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Legislative Report - Week of 3/4

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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 passed to allocate $30 million for summer learning in 2024 and implementation of a work group to plan for future funding and administration of summer learning and afterschool enrichment. Summer awards will be made to school districts by ODE. Allocations to school districts will be prioritized to districts with the largest number of kids in need. It will be up to the school districts to implement partnerships with community-based organizations to provide enrichment activities during non-school time. ODE is developing guidelines for appointments to the work group and the work group process. 


Behavioral Health and Related Public Safety Issues

By Karen Nibler and Jean Pierce

The final version of HB4002 A, the “Oregon Drug Intervention Plan'', was passed by both chambers, and the Governor has announced plans to sign it. This extensive bill covered behavioral health treatments by pharmacists, coverage by health insurance companies, Coordinated Care Organizations, county deflection programs, expungement, Drug Enforcement misdemeanor charges for possession, court processes, and continued funding for Behavioral Health Rehabilitation Network programs, which were initiated in the last session. 

The bill requires an Alcohol and Drug Commission study and Task Forces on Regional Behavioral Health Accountability and Safety of Behavioral Health Workers. The Oregon Criminal Justice Commission will monitor program grants and provide reports to the legislature. OCJC will provide grants for Opioid Use Disorder medications for county jail facilities, which has been identified as an urgent need.

The final version is very similar to HB 4002 (2024), for which the League wrote testimony. One major downside of the bill is that The Criminal Justice Center has estimated that the bill would disproportionately penalize people of color. However, the Governor has pledged to protect against this when provisions of the bill are implemented.

Companion Bills: HB 4001 A was passed by the Ways and Means Capital Construction Subcommittee to study specialty courts for drug offenses and costs of deflection programs in the Oregon Health Authority programs. HB 5204A provides $211M to implement HB 4002 in the community corrections programs and $4M to train behavioral health workers. HB 4151 B supports the University of Oregon work on the youth behavioral health workforce. HB 4136 A was passed to provide funds to increase health care access and to divert from emergency rooms in Eugene, which is recognized for its mobile teams for substance abuse incidents.

Both Chambers passed SB1553A, which added unlawful possession of a controlled substance on a transport vehicle to the list of C misdemeanors which interfere with public transportation. Citations will be supervised by Community Corrections officers.



By Christa Danielson


HB 4149: Lawmakers in both chambers approved House Bill 4149, which seeks to rein in prescription drug costs for pharmacies and patients by mandating reporting from Pharmacy Benefit Managers about how much money is actually returned to patients to lower their drug costs. This bill also has provisions to help protect rural pharmacies. The League submitted testimony in support of the bill.


HB 4130 B This bill was stalled in the last week by legislators calling for a minority report. The League submitted testimony in support of this bill, which would have limited corporations from making medical decisions about health care for patients and strengthened bills that were already law to Ban the Corporate Practice of Medicine. We expect this bill will return next year. 

Higher Education

By Jean Pierce

HB5204A includes an appropriation of $4 M to the Higher Education Coordinating Commission to distribute to universities in Oregon for the purpose of expanding the behavioral health workforce in the state. The bill passed both chambers and is awaiting the Governor’s signature. The League submitted testimony for this when SB1592 was requesting $6M.

HB 4162: Relating to Higher Education Affordability did not pass this session. It would have appropriated money from the General Fund to make college more affordable by creating and awarding grants for basic needs programs at public colleges and universities. LWVOR submitted testimony in support.


By Debbie Aiona, Nancy Donovan 

The legislature’s end to the 2024 session included Gov. Kotek’s top legislative priority with a $376.2 million housing package to boost affordable housing construction, expand emergency shelters for people experiencing homelessness, and help counties acquire land to develop properties. The housing package contains three bills: 

1. HB 1530 appropriates $279.6 million for programs addressing homelessness and eviction prevention, with specific allocations to culturally specific organizations. Part of the package includes housing for people recovering from substance abuse disorders. The bill provides funding for infrastructure projects throughout the state aimed at supporting housing development. Also funding for home repair, air conditioners, air filters, and heat pumps is included in the bill. The League submitted a letter in support.

2. SB 1537 is a companion bill to SB 1530. The bill appropriates a total of $89.5 million General Fund to three agencies: $10.6 million to the Department of Land Conservation and Development for the Housing Production and Accountability Office; $3 million to the Oregon Business Development Department; and $75.8 million to the Housing and Community Services Department. In addition, the bill creates a Housing Project Revolving Fund to provide no-interest loans to jurisdictions for infrastructure projects for moderate-income housing developments.

3. HB 4134 appropriates $7.1 million to the Oregon Department of Administrative Services to provide grants to cities for specified infrastructure projects that will benefit housing developments. At least 30 % of the dwelling units must be affordable to workforce income qualified households. The League submitted a letter in support. 

