April 3, 2017
This past week...
The first major deadlines of the session are here. April 7th is the final day for a bill to be scheduled for a work session in the chamber of origin, followed by April 18, which is the final day to actual hold those hearings. Bills not heard or moved to the second chamber by then are dead for this session. This deadline does not apply to bills that are currently in Ways & Means or a Ways & Means Subcommittee, Revenue or Rules Committee.
Both revenue and budgets are still moving slowly as leadership works to figure out what roles revenue increases and budget cuts will have in addressing the $1.6 billion budget shortfall. A revenue proposal is rumored to be planned for initial release in mid-to-late April (see below about business taxes), and the next quarterly revenue report (due out May 16) will begin the serious budget discussions.
To patch together the next state budget without making $1 billion or more worth of cuts to programs, key Oregon lawmakers are strongly considering raising business taxes - not by raising corporate tax rates, but by finding a whole new way to tax businesses. Lawmakers on state revenue committees are considering a tax on businesses' total receipts, not just their profits, as an alternative. Three other states, Washington, Ohio and Texas - already use this approach, and Oregon policymakers think they might be able to borrow the best ideas from one or more of those states' playbooks. A bipartisan group of lawmakers from both chambers are working to hammer out a proposal that may have potential to pass. The plan is to release the tax reform plan in mid- to late-April to a joint committee of legislators along with series of public hearings.
House Bill 2004, lifting the state ban on local rent control measures, narrowly passed out of the House Human Services and Housing committee Thursday in a party-line vote. The bill was amended in order to pass it. If enacted, the bill would largely end the practice of no-cause eviction for long-term tenants.
This past Tuesday marked the 20th anniversary of milk being designated as our state’s beverage. And the Marionberry Pie was under consideration as the official pie for the state of Oregon.
Hearings this week
As the deadline quickly approaches for bills to be scheduled for work session, the hearings calendar is filling rapidly. Of interest to advocates:
Monday, April 3
SB 1027. Prohibits DHS and OHA from seeking payment from amounts in the ABLE account. Public hearing and possible work session. Senate Human Services.
SB 828. Requires employer to pay employee equivalent of at least four hours if employee is scheduled or called into to wrk but due to employer does not work entire shift. Public hearing. Senate Work Force.
Tuesday, April 4
HB 2210. Directs Housing and Community Services to develop and implement Retaining Affordable Rental Housing Program to provide grants to owners of multifamily rental housing to rehabilitate and maintain housing at affordable rental rates. Work Session. House Human Services.
HB 2008. Requires landlord of manufactured dwelling park to pay tenant necessary relocation costs or applicable manufactured dwelling park closure penalty as determined by Office of Manufactured Dwelling Park Community Relations upon closer of park to convert to other use. Public Hearing. House Human Services.
SB 233. Requires OHA to make publicly available specified information regarding administration of medical assistance and payments to coordinated care organizations. Public Hearing. Senate Health Care.
Thursday, April 6
HB 3063. Establishes Mental Health Housing Fund and appropriates money too OHA and requires authority to seek out and apply for additional moneys for fund to pay for construction and start up costs housing for individuals with mental illness. Public hearing and possible work session. House Human Services.
HB 3359. Creates Dementia Community Assistance Program in DHS to provide grants to community organizations providing assistance and training to individuals who care for persons with dementia who live at home. Public Hearing. House Human Services.
HB 3132. Establishes Veterans Services Fund pursuant to constitutional amendment approved in Ballot Measure 96. Public Hearing and Possible Work Session. House Veterans.
Please note if you need ADA accommodation for attendance at hearings in the capitol, please contact email@example.com
or by calling 1-800-332-2313 at least 72 hours prior to the meeting time.
You can access Committee Agendas online at: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/LIZ/Committees/Meeting/List.
Please do not hesitate to contact O4AD with questions regarding Committees and Hearings.
You can also access O4AD's most current bill tracking report HERE.
Did you Take 5 for OPI?
As the budget process continues, we cannot let our advocacy on Oregon Project Independence let up. Legislators need to keep hearing about the critical importance of this program and the absolute need to protect current funding levels for the 2017-19 biennium to help insure independence, dignity and choice for our older adults and people with disabilities.
Can you Take 5 for OPI this week?:
1. Take 5 minutes this week
2. Take a look at O4AD's OPI materials - one pager HERE and OPI overview HERE.
3. Make a quick phone call or write a quick email to members of the Human Services Subcommittee of Ways & Means to ask for their support in protecting funding for the OPI program serving seniors and the OPI pilot program serving people with Disabilities. You can access contact information below.
We are asking for:
Protection of funding in OPI for Seniors at $21 million. This is flat funding for the 17-19 biennium. This will not address the waiting list for this program but will allow the program to move forward into the next biennium.
Protection of funding in OPI for the People with Disabilities Pilot Project at $6 million. This pilot project has allowed individuals with physical disabilities to access OPI for the first time in the program's history. $6 million would be flat funding for this program which would not allow for statewide expansion of the program but would protect the current pilot operating in five areas around the state and those served.
