Pace Picks Up as Major Deadline Approaches
April 7 is the deadline for most legislative committees to schedule work sessions on bills in their first chamber. In other words - a house bill still in the House of Representatives must be scheduled for a work session by the house committee of jurisdiction by April 7. The work session itself must be held by April 18. No scheduled work session on a bill by... read more
Policy Updates
Unfunded Mandates Update - March 27
As is often the case in times of difficult budgets, there have been efforts to impose or expand unfunded mandates on local governments, including counties. AOC has been monitoring those items of legislation, and reminding the legislature of limits the Oregon Constitution places on unfunded... read more

Recreational Immunity Update - March 27
In light of the recent decision of the Oregon Supreme Court decision in *Johnson v Gibson," 358 OR 624 (March 3, 2016), which held that agents and employees of landowners are not covered by the recreational immunity statute, thus virtually eviscerating the statute, numerous bills were... read more
PERS Update - March 27
The Senate Workforce Committee wrapped up hearings on the various proposals to reform the Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) yet again, with an eye toward reducing some of the $22 billion in Unfunded Actuarial Liability (UAL) that is anticipated to drive public employer PERS rates... read more
Ocean and Coastal Policy Update - March 27
On Monday, March 27, 2017, the Senate Business and Transportation Committee held a public hearing on  Senate Bill 867, which would establish a task force to study the maritime sector in Oregon for workforce development purposes. The bill, crafted by AOC for the Oregon... read more
Marijuana Integration Bill
There is a lot of support for consolidating the licensing of marijuana businesses into one state agency. It seems like a simple concept, but the devil has been in the details. Referred to as the "integration" bill, there are too many visions at present to reach a consensus. So the  Joint Marijuana Committee is... read more
Rewriting the Marijuana Offense Code
A small work group representing a diverse set of interests worked during the last interim on legislation to remove marijuana from the state Controlled Substances Act (CSA), and completely rewrite the marijuana offense code, as well as clean up and harmonize the Minor In Possession (MIP) statutes... read more
Bill is Good Fit for AOC Goal
Senate Bill 311 directly addresses an AOC goal of facilitating communities' preparations for catastrophic events.  The bill would authorize a city or county to adopt an ordinance or resolution providing a property tax exemption to commercial, industrial, and multifamily buildings that have been... read more
Energy, Environment and Land Use Update - March 24
On Wednesday, March 22nd the second work group considering the issues of tiny houses and small, mobile houses was held in the capitol. Hosted by Representative Janelle Bynum and Representative Greg Barretto, the group is attempting to resolve two issues: what to do with tiny houses that are... read more
Health and Human Services Update - March 24
The week of March 20th saw continued discussions over tobacco, nicotine, and marijuana.  On March 21st, the House Revenue Committee held a public hearing on  House Bill 3178 , which would impose a tax on the wholesale price of e-cigarettes and vape pens. AOC joined proponents from Oregon Coalition... read more
Amended Senate Bill Causes Concerns
Senate Bill 118  was heard, along with proposed amendments, on March 21 by  the Senate Finance & Revenue Committee. SB 118-1 would exclude from full or  partial exemptions or special assessments related to enterprise zones or  strategic investment programs, property taxes imposed by school districts... read more
Community and Economic Development Update - March 24
This week marks the end of month two of the 2017 Legislative Session. The first public hearing on the 'Rural SIP' bill was Monday ( Senate Bill 936) in Senate Business and Transportation.  Click here to view the AOC amendments.  In the same committee  Senate Bill 867  relating to Maritime Sector... read more
Public Records Update - March 27
On March 22, 2017, the Senate General Government and Accountability Committee conducted its second public hearing on legislation proposed by the Attorney General to establish timelines on responses to public record requests, and legislation proposed by the Governor to establish a public records... read more
AOC President Bill Hall and Marion County Sheriff Jason Myers testified  March 23 to the Joint Ways and Means Subcommittee on Public Safety during  the Department of Corrections (DOC) budget presentations. The corrections  department budget contains community corrections grant-in-aid funding, which... read more

