Featured Bill:

SB762-2 Establishing a program to address wildfire risk – introduced by Senator Jeff Golden.  This proposal contains numerous components. It:
requires electric utilities to exhibit wildfire conscious behavior; charges ODF and OSU to develop a wildfire risk map for the state; charges the state fire marshal with promoting defensible space;  charges Department of Land Conservation and Development with updating land use planning in response to the wildfire risk map; charges Department of Buildings and Consumer Services with promoting fire resistant building codes; charge Environmental Quality Commission (DEQ) with developing smoke management programs;  charges Office of Emergency Management with updating state codes regarding wildfire emergencies;   charges ODF with reducing wildfire risk;  establishes Oregon Wildfire Workforce Corps to assist in addressing wildfire risk; charges ODF to develop a small woodland program to assist small woodland owners in reducing wildfire risk;  establishes a certified Burn Manager Program;  charges state forester and fire marshal with establishing program for protection areas;  charges ODF with improving wildfire response capacity;  redefines the Wildland Urban Interface.
While much in the proposal seems valuable, it seems not to recognize the critical role of wildfire in maintaining forest health in our Mediterranean climate and seems not to identify as a high priority in fire protection the areas around human dwellings and infrastructure.

The proposal received a Public Hearing on Friday April 9th;  SOCAN testimony was submitted.

General Information: 

The Oregon 2021 Legislative Session runs from January 19 through June 28th.  This is the long (odd year) session which alternates with the short (6-week, even-year) session. Some 3000 bills have been slated.  SOCAN cannot monitor all of these, but we have searched bill language for those likely to be of interest.  The Government: Federal & State Project team then reviewed those potentially of interest and developed a list of recommended bills to support or oppose.  As amendments appear, the situation (favorability/unfavorability) may change as far as these – and other – bills are concerned.  Our goal will be to deliver written and/or oral testimony at relevant Hearings where possible regarding these bills.

If you’d like to read the bill, click on ‘Text.’ If you’d like to track any bills, click on ‘Status.’ If it was already assigned to a committee when I developed this page, I included that information.  If a Hearing has been set where we can deliver oral or written testimony, and I am aware of it, that information is included (if you find a Hearing that isn’t listed, please let me know).  If you wish to be apprised of Hearings of these (and other bills) visit the committee page and request email announcements about their meetings and agenda items.  This requires that you visit the Oregon Legislature website and find the Committees tab and the committee of interest (listed by House and Senate separately).  Then go to that committee and find the  the Follow: e-subscribe link on the top right of the committee page and sign up for announcements.  When committee meetings are scheduled, you will receive an email notification.  If you do not already have an Oregon Legislature account, you will be asked to set one up.

When a bill goes before the chamber, the person designated to assigned by the Committee Chair to explain and speak in favor of a measure on the floor and to answer questions about it is the ‘Carrier.‘  It would generally be assumed, I imagine, that this person is in favor of the proposal.

Interestingly, I was advised that when bills are subjected to second Hearing before the same committee, or move to another committee, submitted testimony does not automatically travel with the bill, so testimony has to be updated and resubmitted.

The most common committees to which bills of interest to SOCAN are assigned (with embedded links) are:

Senate Committee on Energy and Environment – Lee Beyer, Chair
Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Wildfire Recovery – Jeff Golden, Chair

House Committee on Energy and Environment – Pam Marsh, Chair

If and when bills pass out of these committees, they will likely move to Revenue, or Joint Ways and Means (and sub-committees thereof).  When this happens, I will try to add these committees to this list.

House Committee on Revenue – Nancy Nathanson, Chair

Here are the bills and information (and votes they received by our Federal & State Project team):

SOCAN SUPPORT Tier 1: Recent updates in purple

These are the bills we are watching closely.

7 – HB 2062 – Establishes energy efficiency standards for certain appliances sold or offered for sale in this state.
Status Assigned to House Committee on Energy and Environment – recommended Do Pass; March 20th at House Desk awaiting Second Reading in chamber. Passed the House 39:19.  Though carried by Republican David Brock Smith (HD1), he voted against the bill in an almost, though not completely, party line vote with two Ds absent.  Forwarded to the Senate and assigned to Senate Committee on Energy and Environment.  Text. To Receive progress updates You will need to set up an account if you don’t already have one.

