Legislative Report - Week of 3/27
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By Debbie Aiona and Nancy Donovan
It has been another busy week for the Legislature as it works to meet a first-chamber deadline of April 4, when bills must be sent out of committee, either to the floor for a vote or to another committee for further consideration. If the deadline is not met, a bill will not move forward. Governor Kotek’s major housing and homeless bill was adopted and other housing bills are moving ahead in the process.
On Wednesday, March 29, the Governor signed the housing and homelessness bills into law. The $200 million funding package includes HB 2001 B, the policy bill, and HB 5019 A, the budget bill. Expenditure details are here. The League provided HB 5019 testimony. We added our logo to House and Senate floor letters along with many other supportive organizations.
Housing bills moving forward
HB 2680: This bill strengthens and clarifies legislation passed in 2019 related to screening fees charged for rental applications. HB 2680 would require landlords to refund screening fees within 14 days if the apartment is filled before screening the applicant or if the application is withdrawn before the screening takes place. If the landlord fails to return the fee, damages the applicant may recover increase from $150 to $250 under the new legislation. A work session in the House Committee on Housing and Homelessness is scheduled on April 4.
HB 3462: If passed, people displaced by major disasters would be eligible for emergency housing benefits provided through the Oregon Department of Emergency Management regardless of their immigration status. Under federal law, these services are not available to undocumented immigrants. The House Committee on Housing and Homelessness will hold a work session on April 4.
SB 599: This bill passed the Senate by a vote of 27 – 3 and was referred to House Early Childhood and Human Services. If enacted into law, the legislation would require landlords to allow tenants in rental housing to provide childcare services if the home is certified or registered with the Office of Child Care, the tenant has notified the landlord, and the home does not violate zoning, homeowner association’s governing documents, or Early Learning Council rules. Landlords may require liability insurance. This legislation is intended to increase the supply of much-needed childcare services in Oregon.
HB 3042 A applies to publicly supported housing after the landlord withdraws the property from a government contract. It would prohibit landlords from evicting tenants from their homes for three years after the contract ends. Rent increases would be allowed no more than once a year during that period and would be limited by state limits on rent increases. A work session before House Housing and Homelessness was held on March 23, and the bill passed with amendments. It was scheduled for a second reading in the House on March 29 and a third reading on March 30.
SB 1076 would require licensed hospitals to include in their discharge policy specific procedures for when they discharge homeless patients. Hospital staff would work with patients and supportive services to discharge patients safely, regardless of their housing status.
Unfortunately, homeless patients have been discharged with no real destination and left with no resources, outside on the street. A public hearing was held before Senate Health Care on March 27, with a work session scheduled on April 3.
HB 3151 A addresses policy updates affecting manufactured home parks, including clarification of the improvements that landlords may require of tenants; extension of the sunset for grants for legal assistance for low-income facility tenants and for Manufactured and Marina Communities Dispute Resolution Advisory Committee; amends the legal assistance grant program; expands affordable housing developed on nonresidential lands. The bill also expands the state manufactured dwelling park preservation loan program to allocate money to develop new parks. On March 22, the bill was carried in the third reading by Senate Housing and Development.
By Claudia Keith
Bills we are supporting or following:
HB 2957 the -4 amendment Work Session was held on 3/29. It passed out of committee to JW&Ms. New description: Financial assistance to non-citizens for specified purposes. (>7M$). A large portion of the source funding is Federal ARPA funds. Rep Ruiz, House EC&HS Public Hearing was 2/22. League Testimony supports.
HB 3176 Work Session 4/3. Requires Dept HS and Office of Immigrant and Refugee Advancement, to award contracts to organizations to provide support services to immigrants and refugees. Appropriates moneys from the General Fund. Directs Office of Immigrant and Refugee Advancement to convene representatives from state agencies, community-based organizations, and other stakeholders to coordinate policy recommendations. Representative Reynolds, Senator Jama, House ECHS then to JW&M. Public Hearing was March 8. Fiscal is not yet posted.
Bills moved from Policy Committee to JW&Ms:
SB 627: Funding for universal (legal) fees for non-documented individuals ($15M) Sen Lieber. Passed out of Sen Judiciary, DO Pass, Feb 7, sent to JW&Ms. The League has supported this policy/funding category in the past. Fiscal Analysis.
Bills of Interest or possible League support:
(Bills that have been posted to OLIS that may move forward via a committee public hearing. – an Incomplete list)
SB 849 Public Hearing 2/28 with -1 amendment. Preliminary SMS -1: Work session was 3/14. Now in JW&Ms. Fiscal $20M grant fund. Requires professional licensing boards to provide culturally responsive training to specified staff members, publish guidance on pathways to professional authorization for internationally educated individuals and waive requirement for English proficiency examination for specified internationally educated individuals…. Sen Labor & Business. Senator Jama, Dembrow, Frederick, Campos, Manning Jr, Woods, Representative Chaichi, Nguyen H.
SB 185 Public Hearing and Work Session 4/3: Requires the DoJ to study immigration in this state; may include legislation recommendations to the interim committees of the Legislative Assembly no later than September 15, 2024. Requested by Attorney General Rosenblum. In Sen Judiciary. Sunsets January 2, 2025.
SB 610: Work Session 4/3. Establishes Food for All Oregonians Program within Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), unclear what the funding ask may be. Chief sponsors: Senator Campos, Representative Ruiz, Senator Manning Jr, Gorsek, Representative Bowman, Dexter, Gamba. Sen Human Services then to JW&M. Public Hearing was 2/27. Legislative Summary
HB 2990 -1: Work session 3/27. Moved to JWM. Resilience Hubs. Directs Oregon Health Authority to develop and implement grant programs to support resilience hubs and networks in Oregon. Fiscal Statement
May partially replace the ‘Workers Relief Fund’. ‘Oregon Worker Relief measures impact in infrastructure’| Statesman Journal.
