The pace of this year’s session is beginning to pick up speed, with full committee hearing agendas. However, bill introduction continues to move slowly.
Budget hearings continue around the state. Next week the Ways & Means (budget) Committee will be Ashland on Friday and Eugene on Saturday. The last of these hearings will be on Friday, March 3 in Tillamook.
This week Revenue Committees will hear the next Revenue Forecast and there have been indications that the Co Chairs may release a draft budget after this forecast. This will be heard on Wednesday in a combined Revenue Committee hearing.
Another potential revenue topic this session is the potential for changes to the property tax system, specifically the results of Ballot Measures 5 and 50 which passed in the late 1990s. The Senate Revenue Committee held its first hearing on Monday on SB 151 and SJR 3, which are proposals to address inequities in individual property owner’s taxes. Reforms to property tax has the potential to create new revenue for public safety, schools and local government – which factors into the overall revenue conversation and filling gaps in budgets.
Ways & Means Hearings Around the State
The Ways & Means Committee continues their hearings around the state. They have now visited Salem, Portland, Hermiston and Madras. This week, hearings will move to Ashland and Eugene.
Hearing Schedule ~ Ashland: 5 to 7 p.m. Feb. 24 in Rogue River Room, Southern Oregon University, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd.
Eugene: 1 to 3 p.m. Feb. 25 in Building 17 (The Forum), Lane Community College, 4000 E 30th Ave.
Tillamook: 6 to 8 p.m. March 3 in Officer’s Mess, Port of Tillamook Bay, 6825 Officers Row.
Please note signups for testimony opens at 1 hour prior to the hearing. In general, not all individuals who sign up for testimony will be able to be heard due to time constraints. Hearings are very crowded so we suggest arriving as early as may be possible to secure seating and ease in accessing the hearing locations.
Submitting testimony via email: You may submit written testimony at the hearing to Committee staff or via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org (This is the correct email to submit testimony for Ways & Means related to the budget hearings).
Learn about the Members of Ways & Means by visiting the Committee website HERE. You can visit each member's webpage to learn their District and their background.
Access O4AD's talking points for the Ways & Means Hearing. Click HERE for our Ways & Means one pager.
Make your voice heard on behalf of Oregon's seniors and people with disabilities. Weigh in at a hearing, send in your comments to the Ways & Means Committee or contact your local legislators! Your voice matters!
Hearings this week ~
This week, there are a number of hearing as Committees get underway. Check out O4AD's bill calendar to follow bills we are tracking that are scheduled this week. You can access our most current list on our "Useful Links and Documents" page HERE. You can also access our Bill Calendar which lists bills we are following that are being heard this week.
Ways & Means Human Services continues hearing the overview from the Oregon Health Authority on their various programs. You can check out their committee website to follow their agendas. Click HERE for the Committee website.
The Ways & Means Subcommittee on Human Services is scheduled to begin hearing the Department of Human Services budget and agency overviews on March 14. At this time, we have heard that the following are dates to take note of:
- March 14 - The Committee will begin their hearings on the Department of Human Services with an introduction and overview by Directors Clyde Saiki
- March 15 & 16 - The Committee will begin hearing information and overview of the Aging and People with Disabilities Division of DHS.
- March 28 - Public testimony is currently scheduled on the DHS budget.
The Subcommittee meets Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday at 8:30 am in Hearing Room F.
House Human Services will hear HB 2724 which directors Housing and Community Services Department to develop and implement Rent Guarantee Program to provide incentives and financial assistance to landlords that rent or lease to low income households by guaranteeing payments to landlords for unpaid rent and for eviction and property damage costs. This bill is scheduled to be heard Thursday, February 23 at 8 am in Hearing Room E.
House Human Services will also hear HB 2446 which Directors Housing and Community Services Department and Oregon Housing Stability Council to seek, obtain and renew waivers of certain federal rental rental subsidy and assistance payment requirements to increase availability of payments under federal rent subsidy program.
House Revenue and Senate Finance & Revenue will hear the next Revenue forecast on Wednesday, February 22, 2017 at 8:30 am in Hearing Room A. This revenue forecast will help define what the potential revenue sources are for the 2017-19 biennial budget and where the gaps are as the Budget Co Chairs work to develop their initial budget drafts.
House Health Care will hold an informational hearing on Cost Drivers in Health Care on Friday, February 24 at 8 am in Hearing Room E.
House Human Services & Housing will hold an informational hearing on Emergency Housing Assistance & the State Homeless Assistance Program on Thursday, February 23 at 8 am in Hearing Room E.
You can access Committee Agendas Online via the Oregon Legislative Information System - https://olis.leg.state.or.us/LIZ/Committees/Meeting/List.
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.
Please do not hesitate to contact O4AD with questions regarding Committees and Hearings.
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 can be found HERE.
- O4AD's Bill Calendar - this report shows the bills that are currently scheduled for hearing as of the date of our report. We will compile this report weekly (note it is subject to change). Find this report 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 HERE for 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.
Advocacy Opportunities in 2017
O4AD continues to work to keep you updated on the Legislative Session and opportunities for advocacy. With the projected revenue shortages, the protection of programs for older adults and people with disabilities is of critical importance for O4AD, our members and advocates. We hope that you will engage on these issues.
O4AD is offering many different opportunities for engagement. You may also find dates and times on our website at: http://www.o4ad.org/calendar.html.
Advocacy opportunities for the 2017 Session ~
O4AD Advocacy Day at the Capitol: Wednesday, May 17, 2017. Information on registration to follow. Please plan to join O4AD and our advocates at the Capitol to carry the message of the importance of protecting the independence, dignity, choice and safety of Oregon's older adults and people with disabilities.
The Campaign for Oregon's Seniors & People with Disabilities Advocacy Day: February 28, 2017. This event is currently closed to registration due to constraints in room availability. If you have pre-registered, please expect information to come your way.
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, March 16. Room 350. Oregon Capitol
- Thursday, April 13. Room 350. Oregon Capitol
- 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, February 24, 2017. 11 am
O4AD Conference line: 1-866-200-5786. User code: 835329
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. firstname.lastname@example.org
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O4AD advocates for the independence, dignity, choice and safety of Oregon's seniors and people with disabilities.