7 – HB 2995 – HB2021 – Requires 100 percent of electricity sold in 2035 and each subsequent calendar year to retail electricity consumers to be clean electricity. Accelerates deadline, to 2025, for electric companies to eliminate coal from electricity supply. Extends, to 2035, ad valorem property tax exemption for alternative energy systems. Requires systems constructed on or after January 1, 2022, to be constructed pursuant to project labor agreement to qualify for exemption. Removes electricity generated from direct combustion of municipal solid waste from qualifying electricity for purposes of renewable portfolio standards. Modifies requirements for community-based renewable energy projects.”
Status Assigned to House Committee on Energy and Environment
HB2995 has been rolled into HB2021 which would have required a study of clean energy (it’s colloquially called gut ‘n’ stuff) as HB2021-1. Another  amendment, HB2021-3 achieves similar goals through increasing the rigor of the Renewable Portfolio Standard (currently reaching 50% by 2040).  Both are due for Hearing on Monday March 22nd @ 1:00 pm. To submit written testimony, visit here; this must be submitted within 24 hours of start of Hearing.  SOCAN testimony on HR2021-1,3 is available here. The bill has been subjected to three Public Hearings and is now scheduled for a W0rk Session when, presumably, some decisions will be made.
Text To Receive Progress Updates You will need to set up an account if you don’t already have one.

6- SB247 – Directs Department of Energy to study opportunities and challenges in Oregon for renewable energy, energy equity and development of clean energy workforce. Recommended by Committee
Status:  Assigned to Senate Committee on Energy and Environment.  No Hearing scheduled so probably dead for this session.
Text  To Receive Progress Updates You will need to set up an account if you don’t already have one.

6 – HB2488 – Requires Land Conservation and Development Commission to make changes to statewide land use planning goals by December 31, 2026, to address climate justice by addressing climate change adaptation and mitigation and environmental justice for disadvantaged communities
Status: Assigned to House Committee on Energy and Environment; Hearing reportedly scheduled Monday March 8th.
Hearing: House Committee on Energy and Environment Monday March 8th 1:00 – 3:00pm. Submit testimony via: https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2021R1/Testimony/HEE within 24 hours of the start of the meeting. SOCAN testimony on HB2488 submitted March 4th; SOCAN testimony on HB2488-2 submitted to members if committee April 4 for work session on April 12th.  The focus of the proposal seems to have been narrowed to target only climate justice issues. 
Text To Receive Progress Updates You will need to set up an account if you don’t already have one.

6 – HB2520 – Requires Land Conservation and Development Commission to amend statewide land use planning goals related to energy conservation to incorporate development of renewable energy facilities and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and to match state energy policies.
Status: Assigned to House Committee on Energy and Environment.  Work session scheduled for April 12th.
Text To Receive Progress Updates  You will need to set up an account if you don’t already have one.

5 – SB 390 – Directs Public Utility Commission, in coordination with State Department of Energy, to study and develop proposal for modifying Oregon laws as necessary to require 100 percent of electricity sold to retail electricity consumers to be electricity generated utilizing renewable and carbon-free energy.
Status: Assigned to Senate Committee on Energy and Environment; no hearing scheduled – probably means it is dead – but see HB 2021.
Text  To Receive Progress Updates You will need to set up an account if you don’t already have one.

5HB2190 – Directs State Department of Energy to convene work group to develop program awarding grants for community energy resilience projects and implement program no later than January 1, 2023.
Status:  Assigned to House Committee on Energy and Environment; no committee hearing scheduled – probably means it is dead.
Text  To Receive Progress Updates You will need to set up an account if you don’t already have one.

5 – HB 2290 – Statewide Fast Charging . . . Requires statewide plan developed, installation of EV chargers Requires State Parks and Recreation Department to develop, implement and periodically update plan for installation and service of public electric vehicle charging stations in parking spaces that are part of facilities of state park system. Establishes Parks and Recreation Transportation Electrification Fund.
Status: Assigned to House Committee on Energy and Environment.  Passed out of committee, recommended Do Pass: Aye 7, 3 Nay 3, Excused 2, Abstention 0.
Text To Receive Progress Updates You will need to set up an account if you don’t already have one.

5 – HB2357 – Eliminates Oregon Forest Resources Institute and Oregon Forest Resources Institute Fund.
Status Assigned to House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources.  Amended to delete reference to OFRI but to establish Sound Forestry Practices Subaccount and Family Forestlands Subaccount as subaccounts of State Forestry Department Account. Recommended Do Pass: Aye 6, Nay 3, Excused1, Abstention 0. Referred to House Committee on Revenue.
Hearing Tuesday March 2nd at 3:15 pm; Testimony can be submitted via: https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2021R1/Testimony/HAGNR within 24 hours of the start of the meeting. SOCAN testimony on HB2357 submitted March 1st 2021.
Text To Receive Progress Updates You will need to set up an account if you don’t already have one.