Anti-discrimination in Employment
By Trish Garner
HB 2800, clarifying what constitutes "because of age" for the purpose of workplace employment discrimination and prohibiting employers from requiring disclosure of age prior to an initial interview or conditional offer of employment, was initially scheduled for a Work Session on April 3, 2023, but it was removed from the calendar of House Business and Labor. It will not proceed in the 2023 Session.
SB 613: Creates Commission for Indigenous Communities. In Senate Rules.
SB 216 Passed out of SCHC 3/1, Now in House Behavioral Health and Health Care. Related to data collected by OHA. (Request of Governor Kate Brown for OHA). The Oregon Health Authority set a goal of eliminating health disparities by 2030 including those based on race, ethnicity, language, or disability (REALD) and sexual orientation or gender identity (SOGI).
HB2905: Now in Senate Education. Expands list of individuals whose histories, contributions and perspectives are required to be included in social studies academic content standards and in related textbooks and instructional materials. Passed House Committee by Unanimous Vote.
SB 421 Work session is 3/30 establishes a youth advisory council. Prescribes youth standardsadvisory council membership and duties. DOE to establish a work group to establish for the selection process of members of the youth advisory council. PH was 2/28 Staff Measure Summary
HB 2458: Died in Committee. Prohibits conversion therapy. Public Hearing was 2/24. No League testimony.
Oregon Health Authority Budget - Governor’s Budget Summary
By Claudia Keith
SEE HB 5525 OHA Budget
The following is specific to the Public Health Div which includes Healthcare. Natural Resources and Climate Emergency policy funding topics.
Governor’s Budget Summary OHA - Public Health Division
”The Governor’s budget includes a total investment increase of $65 million, which includes $57.7 million General Fund, over CSL. Included in this is a modified reduction to CSL of $6.7 million Other Funds related to revenue shortfalls for both the Oregon Psilocybin Services program ($6.4 million) and the Health Licensing Office (HLO) of $0.4 million. Other significant investments include:
Public Health Modernization: In 2013, HB 2348 initiated a series of legislation and funding to address the modernization of the public health system in Oregon. Oregon’s public health modernization effort is a top agency priority, with core objectives being to ensure the right public health protections are in place for everyone, the public health system is prepared and sufficiently resourced to address emerging health threats, and the system is structured to eliminate health disparities.
In 2016, an assessment completed by state and local public health agencies identified significant gaps between Oregon’s public health system and a fully modernized system that provides core public health services to all Oregonians. $60 million General Fund has been invested to date: $5 million in HB 5026 (2017), $10 million in SB 5525 (2019), and $45 million in HB 5024 (2021). The Public Health Advisory Board is established by ORS 431.122 and reports to the Oregon Health Policy Board (OHPB) and is accountable for governmental public health in Oregon, to include aligning public health priorities with available resources. The Governor’s budget includes a $50 million investment in this area.
Universally Offered Home Visiting: Family Connects Oregon is a nurse home visiting model that helps families identify what they need and want from local resources, and then provides an individualized, non-stigmatizing entry into a community system of care. The system includes referrals to other, more intensive, home visiting programs and health and social supports around the state, such as obstetricians and primary care providers, pediatricians and family practice physicians, childcare options, mental health services, housing agencies and lactation support.
The Governor’s budget approved the agency’s requested policy option package requesting an additional $5.9 million General Fund and five positions (3.75 FTE). LFO 2023-25 Budget Review (Steve Robbins) 22 February 12, 2023.
Domestic Well Safety Program: The Domestic Well Safety Program (DWSP) uses data collected under the state Domestic Well Testing Act to inform people in Oregon about the importance of testing drinking water from wells and provides guidance about how to improve poor water quality - leading to improved health outcomes. The Governor’s budget includes $3 million General Fund and one position (0.75 FTE) to support this program and permanently add a dedicated DWSP position.
Other Proposed Increases: Also included in the Governor’s budget are funds and a position for environmental justice mapping, an Other Funds position to support regional residential hospitals for disaster response, $1 million General Fund and two positions (1.50 FTE) to support personal protective equipment and medical supply management, $1.9 million and two positions (1.50 FTE) for the newborn bloodspot screening program (funded by fee ratification), Other Funds investment in Oregon’s environmental Lab Accreditation Program, and an investment in youth/adult suicide intervention and prevention plans.“
Other Health Care Bills
By Karen Nibler
The House Behavioral Health Committee has responded to the criticism of the BM 110 rollout process. The funds have been allocated to local providers of behavioral health services, so interventions are available. Oversight will come from the Oregon Health Authority under the Behavioral Health Director.
HB 2513 directs accountability measures in the implementation process and requires reports on administrative expenses. The next audit will be in December of 2025. It is an evolving process according to a Lane County Commissioner. The Sunday Oregonian contains a comprehensive article on this bill and the work on the refinement of the services for Substance Abuse.
HB 2538 asked for interpretation services for health care patients. HB 2539 A allocated funding for the Oregon Center for Children, Family and Community Health on the Trillium Portland campus. Ways and Means will hear the bill.
HB 3126 A establishes acute care centers at regional hospitals, which was supported by NAMI and by the Association of County Mental Health Programs. The pilot programs will be through Providence to establish Regional Child Psychiatric Centers. The bill will be reviewed in the Human Services Subcommittee of Ways and Means for funding decisions.