June 2nd State Legislative Update Impacting Business

 

 

 

Notes from 6-2-17 State Legislative Update from Oregon State Chamber of Commerce Conference Call with our Lobbyist. – Click the bill hyperlink to go to the bill details on the OLIS website.

I. Update on Major 2017 Session Themes
a. What's happening on transportation?
b. What's happening on spending reforms? -not enough votes for this by July 10th deadline

  • Legislature will be revealing a spending reform package in the next week or so, regardless of revenue generation. 
  • Lot of questions about what will happen with PERS.  There will be a significant PERS bill that will be introduced before session end.  This will go nowhere unless business agrees to a certain level of tax increases.

c. What's happening on revenue/taxes increases? – Don’t think enough votes for this by July 10th deadline

  • Brighter Oregon testified to the Joint House and Senate Budget Committee came out in opposition to a gross receipts tax, but OK with an increase in corporate income tax if the legislature balanced the budget without income increases.  Did not go over well with portions of the committee
  • Think passing a balanced budget is not likely. 
  • Our Oregon has proposed a new ballot measures similar to Measure 97, with a lower gross receipts tax rate and expanding the level of income and type of company, down to likely $5M in gross revenue.  Saber rattling to get this on the ballot.

d. Healthcare provider taxes – see below

  • Tax increase update – Do not see a path in the legislature to raise taxes of any sort, other than those the healthcare committee has volunteered to levy on itself.  Hospitals have agreed to raise their tax from 5.3% to 6% and rural hospitals have agreed to bring themselves in under this structure to meet Medicaid shortfalls.

II. Major OSCC Bills - Where they stand.

Labor:

SB 828 would implement predictive scheduling for retail, food service, hospitality businesses.

  • This issue is getting whittled down to a very base level bill with a very narrow application with current amendments Only applies to companies with 500 or more employees, any franchise businesses will not be under the auspices of the bill unless single owner has over 500 employees, also must be 500 or more food service or retail employees.  Think the 14 day advance scheduling may be dropping to 7 days.  If business agrees to this, they would get a local government preemption which would disallow cities trying to implement something more restrictive. When terms of bill become more solidified need to determine if business can live with this bill.  Think seasonal employees would be discounted from the bill.

SB 984 fixes BOLI's bad interpretation on daily/weekly overtime pay.

  • Hung up in the house, unless we support additions from the AFL-CIO including capping work week at 60 hours.  This stipulation impacts manufacturers and seasonal food production.  Business has indicated no intention of supporting bill if this is included.  Trying to negotiate the 60 hour work week out of the bill.  In negotiations with unions at this point.  Have votes to block it, but if this limit increases may lose votes.  Our Oregon State Chamber lobbyist needs feedback on businesses that will have an issue with the 60 hour/week cap.

HB 2856 - Union Organizing & Sick Leave Penalties

HB 3458 - New overtime bill with AFL-CIO provisions

  • Hung up in the house, unless we support additions from the AFL-CIO including capping work week at 60 hours.  This stipulation impacts manufacturers and seasonal food production.  Business has indicated no intention of supporting bill if this is included.  Trying to negotiate the 60 hour work week out of the bill.  In negotiations with unions at this point.  Have votes to block it, but if this limit increases may lose votes.  Our Oregon State Chamber lobbyist needs feedback on businesses that will have an issue with the 60 hour/week cap.

Environment Regulation:

HB 2269 increases DEQ fees to fund the new DEQ 'Cleaner Air Oregon' regulatory scheme. 

SB 1008 - Diesel engine regulations

Tourism:

HB 2064 could be amended to allow local government more latitude to spend TRT money on 'tourism-related' projects not related directly to tourism promotion. 

  • This chips away at the 2003 law, this bill is in flux at this point.  Don’t see a clear pathway forward for this bill.

Liability:

HB 2807 (formerly SB 737), which would eliminate the $500k cap on non-economic damages in civil lawsuits, defeated on Senate floor but sent back to Senate Rules Committee to be kept alive.  

  • Impacts healthcare community, negligence and personal injury includes pain and suffering, etc. Impacts liability insurance rates and overall costs.  Affects general commercial liability policies.

Taxes:

HB 2019 would enact a corporate tax disclosure scheme for businesses that claim tax credits.