Legislative Report – May 14, 2018 – Special Session

Chris Vogel, Revenue and Tax Reform

The Joint Interim Committee On Sole Proprietors will meet on 5/16/2018 1:00 PM, HR A to hear testimony from The Honorable Kate Brown, Governor of Oregon and to accept Public Testimony on LC 1. A special session of the legislative assembly will convene May 21, 2018 at 8 a.m. Please know that interim committees cannot introduce bills to the special session. The only committee that will hear legislation for the special session is the Joint Committee on Sole Proprietors. Its work will be limited to two bills: the Governor’s proposal LC 1 and the sine die resolution (LC 2).   READ MORE

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Oregon NOW Endorses Kate Brown for Governor

Read the Press Release:

March 20, 2018 (PORTLAND, OR) — Oregon NOW enthusiastically endorses Governor Kate Brown,
recognizing Governor Brown’s proven record of championing policies for equality and social justice and her
commitment to make Oregon a place where every person has the opportunity to thrive.

Brown’s entire career has been dedicated to advocating for vulnerable women and children. A few
highlights from her long career in public service:

• Helping to pass Oregon’s groundbreaking Family and Medical Leave Act (OFLA) as a state legislator,
• Raising the minimum wage,
• Ensuring that all working Oregonians have paid sick leave,
• Guaranteeing access to reproductive health care, and
• Passing common sense gun safety legislation.

On these important issues and others including equal pay, LGBTQ equality, and racial equity and justice,
Oregonians could not ask for a stronger advocate than Governor Brown.

Michelle Ganow-Jones, Executive Director of Oregon NOW, had this to say about Oregon NOW’s
endorsement of Governor Brown:

“Particularly in these troubling times, we are grateful to Governor Kate Brown for
standing for justice and defending our state’s values. We can trust Governor Brown to
fight for the rights of women and girls and to ensure that the policies of our state
support the most vulnerable Oregonians. Governor Brown shares NOW’s values and
vision for Oregon and we are proud to endorse her continued leadership.”

We are confident that Governor Brown will continue to be a leading advocate as Governor and we welcome
four more years of her leadership.

OSU — A Strong and Growing Presence on the Central Coast – Rep. David Gomberg

Greetings! 

Thank you so much for the many positive responses to my weekly reports from the 2018 legislative session.

I enjoy sending news and information throughout our district on a regular basis. However, legislative rules prohibit newsletters like this sent from our office within 60 days of a primary or general election. I think that is a good policy that makes it clear that public resources are not used or perceived to be used for campaign purposes. But it also means you will not be hearing from me again until May 15 except in response to emails or letters you send to me.

On Wednesday afternoon, I will be delighted to take part in the groundbreaking ceremony for the Marine Studies Initiative in Newport.

Artists' Rendering of the OSU Hatfield Marine Sciences Initiative Building
Artists’ Rendering of the OSU Hatfield Marine Sciences Initiative Building

Oregon State University’s new marine studies building at the Hatfield Marine Science Center will not only increase the region’s marine science education and research capacity, it will use state-of-the-art architectural and engineering techniques to serve as one of the first “vertical evacuation” tsunami sites in the United States.

The facility aims to increase the region’s capacity for marine-related education, research and outreach, and engagement. OSU plans to have as many as 150 new staff and up to 500 students annually studying and doing research at the Hatfield campus by 2025. The new building will include classroom space and offices for faculty and graduate students.

“The amount of science here is mind boggling,” says Gil Sylvia, a marine resource economist and superintendent of the Coastal Oregon Marine Experimental Station. “It spans everything. Agencies here are studying where fish stocks are located in the ocean, how fish age and how that relates to their migration. We study oceanographic conditions and the relationship to fishery productivity. We are helping map the bottom of the ocean. We study underwater volcanoes and earthquakes.”

Looked at from a different perspective, the MSI will bring more living wage jobs, more customers for local business, and more potential employees from the student population.

In addition to housing Marine Studies Initiative programs, the new building will host the Marine Fisheries Genetics Program and provide headquarters for OSU’s nationally recognized Marine Mammal Institute and its marine genetics and genomics programs.

