March 13, 2017
Legislative action began to pick up speed this week. More bills are being heard and moved (passed out of Committees) this week. With the next major deadline of April 18 ahead, bills are being shuttled around to have a public hearing and work session. The April 18 deadline is the deadline for a bill to have passed out of their originating committee (with the exception of bills in Revenue, Rules and Ways & Means Committees). If a bill does not make this deadline or is not in a Committee with no deadline, it will be considered “dead” after April 18. Dead means the bill may not be heard any longer during this session.
With the projected budget shortfall of $1.6 billion dollars for the Legislature, budget writers continue to look at not only budget cuts but ways to increase revenue. An increase in cigarette taxes (options between 50 cents to $2 per pack) are being discussed. Oregon ranks 30th amongst the states for the amount of our taxes. (One special note of interest to O4AD is that 0.02% of the tax goes to ODOT for Elderly Transportation.)
Another revenue option that was heard this past week was revisions to the mortgage interest tax deductions. This revision would affect over half a million Oregon homeowners. Suggested proposals include capping state mortgage interest deductions at $15,000; eliminating the tax break for taxpayers who earn over $100,000/year ($200,00 for those filing jointly; and making second homes and vacation rentals ineligible for the deduction. Revenue from these changes have been proposed to be used for three state programs for low income Oregonians and for developers of low income housing.
Budget Hearings This Week - Aging & People with Disabilties
Starting Tuesday, March 14, the Human Services Subcommittee of Ways & Means will begin to hear from the Department of Human Services on their various program areas and services. The current schedule is as follows:
Tuesday, March 14. 8:30 am. Hearing Room F. DHS Agency Overview
Wednesday, March 15. 8:30 am. Hearing Room H170 (Note change of hearing room). Aging & People with Disabilities Overview
Thursday, March 16. 8:30 am. Hearing Room H170. Aging & People with Disabilities.
You may access the Committee Agendas via the Committee webpage located HERE.
Take Action this Week on Behalf of Services and Supports for Seniors and People with Disabilities.
During hearings on the DHS Aging and Disability budget, it is an ideal opportunity to make contact with Committee Members to advocate for the protection of services and supports for our vulnerable populations. Take a moment to contact Committee Members and let them know it is critical to preserve and protect long term services and support including:
- Protecting current funding for Oregon Project Independence for Older Adults - $21 million
- Protecting current funding for Oregon Project Independence for the pilot project to serve People with Disabilities - $6 million
- Preserve Current Service Level in Long Term Services and Supports
- Protect the aging and disability infrastructure and network that enables access to care for our vulnerable individuals.
Senator Elizabeth Steiner Hayward - Co Chair. (Multnomah County/NW Portland). firstname.lastname@example.org
Representative Dan Rayfield - Co Chair. (Benton County/Corvallis). email@example.com
Senator Sara Gelser (Linn & Benton Counties/Corvallis, Albany, Tangent, Philomath, Millersburg, unincorporated parts of Linn & Benton Counties). firstname.lastname@example.org
Senator Jackie Winters (Marion County/Salem). email@example.com
Representative Teresa Alonso Leon(Marion County/Woodburn). firstname.lastname@example.org
Representative Knute Buehler (Deschutes County/Bend). email@example.com
Representative Cedric Hayden (Lane, Douglas Counties/Roseburg, Cottage Grove). firstname.lastname@example.org
Representative Sheri Malstrom (Washington & Multnomah Counties/SW Portland & Beaverton). email@example.com
O4AD has our current talking points posted on our website for your reference.
Click HERE for information on Oregon Project Independence
Click HERE for information on O4AD's human services budget overview
For a full list and office contact information, please click HERE.
Remember, You may access the Committee webpage HERE. You can find:
- Committee agendas
- Link to audio/video/live stream or archived hearings
- Members of the Committee
- Meeting materials as they are posted.
Please note if you need ADA accommodation for attendance at hearings in the capitol, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Additional Full Ways & Means Budget Hearings AddedAdditional hearings for Ways & Means on Oregon's budget have been announced. Video conference hearings have been added for the South Coast area and Eastern Oregon. The Ways & Means Committee will meet in Salem and video conference into these areas in order to gain input from individuals:
Thursday, March 16 – Coos Bay
5 to 6 p.m. PT
Southwestern Oregon Community College
1988 Newmark Ave, Coos Bay
Thursday, March 16 – Ontario
7 to 8 p.m. MT
Laura Moore Cunningham Science Center
Treasure Valley Community College
650 College Blvd, Ontario
Hearings will open approximately one hour prior to the start time to allow for sign up to testify. You may also submit written testimony, which we encourage.
- To submit written testimony, please email: email@example.com
Oregon's budget writers are facing an unprecedented challenge in balancing the needs of Oregonians with limited budget dollars. There is a potential for dramatic reductions which would impact budget areas including human services and seniors and people with disabilities. The Governor's Recommended Budget proposed severe reductions to Oregon Project Independence (OPI) including
- 75% reduction in funding to OPI for Seniors
- Complete elimination of the OPI program for People with Disabilities
The Budget Co-Chairs have released their "budget framework" which outlines the current budget situation the state faces and the gaps in funding. The "Existing Resources Budget Framework" explains the state’s $1.8 billion budget shortfall and outlining potential cuts to programs.
O4AD has information for your use in the budget conversation. You can access our talking points on our website, bill tracking reports, bill calendars and more information on the Session at:
Advocacy Check-ins and Updates
O4AD Advocacy Check ins - THIS WEEK: 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. THIS WEEK! This coincides with the APD Hearings in Ways & Means this week.
- 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, March 117 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. firstname.lastname@example.org
Forward this to a friend so they may sign up for O4AD updates too!
O4AD advocates for the independence, dignity, choice and safety of Oregon's seniors and people with disabilities.