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2014 Legislature: Last stand for business bills

March 3, 2014


Associated Oregon Industries
Oregon’s largest business advocateFebruary 25 was the last major deadline of the 2014 Legislative Session before the Constitutionally-mandated adjournment date of March 9. Bills must now be voted out of their final committee, or else they are considered dead. Tuesday’s deadline weeded out a new round of bills.

Now is when things get tricky. The Rules Committees, Revenue Committees, and Ways & Means are all “live” committees. Look for dead bills, or even brand new concepts, to find themselves resurrected and amended into bills that are still alive in these committees.

Here is the latest on the 2014 AOI Agenda to-date:

  • Building the I-5 Bridge. (HB 4113-A – Currently stalled in Ways & Means.)
  • Approving $200 million in construction funding for the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute. (Currently alive in Ways & Means.)
  • Supporting HB 4058, which amends Oregon’s 40-40-20 education goals to include apprenticeship programs as qualifying certificates. (Passed. On Governor’s Desk.)
  • Supporting HB 4069, which establishes the Oregon Task Force on Career and Technical Education Teaching. (Stalled in Ways & Means.)
  • Supporting SB 1578, which addresses rural economic needs. (Substantially watered down to simply include woody biomass as a green energy for which public project money must be spent. Passed Senate. In House.)
  • $1 million in additional funding for the Oregon Manufacturing Extension Partnership (OMEP), which is a leader in making Oregon manufacturers more competitive. (Currently being considered in Ways & Means.)
  • Opposing SB 1543, which creates a new unlawful employment action for employers that must respond to the Obamacare health care mandates. (Died in Senate.)
  • Opposing SB 1569, which requires manufacturers and retailers to report to the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) on substances used in products, phase out some substances, or face product bans and fines. (Still alive in Ways & Means.)
  • Opposing SB 1570, which repeals the sunset on the low carbon fuels mandate. (Died in Senate.)
  • Opposing HB 4139, which prevents retailers from selling certain pesticides and adds them to the Department of Agriculture’s restricted chemicals list. (Amended to a study bill, AOI no longer opposed. Passed. On Governor’s Desk.)
  • Opposing HB 4143, which throws out 40 years of process and safeguards to determine the size of class eligible for damages and the amount of damages to be awarded in a class action lawsuit. (Passed the House. Passed Senate Committee. Awaiting Senate Floor Vote.)

AOI has also adopted positions on the following 2014 session bills:

SUPPORT:

SB 1540: Business recourse for “Patent Trolling.” (Passed Senate. On Governor’s Desk.)

SB 1558: DCBS rescue of bankrupt group self-insurance members. (Passed. On Governor’s Desk.)

SB 1563: Authorizes OBDD to undertake entrepreneurial development activities for traded sector industries and in rural communities and increases cap on entrepreneurial development loans from $70,000 to $100,000. (Passed. On Governor’s Desk.)

HB 4005: Authorizes five new E-commerce zones. (Passed House. In Senate.)

HB 4010: Employment Appeals Board decisions must be posted online. (Passed. On Governor’s Desk.)

HB 4055: Collection of 911 tax on prepaid wireless service, compensates retailer. (AOI reached agreement. Retailers receive 2% back on every transaction. Passed House. In Senate Revenue.)

HB 4059: Joint Legislative Committee on Business Regulation. (Died in House.)

HB 4063: Establishes revolving loan fund to help brownfield remediation and economic development. (Amended to study bill, alive in Ways & Means.)

HB 4076: Pilot program on fixed cost Bachelors’ Degrees. (Stalled in Ways & Means.)

HB 4091: Hiring preference option for veterans (died in House), but same language has been amended into HB 4123-B. (Alive in Ways & Means.)

HB 4153: Expedited siting of industrial facilities in rural areas. (Died in House.)

Appropriation for local government due diligence assessments on industrial sites. (Alive in Ways & Means.)

OPPOSE:

SB 1510: New Environmental Impact Study at agency discretion for projects requiring state permits. (Died in Senate.)

HB 4067: Limits small business tax cut to first $250,000 of business income. (Died in House.)

HB 4100: GMO food labeling mandate that allows private right of action to enjoin the sale of any GMO food not labeled as directed. (Stalled in House Rules.)

HB 4101: Timber severance tax to fund county government. (Died in House.)

HB 4127: Majority of OEIB members must be public education professionals. (Passed House. Died in Senate Education.)

HB 4141: Limits tax incentives for Strategic Investment Program. (Appears Dead in House Revenue.)

  
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Discuss this article

Jan March 3, 2014

OHSU should not get their matching funds from the taxpayers via the legislature robbing the public to pay for it. They have five years to raise the matching funds.

Selling bonds to bind taxpayers to more debt is wrong. The legislator’s need to stop favoring their campaign contributors and start representing the citizens.

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