Speaking of the Marine Mammal Institute, we are now very, very close to selling 3000 vouchers for the new Oregon Coast Whale License Plate.

New "Coastal Playground" License Plates Will Benefit Marine Mammal Institute
New “Coastal Playground” License Plates Will Benefit Marine Mammal Institute

Every purchase supports the OSU Marine Mammal Institute, meaning the license plates are more than distinctive and stylish — they also help support whale research, graduate student education, and public outreach.

You can be one of the first to own the new plate by purchasing a voucher. As soon as 3,000 vouchers are sold, the plates will go into production, and you will be notified when your plate is available at the DMV. Purchase a voucher online for only $40, of which $35 will directly support the Marine Mammal Institute.

In a final piece of OSU news, a major win for the Coastal Caucus during the recent session was House Bill 5201 – an appropriation package that includes $3 million for the Pacific Marine Energy Center South Energy Test Site.

Senator Roblan and I worked hard to fund this wave energy test site off the Oregon Coast. State funds are being leveraged to help secure an additional $35 million in federal monies for the project. The test facility is being designed and constructed by an OSU team, and is expected to be operational in 2021.

The research site has been approved by the fishing industry at a location where wave energy developers can test utility scale wave energy converters in the ocean, with a connection to the electric utility grid through a subsea cable. It will be operated by Oregon State University’s Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center.

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Whether it is new jobs, new and critical ocean research, the study of new energy sources, new architecture that demonstrates how we can prepare for future seismic events, or simply the pride of a new coastal license plate, these developments help strengthen the economy and the communities of the entire central coast and Coast Range.

As always, let me know if you have  any questions or concerns about your state government!

Warm regards,

Rep. David Gomberg

email: Rep.DavidGomberg@oregonlegislature.gov
phone: 503-986-1410
address: 900 Court St NE, H-371, Salem, OR, 97301
website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/gomberg

2018 Session Conclusion – One Week Early! – Rep. David Gomberg

2018 Session Conclusion – One Week Early!

Greetings!

At the very end of each legislative session, it is tradition to open both the Senate and House chamber doors. From the dais at the front of the House, you can see across the open space under the Capitol dome, straight through the building, to the dais at the front of the Senate chamber. After making eye contact, the Senate President and the House Speaker bring down their gavels simultaneously to signal formal adjournment “sine die”.

Oregon lawmakers performed this ceremony and ended the 2018 session late Saturday afternoon, eight days before the constitutional deadline.  We also avoided much of the partisan disagreements that clouded the last short session two years ago. Most of the 260 bills introduced were noncontroversial and passed with little opposition.

Major measures we approved include: increased funding for affordable housing (HB 4007); prescription drug transparency (HB 4005); net neutrality protection (HB 4155); prohibiting firearms sales to convicted domestic abusers (HB 4145); stronger clean air standards (SB 1541); and disconnecting Oregon from the difficult new federal tax bill (SB 1528).

SCR 203, Declaring Adjournment Sine Die of the 2018 Legislative Session, Passes
SCR 203, Declaring Adjournment Sine Die of the 2018 Legislative Session, Passes

Most of my own measures also crossed the finish line, including: my bill to ease red tape for small business (HB 4052); the Equifax Breach Bill (SB 1551) which would prohibit fees for freezing your account if a credit monitoring company gets hacked; my PERS Reform bill (HB 4046) which would prevent “spiking” retirement benefits; a resolution to honor former State Rep. Paul Hanneman (SCR 211); and a measure I carried on the final day to create small business loan funds for expansion and operating costs (SB 1516). All passed by wide, bipartisan margins.

A high-profile plan to address climate change, cap greenhouse gas emissions and charge the state’s largest polluters was not able to garner enough support to move forward. Instead, a special committee has been appointed to consider viable alternatives for 2019.

A bill that would add Oregon to a growing number of states awarding Electoral College votes to the winner of the national popular vote in presidential elections failed to move through the Senate despite consistent support from the House. Finally, my bill to help shelter dogs and cats (HB 4045) did not move forward in 2018. But I will be re-introducing it in 2019 and am hopeful the longer session will give it a better chance of passing.

