Legislative Report - Week of 6/12
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By Nancy Donovan and Debbie Aiona
On June 6, the Legislative Fiscal Office and the Joint W&Ms issued their recommended budget to the Transportation and Economic Development Subcommittee on SB 5511, the Housing and Community Services Department (OHCS) budget: Legislative Fiscal Office's analysis.
The Subcommittee recommends a total OHCS budget of $2,558,608,558 with the addition of 441 positions, a 28.5% increase from the 2023-25 current service level. The suggested budget includes:
$111.2 million in General Funds to continue OHCS’s shelter and rehousing services that was funded in HB 5019 in response to the Governor’s emergency declaration on homelessness.
$24.1 million in General Funds to provide operating support to existing shelters.
$55 million for rental assistance, and $6 million for services to tenants.
$10 million in General Funds for down payment homeownership assistance.
$2.5 million for decommissioning and replacing manufactured housing.
$9.7 million in General Funds to capitalize OHCS’s predevelopment loan program and revamp the process to approve affordable housing finance applications from developers to shorten the time between project approval and construction, while helping smaller developers and projects.
$136.8 million in Federal Funds expenditure related to wildfire recovery efforts, supported by a $422 million federal grant.
Housing advocates are concerned that this recommended budget bill does not fully support the Governor’s end-of-session investments of an estimated $1 billion in bonding for new affordable housing developments to move the state towards reaching the goal of producing 36,000 in new housing units per year. Their priorities include:
New rental and homeownership: $770 million in Local Innovation and Fast Track (LIFT) bonds to Oregonians transitioning out of homelessness, seeking to buy their first home, or just needing an affordable place to live. This is especially true in rural areas that lack housing affordable to workers who provide critical services like education, public safety, and firefighting. HB 5005 and HB 5006
Market Cost Offset Fund: to increase housing production in support of the Governor’s request of up to $40 million in LIFT bonding to recapitalize the Market Cost Offset Fund (MCOF) for projects that have faced cost overruns due to market volatility.
Preservation of expiring regulated housing: $100 million in Lottery Funds to save and reinvest in some 163 apartment projects with 7,735 units that are at risk of losing affordability due to the expiration of 30-year affordability restrictions. The people who live in these homes are seniors, people experiencing disabilities, and families just starting out. HB 5030
New homes for homeownership: $100 million in LIFT and the General Fund to affordable homeownership developers who need a combination of LIFT bonds and general fund resources to build homes in all parts of the state. General fund dollars paired with LIFT will ensure that mission-driven developers can build hundreds of homes for first-time buyers, directly addressing the persistent racial homeownership gap.
Acquisition and rehab of manufactured housing parks: $35 million in Lottery funds. HB 2983
By Marge Easley
As part of the compromise agreement for the Republican’s return to the Senate chamber, the three-part gun safety bill, HB 2005 B, was considerably altered at a Senate Rules work session on June 15. The -B12 amendment was adopted, which includes only the ban on unserialized firearms (“ghost guns”) and removes the provisions raising the minimum age of firearm purchase to 21 and the ability of cities to establish gun-free zones. The bill is now in the Senate for passage.
The compromise agreement also included the stipulation that a workgroup will be established to study policy solutions to gun violence and suicide prevention and $10 million will be invested in the Community Violence Prevention program.
Immigration, Refugee and Other Basic Rights
By Claudia Keith
SB 610 A: Now in JW&Ms. Establishes Food for All Oregonians ( regardless of documentation status) Program within Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Fiscal, Staff Measure Summary. The fiscal may show up in the end of session budget balancing bill. Recent News: ‘Dozens of advocacy groups disappointed food assistance bill fails’ – Oregon Capital Chronicle
HB 2905: Expands the 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. At Senate Desk awaiting Third Reading.