OSCC: Legislative Update 05/23

2023 Legislative Update

May 1, 2023

Dear OSCC Members & Colleagues –

We expect this week to be the most contentious week of the session.

The House will take up two bills – HB 2002 and HB 2005 – both dealing with hot-button social issues that will likely generate a lot of emotion and hard feelings among legislators. The House floor session is expected to be contentious enough that the House has cancelled all committee for Monday and Tuesday.

The Senate in the meantime, has its own contentious bill – SJR 33 – which is also a flashpoint for Senate relationships.

We expect procedural delays and just about every tactic imaginable that Republicans can do to slow these bills and prevent or delay votes in both the House and Senate. This past week there were growing rumblings that Republicans, especially in the Senate, could take off for a few days or maybe even longer.

It is unknown how this next week will play out and the impact that HB 2002 and HB 2005 will have on other bills that are remaining. We would expect discussion around these bills, at the very least, to slow the movement on other priorities in the building.

But HB 2002 and HB 2005 notwithstanding, the legislature is grinding along at a slow pace. Part of the reason is that relatively few policy bills have passed, and there simply is not a lot of work for the committees to do. But the second, most important issue is that the legislature seems to be on “pause” until May 17th. This is the date that the state economists release the final revenue forecast.

An unusually large number of bills are currently parked in the Ways & Means Committee waiting for the May 17th revenue forecast. If the revenue forecast yields no additional revenue, we expect the vast majority of those bills to die for lack of funding.

Unless the legislature decides to dip into the state’s ‘rainy day’ funds, it is unlikely the legislature will have much discretionary cash.

As a reminder, policy committees will begin the process of shutting down on Friday. For bills to advance, they must be posted for a work session by this Friday, May 5th. Committees with then have until May 19th to advance bills and either approve them to the floor or transfer them to Rules, Revenue, or the Ways & Means Committee.

But either way, May 19th is the last day for policy committees.

Current OSCC Issues

Interstate Bridge Replacement (HB 2098): Establishing a plan for funding Oregon’s portion of the I-5 bridge replacement project is quickly becoming the focal point of the remaining weeks of this year’s session. Last week saw the first major public hearing on amendment language related to the project. Already, typical battle lines over union work requirements, tolling, project costs, and environmental impacts have come to the fore. OSCC is supportive of efforts to leverage the availability of significant one-time federal funds available to help complete the replacement of the current bridge, which has reached the end of its lifespan and is considered seismically unsafe.

Restrictions on Production Quotas in Warehouses (HB 3568): OSCC is currently concerned with this bill as it assumes that workplace production quotas lead to unsafe workplaces. We are also concerned that the bill creates a never-ending cycle of potential retaliatory complaints against warehouse employers who use production or fulfillment quotas as a workplace management or productivity tool. OSCC opposes the bill in current form.

First party lawsuits on insurance claims (HB 3242 and HB 3243):  Allows policy holders to sue their insurance companies for bad faith. These bills have been tried in other states and have benefitted few but resulted in significant premium spikes in commercial policies for all. These bills passed the House on party-line votes. OSCC will oppose these bills in the Senate.

DEQ Title V permit fees (HB 3229): This bill is a massive 80% increase in Title V air emissions fees implemented by DEQ. Will hurt local manufacturers as permit costs are increased to save DEQ regulator positions. The bill also allows DEQ to raise additional fees without legislative approval. OSCC opposes this bill in current form.

Alignment of Employee Leave Policies (SB 999): This bill undertakes the work of aligning disparate employee leave policies (OFLA, FMLA, and Paid Leave) to ensure that these laws do not allow employees to “stack” these protected leaves. OSCC supports this legislation.

Download OSCC bills of interest

OSCC Chamber Day at the Capitol May 11th

Join OSCC for the 2023 Chamber Day at the Capitol. This will be your opportunity to hear from more about OSCC’s legislative efforts and the importance of sharing the voice of chambers in the Capitol. Chamber executives and Board leadership are encouraged to attend. Due to limited seating, attendance will be limited to three attendees per chamber.
OSCC legislative update call this Friday
Our next legislative update call will be held this Friday, May 5th at 9:30am. Calls are open to all OSCC members. We encourage you to invite members of your government affairs committee as well.

Calls are recorded and saved in the Member’s Only section of the website. Instructions for accessing the recording are below:

  • Click on Resources at the top of the page
  • On the left side column, check the box titled 2023 OSCC Legislative call update recordings
  • Select the recording you wish to watch

If you have any questions, please contact Jessica Chambers.

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