Legislative Report - Week of 6/5
Jump to a topic:
By Peggy Lynch, Natural Resources Coordinator, and Team
The end of the session may be seen soon, although the official sine die is June 25th... (Oops! “Sine die” doesn’t pass the reading test…it’s "end of the session" I should use.) Bills are stacking up in the Senate as there is still no quorum to be able to vote on those bills—policies and budgets. If there is no resolution by the 25, look for a special session before the Sept. 15t deadline when many agencies will be unfunded.
HB 3229 LWVOR joined with others in support. The bill would increase federal air quality (Title V) operating permit program fees, not increased for many years. The bill is in W&M Capital Construction Subcommittee, discussing amendments. In the meantime, the DEQ budget passed out of the Natural Resources Subcommittee and authorized the 11 staff 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 addresses the U.S. Air Quality Act.
The Full W&Ms met June 7, agenda, and on June 9 with this agenda. Most budget bills have now been scheduled or passed. The W&M Co-Chairs did announce a new Full meeting, Monday, June 12, at 9:30am. The Capital Construction Subcommittee met June 9th, agenda.
Bills and agency budgets we have been watching that are moving—some in total and some with amendments—are listed here.
HB 5043, the budget bill for the Water Resources Department, was heard in the W&M Natural Resources Subcommittee on June 5. The LFO Recommendation includes $1 million to the Water Well Repair, Replacement and Abandonment Fund which the League supported in 2021 and a permanent staffer for the Integrated Water Resources Strategy. See the Subcommittee’s recommendation.
SB 5539 the budget bill for the Oregon Water Enhancement Board (OWEB), was heard in the W&M Natural Resources Subcommittee on June 6 as was SB 5540 the budget bill to provide for 6-year limitation for grants from OWEB. SB 5539 LFO Recommendation and the Subcommittee recommendation.
HB 5018 the budget bill for the Dept. of Environmental Quality (DEQ) was heard in the W&M Natural Resources Subcommittee on June 6. LFO Recommendation. The bill was in Full W&M on June 9. Here is a short explanation of the Subcommittee’s recommendation.
SB 80A, the omnibus Wildfire Programs bill, was heard in W&M Capital Construction on June 9. See the posted amendments and listen to the hearing.
The W&M Natural Resources Subcommittee recommended approval of a climate package: HB 3409 with the 112-page -3 amendment that includes a number of bills supported by LWVOR. See the LFO Recommendation that addresses 14 policy bills! 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. Portions of the four building resilience bills and $10 million for SB 530, the natural and working lands bill, are included.
The W&M Natural Resources Subcommittee used HB 2010 for the water package instead of HB 3124, the bill to which LWVOR provided comments. The -6 amendment was adopted and includes elements of HB 3163 ($800,000 in budget bill), HB 3130, HB 3103 and HB 2813 as well as other bills per this Drought Package Press Release. See our last Legislative Report for links to our testimonies on these bills. LFO Recommendation
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 moved to House Rules.
The Governor signed HB 5046, to allow state agencies to continue to operate until Sept. 15 at current levels. With the current Senate Republican walkout, this bill is increasingly important.
By Christine Moffitt/Peggy Lynch
HB 3382 B passed the House June 8 by 53 to 3. The League is disappointed as we, along with others, opposed the bill, even after the bill was narrowed to just Coos Bay. Our March testimony; May 16 Coalition testimony. Rumor has it that the Port of Coos Bay, on behalf of the container ship development, has again applied for federal funding. They were not approved for funding in 2022.
HB 2903 A, funding to continue work on marine reserves, is in W&Ms, LWVOR supports. This 10-year-old program now has support by a diverse set of interests in coastal communities. We were disappointed 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 W&Ms Rep. Gomberg joined in encouraging funding.
Dept. of State Lands
HB 2238 A, filed to provide permission for robust rulemaking to increase fees for the removal/fill awaits a Senate 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 met June 6 via Zoom, meeting agenda. The meeting video is posted to the Department of State Lands YouTube channel and meeting notes are posted here. They tentatively plan to meet again July 24th (time and location TBD). Visit DSL's Elliott webpage to learn more.
By Peggy Lynch
HB 3414 would create a new Housing Accountability and Production Office in DLCD and also include a section related to processing 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 7pm, June 7, but had a new public hearing in House Rules June 8 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, to “expand development into farmland”, similar to SB 1051 which the League vigorously opposed and has 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. We are waiting to see if one of the amendments (-18 or -19) will be added to HB 3395, the Housing package bill being heard in Capital Construction on June 9 or if other actions will be taken on this bill. League members’ voices in opposition to much of this bill would be appreciated. Contact your representatives.
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 Siting Table group will continue during the interim to continue to address ways to site renewable energy projects while also protecting farmland and addressing environmental concerns.
A number of land use planning bills are still sitting in the Senate and House Rules Committees or awaiting a Senate vote. 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 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 70 A would allow housing on acreage in Malheur County. The League provided testimony in opposition on Feb. 8. On April 3, the bill was moved without recommendation as to passage to Senate Rules. LWVOR still opposes.
SB 1013, a bill that would 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 “concurrence” with the Senate.
HB 3442 A would 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 would help with manufactured housing and housing parks, now 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.
By Shirley Weathers
Since the more substantive May 15, 2023 LR entry on this topic, the deadline for RAC member input on Part I of recommended rules for OAR 345-050 designed to implement SB 246 (2021) has been extended by 15 days to June 30. The League will provide input by the new date. ODOE staff indicated the new timeline will still allow them to prepare materials for a report to EFSC for a July council meeting. A public comment period on that segment of the proposed rules will likely follow that meeting; LWVOR will participate and encourage others with concerns about public health and safety and environmental risks to consider doing so, as well.
Regarding the longer-term process for developing proposed rules designed by ODOE staff as Part II, the alternate proposal by Waste Management and allies among RAC membership is now posted on the ODOE Rulemaking page for this RAC. ODOE staff reports technical difficulties to getting the video of the first half of the April 24, 2023 meeting to be uploaded there, as well, but they are continuing to work on it.
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 accept comments by email, postal mail or verbally at the public hearing. Anyone can submit comments and questions about this rulemaking. Email comments to email@example.com or mail to Oregon DEQ, Attn: Roxann Nayar/Materials Management, 700 NE Multnomah Street, Suite 600, Portland, Oregon 97232-4100.
Two meeting times are offered. DEQ will only consider comments on the proposed rules that DEQ receives by 4 pm, on July 6.
Tuesday, June 27,11am. Please Register via Zoom prior to the meeting.
Thursday, June 29, 5pm. Please Register via Zoom prior to the meeting.
DEQ will hold the first Recycling Modernization Act Rulemaking Advisory Committee meeting for the second rulemaking from 9 am to 12:30 pm on July 13. DEQ will provide an overview of the Act, the rulemaking process, and present the Commingled Processing Facility Worker Living Wage and Supportive Benefits rule concept. To attend, please Register via Zoom. To learn more about this rulemaking and the advisory committee, view the rulemaking web page at: Recycling Updates 2024.
SB 542 A (Right to Repair) continues to sit in the Senate Rules Committee 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. 14.
By Paula Grisafi
SB 426 A (toxic free schools) was sent to Ways and Means 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.
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 is melting 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 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
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED: What is your passion related to Natural Resources? You can help. Volunteers are needed. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Training will be offered.