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Oregon Senate Democrats tout long list of new laws

Oregon Senate Democrats said Thursday they “delivered on an ambitious agenda in the 2019 Legislative Session to build a healthy and prosperous Oregon,” and provided a lengthy list of many laws that are set to take effect on Sunday.

Here’s their news release listing the legislation:

The Student Success Act is the most notable victory that Senate Democrats accomplished. The groundbreaking educational reforms and the corresponding funding package in the bill will transform Oregon’s education system for decades to come. Other priorities Senate Democrats addressed include the housing crisis in our state, as well as criminal justice reform, public safety and protecting the environment.

Many bills are slated to take effect Sunday, the 91 st day after adjournment of the 2019 Legislative Session. Those include the following:

SB 47: Waterway Access Permits

Currently, owners of nonmotorized boats at least 10 feet long must purchase an Aquatic Invasive Species permit from the State Marine Board for each qualifying boat. Senate Bill 47 eliminates that requirement to purchase the Invasive Species Permit for these boaters, instead requiring them to purchase a new Waterway Access Permit. Funds from the permits will go to a new Waterway Access Fund, which the Marine Board will use to enhance access to nonmotorized boat water access and increase educational opportunities for boaters.

SB 247: Adds hard seltzer and kombucha to Oregon Bottle Bill

In 1971, Oregon enacted the “Bottle Bill,” which is the nation’s longest-standing deposit law. Senate Bill 247 adds hard kombucha and hard seltzer to the list of beverages covered by the Bottle Bill and would require redemption center operators to submit an annual registration form and fee to the OLCC.

SB 98: RNG Program

Senate Bill 98 directs the Oregon Public Utility Commission to adopt a Renewable Natural Gas program that allows large natural gas utilities to recover investments made to meet targets for including RNG in gas purchases for natural gas consumers.

SB 445: Invasive Species Council Reporting

Senate Bill 445 directs the Invasive Species Council to report biennially to interim legislative committees and adds membership of voting and non-voting members.

HB 2618: Solar Energy Rebates

House Bill 2618 establishes a program to provide rebates through contractors for the purchase, construction or installation of solar electric systems and paired solar and energy storage systems, to be administered by Oregon Department of Energy. It also directs ODOE to prioritize rebates that benefit low- and moderate-income residential customers and nonresidential customers that are low-income service providers.

HB 3427: The Student Success Act of 2019 In January 2018, legislative leadership charged the Joint Committee on Student Success with improving Oregon’s statewide K-12 education system. The charge focused on five key elements, including attention to early childhood supports, instruction time, career readiness, budget accountability and stable funding. House Bill 3427 establishes a new Corporate Activity Tax, which will raise over $1 billion per year in dedicated early childhood and K-12 education funding, while reducing all personal income taxes. Schools across Oregon are confronted by diverse challenges. House Bill 3427 sets up various grant programs that will allow local communities to best respond to their own needs.

HB 3273: Drug Take-Back

Approximately a third of pharmaceutical drugs purchased in the United States go unused, are considered hazardous waste and end up in water systems or landfills. House Bill 3273 requires manufacturers of covered drugs that are sold within Oregon to develop and implement drug take-back program for collecting leftover drugs for disposal.

HB 2593: Breast Feeding Workplace Protections

House Bill 2593 requires all employers to provide reasonable rest periods for employees to express milk as often and as long as needed for the child’s first 18 months.

SB 815: Residential Care Facilities

The Oregon Department of Human Services licenses community-based care settings, including assisted living facilities, residential care facilities and memory care communities. These facilities provide a wide range of individualized services available in homelike settings to older adults, people with disabilities and individuals with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Senate Bill 815 requires residential care facilities to provide specified information to individuals at the time the individual applies for admission to the facility, and upon request.

SB 526: Voluntary Nurse Home Visits for Newborns

Senate Bill 526 directs the Oregon Health Authority to design, implement and maintain a voluntary statewide program to provide universal newborn nurse home visiting services to all families with newborns residing in Oregon. Health insurance programs would be required to reimburse for these services.

