Monday was the last day a bill could be scheduled for its 1st work session. This meant that if a bill wasn’t scheduled by Monday it is considered “dead;” unless the bill was referred to Ways and Means or a Rules committee. OSA was ahead of this deadline and all the bills we care about have been scheduled for a work session. There were some bills that made the deadline that we wished died but we will just have to keep up our lobbying against those policies.
The next deadline is that any bill that has a chance of living needs to be voted out of their 1st committee by April 18th. The 10 days between these 2 deadlines make Salem pretty hectic. Students have to stay focused on the issues we prioritize and keep our bills alive.
Budget work is really starting to heat up. The Ways and Means Co-chairs’ budget includes a couple hundred million in revenue creation. That means in order to retain the bad budget numbers we currently have we have to see some revenue changes in Oregon. Speaker Kotek’s office and Representative Barnhart put out a revenue package that would create $275 million. Students are support of revenue creation so here is what this package does.
- Phase-out Oregon deductions for high income filers; single filers of $125,00 and joint filers of $250,000.
- Eliminate personal exemption credit for high income filers; single filers of $125,00 and joint filers of $250,000.
- Apply corporate minimum tax of 0.1% to Oregon sales above $100 million.
- Include corporate income reported in tax haven jurisdictions to the water’s edge definition of U.S income for purposes of apportioning income to Oregon.
- Further description: Require those corporations that are part of a consolidated filing group that have headquarters located in a tax haven to report income from those locations on their Oregon tax return. Then apply Oregon’s sales factor to apportion income back to Oregon. Proposed statute patterned after Montana’s tax haven provision established in 2003.
Outside of the budget students had another victory this week. HB 2611 passed off the House Floor 46-12-2. This bill calls for all healthcare professionals to have access to optional cultural competency trainings through their licensing boards. The licensing board will then track who takes the trainings and works to hold workers accountable. College campuses will also provide these trainings to their healthcare workers. Healthy students are more likely to complete their degree and get through on time. Now HB 2611 is on to the Senate!
The House higher education committee chose not to change the rights of security officers on community college or OHSU’s campus (HB 3114) after a heated public hearing on Monday. The other higher education gun bill that died was a bill that would have allowed for a concealed weapon’s carry on college campuses (HB 3009). The legislature chose not to move that bill forward.
Finally, a big highlight of the week was a bill that brought over 500 supporters to the state capital. So far that’s the most of any issue this session. The “Safe Roads Act” would allow all people regardless of documentation status to apply for a driver’s license in the State of Oregon. OSA does not have a position on this bill, but we will be watching the organizing work to see if we can garner any tips.