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Oregon Trails

An Occasional Newsletter


The Association of Oregon Counties

Month, Year - Vol 1, Issue 1

Extra Innings?

Sine Die - Not This Week!

June 23, 2015

In This Issue
AOC Summer Summit
Governance & Marijuana
Transportation/Community & Economic Development
Public Safety
Health & Human Services
Energy, Environment & Land Use
AOC Summer Summit
Mike's Photo
NACo Annual Conference
CIS News
Join Our Mailing List!
Quick Links

Salem - At the beginning of this session, legislative leadership announced that the target sine die (end) of the session would be June 26...this Friday.  


Do not place your bet on that day. The feel of the Capitol is not full sprint, but rather a warm-up lap before the race officially begins. One likely reason is the behind-closed-doors negotiations on a transportation package, which will require a modification of the carbon fuel standards law the Democrats pushed through in the early days of the session. This was done despite Republican warnings that the Governor's signature on the bill amounted to a poison pen for transportation funding.   

Nevertheless, discussion began a few weeks ago among the Governor and her "Gang of Eight", who are currently at impasse but very close (we are told) to a deal. Complicating matters is a letter from 19 House Democrats to the Governor insisting that the new carbon fuel standards stay in place. Fingers crossed for a deal; Oregon needs it. We will have more on this important issue later in this edition of Oregon Trails.


Meanwhile, the Joint Ways & Means Committee and its array of subcommittees continue at a reasonable pace toward a completed biennial state budget. Your AOC policy managers will continue to push for appropriate recognition of the cost of the state-county shared-services system (walk the talk), and report their successes and occasional snubs in Oregon Trails.  


The more that county commissioners and judges stay ready to respond to requests from AOC policy staff to make particular immediate contacts to legislators, the fewer will be the snubs.


If this is similar to legislative sessions going back as long as we remember, a silent bell will ring having the Legislature take its mark, and a gun will fire for the long 400 meter dash home to sine die. Your AOC policy corps will be nearly full time in the statehouse during the sprint to attend the hearings and work sessions that will be called any time without notice.  


The week of June 29? Place your bets.  


Thank you.  


AOC Summer Summit - Get Your Room Booked Now!
Save the dates - August 9-10-11 for the AOC Summer Summit, to be held this year in Deschutes County at the Bend Riverhouse Conference Center.

Time to book your room! We will have complete room registration information later in this edition of Oregon Trails. Registration for the summit will be open next week as AOC puts the finishing touches on a new registration program. But there is more on the program in this edition of Oregon Trails.  

Shamless promotional teases? Oh yeah. But you will have to read the policy stuff to get to the Summit stuff and that's what it's all about (unless you think the hokey pokey is what it's all about).


House Bill 3400A, the omnibus marijuana legislation, is up for a vote in the House tomorrow, June 24, 2015. If successful, the bill will then head to the Senate and, if successful there, on to the Governor.


Tuesday morning, June 23, 2015, the Joint Marijuana Committee unanimously moved another bill, one of three remaining bills thought to be in play. The bill, which will become Senate Bill 844A when printed, consists of the Dash-36 amendment, providing for a research task force, the Dash-43 amendment, providing for early expunction of marijuana offenses for those who are under 21 and have fully complied with their court ordered obligations, and the Dash-46 amendment, making additional changes to what is allowed under the medical marijuana act as far as Alzheimer's patients and medical services in various care facilities.


Tuesday evening at 4:00 p.m., the Joint Marijuana Committee will hold a work session on the state point-of-sale retail tax, currently drafted at 17 percent to be roughly revenue neutral with the grower tax in Measure 91 that is being replaced. The latest iteration is the Dash-8 amendment to HB 2041.


This will leave only one significant issue to be resolved by the Joint Marijuana Committee this session, namely whether to allow early sales of retail marijuana through medical marijuana dispensaries. The latest iteration is the  Dash-2 amendment to SB 460, as well as Section 21a of the above mentioned Dash-8 amendment to HB 2041.


