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Legislative Report - Week of 2/26

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By Jean Pierce, Social Policy Coordinator, and Team

After School and Summer Care

By Katie Riley

HB 4082 Summer Learning 2024 and Beyond, was originally recommended for $50 million in funding. It was amended to include an additional $141,767 from Other funds (Student Success funding) for .50 FTE for ODE grant administration and $417,039 in general funds for ODE research and development of the Oregon 21st Century Community Learning Center Initiative. The Initiative will study ways to address educational disparities through increased summer and afterschool learning opportunities. On March 1st, the Full Ways and Means Committee passed the Education Subcommittee recommendation to allocate $30 million for the summer funding (40% less than the original request) plus the funding requests for ODE staff support for administration of the summer grant and staffing of the Initiative work group. Summer awards will be made through school districts by ODE. Guidelines for appointments to the work group and the work group process will be developed by ODE. 

Behavioral Health and Related Public Safety Issues

By Karen Nibler and Jean Pierce

HB4002 A, the “Oregon Drug Intervention Plan'' was approved by both chambers with strong bi-partisan support. The final version is very similar to HB 4002-24, for which the League wrote testimony. Here is a flowchart that describes the provisions. The League is pleased that the emphasis on deflection programs and expungement of records was retained in the most recent amendment. We also appreciate that the bill stipulates that the Oregon Behavioral Health Deflection Program would award grants for drug treatment programs and would track and report data concerning outcomes of the deflection programs to determine the best practices in Oregon.

The Coalition to Fix and Improve Ballot Measure 110 has signaled that it would withdraw its petitions for a public referendum in November if HB4002-A passes the Senate and the Governor signs it into law.

A companion bill, HB 5204A was passed by both chambers as well. It allocates money for a variety of provisions in HB 4002 as well as SB 1592, for which the League submitted testimony. Some of its provisions fund:

  • Universities to expand the behavioral health workforce 

  • “Shovel-ready” behavioral health capital projects

  • Community mental health programs

  • Oregon Behavioral Health Deflection Program

  • Restorative justice

  • Medication-assisted treatment in jails

  • Curricular supplements for educating about the dangers of synthetic opioids

  • A youth strategic plan by the Alcohol and Drug Policy Commission

  • Coordination on deflection programs and data needs

  • United We Heal Medicaid Payment Program.

 A related bill, which the League did not support, SB1553A, would add possession of unlawful drugs on public transit to the list of Class C misdemeanor Crimes Interfering with Public Transportation. This bill was passed out of the Senate, and the House Judiciary Committee moved to send it to the Rules committee without recommendation. 


By Jean Pierce and Christa Danielson

HB4130-B attempts to prevent corporations from making decisions about patients’ healthcare. The League submitted testimony in support of the original wording. The amended version, which is weakened from the original, is still sending a warning to corporations. The bill passed narrowly out of the Senate Healthcare committee and is currently in Senate Rules.

HB4149-A8, which requires Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBM) to be licensed, was approved unanimously by the Capital Construction W&M subcommittee and referred to the full W&M committee. The League submitted testimony in support of the original wording. 

There was acknowledgement that there is still a lot of work to do to regulate PBMs, but this bill makes major strides in adding important restrictions and bringing transparency to the money stream. 

Higher Education

By Jean Pierce

SB1592A, providing funding for universities to expand the behavioral health workforce, for which the League submitted testimony, was folded into HB 5204A. HB 5204A was approved by the House *54 Ayes to 2 Nays) to provide funding in support of HB 4002A, the Oregon Drug Intervention Plan. The original bill requested $6M, but only $4M is included in HB 5204A. (See also Behavioral Health and Related Public Safety Issues LR)


By Nancy Donovan and Debbie Aiona

SB 1530-A5: The Senate adopted SB 1530, the session’s major housing bill on 2/29. It appropriates $279.6 million for programs addressing homelessness and eviction prevention, with specific allocations to culturally specific organizations. Housing for people recovering from substance abuse disorders is also part of the package. The bill includes funding for a large number of infrastructure projects throughout the state aimed at supporting housing development. Funding for home repair, air conditioners, air filters, and heat pumps is included.

Unfortunately, only $5 million of the $10 million needed to serve the same number of people through the Individual Development Account program was allocated, however, it is possible more funds will be added in another bill later in the session. The League submitted testimony in support of the additional $5 million increase.

The spending package allocates general fund money to the agencies below to support investments related to housing:

  • Housing and Community Services Department, $112 million for homeless services and shelters, matching funds for individual development accounts, and tenant education and services

  • Oregon Health Authority, $36.5 million to support the Healthy Homes fund; grants to housing providers serving people recovering from substance use disorders; and money to purchase and distribute air conditioners and filters

  • Department of Administrative Services, $30.3 million for entities to buy and redevelop properties for affordable housing, and distribute donated household goods to low-income families and individuals

  •  Department of Energy, $4 million, to invest in the Residential Heat Pump program

  • Oregon Department of Transportation $6.5 million to the Water Resources Department and for housing- related infrastructure grants

  • Oregon Business Development Department, $89.4 million for water and waste-water projects to help produce more housing

SB 1537 B: The Senate passed a companion housing bill the same day as SB 1530. The bill appropriates $75.8 million to the Housing and Community Services Department for the Housing Project Revolving Fund to provide no-interest loans to jurisdictions for infrastructure projects related to moderate-income housing development. And $10.6 million General Fund to DLCD to establish a Housing Accountability and Production Office housed in the Department of Land Conservation and Development. 

Immigration / Refugee

By Claudia Keith

HB 4085 A – Directs DHS to give grants for legal assistance to help noncitizens get lawful immigration. Fiscal $6.3M , adds 2 positions / 1.2 FTE. League testimony, currently in J W&Ms. Feb 19 HB 4085 -1 Preliminary SMS. This funding may appear at the end of session JWM omnibus bill.

SB1578A which directs the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) to establish and maintain a management system to schedule appointments and process billing for health care interpreters was amended to limit the service to Oregon Health Plan Members. The amended bill was passed by the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Capital Construction March 1st and was referred to the full committee. The Staff analysis of the measure reports that these interpreters are needed to facilitate communication between healthcare providers and patients with limited English proficiency as well as the deaf and hard of hearing. According to the latest U.S. Census American Community Survey, there are 216,654 people in Oregon with limited English proficiency. 

 Violence Prevention and Gun Policy

By Marge Easley

SB 1503 B, establishing a Task Force on Community Safety and Firearm Suicide Prevention, passed out of the full Ways and Means Committee on February 28. The League submitted testimony. An amendment was added to reduce the amount of funding for the Task Force from $400,000 to $250,000.

Volunteers Needed

 What is your passion related to Social Policy? You can help. Volunteers are needed. Social policy includes: housing, adult corrections, judiciary, juvenile justice, public safety, gun safety, violence prevention, health care, mental health, immigration and refugees, foster care, social services, and women’s issues. LWVOR actively lobbies for anti-poverty programs to help low income and those at-risk move toward financial stability. If any area of Social Policy is of interest to you, please contact Jean Pierce, Social Policy Coordinator, at Training will be offered. 

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