Social Policy

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February 21, 2022 - Week 3

Back to the full Legislative Report


Immigration/Refugee

Housing

Behavioral Health and Public Safety

Equity

Health Care

Gun Safety


Immigration / Refugee / Basic Human Rights / Bias and Hate Crimes (Claudia Keith)

These still active bills, most in J W&Ms are priorities for this League portfolio. Some bills mentioned in this report can be found at the Legislature Bipoc Caucus Published Priorities press release andin a graphic/social media format.

SB 1543 Universal (Legal) Representation related to immigration. Fiscal $15M League testimony. Moved to JW&M Sub Cmt Public Safety, Work Session is 2/21

SB 1510A Transforming Justice Act. Fiscal $10.6M. League testimony. Moved to JW&Ms assigned to Sub Cmt Public Safety

HB 4002 Farm Worker Overtime (see Social Policy / Equity LR) In House Revenue

SB 1536 Renters’ rights and access to cooling (see Climate Emergency LR)

HB 4077 Environmental Justice for All (See Climate Emergency LR)

HB 4052 Racism is a Public Health Crisis / Equity Issue (see Health Care LR) . In JW&M sub cmt Human Services, WS 2/21

Bills that are dead but Funding of policy concept likely:

HB 4093 Oregon Genuine Progress Indicator/ equity metric. League testimony. This policy bill has been changed to a budget item. Rep Pham announced at the 2/16 Public Hearing this legislative concept would be funded in the end-of-Session JW&M Budget bill: Fiscal 250K$.

These Bills are still alive and are being followed; most are in JW&M. The League may publicly advocate later in the session:

  • SB 1522 In-state tuition eligibility & other benefits for refugees (fiscal 1.1M$) 2/18 moved to J W&Ms sub cmt Educ.

  • HB 4091 Dept of Educ plan for students who are Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander. Currently in JW&M,

  • HB 4099 New Racial Equity and Justice Youth collaborative

  • SB 1560 Updating Immigration terminology in Oregon Law. Rules Cmt, Work Session 2/21

  • SB 1569 Addition of Race and Ethnicity to Oregon Income Tax Forms

  • SB 1550 Transfers Office of Immigrant and Refugee Advancement from the office of the Governor to the Department of Human Service (SB778 2021 LWVOR Testimony)J W&Ms Sub Cmt Human Services, 2/21 work session

  • HB 4122A Funding for DACA Oregonians (deferred action for childhood arrivals)

  • SB 1572-2 This bill is a gut and stuff, was related to campus sexual assault and other bias/hate crime reporting but replaced with a campus staff loan forgiveness amendment. Passed in the Senate, now in House Educ and subsequent referral to RULES. Public Hearing 2/22 and Work Session 2/24

Housing (Debbie Aiona, Nancy Donovan, Penny York)

Housing legislation continues to move through this fast-paced short session, with important bills still in play. Of note, is the Governor’s proposed budget that would bring more resources to low-income housing preservation and development.

Governor’s proposed housing budget:

LWVOR submitted a letter in support of Governor Brown’s $400 million proposed housing budget. If approved, most of the resources will go towards the development and preservation of low-income housing. The remainder is targeted at homeowner support, asset building, and homelessness policy structure.

The House Committee on Housing held work sessions on the following:

  • HB 4123: This bill would create a series of pilot programs for local governments to work together to address homelessness in a manner similar to Portland’s and Multnomah County’s Joint Office of Homeless Services. The bill moved to W&Ms.

  • HB 4051 moved to W&Ms. It extends the Racial Disparities and Homelessness Task Force, makes technical fixes to SB 8 (2021), and extends the shelter siting provisions passed in HB 2006 (2021).

  • HB 4125 would reduce barriers to rental housing by requiring application fee refunds in certain circumstances and prompt notification when screening has taken place. This bill moved to the House floor.

SB 1536 The Right to Cooling bill, moved to J W&Ms.

HB 4064 passed the House floor 40 – 12. The bill would prohibit local governments from prohibiting siting of prefabricated structures in all residential zones. It is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Committee on Housing and Development next week and a subsequent work session. The League submitted a letter in support.

Informational hearings and updates

  • Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) presented reports to theJ W&Ms Subcommittee on Transportation and Economic Development on co-locating early childhood centers with affordable housing, and an update on Community Development Block Grant money for wildfire recovery.

  • OHCS presentations on wildfire recovery are scheduled for Wednesday starting at 5:30 pm before the House Committee on Wildfire Recovery.

Behavioral Health and Public Safety (Karen Nibler)

The House Behavioral Health Committee discussed a follow-up on two bills from the last session: HB 2949 on grants for clinical training and HB 2980 on the development of peer respite centers. The intent of HB 2949 was to incentivize training of potential clinical staff for positions in clinics or programs for behavioral health treatment. The $7 Million in funds have been committed for clinical training and supervision. Funds could be allocated for scholarships, housing or child care subsidies. HB 2980 was meant for the development of 4 peer respite centers which have not yet materialized. The peer-staffed centers would be available in lieu of hospitalization, but they have not yet resolved issues of staffing and oversight.