Individual Development Accounts: Unfortunately, only $5 million of the $10 million needed to serve the same number of people through the Individual Development Account (IDA) program was allocated in SB 1530. IDAs are available to lower-income Oregonians who want to save for goals such as a home purchase, home repair, small business start-up or expansion, post-secondary education, vehicle purchase, and emergency savings. Their savings are matched by the state using tax credit revenue. The tax credits are not yielding what is needed to maintain current service levels. IDA advocates requested $10 million from the general fund so the program could continue to serve the same number of people. Given competing demands for limited resources, the Legislature included $5 million in SB 1530. The League submitted a letter in support of the full $10 million. 

HB 5201 -- Lottery Bonds for Affordable Housing Preservation: Low-income housing advocates were unsuccessful in persuading the Legislature to allocate $30 million in lottery-backed bonds for the purpose of preserving at-risk low-income rental housing and manufactured home parks. Some of these units are affordable to very low-income households, the area of greatest need with residents most at risk of homelessness. The units are operating under expiring federal contracts, being converted to market rate, or in need of significant upgrades to maintain viability. Preserving existing units is more cost-effective than developing new housing. Housing and Community Services Department estimates it would cost $200 million per biennium to retain our existing stock. The advocates will be back next session encouraging allocation of preservation dollars. The League submitted a letter in support of HB 5201.

See also Land Use and Housing in the Natural Resources Legislative Reports. 


Immigration / Refugee / Asylum

By Claudia Keith


HB 4085 A – Path to Citizenship, 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, died in J W&Ms. HB 4085 -1 Preliminary SMS.


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 ,fiscal $1.4M, It’s not clear why the bill is in Legislative Council.

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. 

Find immigration/refugee funding items at the end of the session omnibus bill SB5701, detail list HERE.

Recent News: Will Oregon help asylum seekers again? As bill stalls, advocates say ‘allow us to support more families’ -

Violence Prevention and Gun Policy

By Marge Easley

SB 1503 Enrolled, establishing the Task Force on Community Safety and Firearm Suicide Prevention passed the House on March 6 with a 35 to 22 vote and is now on its way to the Governor’s desk. The bill, strongly supported by the League, garnered expected opposition from many Republican legislators due to the inclusion of the word “firearm” in the title of the task force. The task force will consist of 17 members, including legislators and representatives from state agencies, behavioral and public healthcare groups, and communities most impacted by suicide. The bill includes an allocation of $250,000 to the Oregon Department of Justice to support the task force and provide funding for outside research. Findings will be reported back to the Legislature over the next two years.

HB 4156 B, which strengthens and modernizes Oregon’s anti-stalking law, passed the House on March 7 on a vote of 54 to 2. The bill, carried by Rep. Kevin Mannix, includes much-needed provisions for the crimes of cyberstalking and internet harassment.

Education Update

By Anne Nesse

SB 1503 B passed the Legislature on 3/6, creating a new Task Force to reduce youth suicide in Oregon. This new task force is significant for education, because our State’s higher incidences of behavioral mental illness, and depression, are known to make learning more difficult. The task force is required to report to the interim committees of the Legislative Assembly related to health care.

SB 1557 E, requiring the Oregon Health Authority to ensure that all children or youth up to age 21, who are eligible for home or community-based services in mental health receive the services to which they are entitled, passed the Legislature on 3/7.

Subsidized childcare will be funded at approximately $170 M, for the Employment Related Day Care program. A program which pays almost the entire cost of child care for about 12,000 low-income families, preventing a budget deficit, noted in an article located here. Funding was allocated inside the omnibus funding Bill, SB 5701 A.

SB 1552 B, creating a State Youth Advisory Board, and many other educational changes needed in an Omnibus Educational Bill, passed the Legislature on 3/7.

HB 4105 The proposal for a Nurse Family Partnership was fully funded at $3.2 million in HB 5204-2, Section 12. HB 4105 is not moving forward, but the needed funding is.

The following Bills which we were following did not have time, or the funding to pass the Legislature during the short session:

SB 1583 A, would have prohibited discrimination when selecting instructional materials, or books used in state public schools, had passed the Senate on 2/27, but remained in House Rules without passage. This Bill had included additional language, already existing in current law, that had prohibited discrimination in selection of materials in public schools.

HB 4078 A , would have directed ODE to implement a standardized method for school districts to electronically collect, and use student data, did not have time to pass during the short session.

HB 4079, attempted to remove the percentage cap on the amount of moneys that are distributed from the State School Fund to school districts for students eligible for special education.

HB 4087 A, would have directed OHA to establish a pilot program for Emergency High Acuity Youth to stabilize behavioral health services.

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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