Social Policy

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February 28, 2022 - Week 4

Back to the full Legislative Report


Immigration/Refugee

Gun Safety

Housing

Behavioral Health and Public Safety

Equity

Health Care



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

These bills are League priorities. Many bills mentioned in this report can be found in the Legislature BIPOC Caucus Published Priorities press release and in a graphic/social media format.

SB 1543 -5 Universal (Legal) Representation related to immigration. Fiscal $15M League testimony. Passed Full JWM 2/23, Senate Desk awaiting 3rd reading.

SB 1510 -A7 Transforming Justice Act. Fiscal $10.6M. League testimony. Passed 2/24 Full JWM. Now at Senate desk awaiting 2nd reading

HB 4002 Farm Worker Overtime (see Social Policy / Equity LR) House 3rd reading

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

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

HB 4052 Racism is a Public Health Crisis / Equity Issue (see Health Care LR). Passed unanimously 2/23 in Full JWM (22,0,0,0).

Priority Bills that are dead but Funding of policy concept possible:

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

These Bills are being followed by the League: many in JW&M or recently voted out of Full JWM headed to the floor.

  • SB 1522 A In-state tuition eligibility & other benefits for refugees (fiscal 1.1M$) 2/24 passed Full JWM (16,6,0,0), senate desk awaiting 2nd reading

  • HB 4091 Dept of Educ plan for students who are Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander. Currently in Full JW&M, may end up in Omnibus bill

  • HB 4099 New Racial Equity and Justice Youth collaborative in Full JWM, may end up in Omnibus bill

  • SB 1560 Updating Immigration terminology in Oregon Law. In House Rules.

  • SB 1569A Addition of Race and Ethnicity to Oregon Income Tax Forms (in Full JWM)

  • 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) passed the Senate, (21,4,1,4) moved to the HOUSE, waiting for referral.

  • HB 4122A Funding for DACA Oregonians (deferred action for childhood arrivals) in Full JWM, may end up in Omnibus bill.

  • SB 1572-A5 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 RULES.


Gun Safety (Marge Easley & Jaime Carleton)


HB 4045 A, related to public health approaches to community violence prevention, passed out of W&Ms with a do-pass recommendation on February 24. It allocates a total of $5 million to the Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Department of Administrative Services for hospital-based and nonprofit community services. The bulk of the funds will go to the Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center to distribute as grants and to increase capacity of the Healing Hurt People program.


Housing (Nancy Donovan, Debbie Aiona, Penny York)


The big news this week on the housing front was the advancement of the $400 million Governor’s housing budget. The spending allocations have shifted somewhat from Governor Brown’s initial proposal to include a greater emphasis on spending that addresses the immediate needs of unhoused Oregonians. Please see Senator Jama’s fact sheet on the revised bill, Senator Jama's Fact Sheet. In addition to programs and resources that address homelessness, the proposal provides for the preservation and development of low-income housing and support for lower income households seeking homeownership opportunities. LWOR sent testimony letters [include letter] to all 90 legislators in support of the Governor’s housing proposal.


HB 4064: The Senate Committee on Housing and Development held a public hearing on this omnibus bill clarifying that local governments must allow siting of manufactured homes and prefabricated structures in single-family dwelling zones inside the urban growth boundary, as well as other small changes to make it easier to site manufactured homes, particularly those lost in recent wildfires. The Senate Housing and Development Committee sent HB 4064 with the -7 amendments to the floor with a unanimous Do-Pass vote. The bill has moved to the Senate floor. The League submitted a letter in support of this bill, LWVOR Testimony.


Oregon Housing and Community Services updated the House Committee on Wildfire Recovery on housing investments in the state’s impacted communities.


HB 4051: The Joint W&Ms Subcommittee on Transportation and Development and the W&Ms both held work sessions on this bill. It extends the deadline for the Task Force on Racial Disparities and Homelessness until January 2, 2026. The task force is charged with addressing racial disparities in the provision of homeless services and recommending changes to the funding structure, contracts, and services paid for with federal anti-poverty dollars. HB 4051 would also extend the sunset date requiring flexibility by local jurisdictions in siting temporary emergency shelter on land not zoned for that purpose to July 1, 2023.


SB 1536: Right to Cooling bill, among other provisions, provides protections for renters from the effects of extreme heat. It allows tenants to install portable cooling devices unless they would violate building codes, present safety risks, or overload the electrical system. It also requires landlords in manufactured housing and RV parks or in buildings with more than five units to provide cooling assistance if less than half the units can install and use cooling devices. The Joint W&Ms Subcommittee on Capital Construction and W&Ms have both held work sessions on this bill.


Public Safety (Karen Nibler)

The Public Safety Subcommittee of W&Ms passed several bills which support improvements in state public safety agencies. The first was a report on a Special Purpose Allotment from (HB 2027) 2021 for the Office of State Fire Marshall to move its agency to the Oregon State Police.