In a related matter, Tuesday morning the House Rules Committee moved forward with a consensus bill to deal with cross-pollination issues involving marijuana and industrial hemp. The Dash-13 amendment to House Bill 2668 was adopted unanimously, and the resulting bill, to be printed as HB 2668A, will move to the Joint Ways & Means Committee.


In the meantime, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) has announced a new campaign to educate Oregonians about what becomes legal on July 1 of this year. The website for that campaign can be found here. While recognizing the importance of educating Oregonians, AOC Legal Counsel Rob Bovett has shared some concerns with OLCC about some of the statements made in the campaign, which assume the passage of HB 3400A mentioned above. For example, if that bill is not passed and signed by the Governor prior to July 1, the campaign will actually advise some Oregonians that live within 1,000 feet of a school that they can do things that will still be a crime. As Mr. Bovett told OLCC, "advising folks that they can do something that is actually a Class A felony is probably not a very good idea." Hopefully, it all works out.


AOC Legal Counsel Rob Bovett is our resident expert on marijuana legislation.


Transportation/Community & Economic Development


Last Friday, June 19, The Oregonian reported that the "Gang of Eight," two legislators from each party in each chamber, and the Governor had reached a tentative agreement on a transportation package. The agreement reportedly includes just over $200 million raised through a 4 cent gas tax increase and DMV fee increases. The agreement would also repeal the recently passed Clean Fuels legislation and replace it with a new program that includes incentives to reduce carbon emissions by more than the original legislation.  

On Sunday, the Oregonian reported that the four "Gang of Eight" senators met with the Senate President and members of the Governor's staff to refine the tentative agreement. It is rumored that a bill will be forthcoming any moment now and action will be taken by the Senate before the end of this week. 


We will keep you posted with breaking news as it happens!


Community Development Workforce Investment Funding 

Last week, the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) budget bill, HB 5024, which is supported by AOC, passed out of the Ways and Means Education Sub-committee. Within the $2.2 billion HECC Budget, the sub-committee fully funded the Community College Workforce Development (CCWD) current service level at $10.9 million. This means the requested $15 million for youth workforce programs in policy option package (POP) 201, which AOC also supported, was not funded.


As of July 1, 2015, the bulk of federal funding for youth programming must be spent on out-of-school youth. The youth workforce programs included in the POP would have provided critical services to youth ages 14-24 who are in school. Whether in or out of school, youth need a first job experience, enabling them to become contributing members of our communities.


Although it is disappointing that the POP was not funded, there is work being done to pull together a proposal to specifically fund youth workforce investments in the "Christmas Tree" bill at the end of session. With a minimal $3 million investment, youth in all 36 counties could have access to summer job and internship programs. The Local Workforce Investment Boards and Oregon Youth Conservation Corps will match a state investment 1:1 at the local level. This small state investment would be leveraged into helping thousands of youth across the state get summer jobs, gaining essential work experience to prepare them for college and/or careers. Although the investment in youth will continue to be made at the local level, if the state does not contribute, it will lose the opportunity to leverage millions of dollars to support our youth.


Please contact your legislators, especially those who are members of the Ways and Means Committee, and express your support for the $3 million investment in our



On a related note, the Oregon Talent Council legislation, HB 2728A, recently passed out of the Ways and Means Education Sub-committee with the base current service level funding of $6.1 million. Although this falls significantly short of the $15 million in proposed funding, $6.1 million is the bare minimum that the Employment Department needs to establish the council. The bill is scheduled for a work session in the Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday, June 23rd. 


Oregon State Marine Board Funding 

HB 2459, which would modestly increase Oregon State Marine Board's (OSMB) registration and titling fees of boats, floating homes,and boathouses, has passed through both chambers and is on its way to the Governor for signature. 


OSMB provides support to counties through its Maintenance Assistance Program (MAP) for the upkeep, repair, and operations of boating facilities. In the 2013/15 biennium, 24 counties received over $1.13 million in MAP funds. In addition, OSMB granted nearly $1.25 million to 15 counties for capital improvement projects. All of these funds are critical to maintaining access points that are key to many local economies.


