Policy Committees are now closed outside of informational hearings and the Ways & Means Committees are considered closed but are allowed to open up at any time.
The Ways & Means Committee unveiled the end of session budget reconciliation bill, known as the "Christmas Tree Bill". The bill is referred to such as it generally contains various items to be funded outside of other bills moving through the Session.
SB 5701 is the budget reconciliation bill for the 2016 session. This bill contains a variety of adjustments. A few adjustments that were included:
- $24 million to cover the state's portion of costs from the summer wildfire season of 2015
- $5.3 million in additional funds for Oregon Pre-K programs
- $5.4 million for early intervention and early childhood special education
- $17.5 million for mixed delivery pre-school program
- $4.2 million to respond to the shooting at Umpqua Community College
- $120 million in special purpose appropriation allocations to cover required compensation costs
- Partial rebalancing for the Oregon Health Authority
- Housing investments ~ a key priority for the Governor coming into the 2016 session was affordable housing. The budget bill contained a variety of investments in this program area including: $2.7 million to the Oregon Foreclosure Avoidance program, $8 million for the Emergency Housing Assistance program and $2 million to the State Housing Assistance program.
While advocates and stakeholders worked very hard prior to and during the Session, the Gatekeeper program was not slated for reinstatement of funding. The adjustments to the APD budget gap were the only funds allocated during the February session to APD programs via budget reconciliation.
As Legislators now move towards Sine Die, latin for "without day", attention moves immediately to the interim and the Campaign cycle. With all seats in the House up for re-election and several House members announcing they will not seek re-election, along with half of the Senate seats up for re-election, along with a Governor's race, Treasurer's race, Secretary of State race and Attorney General race, the Campaign season is expected to hit the ground running and significant ballot measures expected to be on the ballot, the interim will be moving forward at an unprecedented pace.
THANK YOU to everyone who has engaged, advocated and been a part of the process all during the session!
Bills of interest
As we head to the end of session, bills are learning their fate very quickly. However, a few that we are watching as the session winds down:
SB 5701: The budget reconciliation or 'Christmas Tree' is contained in this bill and the adjustments to the 2015-17 legislatively approved budget. (Please see above)
SB 1597: Program Change bill. In order to make budget adjustments, there are necessary revisions to current statutory language. This bill makes those necessary adjustments
Housing package: There are four bills that have been moving through the session to address affordable housing. The Speaker of the House stated that all four bills must pass or none would be implemented. The four bills are:
HB 4079: would create a pilot program in which two cities would expand their urban growth boundary primarily for the purpose of increasing affordable housing. As of 3/2, this bill has passed the House and is moving through the Senate.
HB 4143: would add to the length of notice landlords must give their tenants before increase rent or ending a tenancy. As of 3/2, this bill has passed the House and is moving through the Senate.
SB 1533: would end a current law that bars cities from requiring a portion of new housing developments be held at below-market rates, known as inclusionary zoning. As of 3/2, This bill has passed the Senate and is now moving through the House.
SB 1573: would allow cities to annex land within an urban growth boundary if all landowners in the rea agree and if the land is or will be subject to the city’s comprehensive plan. As of 3/2, this bill has passed the Senate and is moving through the House.
You can check out O4AD's most recent bill tracking report HERE. We will continue updating this throughout the end of the session.
And please contact Nicole at O4AD with any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org