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Oregon lawmakers began their legislative session with an ambitious policy agenda. Democrats, who have controlled the state legislature for nearly a decade, introduced policy proposals that would have instituted a cap-and trade program, Medicaid and campaign finance reforms, and a constitutional amendment mandating universal healthcare.
Despite the ambitious agenda, the legislature was in a race against the clock to meet the deadlines of session. Lawmakers began convening in even-numbered years only recently. The first several short sessions held high-profile and controversial debates regarding land use, raising the minimum wage and a moratorium on coal-powered energy.
None legislative committees and bill reporting options trading those debates addressed an issue of statewide emergency; instead, these debates were all politics for the campaign cycle.
After a series of policy mishaps in previous short sessions, the Senate instituted a rule of one bill per member. The House followed suit, but with a limit of two bills per member. These limits significantly reduced the amount of legislation flowing through the process but still resulted in an legislative committees and bill reporting options trading of legislation in the House Chamber, continuing the legislative committees and bill reporting options trading nature of campaign-style politics.
Multiple times this session, leadership found itself trading rather innocuous measures to appease their constituencies. For instance, a proposal to clarify the players of the Portland Winterhawks legislative committees and bill reporting options trading team were amateur athletes and not employees was trounced by leadership to appease teachers unions who had lost support for an unrelated measure incorporating class sizes into contract negotiations.
These trades became frequent in the waning days of session and resulted in the demise of many active negotiations. Oregon relies on the rules found in federal tax law for the starting point of its own legislative committees and bill reporting options trading system to simplify compliance. Democrats, citing budget concerns, elected to disallow the deduction without a single Republican vote. The controversial nature of the vote, and taxes in general, has resulted in threats of lawsuits from Republicans and affected businesses.
Despite the ambitious agenda set out at the beginning of session, by and large, most controversial measures were stopped by Senate leadership.
Rather than create party fights, the Senate leaders produced rational compromises to gain bipartisan support when possible. Most controversial measures were pushed off to an interim legislative committees and bill reporting options trading to sort out the details in advance of the session. As session waned and the most contentious bills were tabled, the attention of the legislature appeared to shift toward the intended purpose of the short sessions: This provided significant ease for the lawmakers responsible for balancing the budget and even allowed them to make modest investments in public facilities and services.
Notwithstanding the expected campaign-style politics, it appears the legislature is beginning to learn how to run itself during short sessions. Many political insiders anticipated the session would run until the last possible minute before the required adjournment. Instead, the legislature ended eight days early while leaving many of the unresolved issues for a future session. It established requirements for production contracts and purchase contracts for seed other than agricultural legislative committees and bill reporting options trading.
Anna Scharf testified, explaining the history of the bill and the lawsuit brought by the bank against growers of proprietary seeds seeking seed as collateral on a defaulted loan. She testified that a bill brought to protect grass seeds inHBestablished financial assurance for grass seed growers in statute but did not include specialty seeds. Although they continued to be worked in hopes of moving the ball forward beforeboth bills were considered dead from the start by leadership offices on both sides of the building.
Unfortunately, there were not a lot of detail about which industries this bill would have affected because the bill did not provide those details. DEQ issues classifications for air quality by rule, so any changes to classifications would have happened by rule. This bill simply allowed them to establish a fee based on a complicated national algorithm to assess on certain industries — to be determined through rule. The bill was complex and was subsequently sent to the Rules committee where it died but we may see it again in amended form in We were monitoring this for its affect on fertilizers, but the bill remained specific to household products, not industrial use.
After weeks of warring over the contentious fights of session, legislative leadership from both parties have reached an agreement for adjournment. There will be a lull in activity while staff prepares the final budget paperwork for the bills to be voted on the floor. Meanwhile, the floors of both chambers are expected to be active all day today and tomorrow to pass the final bills of session.
Among these bills is the controversial proposal to disallow a new income tax legislative committees and bill reporting options trading created by the federal government during the recent overhaul. We will have a more thorough report for you covering all the legislative activity next week. Today, state economists released their latest economic forecast before a joint meeting of the legislative revenue committees. These meeting are frequently coveted as a turning point in the legislative session because they are the only time state lawmakers are briefed on the current condition of the economy and the tax projections for the budget cycle.
The report today comes with added emphasis because of the sweeping changes recently made to the federal tax code by President Trump and Congress, rewriting the rules that affect all individuals and businesses in all industries.
States rely, to varying degrees, on these federal rules for defining the starting points of their own tax systems; therefore, changes in the rules generally have a direct impact on state tax collections. Oregon is among the few states relying on nearly all these rules, meaning most changes will have a disproportionate impact on tax collections compared to your average state.
As many anticipated, Oregon will see a decline in tax collections as a result of the new federal tax law. There is important context behind this figure to keep in mind. The revenue forecast is based on current law, meaning that any changes currently under consideration in the legislature are not included in the forecast. The revenue committees are considering proposals to address quirks in the state tax treatment of the multinational businesses being taxed on money being brought back to the U.