The second was a Budget Note on the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training from HB 5031 (2021). The agency hired additional staff to improve its Instructor Development Program which will be reflected in its 2023-25 budget.

The Public Defense Services Consortium compensation plan reflects COLA improvement of 2.5 % on 2-1-22 and 3.0% on 12-1-21 which are commensurate with SEIU and AFSME increases. SB 1543 for Universal Representation for non-citizens will provide $10.5 M for DAs and $4.5 M to Oregon Judicial Department. HB 4075 A on District Attorneys filings on restitution orders was approved.

The Public Safety Committee met again on 2-23 to hear more about Public Defense Consortium developments on its reorganization under HB 5030 (2021). The main agency positions have been filled including the business management team. The main problem is shortage of attorneys due to the low hourly salary of $105, which could be solved with higher rates.

Another public safety investment bill is in W&Ms Capital Construction without review or recommendations from the Public Safety Subcommittee.

Behavioral Health

The House Behavioral Health Committee met on Feb 22 to discuss the Oregon State Hospital capacity problem. Testimony from community hospital leaders highlighted the situation in mental health units in local hospitals Since those commitments to OSH must wait in community hospitals, it causes a lack of treatment space in community hospitals.

State hospital patients wait for community residential placements upon release and there are not sufficient residential step-down programs available. The local hospital administrators recommended that development of hospital step-down facilities would free up state hospital beds for patients waiting in local hospitals. The development of those residential programs were the most urgent need.

Last session the legislature funded the 988 Lines for Life systems for crisis calls and follow-up Mobile Crisis Units, which currently operate in Portland and Eugene. Those crisis systems are due to be developed in other communities soon.

W&Ms Human Services Subcommittee passed HB 4005 A on Early Learning programs, HB 4013 A on Youth Homelessness, HB 4117 for low-income services, HB 4045 A on violence intervention and HB 4052 on mobile health units.

HB 4005 A transfers the Early Learning Division to the Department of Early Learning and Care, which will include child care rules and subsidies. HB 4013 A provides grants to youth 14 – 24 who were in foster homes or host homes who are enrolled in higher education programs and eligible for fee and tuition waivers.

HB 4117 promotes the use of Earned Income Tax Credits. HB 4045 A provides grants to community groups to combat violence, and HB 4052 provides funding for 2 mobile health units in racial communities.

At its last meeting of this session, the Human Services Subcommittee passed HB 4004 A to fund grants for staff salary increases in residential programs and in local community services. HB 4034 made changes in health care statutes and budgets without additional costs. HB 4095 A expanded dental coverage for Veterans with lottery funds.

SB 1538 expanded dental coverage to the Compact of Pacific Island citizens, and SB 1548 B provided choice in home service options for Developmentally Delayed clients in the Department of Human Services. The bill passed W&Ms but did not get a Senate floor vote. However SB 1556 A on certification and registry for direct care workers did pass.

House Rules passed HB 4142 A on workplace assaults which will cover hospital workers who are knowingly assaulted. The full W&Ms passed several bills on February 26. HB 4035 A covered Medicaid eligibility redeterminations after the pandemic. HB 4068 A will require all officials to complete emergency management training once a year. This is a Homeland Security rule within the Department of Emergency Management.

W&Ms passed additional programs in SB 1536 for cooling equipment or cooling centers, SB 1556 A for direct care workers in Adult and People with Disabilities, and HB 4035 A on Medicaid eligibility after the Covid emergency. HB 4123 will offer homeless services in communities through the Department of Human Services and in HB 4157 will offer one time assistance payments to low income residents through the Department of Revenue.

Equity (Shirley Weathers)


HB 4002A, Overtime Pay for Farmworkers was referred without recommendation by House Revenue to a special Joint Committee on Farmworker Overtime on 2/22. That Committee held both a Public Hearing and Work Session on 2/24. Representative Boshart Davis proposed a –10 amendment that would have created a $50m Worker Relief Fund to which individual workers would apply for the .5 time payment for hours worked over 40 hours, rather than the overtime being paid by the employer. Significant discussion followed, including about a potential 65-day delay for payment and application complexities, but the motion failed on party lines. A –12 amendment proposed by Co-Chair Holvey that made additional provisions to mitigate the impact of the transition on producers received lengthy discussion and passed on party lines. After further discussion, the Committee then voted 6-4 to move HB 4002A as amended to the House Floor with a “do pass” recommendation. LWVOR supports.

Health Care (Shirley Weathers and Christa Danielson)

HB 4052A (Shirley Weathers)

HB 4052A seeks to facilitate racial equity in health care. W&Ms voted the bill out unanimously with a “do pass” recommendation on 2/21 and is currently on the Third Reading Calendar in the House. 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 re: copay relief for primary care. The bill is in W&Ms.