February 26, 2024

OSCC: Legislative Update 02/19/24

2024 Legislative Update

February 19, 2024

Dear OSCC Members & Colleagues –

We enter the third week of the 2024 legislative session in Oregon. So far, the ’24 session has been largely as advertised. The legislature continues to be centered on Measure 110 reforms (HB 4002) and the Governor’s legislation to increase housing production (SB 1537).

Today’s Major Deadline

Today is the first major deadline of the legislative session. All bills need to be voted out of their initial policy committee or they will be considered “dead” for the session.  We will take inventory of these bills by end-of-day today, but we would expect that as many as half of the 300 bills introduced this session are now shelved.

Bills of Interest to Local Business

Every session produces some good wins and some tough losses. 2024 has already given us one of each:

House Bill 4005 – OPPOSE: OSCC issued an ACTION ALERT on HB 4005 last week, and we are pleased to report that the bill is now dead. HB 4005 would have eliminated the Professional Employer Organization (PEO) industry in Oregon by disallowing the “co-employer” model.

PEO’s depend on the “co-employer” model so that they can offer small businesses economies of scale when purchasing workers’ comp, health insurance and other benefits products. It gives small businesses the benefits and services of a large employer.

PEO’s serve over 3,000 small businesses in Oregon who depend on them to be the administrative employer for purposes of payroll, human resources, labor law compliance, tax compliance, and benefits administration.

OSCC actively opposed HB 4005. The bill is now dead.

House Bill 4050 – SUPPORT: Unfortunately, HB 4050 also died last week. This bill was perhaps the best proactive, pro-business employment bill of the session as it allowed employers to offer hiring and retention bonuses – or other pay differentials – without running afoul of Oregon’s “pay equity” laws.

Unfortunately, the bill ran into a buzzsaw of union opposition from the teacher’s union and others who opposed the legislation.

This concept will likely not go away anytime soon as employers are desperate for employees. The coalition to pass this bill continues to grow.

Download OSCC bills of interest
Oregon State Chamber of Commerce (OSCC) | 991 Liberty Street SE, Salem, OR 97302