 3043A was amended by the A3 amendment and is awaiting Senate third reading, June 20. The bill revises provisions relating to chemicals in children’s products.

SB 426 A  (toxic-free schools) was sent to Ways and Means without clarity on the fiscal impact. Unless money is included in the end-of-session bill, this bill is likely dead for the session.


By Peggy Lynch  

Another concern about water quality for rural landowners with domestic wells: This time manganese instead of nitrates. And a gravel mine instead of agricultural practices per this OPB article. Both U. S. Senators are taking on this issue by sending a letter to the EPA.


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


HB 3125, to create a Ratepayer Assistance Fund to help low-income people pay for sewer and water bills, is in Ways and Means. 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. 

Most snow has melted with the recent hot weather. League members may want to check the U. S. Drought Monitor, a map updated every Thursday. Governor Kotek has signed drought declarations under ORS 536 for the counties of Crook, Jefferson, Grant, Deschutes, Wasco, Harney, Sherman and Lake counties. 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 

There was a Public Hearing and Work Session held on June 9 by JW&Ms Capital Construction Subcommittee, on SB 80. Specifically, this included the addition of the -A 11 amendment, regarding a prescribed fire liability fund. The aim of this amendment is to help encourage landowners who get the proper training to use prescribed fire as a tool in their wildfire mitigation toolbox without fear of liability from unintended losses. Senator Golden spoke at length in support of this overall bill, in essence calling it a refinement of certain aspects of SB

762, the Omnibus Wildfire Legislation of 2021. 

Regarding the map, which, in part, this bill proposes to improve and refine, he said “SB 80 simplifies the structure of the map and makes some changes to the way that reflects NOT the way that single homeowners maintain their property for fire readiness, but rather the hazard that wildfire presents to the wider landscape.” He went on to detail various aspects of the bill, asking the committee for their support, and lamenting the potential loss of more than $20 million from the Community Risk Reduction Fund. “One of the real gems of SB 762," he said. It was adopted and sent to tJW&Ms, with a do-pass recommendation, and subsequently adopted, 6/12/23.


DLCD recently sent out their Wildfire Adapted Communities Update which gives an overview of the current disposition of the wildfire related legislation still working its way through

the process, and also updates on some of the programs and work that are still ongoing, and

upcoming. Highly recommended reading!


This article reports on how some Oregon city firefighters are training to learn techniques for fighting wildland fires. The skills are vastly different for the two types of fire and this fills a critical gap. It is a welcome recognition by some (but certainly not all) city fire departments that wildfires pose a risk not just to forested lands and the residences therein, but also, increasingly the adjacent cities.


Finally, this piece reports on an assessment of the upcoming wildfire season by a panel of Oregon State experts. They state wet winter and cool spring weather conditions bring no solace, as these conditions help the vegetation grow prolifically, so that when it dries out during hot dry conditions, it means there are more “fine fuels” to ignite and burn. There is an acknowledgement of the aforementioned Community Risk Reduction funds that continue to be distributed (as a result of SB 762) by the State Fire Marshal’s Office, and how important that component is in the overall mitigation of risk for community members. While this panel was speaking, wildfires were burning in Eastern Oregon: the Hat Rock fire in Umatilla County and a new fire in the Dalles, among others. 


Our 2020 wildfires aren’t done with Oregon as you can see from this article related to PacifiCorp’s liability for damages.


SB 509A, in W&M, aims to scale out neighborhood collaboratives in order to help whole neighborhoods reduce risk. LWVOR provided support. We are hoping for money in the end-of-session bill as well as the $10 million for the Oregon Conservation Corps. 


VOLUNTEERS NEEDED:  What is your passion related to Natural Resources?  You can help. Volunteers are needed. The 2023 legislative session is almost 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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