This 2022 Session has passed 3 bills: HB 4004 A, 4071 A, and 4098 A. HB 4004 A is a grant program to recruit and retain workforce shortages in community programs. The bill was sent to W&Ms since it will be an expense in this biennium. HB 4071 A covered eligibility for Behavioral Health licensing and registration for staff but involves no new funds. The bill will be heard in the Senate Human Services. HB 4098 A set up opiate settlement agreements for the state to share funds with cities and counties. Cities less than 10,000 will not be eligible according to national agreements. W&Ms Human Services is next.

The W&Ms Public Safety Subcommittee listened to the Oregon Youth Authority presentation on February 14. The director reported that the number of youth in custody has decreased and the number in living units has dropped from 25 to 18. This has resulted in lower disciplinary incidents and lower use of isolation in the state juvenile facilities. Nine residential programs in communities have closed leaving fewer resources. HB 4012 will be a study of payment rates for those providers and HB 4004 A will provide crisis support for community providers.

The Senate Judiciary Committee wrestled with SB 1511 A on February 14. This bill was proposed as a solution to convictions to the Department of Corrections by less than a unanimous jury. A late amendment excluded those with convictions of crimes against children. Funds were allocated to the Department of Justice and District Attorneys for retrials and services to victims.

SB 1512 A replaced the original bill to restrict licensing for juvenile offenders with an amendment which allowed licenses for those with successful treatment. The SB 1560 A bill changed the term alien to non-citizen in state statute, passed the Senate but was referred to House Rules. SB 1568 A covers medical release of adults in custody from The Department of Corrections facilities when there is no risk to the community. It will be considered by W&Ms.

SB 1587 A set up an Illegal Marijuana Market Enforcement Grant Program to be administered by the Criminal Justice Commission. The grant provides funds to local law enforcement and district attorneys in rural areas to assist in illegal cultivation and distribution cases. The bill includes humanitarian assistance to non- citizen workers. The W&Ms Public Safety Subcommittee will consider funding.

The House Judiciary Committee considered many public safety bills, passed a few and sent others to House Rules. HB 4007 A asked the Oregon Judicial Department to study current issues in the system but the bill was sent to W&Ms due to the costs. HB 4008 A asked the Criminal Justice Commission to study recidivism as well as HB 4009 on sentencing which were sent to House Rules. HB 4073 on the qualifications for jurors also went to Rules, and HB 4075 on restitution went to W&Ms. Both HB 4131 on crowd control and HB 4142 on hospital workers went to House Rules. The House Rules Committee has been very busy.

Equity (Shirley Weathers)

HB 4002A (Rep. Andrea Salinas), Overtime Pay for Farmworkers is in the House Revenue Committee where it was referred by the 2/14 House Committee on Business and Labor’s Work Session. According to Chair Holvey, the bill is to receive a little more work in House Revenue, after which sponsors and proponents hope it will move to the House Floor. The Work Session on 2/14 played out largely as expected, with all votes split along party lines. After a Q & A session involving Legislative Counsel and a spokesperson for the Tax Commission. Rep. Boshart Davis’s –1 Amendment failed. The Committee adopted a new proposed –5 Amendment by Chair Holvey, also along party lines, the latter reflecting responses to additional agricultural employer concerns beyond his original –2 proposal. As reported in an earlier Legislative Report, the controversy over HB 4002 has led to threats of tactics, including a possible walk-out, that would slow, stall, or end legislative work between now and the end of the session. It is hoped that neither party wishes to disrupt the major focus of this Session: the 2022-23 State Budget. The current fiscal impact appears to be $27 m. LWVOR supports.

Health Care (Shirley Weathers)

HB 4052A (Rep. Andrea Salinas) seeks to facilitate racial equity in health care. The House Health Care Committee held a Work Session on 2/14 where they unanimously adopted both a clarifying –1 amendment proposed by the sponsor and a motion for a “do pass” recommendation. The bill is scheduled for a Work Session in J W&Ms on 2/21. Fiscal impact: $1.4 m to OHA and $180,000 to the Oregon Advocacy Commission. LWVOR supports.

HB 4083A (Christa Danielson and Shirley Weathers)

HB 4083A (Rep. Rachel Prusak), re: copay relief for primary care. The House Health Care Committee held a Work Session on 2/14 and voted unanimously both to adopt clarifying amendments proposed by the sponsor and for a “do pass” motion. The bill is in W&Ms awaiting fiscal analysis.

Gun Safety (Marge Easley & Jaime Carleton)

HB 4045 establishes grant programs for local hospital-based community violence prevention and intervention, assigned to the W&Ms Subcommittee on Human Services, scheduled for a work session on February 21. League support is based on our strong support for programs that emphasize the root causes of violent behavior. Grant moneys will be directed to services related to substance abuse, educational attainment, conflict resolution, parent education, job assistance, gang intervention, and housing stability.