Revenue dominates the conversationThis past week, the Joint Committee on Tax Reform began their work in earnest to debate various ideas, concepts and proposals for revenue/tax reform. On Thursday, Speaker Kotek, Revenue Chair Barnhart and Ways & Means Co-Chair Nathanson presented a proposal on behalf of the House Democrats. Their proposal can be found HERE. This proposal puts forward a Corporate Activity Tax that would be applied to businesses with doing over $5 million in business within Oregon. The proposal recommends a .95% tax rate and also proposes a plan for how to utilize the funds that would be raised. The proposal includes:
- $1b for K12 education
- $150m for early childhood
- $250m for higher education
- $250m for ‘essential services’ for Oregon To be defined.
- $350m for Measure 96, 98 and M99 (veterans, career technical and outdoor school ballot measure that passed but did not have funding)
- Require public employees to contribute larger amount to PERS
- Merge PEBB and OEBB
- Avoid opening another women’s prison
- Stop automatically increasing budgets for services and supplies and “more effectively’ manage vacancies and new positions
To read more about the Committee and the proposals they've heard thus far,
- Oregonian article: http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2017/05/house_democrats_tax_proposal.html
- Oregonian Article with table that compares different rates for the CAT: http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2017/05/corporate_activities_tax_vs_measure_97.html#incart_river_index
- Overview - Legislative website: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2017R1/Downloads/CommitteeMeetingDocument/124017
- Framework - Legislative website: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2017R1/Downloads/CommitteeMeetingDocument/123970
- Speaker’s proposal - Legislative website: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2017R1/Downloads/CommitteeMeetingDocument/124928
- Comparisons - Legislative website: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2017R1/Downloads/CommitteeMeetingDocument/124885
The Committee will continue their work this week. Another piece of the overall financial picture is expected to be released on Monday evening. The Joint Committee on Transportation Preservation and Modernization has been working on a comprehensive transportation plan all session. The details are expected be released at that time.
Hearings This WeekThe next deadline for bills is upcoming. May 19th is the deadline for bills that are now in a second chamber policy committee to be scheduled for a work session. This work session must then occur by June 2. This does NOT apply to bills in Ways & Means, Revenue or Rules. You can read O4AD's most recent bill tracking HERE.
O4AD's most recent bill calendar is also available HERE.
This week, here are some of the bills of interest:
HB 3262 - Requires Department of Human Services in collaboration with other agencies to adopt rules related to prescription of psychotropic medication to elderly persons or persons with disabilities. Senate Human Services. May 8, 2017.
HB 2622 - Authorizes financial institutions to refuse certain financial transactions when financial institution reasonably believes financial exploitation of vulnerable person may have occurred, may have been attempted or is being attempted. Senate Judiciary. May 9, 2017
SB 2838 - Requires Oregon Health Authority to take specific steps to improve assistance provided to individuals applying for or seeking to renew medical assistance eligibility. Senate Health Care. May 9, 2017
SB 58 - Directs Long Term Care Ombudsman to appoint Residential Facilities Ombudsman within Office of Long Term Care Ombudsman. Senate Rules. May 10, 2017.
HB 3253 - Clarifies that state agencies and departments shall purchase certain products and services from Commission for the Blind. House Rules. May 11, 2017
If you are attending hearings, please note you may contact the Capitol if accommodations are needed in the room. For information on visiting the Capitol and Special Needs, please click HERE.
You may view a complete listing of hearings occurring via the Legislative website - HERE.
Oregon Project Independence need your contacts to Legislators.
As O4AD gears up for our Day at the Capitol, we are working to make sure Oregon Project Independence and the need to protect the current funding level for seniors and people with disabilities in this program remains stable and at current funding levels. The Budget Reduction document from the Co Chairs, proposes a 50% cut to the OPI program serving seniors and elimination of funding for OPI services to people with disabilities. This proposal not only places OPI consumers in jeopardy of losing their current level of independence but also threatens the State General Fund through anticipated increases in overall General Fund expenditures from consumers moving into Medicaid.