5 – HB2398 – Requires Director of Department of Consumer and Business Services to ensure that statewide Building Code mandates achievement of not more than 90 percent of site energy use that other statewide residential and commercial building codes require.
Status: Assigned to House Committee on Energy and Environment; Work Session scheduled for April 12th
Text To Receive Progress Updates You will need to set up an account if you don’t already have one. SOCAN testimony on HB2398 submitted March 26th.

Added – SB335-2 Revising Governance of the Department of Forestry – introduced by Senator Jeff Golden.   A virtual Hearing before the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Wildfire Recovery was held during which public testimony (oral and written) was accepted, on Wednesday March 17th starting at 3:15 pm.  Testimony submitted on behalf of SOCAN is available here.  Follow-up testimony on SB337- 335-2 .  Unfortunately, following considerable pressure from the timber industry and their allies in the legislature, this bill has been pulled from further consideration.

SOCAN OPPOSE Tier 1:

These are the bills we are watching closely.

6 – SB675 – Instructs State Forestry Department to establish by rule pilot program to encourage salvage of timber from lands owned or managed by State Board of Forestry or department that have been affected by wildfire.
Status: Assigned to Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Wildfire Recovery; no hearing scheduled, probably means its dead for this session.
Text To Receive Progress Updates You will need to set up an account if you don’t already have one.

5 – SB544 – Requires State Forester to carry out appraisal and sale of forest products on state-owned forestland damaged by wildfire.
Status Assigned to Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Wildfire Recovery; Hearing held, no work session scheduled so probably dead for this session.
Text To Receive Progress Updates You will need to set up an account if you don’t already have one.

SOCAN Support Tier 2

These are not top priority but received some support and will be watched.

4 – SB 56 – Authorizes Department of Environmental Quality to include amount estimated to equal economic benefit of violation when imposing civil penalty for violation of rule pertaining to a program to cap and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from large stationary sources, transportation fuels or other liquid and gaseous fuels, including natural gas.
Status: Assigned to Senate Committee on Energy and Environment; no Hearing scheduled – probably dead for this session.
Text To Receive Progress Updates You will need to set up an account if you don’t already have one.

4 – SB314 (with caveat) – Utilities Recover EV Charger Costs . . . Authorizes PUC to allow infrastructure cost recovery Authorizes Public Utility Commission to allow electric companies to recover costs from retail electricity consumers for prudent infrastructure measures to support transportation electrification if certain criteria are met. Authorizes commission to allow natural gas utilities to recover costs from retail natural gas customers for prudent investments in or expenses related to infrastructure measures that support adoption and service of alternative forms of transportation vehicles if certain criteria are met.
Concerns: Why only retail electricity;  does this promote fossil (natural) gas.
Status: Assigned to Senate Committee on Energy and Environment.  Recommended Do Pass and passed Senate floor vote: Aye- 25; Naye 2; Excused 2.  Assigned to House Energy and Environment Committee.  Regrettably this has been amended to promote Renewable Natural Gas so an unstated concern has been incorporated.  Unless amended to exclude RNG, this bill no longer deserves support.
Text  To Receive Progress Updates You will need to set up an account if you don’t already have one.

4 – HB2180 – Electricity for Electric Cars . . . Amends existing state building code. Requires Director of Department of Consumer and Business Services to amend state building code to require that new construction of certain buildings include provisions for electrical service capacity for specified percentage of parking spaces. Allows municipality to adopt local percentage of parking space requirements higher than state building code requirements.
Status: Assigned to House Committee on Energy and Environment.  Recommended Do Pass and Passed in House: Ayes 42; Nays 13; Excused 4. Forwarded to Senate President’s desk for assignment.
Text To Receive Progress Updates You will need to set up an account if you don’t already have one.

4 – HB2379 (with caveat) – HB2379 – Imposes severance tax on owner of timber at time of harvest at five percent of value of timber.
Concern that the best Severance tax imposition proposal should be supported.
Status: Assigned to House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources,  Hearing was February 25th, Testimony submitted by Alan Journet. Passed Aye 6 Nay 4. Subsequent referral to House Committee on Revenue.
Text To Receive Progress Updates You will need to set up an account if you don’t already have one.

