Legislative Report - Week of 6/26
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By Nancy Donovan and Debbie Aiona
The consequential results of the 2023 Legislative session underscore the urgency of Oregon’s housing and homeless crisis. Near the end of the session, it was clear that legislators were committed to taking substantive steps to address the overwhelming need. They allocated resources to provide shelter for unhoused Oregonians, assist tenants in paying their rent, help lower-income households afford a home purchase, and develop and preserve affordable housing.
In the House
Policy Bill Passed
SB 611 modifies state law related to residential rent increases. This legislation limits maximum allowable rent increases to the lesser of either 10% or 7% plus the September annual 12-month average change in the Consumer Price Index. It also limits rent increases to no more than once a year, except for units rented on a week-by-week basis.
Budget Bills Passed
HB 5005 limits the maximum amount of bonds and third-party financing agreements that state agencies may issue, and the amount of revenue state agencies may raise from such issuance. The proceeds from issuance of bonds are included as revenues in agency budgets (see below).
HB 5006 allocates $600 million of Article XI-Q bonds for OHCS’s Local Innovation and Fast Track (LIFT) Housing and Permanent Supportive Housing programs to acquire, construct, remodel, repair, equip or furnish real property, in which the department will take an operational or ownership interest to provide affordable housing for Oregonians with low- incomes and citizens in historically underserved communities and communities of color, as well as affordable housing that will be combined with supports to tenants and other services for low-income citizens with high needs, including persons with disabilities and persons coming out of chronic homelessness.
HB 5030 authorizes the issuance of Lottery Revenue Bonds to OHCS totaling $50 million for affordable housing preservation.
Omnibus Budget Passed
SB 5506 is the omnibus budget reconciliation bill that implements the remaining adjustments to state agencies’ legislatively adopted budgets for the 2023-25 biennium. It includes $21 million in funding for affordable homeownership development and long-term rent assistance.
In the Senate
Policy Bills Passed
HB 3042 provides protections for residents of housing with expiring affordability restrictions, such as limiting terminations and rent increases for three years after a tenant’s housing is withdrawn from publicly supported housing. The bill is effective on passage.
HB 3309 directs OHCS to study and incentivize accessible units in OHCS-funded affordable housing units by providing financial support and increasing the quantity and quality of accessible units.
HB 3395 is an Omnibus spending bill that allows affordable housing on lands zoned for commercial uses within urban growth boundaries. Local governments can extend their decision-making to develop residential structures within the urban growth boundary or to reconsider land use decisions to develop residential structures. Local governments also can site certain emergency shelters, conditioned on the latest estimates of the percentage of individuals experiencing homelessness.
HB 2761 will allow OHCS to fund only the portion of mixed-use or mixed-income housing developments affordable to households earning at or below 120% of area median income. The bill grants OHCS rulemaking authority regarding the allocation of the affordable housing portion of project’s shared costs.
Bills adopted by both the House and Senate
HB 3215 authorizes OHCS to support the replacement, reconstruction or rehabilitation of residential units damaged or destroyed by disaster and to support the recovery of the residents. It establishes the Disaster Housing Recovery Fund to provide funding to the department for specified purposes.
HB 2071 extends the sunset provisions for various tax credits and allows qualified borrowers to use the loan proceeds in connection with tax credits for affordable housing lenders, to include limited equity cooperatives under certain conditions. It also creates credit against income taxes for selling publicly supported housing to preserve as affordable housing. Applies to tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2024.
HB 2080 is an Omnibus property tax bill which authorizes a city or county to approve or terminate a property tax exemption for a multiple-unit housing project. It authorizes a city or county to exempt from property tax the entire structure of multiple-unit housing converted from another use. Extends the low-income rental housing property tax exemption to housing units owned by limited equity cooperative corporations. Authorizes city or county to establish a schedule in which, for 10 years, the percentage of property tax exemption granted to affordable multi-unit rental housing increases directly with the percentage of units rented to households with annual income at or below 120 percent of area median income.
HB 3462 requires the Oregon Department of Emergency Management (OEM), Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS), or Department of Human Services (DHS) to ensure that temporary housing provided in response to emergencies is safe and in compliance with state and federal nondiscrimination laws. It also allows these agencies to assist community members who are otherwise ineligible to access federal resources due to their immigration status.
HB 3151 limits improvements that landlords of manufactured dwelling parks may require of tenants. It expands affordable housing that is developable on nonresidential lands. It also expands the manufactured dwelling park preservation loan program to allow loaned funds to be used to develop new parks.
HB 2680 requires residential landlords to refund applicants for screening charges within 30 days, subject to certain conditions. The measure requires landlords to promptly notify an applicant once the screening has taken place, their right to a refund of the screening charge, and recovery of damages if the landlord fails to provide the refund within 30 days. It also increases the damages an eligible applicant may recover to twice the amount of the screening charge plus $250, which is a total increase of $100 from current law.