These legislative committees and bill reporting options trading would significantly change the overall budget impact of the new federal tax law by effectively raising state taxes on those groups. Overall, state economists are expecting the economy to legislative committees and bill reporting options trading firing on all cylinders. Many of the provisions in the new federal tax law will have a stimulating effect on the economy.
There are some legislators who have raised concerns about the benefits of the tax relief provisions being used primarily for dividends to shareholders and stock buybacks. State economists acknowledged such activity is likely to a degree but also asserted it would create taxable wealth in the economy. Lawmakers have been anticipating the negative impact on state tax collections from the new federal tax law and have been hard at work during the first two weeks of the legislative sessions devising their response.
Thus far, only the proposal addressing the technical quirk concerning the new repatriation tax has progressed in the legislative process. Now, with the information released today, lawmakers legislative committees and bill reporting options trading begin the heavy lifting of adopting changes to the state tax code to address the new federal tax system. Besides the economic forecast, the biggest development in the building this week was the passage of the first official deadline of session.
The deadlines are self-imposed by the legislature in order to focus on passable priorities. The controversial cap-and-trade measures introduced at the beginning of the session were approved by their respective policy committees. However, the measures were referred moved to the rules committee rather than moving through the traditional legislative process. Democrats asserted the policy framework was incomplete and needed additional guardrails before it could become law.
Nevertheless, the proposal will remain in play for the remainder of the session and may return if Democrats are able to muster the votes needed from their caucuses. Applying pressure to this one issue will all but surely come at a political cost for the issues the legislature needs to address before adjournment, such as updating the tax code and passing a budget.
The primary issue the legislature said it would use these sessions for is to recalibrate the state budget to improve budget accuracy and prevent unanticipated deficits. Oddly enough, the legislature has focused nearly all of its attention on partisan campaign priorities and very little on the state budget. This will change in the coming week, but the hyper-partisan proposals moving through the legislative legislative committees and bill reporting options trading are anticipated to create a rapid-pace and high-stakes confrontation over party priorities and the will of the voters.
Bill Post R-Keizer carried the bill on the floor, giving a brief speech on how successful the program has been for grass seed farmers. No one else spoke on the floor and the bill passed with 59 yes votes, with Rep. Bill Kennemer R-Oregon City excused. The bill has been scheduled for a public hearing and possible work session on Monday, February 19, in the Senate Business and Transportation Committee.
It also adds compliance with Oregon Building Codes Division and states contractors must demonstrate a history of compliance with federal and state wage and hour laws.
Herman Baertschiger R-Grants Pass questioned what would happen if a new contractor bids and if it would preclude nonunion entities. Deputy McGee said she would research the nonunion aspect and look into statutes to be sure the language would not preclude new entities. Cliff Bentz R-Ontario raised concerns that the bill could bring undue impacts to the recently passed transportation package. Chair Michael Dembrow D-Portland reminded the committee that the emergency clause was removed so the bill could potentially be referred to the voters.
When pressed on how much the bill would cost, Chair Dembrow said the cost will be known more after the revenue forecast. Arnie Roblan D-Coos Bay.
Bentz said he would not support the amendments due to the parallel situation with the transportation bill. The transportation bill was passed after a bipartisan group met around the state for six months.
Support of the public was received for the transportation bill even with an increase in the state gas tax. Bentz said this bill has not been presented to nor has the support of the people.
Chair Dembrow disagreed, adding that over the last year, a very public process had taken place. Co-Chair Alan Legislative committees and bill reporting options trading R-Canby said he cannot support any bill that will mean job losses from businesses that the state considers good employers, even though the highest polluters have started reducing their pollution. Roblan reminded the committee that they were voting on the -4 amendments and not the bill. The -4 amendments were adopted along party lines, with the Republicans voting no.
The bill is expected to have a work session this week. On Wednesday, February 14, Sen. Roblan moved to send the bill to the Senate Rules Committee for policy changes, with a subsequent referral to Ways and Means. As with SBthe House version of the cap-and-trade bill was also sent to its corresponding Rules Committee this week. Chair Ken Helm D-Washington County decided to move the bill forward without adoption of the amendments.
The bill moved on a party-line vote. Industrial Air Toxics Program sent to Rules for further discussion. HB received a public hearing on Monday, February 12, before being sent to the Rules Committee on a party-line vote. The House Energy and Environment Committee heard testimony on the program from the Department of Environmental Quality director, Richard Whitman, who explained that the proposal would require companies that are over certain health risk levels to install best available toxic control technology.
This would necessitate an analysis across the country of the best emission control strategies, which businesses would be required to install. The committee also received a multitude of testimony from concerned residents and environmental advocates. The bill affects about 17, products that could be flammable, covering everything from aerosol spray cans to bags of fertilizer.
It is specific to household products. The bill was scheduled late Tuesday night and received less than legislative committees and bill reporting options trading minutes of testimony. HB received support from several environmental interest groups and local governments, and opposition from Oregon Business and Industry OBI.
It was voted out of committee less than 24 hours from its posting on almost a party-line vote, receiving support from one Republican, Rep.