4 – HB2475 – Authorizes Public Utility Commission to consider differential energy burden and other inequities of affordability in rates.
Status:  Assigned to House Committee on Energy and Environment.  Recommended Do Pass Aye 4; Nay 3. House Floor vote was scheduled for March 16th but no report of outcome.  House was shut down due to COVID diagnosis but reopened March 30.
Text To Receive Progress Updates You will need to set up an account if you don’t already have one.

4 – HB2842 – Establishes Healthy Homes Program within the Oregon Health Authority to provide grants to entities to provide financial assistance to low-income households and landlords.
Status: Assigned to House Committee on HousingPassed committee Ayes 8: Nays 0. No evidence of House floor vote.
Text To Receive Progress Updates You will need to set up an account if you don’t already have one.

4 – LC1894/2902 – The joint resolution establishes principles, lays a framework of shared values, and lays the path forward for future policies and practices based on the right to ethical, balanced, healthy and responsible uses of land and renewable resources for future generations. Specifically, the resolution:
– Acknowledges the deep interconnection between present environmental impacts and crises and the history of structural racial and socioeconomic inequities in the state;
– Affirms that clean air and water, healthy food and a stable climate are basic human rights;
– Recognizes that frontline, impacted and traditionally underrepresented communities have lacked adequate services and infrastructure, which has made those communities more vulnerable to environmental and public health impacts.
Status – When this is assigned an HJR #$, we can track it.

SOCAN Oppose Tier 2

These are not top priority but received some support and will be watched.

4 – SB540 – Specifies that electricity generated by hydroelectric facility or other equipment that generates electricity through use of hydroelectric energy may be used to comply with renewable portfolio standard.
Status: Assigned to Senate Committee on Energy and Environment; No Hearing of work session scheduled so presumably dead for this session
Text To Receive Progress Updates You will need to set up an account if you don’t already have one.

4 – SB660 – Specifies that electricity generated by hydroelectric facility or other equipment that generates electricity through use of hydroelectric energy may be used to comply with renewable portfolio standard.
Status: Assigned to Senate Committee on Energy and Environment; No Hearing of work session scheduled so presumably dead for this session
Text To Receive Progress Updates You will need to set up an account if you don’t already have one.

4 – SJR6 Proposes amendment to Oregon Constitution to restate constitutional requirement that Oregon state government maintain and operate under balanced budget in which current expenses do not exceed current revenues, except where other existing provisions of Constitution authorize debt.
Status: Assigned to Senate Committee on Finance and Revenue; No Hearing of work session scheduled so presumably dead for this session
Text  To Receive Progress Updates You will need to set up an account if you don’t already have one.

4 – HB2692 – Exempts issuance of site certificate for small modular reactors from requirement that proposal by Energy Facility Siting Council to issue site certificate for nuclear-fueled thermal power plant must be approved by voters.
Status: Assigned to House Committee on Energy and Environment; No Hearing of work session scheduled so presumably dead for this session
Text To Receive Progress Updates  You will need to set up an account if you don’t already have one.

Procedural Bills of Interest concerning the absurd Oregon legislative quorum of 2/3rds:

SB 261 Prohibits members of Legislative Assembly from soliciting or using contributions to pay fines or legal expenses, replace salary, defray expenses or otherwise compensate members for monetary losses incurred as result of unexcused absences from sessions of Legislative Assembly. Assigned to Revenue; Public Hearing held (Republicans declined to attend), no work session scheduled so presumably dead this session. 
SB 262 Prohibits member of Legislative Assembly who is absent and unexcused when Legislative Assembly is in session from receiving salary, per diem or expense reimbursement, and imposes fine of $500 per day of unexcused absence. Assigned to Revenue; Public Hearing held (Republicans declined to attend), no work session scheduled so presumably dead this session. 
SJR 3 Proposes amendment to Oregon Constitution to provide that member of Legislative Assembly who, without permission or excuse, does not attend 10 or more scheduled legislative floor sessions of Legislative Assembly is deemed to be engaging in disorderly behavior and is disqualified from holding office as Senator or Representative for term following member’s current term of office.  Assigned to Revenue; Public Hearing held (Republicans declined to attend), no work session scheduled so presumably dead this session. 
SJR 4 Proposes amendment to Oregon Constitution to modify portion of each house of Legislative Assembly needed to be in attendance for quorum necessary for house to conduct business. Assigned to Revenue; Public Hearing held (Republicans declined to attend), no work session scheduled so presumably dead this session. 
Testimony submitted in support of  this concept by Alan Journet. See above for updates
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