SB 5511 is the Oregon Housing and Community Services budget bill. The total funds budget is $2,558,608,558 and 441 positions. This is a 28.5% increase from the 2023-25 current service level.
OHCS’s budget from the General Fund includes the following:
· $111.2 million to continue shelter and rehousing services that were funded in HB 5019 in response to the Governor’s emergency declaration on homelessness.
· $24.1 million to provide operating support to existing shelters.
· $55 million for rental assistance.
· $6 million for services to tenants.
· $10 million in down payment assistance.
· $2.5 million for the decommissioning and replacement of manufactured housing.
· $9.7 million capitalizes a predevelopment loan program within the Department, and expenditure limitation and position authority were added to revamp the process the Department will use to approve affordable housing finance applications from developers.
· $136.8 million is allocated for wildfire recovery efforts, supported by a $422 million federal grant.
By Marge Easley
The compromise version of HB 2005, limited to prohibiting the sale, manufacture, and possession of undetectable and unserialized firearms, frames, and receivers (“ghost guns”), passed the Senate and will soon be signed by the Governor. Violations are punishable as a Class A Misdemeanor for possession and a Class B Felony for the sale and manufacture. According to the Oregon Department of Justice, ghost guns are the weapons of choice for gun traffickers, and recent data from California states that 50% of guns used in crimes are ghost guns.
HB 2572, which defines and places severe restrictions on paramilitary activity in Oregon, will also soon be signed into law. The bill, strongly opposed by the Oregon Firearms Federation, will allow the Oregon Attorney General to bring civil action against those who engage in any of the paramilitary activities listed in the bill.
SB 348, which set out the implementation process for permit-to-purchase under Measure 114, unfortunately died in committee this session. However, the end-of-session Christmas Tree bill did include an allocation of $7.6 million to the Oregon State Police (OSP) to conduct background checks for people who are purchasing firearms. This would presumably be used to deal with the increased OSP workload to set up a new permit-to-purchase system with safety courses for applicants purchasing firearms.
Immigration, Refugee and Other Basic Rights
By Claudia Keith
HB 2905: Approved: 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. House Speaker and Senate President signed this bill June 24. Passed unanimously.
SB 610 A: Did not move from JW&Ms. It would have Established 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
End of Session Full JWM Budget Reconciliation Bill HB550
A tentative list of Immigration/Refugee + related line items:
- $2M OHA Healthcare Interpreter
- universal representative fund / Oregon worker relief $8.6M DAS. Section 264 and 265
- Universal rep (legal) and legal services…. $4.8M section 85 & 86
- Language interpretation services $.5M section 76
- Latino Comm Ctr Pdx/Gresh. $4.1M
- Immigration legal Services Oregon State Bar $800K
- Migrant Bilingual educ team $2.2M
- Afghan Refugee $2.5M
Supreme Court immigration ruling allows Biden's deportation policy | Washington Post, https://wapo.st/430UGzQ
League of Women Voters of the US on social media - June 23, 2023:
“This SCOTUS decision rightly leaves in place guidelines that do not target undocumented immigrants for arrest & deportation if they don't threaten public safety. LWV stands with immigrants & partners to support policies to provide a path to citizenship.”
By Marge Easley and Karen Nibler
Criminal justice bills that passed during the last week of the session include:
· SB 212 maintains confidentiality of communications during peer check-ins at the Oregon Youth Authority or county juvenile facilities.
· SB 339 requires sex offender treatment as a probation condition if the offense involved a touching offense.
· SB 473 requires the Department of Education to integrate the identification and prevalence of sex trafficking into academic standards.
· SB 321 establishes the process for post-conviction relief for those convicted by a nonunanimous jury.
· SB 337 creates the Oregon Public Defense Commission under the jurisdiction of the judicial branch.
· HB 2372 adds several goals for the Youth Development Council, including prevention of justice system involvement, respect for culturally specific and traditional practices, and prevention of and intervention in gang community violence and involvement.
· HB 2635 increases penalties for fentanyl possession.
· HB 2719 requires certain defendants to submit to testing for HIV and other communicable diseases.
· HB 3275 provides that supervision of certain misdemeanor offenders reverts to the Department of Corrections if a county is unable to provide services.
By Christa Danielson
HB 2395 Allows specified person to distribute and administer short acting opioid antagonists and distribution kits. Will expand the ability of these life saving medications to get to the people who need them. Also known as the Opioid harm reduction bill. Passed both houses. Will go to the Governor’s desk.
SB 420 Sets up an area in the Department of Human Services for Navigation and support of those who have had a Brain injury. LWVOR testimony provided. Passed both houses and signed. Will go to Governors desk.