Last year, the Legislative Assembly completed the state budget for the 2017-2019 biennium.  One of the most important reasons for short sessions in alternate years is to make needed adjustments to this budget. A final item completed during the 2018 session was an omnibus budget package that authorized $93 million for a wide variety of mid-biennium spending on projects statewide.

2018 legislative Session Sine Die Gavelling Out
Gavelling Out the 2018 Legislative Session

The largest single item in the appropriations bill was an additional $27.5 million to cover the costs of fighting wildfires in 2017. The bill also allocated an additional $15.7 million to the state’s child welfare program to hire more caseworkers and other staff to keep foster children safe and help families.

An additional $5.2 million will pay for emergency winter housing and shelter around the state.

Newport continues to emerge as a premiere center for ocean science research and teaching. In a big win for the Central Coast and for the legislative Coastal Caucus, OSU’s Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center (NNMREC) received $3 million for a wave energy testing facility. These funds will be matched on an 8-1 basis with federal money to continue study of wave energy potential. Click here more funding details.

Overall, I would say that the session was productive, mild-mannered, and remarkably fast paced. One member described each day as a “lightening round.” There were certainly disappointments, but also much to celebrate.

House Chamber Displays 2018 Session Adjournment
House Chamber Displays 2018 Session Adjournment

Anyone who believes that short sessions should be quick, focused on budget adjustments, and an opportunity for small policy fixes should be pleased with our past months’ work.

I’m back in the district now and won’t be missing my icy morning commutes to Salem. I continue to attend as many local events as my calendar allows. On Friday at 8am on KCUP radio, I’ll do an hour-long legislative re-cap. On Tuesday the 6th, I’ll join the Pacific City Nestucca Valley Chamber of Commerce for lunch in Tillamook County, and on the 15th I’ll be speaking to the Sheridan Chamber of Commerce. On the 15th, I’ll also be very pleased to address the groundbreaking for the Marine Science Center in Newport. And on Saturday the 10th, I’ll be at the Spay-getti Beach Bark Benefit in Lincoln City.

Hope to see you somewhere very soon!

Warm regards,

Rep. David Gomberg

email: Rep.DavidGomberg@oregonlegislature.gov
phone: 503-986-1410
address: 900 Court St NE, H-371, Salem, OR, 97301
website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/gomberg

 

Legislative Report, Volume 28, Number 4 – February 2018 – LWV of Oregon

In This Issue Revenue and Tax Reform Governance Natural Resources Social Policy Education Policy Revenue and Tax Reform By Chris Vogel, Revenue and Tax Reform Senate Committee on Finance and Revenue: SB 1528 had earlier language to limit the Oregon state pass-through tax, that the League supported, but it was stripped from this bill in […]

Source: Legislative Report, Volume 28, Number 4 – February 2018 – The League of Women Voters of Oregon

GOVERNANCE
Initiative Petition 22, “Stop Oregon Sanctuaries,” is currently under Secretary of State investigation for misrepresentation of its intent to signers. They cannot remove your signature. The League has gotten complaints of ongoing violations. See our Think Before You Ink. The League urges you to read petitions carefully.
READ MORE

NATURAL RESOURCES
Clean Energy Jobs is still alive-until it isn’t. The League continues to press the “urgency of now” when it comes to climate change. With many policy bills about done, the focus goes to the budget to implement good environmental laws. Watch Ways and Means Subcommittees this coming week.
READ MORE

SOCIAL POLICY
Health Care bills grab our attention. HJR 203 A, a constitutional amendment establishing the right to health care for every resident of Oregon, was heard in Senate Health Care and is still being considered for amendments.
READ MORE

EDUCATION
The Joint Committee on Student Success will not hear any specific bills this session, but has committed to conduct public hearings and individual conversations with students, teachers and other stakeholders throughout the state before the 2019 legislative session.
READ MORE

REVENUE
Senate Committee on Finance and Revenue: SB 1528 had earlier language to limit the Oregon state pass-through tax, that the League supported, but it was stripped from this bill in amendments.
READ MORE