OR Lege: Deadlines and Road Shows

Carla Axtman

We've reached that time during the legislative session where bills that haven't already been posted for a hearing or work session are essentially dead. After this week, we'll have a pretty good idea of how the balance of the session will shape up, policy-wise.

Another thing of note: the legislature, at least in the form of the Ways & Means Co-Chairs, may be headed to a town near you. They'll be holding public hearings around the state to hear from Oregonians directly. If you can't make it to Salem, this might be a good way to let them know your thoughts on the state budget--and what the priorities should be.

Friday, April 12


Ed Ragozzino Performance Hall, Lane Community College

4000 East 30th Avenue, Eugene

Saturday, April 13


Music Recital Hall, Southern Oregon University

1250 Siskiyou Blvd, Ashland

Friday, April 19


William Healy Armory

875 SW Simpson Ave, Bend

Saturday, April 20


Auditorium, Hermiston High School

600 S 1st St, Hermiston (Live link available in other eastern Oregon locations, details pending)

Tuesday, April 23


Moriarty Arts & Humanities Auditorium, Portland Community College-Cascades Campus

705 N. Killingsworth St.,Portland

Thursday, April 25


Officers Mess, Port of Tillamook Bay

6825 Officers Row, Tillamook

In the Senate, the big PERS showdown on SB 822 is going down on the floor on Thursday. As you may recall, SB 822 is the Dems solution to dealing with PERS. Interestingly, a couple of Republicans are not board with it too: Bob Jensen and Greg Smith. I'm told their reasoning is that we made a deal with these workers and we shouldn't be welching on it. Good for them. (Correction: Smith & Jensen are actually 'no" votes--my mistake. They're not on board with the deeper cuts that the rest of the GOP want. Apologies for the error.)

Keep an eye out for a Senate floor vote on Wednesday on foreclosure reform (SB 558) as well.

The House Revenue Committee is meeting tomorrow to take on the other side of the revenue scale from PERS: tax expenditures. They're looking to raise the $275 million in revenue to meet the line item in the budget to fund Oregon's schools. HB 2456 looks to close offshore tax havens, reduce the cap on the corporate minimum tax for corporations that make over $100 million in annual Oregon sales and means test and reduce deductions and exemptions for individuals in highest-earning tax brackets. Or in short: do all the stuff that the House Republicans won't do--make those earning more sacrifice with the rest of us.

Another bill of note moving out of committee this week: HB 3436: This bill begins the process of helping improve retirement security for private sector workers. This will create a board to look at how to implement something similar to a 529 account for retirement, paving the way for low and middle income workers to plan and save for their own retirements. I've been pointing out all session how we can see the difference in values between the Dems & the GOP on a lot of these financial bills--here's another example of that.

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