Lawmakers in the State Senate on Thursday passed SB 754. The bill would raise Oregon's legal tobacco age to 21. It creates an offense of selling tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, to people under 21. The bill is now goes to the House for hearings. If it passes in the House and signed by the Governor, we would become the third to do so, along with California and Hawaii.
Creating debate in the House Education Committee this week was HB 2587. The bill would drop the state’s education goals which were established in the 2011 Legislature. A group of mostly Democratic lawmakers, largely at the urging of the state’s teachers union, want the state to drop the goals, saying that the system is underfunded, lacking in resources and can’t be expected to graduate every student. Other lawmakers, community colleges, the state's higher education commission and Oregon businesses are pushing back. They say it's essential that the state set measurable education goals and doing so has had a big impact on students. Known as 40-40-20, the goals are to have 40% of students earn a 4-year college degree, 40% to earn a 2-year college degree and 20% to have a high school diploma by 2025.
Oregon legislators are considering a program to help would-be homeowners save for a down payment through a tax-advantaged savings account. Two proposals in Senate Bill 849 and House Bill 2996 would let Oregonians save up to $5,000 a year, or $10,000 for a couple, toward the purchase of their first home in a savings account over 10 years. The money would be exempt from state, but not federal, income taxes. A survey conducted in November by Pew Research Center found that the inability to scrape together a down payment was the top reason renters gave for continuing to rent.
Department of Human Services Public Testimony
The Human Services Subcommittee of Ways & Means has continued their hearings on the budget for the Department of Human Services. As a part of these hearings. there will be an opportunity for public testimony on Tuesday, March 28. This opportunity will occur during the regularly scheduled hearing time of 8:30 am in Hearing Room F.
We encourage those who are able to attend to demonstrate strong interest in this budget area. However, if you are unable to attend, please take a few moments to let the Committee know that services and supports for older adults and people with disabilities matter and must be of high consideration in budget discussions. See below for more.
Follow this link for information, agendas and live streaming of tomorrow's hearing: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2017R1/Committees/JWMHS/2017-03-28-08-30/Agenda.
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.
To submit written testimony to the Human Services Subcommittee Committee, please email: email@example.com and indicate Aging and People with Disability Budget.
Please do not hesitate to contact O4AD with questions regarding Committees and Hearings.
Take 5 for OPI - THIS WEEK!
This week, public testimony will be taken on the Aging and People with Disabilities (APD) budgets within the Department of Human Services (DHS). These are the budgets that will ultimately contain funding for the Oregon Project Independence (OPI) program.
While not everyone can attend the public hearing, we ask that 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.
Hearings this week
This week, there are a number of hearings related to human services:
SB 493: Creates new manner of committing crime of assault in the fourth degree wen person with criminal negligence causes serious physical injury to vulnerable user of public way by means of motetor vehicle. 3/28/17. Senate Judiciary. Work Session.
HB 2959. Appropriates moneys from General Fund to Department of Human Services to administer general assistance project. 3/28/17 House Human Services. Work Session.
HB 2881. Appropriates moneys to Department of Human Services of Oregon Hunger Response Fund program services. 3/28/17. House Human Services. Public Hearing.
SB 810. Establishes Oregon Health Savings Account program in Office of State Treasurer to enable Oregon taxpayers to reduce taxable income by making contributions to program that reimburses taxpayers' qualified medical expenses. 3/28/17. Senate Human Services. Public Hearing.
HB 2667. Establishes Task Force on Vision Zero: Achieving zero traffic crashes, injuries and fatalities. 3/29/17. House Committee on Transportation Policy. Work Session.
SB 1023 & SB 1018. Establishes Deaf, Deaf-Blind and Hard of Hearing Fund. 3/29/17. Senate Human Services. Public Hearing.
HB 2965. Establishes Task Force on Workforce Development for People with Disabilities. 3/30/17. House Higher Education and Workforce. Public Hearing.
SB 1027. Prohibits Department of Human Services and Oregon Health Authority from seeking payment from amounts in ABLE account. 4/3/17. Senate Human Services. Public Hearing.
For more information on legislative committees, please visit OLIS (Oregon Legislative Information System). Click HERE.
From n4a: Advocacy Win!
No Vote on House Health Bill
- By: n4a. 03/24/2017 14:05:01
This is a tremendous victory for advocates who raised numerous concerns in recent weeks about the bill, including the $880 billion in cuts to Medicaid and provisions that would increase premiums for those aged 50-64. It's unclear what comes next for the party's goal of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act; they may go back to the drawing board, they may advance the Medicaid cuts in a separate measure…it's too soon to tell. What we do know is that whatever happens next, n4a will continue to provide our members with legislative analysis and calls to action.
Just getting caught up on n4a's advocacy on American Health Care Act (AHCA)? Here are some key resources.
Details on how you can take action
Our letters to the House and Senate opposing AHCA
Our March 10 Legislative Update
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
- 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 31, 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 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.
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
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.