Framework for Health-Based Air Toxics Standards
State officials released a set of proposed options, or  framework for revamping industrial air toxics regulations in Oregon. The draft framework outlines key decisions that will shape the state's proposed rules for Cleaner Air Oregon--a program designed to protect the health of neighbors living... read more
AOC Attends Work Session in Curry County
On March 22, AOC Executive Director Mike McArthur attended a work session of the Curry County Board of Commissioners. The Board received a report from the Citizens Budget Advisory Committee of Curry County. The Board also received a report from the county Finance Director with recommendations... read more
AOC Attends Work Session in Jackson County
On March 21st, AOC Executive Director Mike McArthur attended the work session of the Jackson County Board of Commissioners. McArthur discussed with the Board of Commissioners strategies for participating with other counties in AOC activities. Commissioner Dyer is a member of the AOC Board... read more
What Does the Federal Budget Mean to Oregon?
Apart from health care, it still means a lot!  Here are a few key points:  The federal "match rate" - As long as Oregon commits to spending its own resources on certain... read more
Meyer Memorial Trust Healthy Environment Annual Funding Opportunity
Meyer invites proposals that will further their vision of nurturing a resilient natural environment, while simultaneously supporting the well-being of Oregon's diverse cultures and...
read more
Lincoln County Selected to Receive Funding for Sequential Intercept Mapping
Lincoln County's effort to reduce the number of people with mental illness in the criminal justice system has received a major boost. The County is one of just seven jurisdictions... read more
RARE Program Seeks Community Applications
Are you interested in community building, natural resources, food security, natural hazard planning, economic development or land use planning? Does your... read more
For a complete list of news and information visit
AOC C3 Summit - Connect. Communicate. Collaborate.
May 9, 2017 | Salem, Oregon | REGISTER

The 2017 AOC C3 Summit will focus on initiatives, policies and efforts around building stronger collaboration between the public safety and behavioral health systems, encompassing everything from treatment capacity, diversion and transition programs to supportive housing. Through the Stepping Up Initiative - a national effort to reduce the number of people in the criminal justice system due to mental illness - Oregon counties are working to improve public safety, reduce costs and help put people on the path to recovery.
Rural Oregon Day at the Capitol
April 4, 2017 | Oregon State Capitol | 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. | REGISTER

Join statewide elected leaders, legislators, rural advocates, and others for a day to celebrate Rural Oregon. Morning refreshments and lunch provided to those who register. 
2017 Forum on Aging in Rural Oregon
April 20-21, 2017 | Best Western Hood River Inn | REGISTER

The Oregon Office of Rural Health believes that rural Oregon communities have the potential to be ideal places to age. This event will provide a forum where people can gather to talk about their experiences, give birth to new ideas, and receive the inspiration and other resources to create their own successes... learn more
OCZMA Membership Meeting
May 22, 2017 | 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. | Oregon State Capitol | REGISTER

The Oregon Coastal Zone Management Association (OCZMA) will be holding a membership meeting on May 22, 2017 at the Oregon State Capitol to discuss policy issues, meet with legislators, and to conduct association business. Lunch available to those who register. 
For a complete list of events visit
NACo News
NACo 2017 Western Interstate Region (WIR) Conference
The NACo Western Interstate Region (WIR) Conference is hosted each year by a county within the fifteen Western states -- Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawai'i, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.  The conference brings together county officials not only from these... read more
Major Changes for Counties Under Trump Budget
If enacted by Congress, President Donald Trump's proposed $1.1 trillion FY18 budget would significantly impact the nation's counties. Trump's proposal, called the "skinny"... read more
Forest Counties Brace for Cuts Due to Congressional Inaction
Forest counties are bracing for drastic budget cuts, as revenue-sharing payments derived from federal forest lands currently being distributed are reduced by more than 80... read more
REPORT: Medicaid Coverage and County Jails
The National Association of Counties (NACo) recently released a report titled " Medicaid Coverage and County Jails." Medicaid is a  federal entitlement program... read more
WEBINAR: Converting Paved Roads to Unpaved Roads
The National Center for Rural Road Safety's webinar, April 4, will provide an overview of best practices for converting paved roads to unpaved roads... read more
GRANT OPPORTUNITY: Cultivating Healthy Communities Grant 
Grant requests can range between $50,000 and $100,000 for projects that increase opportunities for low-income, minority communities to make healthy choices in the places they live, work, learn and play. Stage 1 of this opportunity involves a short application due April 14 at 3 p.m. ET. Aetna Foundation will invite selected applicants to submit a full Stage 2 application. Visit the website for the RFP and additional information.
For more information on NACo news visit
Partner Spotlight
Live Healthy U.S. Counties -  More than $600 million in residents' savings!
The NACo Prescription - Health - Dental Discount Program provides relief to uninsured and underinsured Americans who face high prescription, health and dental costs. The program is free to NACo member counties and it has been offering real savings to county residents across the country since 2004. The program, which is administered by CVS Caremark, includes discounts on prescriptions, vision care, LASIK & PRK vision procedures, hearing aids & screenings, prepaid lab work, prepaid diagnostic imaging, diabetic supplies... read more
The Last Word
Q: What goes up when the rain goes down? A: Umbrellas

As always, please feel free to submit your story ideas, announcements, recipes, events, photos and job changes to your  Oregon  Trails  staff for inclusion in the next riveting edition. 
Your  Oregon Trails staff,
Laura Cleland & Mckenzie Farrell
Association of  Oregon  Counties

Representing Oregon counties since 1906, the Association of Oregon Counties unites counties to advocate, communicate, and educate through information sharing and consensus development.