OSMB also provides funding for marine law enforcement at the state and county level, ensuring the safety of our boating citizens. In the 2013/15 biennium, county sheriffs received $14.1 million to provide this important public safety service. 


Kudos to the Oregon Parks Association and the Oregon State Sheriffs Association for their work getting this bill passed.   


AOC Policy Manager Mary Stern navigates transportation issues along with community and economic development.


Public Safety

$5 million in jail support funds for sheriffs in jeopardy

Jackson County Sheriff Corey Falls was at the capitol last week to ask Rep. Peter Buckley, D-Ashland, who is co-chair of the Joint Ways and Means Committee, to continue $5 million in jail support funds for Oregon sheriffs. The funds originated in the 2013 session with House Bill 3194, which implemented some sentencing changes and a justice reinvestment grant program for county reentry and recidivism reduction programs. 


In last week's Department of Corrections budget vote in the full Ways and Means Committee, the $5 million to sheriffs was taken out of the budget and redirected to the justice reinvestment fund. Sheriffs say that money needs to continue as a separate fund and currently goes to many strategic programs within the jail, including mental health and additions programs. The fund is also used for sanctions under the short term transitional leave program for offenders being released from prison early.


Currently, $33.7 million is scheduled to be allocated by the Legislature to counties for the justice reinvestment fund. AOC and public safety advocates continue to push the Legislature for more funds to expand successful programs that have been implemented by House Bill 3194. 


AOC Policy Manager Patrick Sieng keeps an eye on public safety issues and carries a badge.


Health and Human Services

There is more good news out of the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Services this week. 


The Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities budget was heard on Monday, and the 95 percent equity model was maintained as we transition from the caseload to workload model. This should mean that many of your Community Developmental Disabilities Programs (CDDP) will be able to add some much-needed staff. 


The full Oregon Health Authority/Department of Human Services (OHA/DHS) budget was passed out of the subcommittee Tuesday morning, and will be headed to the full committee which means we are close to closing out the health and human services pieces of this session. On the policy side, HB 3100, the public health modernization bill, passed off the House floor Monday morning 54-5. HB 2936, which would allow three counties to establish stand-alone sobering centers, passed out of the full Ways and Means Committee and should be headed to the House floor shortly. 


AOC Policy Manager Stacy Michaelson deals with health and human services issues.


Energy, Environment & Land Use

Ocean Renewable Energy Conference X

Co-Located with HydroVision International

Marine Renewable Energy: Charting the Path of Progress

July 14-17, 2015

Oregon Convention Center - Portland, OR


Registration is open for the tenth annual Ocean Renewable Energy Conference hosted by Oregon Wave Energy Trust!


This conference takes place July 14-17, 2015, at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Oregon. The OWET conference will be co-located this year with HydroVision International, the largest gathering of hydro professionals worldwide and one of the largest events scheduled in the city of Portland, Oregon, this year. PacifiCorp (a Berkshire Hathaway Energy Company) and Portland General Electric are the two official host utilities of the event. OWET is the official marine energy partner.


Building a new industry is hard work. It takes vision, creativity and staying the course. The Ocean Renewable Energy Conference, now in its tenth year, is the gathering place for world leaders deeply committed to moving this industry forward. This year the conference will focus on assessing where the industry is today and what it will take to go the distance.


Join community leaders, developers, utilities, state and federal regulators, and guests from around the world who are working together to create a national - and international - model for marine renewable energy development.


Register now


Natural Hazard Planning Bill Update

There has been a great deal of discussion about which natural hazard planning bill might be moving forward. From discussions in the capitol it seems that SB 94 is the preferred vehicle. AOC has been working with the League of Oregon Cities to amend the mandatory DLCD rule making to make it a planning exercise between local communities and DLCD with a report back in September 2016.


SageCon Update

On Tuesday,June 23, there will be a SageCon gathering in Bend to discuss the latest updates. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) and the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) will be discussing the state action plan and the new draft rules. 


