HB 2020, the Clean Energy Jobs Bill.
There is a lot to be said about this legislation, and the battle for it during the session. It was the center of controversy and scrutiny from both inside the Capitol and members of the public, and it became a central rallying point for industry and environmental advocates alike. The legislation would have put into place a carbon capping program that would have been one of the first in the country. But after passing the House floor with 6.5 hours of debate, and then the Senate walkout that followed, the Clean Energy Jobs bill was eventually retired for the session in the final days of the Legislative Assembly. Although this was a major loss, legislators and environmental advocates have expressed their lasting commitment to push for creation justice in future sessions.
Driver Licenses for All
, will eliminate the requirement that a person provide proof of legal presence before the Department of Transportation issues a noncommercial driver license, noncommercial driver permit or identification card. This legislation cleared both chambers, going 39-21 in the House and 17-10 in the Senate.
HB 2007, Retire & Retrofit Dirty Diesel,
prohibits titling of certain motor vehicles powered by certain model year diesel engines. It passed both chambers on a 44-15 vote in the House, and a 16-11 vote in the Senate.
Other major pieces of housing legislation passed this session.
, which passed in February, provides protections against spikes in rent increases and also protects renters from the threat of no-cause evictions. Another major success in housing was $50 million for emergency rent assistance and shelter through EHA/ SHAP included in
. Included in
is $150 million in general obligation bonds to build more affordable housing to rent and sell through the LIFT program.
SB 1008, Juvenile Justice
, benefits youth in Oregon’s judicial system. The reforms in SB 1008 include placing a youth accused of any crime in the juvenile justice system instead of the adult justice system. Secondly, the bill establishes a process in which all youth who are convicted in adult court have access to a “second look” hearing halfway through their sentence. This enables the judge to determine if the youth has taken responsibility for a crime and been rehabilitated. If so, the youth is allowed to serve the remainder of their sentence under community-based supervision. Third, it requires an additional review by a judge before a youth with a long prison sentence is transferred into an adult facility. Finally, SB 1008 eliminates life without parole sentences for youth.
Although it did not make it out of the Ways and Means Committee, advocates took one step closer to securing tuition relief for Compact of Free Association (COFA) Islanders this session.
would have qualified a student who legally entered United States under the COFA treaty for exemption from nonresident tuition and fees at public universities and is eligible to receive state and university scholarships or other financial aid.
Safe Gun Storage
was one of a number of gun safety legislation bills that were introduced in the 2019 Legislative Session. Although the bills had solid support from many legislators as well as from community members and advocacy organizations, supporters were not able to advance gun safety legislation this year. As this issue is of great importance to our communities around Oregon, we look forward to following and supporting future efforts for common sense gun safety.
EITC, HB 2164
, extends several tax credits scheduled to expire, including the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The bill also modestly increases the Oregon EITC, a tax credit that benefits one out of four children in Oregon. This bill cleared both chambers with wide margins of support, 47-12 in the House and 23-4 in the Senate.
Mortgage Interest Deduction (MID)
reform made progress in the capitol this session compared to the past year, but still did not pass.
proposed reforms to the costly, inequitable and ineffective housing subsidy. HB 3349 would have shifted $150 million from housing subsidies for Oregon’s richest households to investments in affordable home ownership and homeless services with an emphasis on families with children. It would have taken $150 million from the $1 billion MID and redirected it to affordable housing and homeless services for homeless youth and families. Although it did not make it to a floor vote this session, we look forward to contributing to efforts to see it passed in future sessions.