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Legislative Report - Week of 5/22

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By Debbie Aiona, Nancy Donovan, Debbie Wallace, Penny York

Fortunately, many critical housing policy bills and funding passed earlier in the session, but some are still under consideration or awaiting Senate action.

SB 599 A: Allows tenants to operate home-based childcare by requiring a landlord to allow a renter to use a dwelling unit for a family childcare home if it is certified or registered with the Office of Child Care. The landlord can require a tenant to pay for improvements necessary for certification and carry some form of liability coverage. This bill has passed both the House and Senate and is headed to the Governor’s desk for signature.

SB 225: This bill will address a problematic issue with how private activity bond resources are used to fund low-income housing. In addition to other provisions, it will eliminate the current “blackout period” that begins with the start of the new biennium and ends when the Governor signs the bond authorization bill. During that time, Oregon Housing and Community Services cannot move forward on affordable housing developments. Eliminating this period will prevent construction delays and resulting cost increases. This bill has passed the Senate and is scheduled for third reading in the House. 

SB 702: The Governor signed this bill requiring home appraisers to receive bias training to receive certification. The League submitted a supportive testimony letter.

Key housing bills awaiting a vote by the full Senate: 

HB 2680 would require more transparency when tenants submit applications for rental housing. The bill is awaiting a second reading in the Senate.

HB 3151 would limit improvements manufactured home park landlords could require of tenants. It would also extend the sunset date on a landlord/tenant dispute resolution program. The Senate scheduled a second reading on May 25 and a third reading on May 26.

HB 3462 would ensure that individuals covered by federal, and state fair housing laws are eligible for emergency housing when an emergency declaration is made. This extends to people regardless of their immigration status. The Senate rescheduled a second reading to May 30, and a third reading on May 31.

SB 611 B modifies the maximum annual residential rent increase for affected units to the lesser of 10%, or 7% plus the consumer price index one-year change. It applies the rent increase limit to units from which a tenant was evicted. The bill is awaiting a second reading in the Senate.

HB 3042 A This bill would require tenant notification in rental units with expiring affordability contracts and limit rent increases for three years. It offers protections to residents of housing with expiring affordability restrictions The bill is awaiting a Senate vote. 

Criminal Justice 

By Marge Easley

The results of final decisions on criminal justice bills include the passage of SB 519 A on County Juvenile records, which can be destroyed, but motor vehicle, game violations or municipal court cases will still exist. SB 745 A passed both chambers requiring sex trafficking screening after January 1, 2024, and training of staff by July 1, 2024. SB 1052 passed the Senate and was scheduled for a House floor vote on May 23 to require state employee training on human trafficking offenses.

The House Behavioral Health Committee passed HB 3610 A on May 17 at its last meeting. The bill proposes additional taxes on alcohol and sets up a Task Force on Alcohol Pricing and Addiction Services. The Governor will appoint 16 members, and the Speaker of the House will appoint two members. The Task Force will consult with the Legislative Revenue Office. The bill was sent to Ways and Means due to costs for the Task Force.

The Oregon Judicial Department Budget for the coming biennium scheduled a final hearing in Public Safety Ways and Means on May 25. The Oregon Public Defense Services Consortium Budget was considered in Ways and Means earlier on May 3. A workgroup had recommended that public defense services be transferred from the Oregon Judicial Department to the Department of Administrative Services. The Public Defense Commission will be abolished on January 1, 2024. The new Oregon Public Defense Commission (OPDC) will be scheduled to transfer to the executive branch on January 1, 2025. Contract terms are still in consideration with hourly and flat fee pay issues still unresolved. SB 337 A recommended the administrative transfer on January 1, 2024, with payment formulas to be set by April 1, 2024. A work session scheduled for May 25 did not occur, which may mean further amendments are being considered. SB 1093 -5 stipulates Commission member and counsel regulations.

The Criminal Justice Commission (CJC) Budget, SB 5505, was increased 45% due to the continuation of the Justice Reinvestment Project recommended in SB 344 from July 1, 2024, to July 1, 2033. The CJC has been progressive in the establishment of prison and parole programs to reduce recidivism.

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