HB 2005: Paid Family and Medical Leave

House Bill 2005 creates a paid family and medical leave program available to all Oregon workers. Employees are eligible to claim benefits after earning at least $1,000 in wages in the base year and have contributing to the fund. The program provides 12 weeks of paid leave for family, medical or safe leave; employees with conditions related to pregnancy and childbirth may take an additional two weeks of paid leave, for a maximum of 14 weeks. Employees who are eligible for unpaid leave under OFLA may take no more than 16 weeks, or 18 weeks when the condition is related to pregnancy or childbirth. Employers shall pay 40 percent of the total rate and employees shall pay 60 percent through a payroll tax into the fund.

SB 421: Personal Injury Protection Insurance

Current law allows a provider of personal injury protection insurance to be one of the first to be reimbursed for payments made by other insurers on behalf of the insured person. The provider amount of recovery is limited to the total amount of benefits paid. The practical impact of reimbursing providers first is that some policy holders may be left with minimal or no settlement money afterwards. Senate Bill 421 fixes this problem by prohibiting insurers from receiving reimbursements unless the injured person receives full compensation for their injuries from an action or settlement, and the reimbursement is paid from the excess amount of the recovery.

HB 2896: Supporting Preservation and Affordability of Manufactured Dwelling Parks

Manufactured homes are an important source of affordable housing. Individuals and families who reside in manufactured dwellings or mobile homes often own or rent the dwelling but do not own the land the dwelling sits on in a mobile home park. According to Oregon Housing and Community Services, from 2001 to 2015, 104 manufactured home parks closed, displacing approximately 6,800 individuals and 4,000 spaces. House Bill 2896 establishes a loan program to support the preservation of mobile home parks.

SB 1045: Creates Home Sharing Tax Exemption

Senate Bill 1045 aims to increase affordable housing inventory by allowing local jurisdictions to adopt a property tax exemption for homeowners participating in a public or nonprofit home-sharing program. To qualify for the exemption, a home-share must be offered to home-share seekers living at 60 percent or below the area median income and cannot include a home-share agreement between family members.

SB 1008: Juvenile Sentencing Reform

Senate Bill 1008 has several elements that will help juveniles who have committed offenses rehabilitate and get a second chance at a productive life. Among those elements, the bill:

Eliminates the automatic waiver of kids into the adult justice system and requires judges to make determinations whether children should be tried and sentenced as adults;
Extends eligibility for “second look” hearings, which occur halfway through youth sentences and allow judges to order supervised release for youth if it is determined they have been rehabilitated significantly, do not pose danger to the community and the youth will be better served by release rather than further incarceration;
Allows transfer hearings for youth aging out of the Oregon Youth Authority and into adult prison with remaining sentences fewer than two years, when appropriate; and
Addresses the constitutional problem identified by the United States Supreme Court by eliminating automatic life without parole sentences for youth and making them eligible for parole hearings after serving 15 years.
SB 935: Codifies Landscaper Modified Limited License

Effective February 1, 2019, the Landscaping Contractors Board adopted a modified license that allows an applicant with one year of landscape-related experience who passes the laws, rules and business practices portion of the license exam, to perform a limited scope of landscape contractor work on projects not exceeding $5,000 in value. A person with a modified license may not perform work on drainage, ornamental water features, irrigation, backflow, low-voltage lighting or retaining walls. Senate Bill 935 requires the LCB to issue a modified landscape professional license to an applicant that pays an application fee.

SB 854: Expands Professional Licensure Accepted ID

Many of Oregon’s professional licensing boards require that applicants provide their Social Security Number as a means of identification. Due to this system, noncitizens are barred from certain professional licenses if they do not possess a Social Security Number. Senate Bill 854 requires that professional licensing boards accept a person’s Taxpayer Identification Number, or other federally-issued identification number, in lieu of a Social Security Number.

SB 829: Establishing Viticultural Area Wine Labeling Standards

An American Viticultural Area is a designated grape-growing region defined by soil types, elevation, typography and microclimate and approved the by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. Senate Bill 829 requires the Oregon Liquor Control Commission to adopt rules mandating that wines produced in the Willamette Valley convey through labeling that they were produced in the Willamette Valley AVA. The amended bill would also require that these wines list any smaller AVAs they may belong to within the boundaries of the Willamette Valley AVA. The bill gives the OLCC authority to adopt similar rules that govern other AVAs within Oregon.