Your contacts to Legislators bring an important focus to the need to fund Oregon Project Independence at current funding levels - $21 million for Seniors and $6 million for the People with Disabilities Pilot Project. Current funding levels will still result in 10% less resources available than the current biennium due to rising costs of care however, there simply cannot be less than $27 million in funding for this program. OPI provides not only program effectiveness but also critical cost savings for the state. Reduction and/or elimination of the program will result in immediate cost increases for the State General Fund - an unwise choice in the overall budget picture for our state.
O4AD has released new Talking Points on the importance of protecting funding for OPI. You can access these talking points HERE.
Contact Ways & Means legislators to let them know the importance of this program. You can access their contact information HERE.
Or you can email them directly following these links:
Senator Elizabeth Steiner Hayward - Co Chair, Human Services Ways & Means Subcommittee
Representative Dan Rayfield - Co Chair, Human Services Ways & Means Subcommittee
Senator Sara Gelser
Senator Jackie Winters
Representative Teresa Alonso Leon
Representative Knute Buehler
Representative Cedric Hayden
Representative Sheri Malstrom
Senator Richard Devlin - Co Chair, Ways & Means
Representative Nancy Nathanson - Co-Chair, Ways & Means
Our message is simple - Protect Funding for OPI at Current Funding Levels.
Read about O4AD's budget priorities HERE.
You can also access other talking points and information on OPI via O4AD's website - HERE.
THANK YOU! Your voice is critical as we fight to protect this important program.
For more information or with questions, please contact O4AD. firstname.lastname@example.org.
O4AD Day at the Capitol
O4AD will host their Day at the Capitol on Wednesday, May 17. Register now through your local Area Agency on Aging or Advisory Council. We look forward to a busy day advocating for services and supports on behalf of Oregon's older adults and people with disabilities. For more information, please contact O4AD at email@example.com or your local Area Agency on Aging.
You may also sign up via our Google Form. Please note you will need to indicate the Area Agency you are affiliated with for this event. Access the Google Form HERE.
n4a Comments on Recent House Passage of American Health Care Actn4a, the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, released the following statement regarding the recent House passage of the American Health Care Act:
Statement by Sandy Markwood, CEO
House-Passed Health Care Bill Dangerous for Millions of Older Americans
Washington, DC— The American Health Care Act (AHCA) passed this afternoon by the House of Representatives represents a grave risk to millions of older adults, caregivers and people with disabilities, as this bill would negatively impact their access to the affordable health care and accessible long-term care they need to maintain their health and independence.
As advocates for quality long-term services and supports provided at home and in the community, as well as a range of evidence-based healthy aging programs, n4a is deeply concerned by the passage of AHCA.
The measure cuts $839 billion from the Medicaid program, would allow insurers to significantly increase premiums based on a consumer’s age, shortens the solvency of the Medicare Trust Fund by four years, and eliminates a key prevention program that funds local falls prevention and chronic disease self-management efforts that are critical to preserving the health of older Americans.
The bill’s recent updates to allow states to waive Essential Health Benefits and community rating rules, which put anyone with a pre-existing condition at risk of being unable to secure affordable health care, only add to our long list of concerns about the negative effects this legislation will have on older adults and all Americans.
As the health care action moves to the Senate, there will be much work ahead, but for now, we urge older adults, caregivers, people with disabilities and other consumers to raise their concerns with their Representatives who voted in favor of this bill, which will have dangerous consequences for millions of Americans.
The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) is a 501c(3) membership association representing America’s national network of 622 Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs) and providing a voice in the nation’s capital for the 256 Title VI Native American aging programs. The mission of n4a is to build the capacity of its members so they can better help older adults and people with disabilities live with dignity and choices in their homes and communities for as long as possible.
Learn more about the Aging Services provided by AAAs and Title VI programs. Find the AAA and/or Title VI program in your area.
O4AD Legislative Conference CallO4AD will host our Legislative Conference Call on Friday, May 5 at 11 am.This week we will discuss the revenue proposals and transportation package that is expected to be discussed this week along with any other new news from the week at the Capitol. If there is a topic you would like to learn more about, EMAIL O4AD.
Call in: 1-866-200-5786
Participant Code: 835329