Ways & Means Human Services Subcommittee
Senator Elizabeth Steiner Hayward - Co Chair. (Multnomah County/NW Portland). firstname.lastname@example.org Phone 503-986-1717
Representative Dan Rayfield - Co Chair. (Benton County/Corvallis). email@example.com. Phone 503-986-1416.
Senator Sara Gelser (Linn & Benton Counties/Corvallis, Albany, Tangent, Philomath, Millersburg, unincorporated parts of Linn & Benton Counties). firstname.lastname@example.org Phone 503-986-1708
Senator Jackie Winters (Marion County/Salem). email@example.com Phone 503-986-1710
Representative Teresa Alonso Leon (Marion County/Woodburn). firstname.lastname@example.org. Phone 503-986-1422
Representative Knute Buehler (Deschuhtes County/Bend). email@example.com. Phone 503-986-1454
Representative Cedric Hayden (Lane, Douglas Counties/Roseburg, Cottage Grove). firstname.lastname@example.org. Phone 503-986-1407
Representative Sheri Malstrom (Washington & Multnomah Counties/SW Portland & Beaverton). email@example.com Phone 503-986-1427
For a full list and office contact information, please click HERE.
Please contact O4AD with any questions - firstname.lastname@example.org.
From n4a - Federal Legislative Update
There were no sightings of March lambs in DC last month—it’s all been very active lions. From the intense push to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), to the first round of the new Trump Administration’s spending priorities, a lot of policy news is breaking. This special edition n4a Legislative Update recaps some of our recent Updates for those who may have missed them, and provides our best short-term forecasting for those who didn’t!
What’s Next for Health Care?
Despite last-minute lobbying by the White House along with additional vote-whipping time, the Republican “ACA repeal and replace” bill (the American Health Care Act, AHCA) never garnered the Republican support it needed to pass the House. Once Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) realized he didn’t have enough Republican votes—since no Democrats were on board—he stopped the vote before it happened.
This was a tremendous victory for advocates who raised numerous concerns about the bill, including the $880 billion in Medicaid cuts and provisions that would have significantly increased insurance premiums for people aged 50-64. (For background, see our letter to the House opposing AHCA and our March 10 Legislative Update.) This means ACA remains law, the Prevention and Public Health Fund stays alive (for now), and the Community First Choice rebalancing program is allowed to continue.
It's still unclear what comes next for the Republican party's goal of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act. Several leaders have expressed interest in trying again in the future, but coming back from a defeat like this is challenging, particularly when one party has such deeply rooted policy differences.
However, the threat to Medicaid remains real. The boldness of AHCA’s crafters, in moving the entire Medicaid system away from an entitlement with a guaranteed benefit to capping the federal government’s financial exposure and leaving any extra burden on states, is telling. While the massive cuts to Medicaid in AHCA lost moderate Republicans’ support and thus helped doom the bill, we believe there will be other proposals in the near future to try again. Medicaid could be cut during a tax reform effort (and lawmakers had written AHCA to help fund part of tax cuts), or it could come up next fall in an FY 2018 budget reconciliation process. Using that special budget process allows the Senate to pass major changes to the mandatory programs with only 51 votes and avoiding a filibuster.
A Tale of Two Budgets
As a way to pay for supplemental funding for specific priorities, such as building a border wall and boosting defense spending, President Trump proposes to cut $18 billion from non-defense discretionary (NDD) funding in this current fiscal year, FY 2017. Details about those proposed cuts were made public on March 28.
Several programs that were targeted for deep cuts or total elimination in the President’s FY 2018 budget (the first part of which was released March 16) would also be on the chopping block in the FY 2017 proposal from the Administration. The State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIPs) were in FY 2017, with a cut that would virtually eliminate the entire program in the current fiscal year.
On the Trump Administration’s chopping block for FY 2017:
- State Health Insurance Assistance Programs (SHIPs): Eliminate $49 million from this $52 million program.
- OAA Title V Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP): Total elimination.
- Senior Corps: All three programs (Senior Companion, RSVP and Foster Grandparents) would suffer cuts of 60-80 percent.
- Community Services Block Grant: Strike $306 million of $715 million provided in FY 2017.
- Community Development Block Grant: Roughly a 50 percent cut.
The short-term good news is that, so far, there appears to be little appetite for these cuts on Capitol Hill for FY 2017: appropriators want to pass their final bills that they’ve finished negotiating and move on to their budget and appropriations work for FY 2018. Republican Senate appropriations are already signaling that the new supplemental request will have to wait until they finish up FY 2017.
We don’t expect to have details on the final FY 2017 measures until after the April 7-24 recess. When Congress returns to DC, they will need to move the remaining bills in one big “omnibus” bill by April 28—or buy themselves more time with a short-term continuing resolution. While there are some rumblings about a possible government shutdown if the funding bills are bogged down with controversial policy riders, it appears at this point that appropriators very much want to move the omnibus through swiftly. They’ve got work to do on FY 2018!
