Oregon's Legislative Session starts this week!  

On Monday, February 5, Oregon legislators will gather in Salem for the beginning of the 2018 Legislative Session. This will be a "short" session that lasts only five weeks. Oregon holds short sessions on even-numbered years to adjust the budget partway through the biennium and to tackle a few key policy bills.

The short sessions move quickly. In fact, the first bill deadline is this Friday, February 9. If bills have not been scheduled for a work session in their originating chamber, they will not move further (they will "die"). The second deadline come Wednesday, February 15. If bills have not had a work session in their originating chamber, then they too will die. Note that these deadlines do not apply to Ways and Means, Rules or other Joint Committees.

This session also is unique because there are seven new legislators headed to Salem and only two of those have prior legislative experience. This is highly unusual!

This is a short 35-day session so there will be a lot happening very quickly.  The GO Project will help you to be informed and engaged throughout the session.
BUDGET RE-BALANCE
Oregon Health Plan  

As you may know, Oregon voters approved Measure 101 which was a health care tax that health insurance companies and select hospitals agreed to pay.  Oregonians voted to support a plan made in the 2017 legislative session to allow 350,000 low-income residents continued access to the Oregon Health Plan.  This is good news for thousands of children, seniors, people with disabilities and working families who rely on the Oregon Health Plan. There are, however still concerns with how recent federal tax changes will impact state revenue.     

BUDGET RE-BALANCE 
Developmental Disabilities Services  

This short session, the DD Coalition is closely watching the budget rebalance for the Department of Human Services' Office of Developmental Disability Services (ODDS). We are especially concerned about a threat to children's DD services caused by a budget note during the last legislative session.

The 2017 budget note directed ODDS to make a generic $12 million general fund cut to its budget. If ODDS cannot find the $12 million, then the budget note directs them to look at changing eligibility. The $12 million cut request was in addition to a $30 million general fund dollar reduction DD Services already took in the 2017-2019 biennium.

Along with a plan to cut as much of the $12 million as possible, ODDS has presented a plan to the legislature that will cap how many children can receive DD services - and gives legislators the option to start counting family income when looking at Intellectual and/or Developmental Disability eligibility. 

We are asking legislators to fully fund DD Services so children with disabilities can continue to access needed services at home and in the community.

On January 11th, the House Interim Committee on Human Services and Housing held an Informational Meeting regarding Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Eligibility and Services.  Click HERE for a GO! Project summary of this important hearing. 
    
ADVOCACY ACTION STEPS

  • Find your legislature at www.oregonlegislature.gov and get the current contact information for your State Representative and State Senator
  • Schedule a time to discuss DD Services funding in person, via phone or video conference with your two State legislators and/or their staff
  • Plan to participate in DD Advocacy Days (Details provided below)
 
DD ADVOCACY DAYS:
 
Please make plans to join us in advocacy during the 2018 Legislative Session
 
The Oregon Developmental Disability Coalition's GO! Project Advocacy Team will be available to provide you with information, training and support on the following dates and times:
 
Wednesday, February 14 10AM to 2PM
State Library of Oregon (directly across from Capitol)
250 Winter Street NE Salem, Room 102 & 103
Advocacy Training provided at 11AM
 
Tuesday, February 27 from 10AM to 2PM
State Library of Oregon (directly across from Capitol)
250 Winter Street NE Salem, Room 102 & 103
Advocacy Training provided at 11AM
 
Tuesday, March 6 from NOON to 2PM
Oregon State Capitol
900 Court Street NE Salem, Room 350
  • Schedule visits with your legislators on these dates
  • Wear something yellow to show unity in advocacy
  • Stop by before and after your visits for important advocacy updates!      
BILLS TO WATCH 

For information about these and other bills the DD Coalition has selected that may impact the lives of people experiencing intellectual or developmental disabilities and their families, please reference our Bill Tracking Report. There are several bills of note that have hearings this week, including:

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

8:00 AM / HR E House Human Services and Housing Committee:
  • Public Hearing and Possible Work Session on HB 4007 Permits individual to create first-time home buyer savings account with financial institution to pay or reimburse account holder's eligible costs for first-time purchase of single family residence.
  • Public Hearing and Possible Work Session on HJR 201 Proposes amendment to Oregon Constitution to allow municipal corporations to use certain bonded indebtedness to finance capital costs of affordable housing, with certain limitations.
1:00 PM / HR B Senate Human Services Committee:
  • Public Hearing and Possible Work Session on SB 1540 Modifies definition of child abuse for purpose of mandatory reporting.
  • Public Hearing and Work Session on SB 1526 Prohibits court from considering parent's disability in determining whether to terminate parental rights absent finding that behaviors or limitations related to parent's disability will endanger health, safety or welfare of child or ward even when accommodations or support services are in place.
3:00 PM / HR A - Senate Workforce Committee: 
Public Hearing on SB 1534 Requires Department of Human Services to establish minimum training standards for home care workers and personal support workers and to provide training.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

1:00 PM / HR C - Senate Education: 
Public Hearing and Possible Work Session on SB 1522 Modifies requirements imposed on school districts for persons receiving special education who have received modified diploma.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

1:00 PM / HR A - House Committee on Revenue: 
Public Hearing on HB 4108 Allows credit against net income taxes for portion of eligible costs of newly constructed single-family dwelling that sells for price affordable to household with annual income at or below 120 percent of area median income.

1:00 PM / HR D - House Early Learning and Family Supports: 
Public Hearing and Possible Work Session on HB 4067 Expands definition of term "child with a disability" for purposes of special education to include children who have developmental delays and who are under 10 years of age.

3:00 PM / HR D - House Committee on Higher Education and Workforce Development: 
Public Hearing and Possible Work Session on HB 4041 Establishes Task Force on Workforce Development for People with Disabilities


To follow the action at the Capitol this session, use the search feature on the Oregon State Legislature's website to see what bills are being proposed by typing in keywords about issues of importance to you.
 
You can watch live video or listen to audio of the Senate and House chamber sessions and Committee hearings online through the Oregon State Legislature's website
 
Now Let's Get Ready...and GO!


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