Saturday, May 25, 2019

May 25 Oregon legislative update

(Continued from the INCO newsletter)

What Oregon issues do you care about? Tell Betsy and Tiffiny today.
State Senator Betsy Johnson -- 503-986-1716
State Representative Tiffiny Mitchell -- ‭(503) 986-1432‬

CLEAN ENERGY JOBS (CEJ): CEJ with amendments is now HB 2020-94. It  has moved on to the Joint Ways and Means Committee. Senator Betsy Johnson is a co-chair, and she has expressed her opposition to the bill. We hope it will pass out of committee to the House floor. Please call Senator Johnson to let her know her constituents support the bill, even if she doesn't change her mind.  

PLASTICS:The three bills banning plastics (bags and straws) and styrofoam (HB 2509B, HB 2883 and SB 90) are still alive.
DRIVER'S LICENSE: The Driver’s License Bill, HB 2015, which would allow undocumented people to have a license, has a lot of support, including Gov. Brown. Causa Oregon has a link that easily helps people send an e-mail to their legislator- Click here:

TRANSPARENCY: The Candidate Tax Returns Bill (HB 2762, SB 594) is not getting the attention we think it deserves. It would require candidates for president and vice president to submit five years of tax returns to be on the Oregon ballot. The committee that has this skipped over it last week, choosing instead to talk about a bill that would ask Congress to make sure candidates submit one year of returns. We feel this is inadequate and our legislators need to be called out on this. We feel -- with enough pressure -- it could become a signature Indivisible issue.

Bills to address special interests in Oregon elections continue to be a major issue in Salem, with three bills (HB2714, HB2716, and HB2983) having had public hearings on 5-23-19.  A good overview of the situation is provided by this article in Portland's Willamette Week newspaper.  While these three bills would make a difference, they still suffer from major defects and need to be improved.  To view areas needing improvement on HB2714-3, please see these comments submitted by Dan Meek, public interest attorney and co-founder of Oregon Honest Elections, the major advocate in OR for progressive election reform. While these bills are currently in the OR House, this is a good time to contact your state senator, expressing support for strong and effective controls on money in the OR political system. Dan Meek's comments on HB2716-4 are available here.

SB770-4A, to establish a study commission on how to establish a universal affordable health care system in Oregon, is still in the OR Senate Joint Committee on Ways and Means.  Sen. Betsy Johnson is a member of this committee and needs to hear of her constituents' strong support of universal, affordable health care. This bill needs to be scheduled for a hearing in her committee.  Email:  Phone: 503-986-1716

HB2015 which would eliminate the requirement that person provide proof of legal presence before Department of Transportation issues noncommercial driver license, noncommercial driver permit or identification card has been approved by the Joint Transportation Committee and has been moved onto the Ways and Means Committee.  This is a bill dealing with basis equity issues, as well as safety for all drivers by providing a way for all drivers to acquire insurance.  Our Rep Mitchell is one of the Sponsors; Sen Betsy Johnson is not a sponsor

One of the major environmental and health related bills this session is HB2007 requiring the adoption of rules for diesel engine emissions standards formedium-duty and heavy-duty trucks.  This bill has now been approved by the House Committee on Energy and Environment, Rules Committee and is now in the Ways and Means Committee, which Sen Johnson co-chairs.