On March 16, President Trump sent an outline to Congress of an FY 2018 budget that would dramatically alter the course of federal investments in both defense and non-defense discretionary funding. The “skinny” budget is an opening salvo to lawmakers, federal agencies and the country outlining the Trump Administration’s funding priorities. The budget does not contain many individual program line-items, so it is impossible to say exactly what funding levels the President proposes for many programs—including for Older Americans Act and other aging programs within the Administration for Community Living (ACL) and Administration on Aging (AoA).
However, overall, the budget increases defense programs by $54 billion by breaking current parity between non-defense (NDD) and defense discretionary programs, and slashing NDD programs by $54 billion overall. Top-line agency numbers in the Trump’s FY18 budget reflect deep cuts far below current budget caps and sequestration levels as mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2011. We don’t know exactly how the Trump Administration proposes to divvy up proposed NDD cuts among many specific programs, but top-line agency allocations suggest deep and concerning cuts will be proposed later this spring.
Specifically, President Trump proposed funding the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which houses the Administration for Community Living and its Administration on Aging, at $65.1 billion. This reflects a deep $12.6 billion cut (16.2 percent) from current funding. Roughly $10 billion of the overall cut to HHS comes from rolling back recent funding increases for the National Institutes of Health and from eliminating other block-grant programs.
The budget delivered to Capitol Hill does not outline the Administration’s proposals for mandatory spending, such as Medicare and Social Security, or for federal revenue and tax proposals; that, too, will come in the next budget round expected in mid-May.
Here’s the line-up of programs proposed for elimination in the President’s FY 2018 budget:
- OAA Title V Senior Community Services Employment Program (SCSEP)
- Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), which includes the Senior Corps programs such as Foster Grandparents and RSVP
- Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
- Community Services Block Grant (CSBG)
- Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)
- Legal Services Corporation
While the President’s budget does begin the annual process of setting spending levels for all discretionary federal programs, however, it is simply a starting point for conversations with Congress. Lawmakers will ultimately have to draft their annual funding bills and send to the President for approval. In the coming weeks, Congress will hold hearings on some components of the President’s recommendations, but we have heard early objections from House and Senate appropriators on both sides of the aisle about the level of overall NDD Cuts in the President’s budget.
For more information, please visit http://www.n4a.org
Advocacy Check-ins and Updates
O4AD Advocacy Check ins: Launched in 2016, O4AD has reserved Room 350 in the Capitol as an opportunity for advocates to come to the Capitol, have a place to take a break, grab a cup of coffee or tea, hear updates from O4AD and visit with your legislators. It is O4AD's goal to make the Capitol as accessible as possible for advocates. If you are planning a day to meet with Legislators or bring advocates, please consider utilizing a check in day in order to have a meeting room at your disposal. Check in days are scheduled on the following dates:
- Thursday, April 13. Room 350. Oregon Capitol - Next Week!
- Thursday, June 8. Room 350. Oregon Capitol
- Thursday, June 15. Room 350. Oregon Capitol
O4AD Legislative Conference Calls: O4AD will be hosting weekly Legislative Conference calls. We may revise the schedule as the session continues but as things move quickly during the opening of the session, we will be scheduling calls on Fridays. Please call in on our conference line for an update of the weeks activities and occurrences in the Capitol.
Friday, April 7, 2017. 11:00 am
O4AD Conference line: 1-866-200-5786. User code: 835329
Please utilize the many resources available for advocates:
- O4AD publishes our bill tracking reports regularly on our website. Click HERE to access our information page. You will find bill tracking reports and bill calendars updated regularly.
- O4AD's Bill Tracking Report & Calendar can be found HERE.
- 2017 House Committee Membership
- 2017 Senate Committee Membership
- 2017 Legislative Committee Meeting Schedule
- 2017 Legislative Calendar of Deadlines
Oregon Legislative Website
Oregon's Legislative Website offers many different ways to stay up to date on the Session. Take a moment to visit Oregon's Legislative Website to learn what you can access. Click HEREfor the website.
Tools for Advocates on the Oregon Legislative Website:
- OLIS (Oregon Legislative Information System): OLIS provides a wealth of information regarding the current session. Find Committee agendas, Committee membership, Bills, New Measures, Daily and Cumulative Publications and more.
- Committee Agendas Online: This page offers a listing of all currently scheduled Committee hearings and is updated as soon as Committee hearings are posted or revised.
- Today's Session Information: Each day, information on hearings, bills introduced, bills to be heard on the Senate or House Floor and Session Publications are listed.
- Audio/Visual for the Capitol: Hearings are now streamed live which allows for greater access by all. Advocates can review hearings that are upcoming which may be access online. Hearings are also archived and may be watched later.
Stay up to date!
With the Legislative Session around the corner, stay up to date on what's happening and how you can be involved. O4AD values the participation of our advocates and their voice in the conversation about supports and services for Oregon's seniors and people with disabilities.
Please do not hesitate to contact O4AD with any questions or for information we can provide! 503.463.8692. email@example.com
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O4AD advocates for the independence, dignity, choice and safety of Oregon's seniors and people with disabilities.