Later the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will present and discuss their final Environmental Impact Statements. These proposed revisions to its land management plans in southeast Oregon are far-reaching, and are intended to protect sage grouse habitat as part of a national federal and western states' effort.  


AOC Policy Manager Mark Nystrom handles energy, environment & land use issues.



Two veterans policy bills are poised for final passage and are scheduled for floor votes in the Senate.

HB 2230 requires the Oregon Health Authority to notify the Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs at least once a month with the names and addresses of uniformed service members and veterans. This information can only be released with explicit consent of the veteran. It would allow the Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs to increase its ability to conduct outreach to veterans and to alert them to the array of federal benefits available, including disability, education, job training, housing and health care.


In 2012, HB 4064 was passed and directed the Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) to inquire about the veteran status of individuals seeking services, and with the veterans permission, share that information with ODVA. This idea was termed the "no wrong door" policy. It was followed by similar legislation in 2013 - HB 2421 and HB 2422: the former applied to the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT); the latter applied to the Department of Human Services (DHS). HB 2230 expands Oregon's "no wrong door" policy once again.


About 328,000 veterans currently reside in Oregon. The Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs (ODVA) estimates about 230,000 do not receive benefits, and of those, around 100,000 would qualify if they could be identified and contacted. HB 2230 passed out of the House on a unanimous vote in March and then was voted out of the Full Ways and Means Committee on June 19th. A final floor vote in the Senate is slated for Tuesday.  


HB 3479 establishes the position of Women Veterans Coordinator within ODVA. The position will be responsible for conducting outreach to women veterans and their families; developing and distributing informational materials regarding available benefits and resources; and sharing best practices with County Veteran Service Officers to help better meet the unique needs of the fastest growing population of veterans in Oregon. The bill also directs the ODVA to prepare and submit a report, no later than September 15, 2018, to the Legislative Assembly regarding the implementation and status of the position.


The bill passed out of the House on a unanimous vote on June 22nd and a final Senate vote is on track for later this week.


AOC Policy Manager Andrew Smith is in charge of the Veterans' portfolio. 


AOC Summer Summit

As we mentioned earlier in this riveting edition of Oregon Trails, the 2015 AOC Summer Summit will be held August 9 - 11 in Deschutes County at the Bend Riverhouse Hotel and Conference Center.


The 2015 theme and location was selected by AOC President Gary Thompson. The theme will be focused on communications:


Connect. Communicate. Collaborate.


The program is going to be first rate. And you need to book your room right now. The AOC room block expires July 10th, so act now!


For more information on booking a room and a look at the program, click  HERE. Registration for the Summit will be opening up soon. Watch your email for details.  


Contact Eric at AOC if you have any questions. If you have suggestions or concerns, contact Laura or McKenzie.  


Mike's Photo 

A sunset in Sherman County as captured by the camera of Mike McArthur, Sherman County resident and sunset expert.  
NACo Annual Conference
The Annual NACo Conference will take place July 10 - 13 in Meklenburg County/Charlotte, North Carolina.  If you are planning to attend, you need to submit your county's credentials to vote in the annual election of officers. It sounds like the race for 2nd VP is going to be very interesting. NACo would like all attending counties to submit their credential forms prior to the conference.

You can find the credentials packet and additional credential information on the NACo website.  
CIS Expands - Enhances Coverage for Counties

As a member-governed and owned organization, CIS is continuously looking for additional coverage to help meet counties' emerging needs. The CIS Board of Trustees recently authorized two important updates: Builders' Risk coverage has been added and Cyber Risk coverage has been expanded. Read more...

Please feel free to contact Laura Cleland or Eric Schmidt at AOC with any questions you might have about AOC. We will make sure you are connected to the right policy manager or member services manager. We are also looking for timely stories and photos that you might want to share with our newsletter list. Please let us know.  
Laura Cleland & Eric Schmidt

Association of Oregon Counties



Have a great week.