HB 2164: Tax Expenditure Omnibus & Corporate Activity Tax Modifications

Extends and increases the Earned Income Tax Credit by one percentage point;
Extends property tax exemptions for low-income rental housing and historic property;
Extends several tax expenditures for six years, including: cultural trust contributions credit, manufactured dwelling park capital gain subtraction, manufactured dwelling park closure credit, retirement income credit, volunteer rural emergency medical services providers credit, employer provided scholarships credit, agriculture workforce housing construction credit, crop donation credit; and
Excludes qualifying subcontractor payments from the Corporate Activity Tax pursuant to a contract for single-family residential real estate construction located in Oregon.
HB 2587: Expands Access to the Homestead Property Tax Deferral Program

In Oregon, the Homestead Property Tax Deferral Program, administered by the Department of Revenue, pays property taxes for qualified individuals with disabilities or senior citizens who own and occupy their principal residence individuals. Currently, properties with reverse mortgages – except when reverse mortgages were executed before 2011 – are prohibited from participating in the program. House Bill 2587 allows some additional properties participating in the program to be subject to a reverse mortgage if they satisfy an equity component. The Department of Revenue estimates that there are approximately 4,000 individuals with properties with reverse mortgages between 2011 and 2017 that may qualify for the senior deferral program under this legislation.

SB 422: Expanding the definition of “natural hair care”

Current statute defines “natural hair care” as braiding and other activities using hands or simple devices. Natural hair care does not include the use of penetrating chemical hair treatments. Natural hair care practitioners must complete an education module and written exam to obtain certification from the Board of Cosmetology. Senate Bill 422 expands the definition of “natural hair care” to include shampooing or conditioning the hair of an individual.

SB 726: Workplace Harassment Policy Reform

Senate Bill 726 addresses workplace harassment and reporting barriers. Section 2 prohibits employers from requiring employees to sign non-disclosure agreements and no-rehire agreements related to discrimination. Section 4 provides for model anti-harassment policies and procedures and Section 6 extends the statute of limitations for filing a complaint regarding harassment.

SB 698: Prescription Labels in Multiple Languages

According to the United States Census Bureau’s American Community Survey from 2009 to 2013, 6.21 percent of Oregonians over 5 years of age have limited English proficiency. This can be a barrier to proper use of medications. Senate Bill 698 requires pharmacies to dispense prescriptions with labels in English and other languages, as requested.

SB 479: Workplace Harassment Policy Requirement

Requires all public jurisdictions to create and maintain policies against sexual harassment. Each policy must contain certain essential features to allow for a workplace that is free from discrimination, harassment and retaliation.

SB 423: Psychological Screening for Law Enforcement Officers

Senate Bill 423 requires law enforcement agencies employ as law enforcement officers only those who have completed psychological screening to determine fitness to serve.

SB 707: Establishes the Youth Suicide Intervention and Prevention Advisory Committee

According to the Oregon Health Authority, suicide was the second leading cause of death among 10- to 24-year-olds in Oregon in 2016. Senate Bill 707 establishes a Youth Suicide Intervention and Prevention Advisory Committee to advise OHA on suicide intervention and prevention for youth ages 10 to 24 years. The measure requires OHA to provide staffing and appoint specified members that reflect cultural, linguistic, geographic, and economic diversity.

SB 1027: Needle Injury Protection for Health Care Workers

Needlestick injuries are a common occupational hazard for health care workers that can result in exposure to infectious diseases such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Senate Bill 1027 allows health care practitioners who receive needlestick injuries in the treatment of unconscious patients to perform blood draws on the patients, without the patients’ consent, to determine any necessary treatment for the practitioner.

SB 910: Opioid Overdose Prevention

Naloxone and methadone are two medications frequently used in the treatment of opioid addiction and overdose. Senate Bill 910 removes barriers to accessing naloxone and methadone by making naloxone kits more readily available and giving local authorities flexibility to waive methadone clinic siting restrictions.

KTVZ 2019

News / Oregon-Northwest / Top Stories

KTVZ News Team

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