2018 Oregon Legislative Summary

Measure 102 – Related to affordable housing. OPHA board voted to support this measure.

Measure 102 was referred to the ballot by the Oregon Legislature (House Joint Resolution 201).  It will lift the current ban on the ability of local governments to work with nonprofits and local businesses to build affordable housing in their community with bond funds.  Measure 102 will allow local governments to work in partnership with those who have the most experience in building, owning, and operating affordable housing to create more housing more effectively.  Measure 102 most directly relates to affordable housing bonds passed by local governments. Right now, local governments can pass bonds for affordable housing (Portland already has, and others are considering it) however any housing created from bonds needs to be built, owned, and operated by the government. Because of this limitation, bond dollars for affordable housing can’t go as far, and small cities and rural areas don’t have the capacity to implement affordable housing bond programs.  Housing is one of the top social determinants of health and has a significant impact on the health of Oregonians.

Learn more:  https://www.yesforaffordablehousing.com/

Measure 103 - Prohibits state/local taxes on sale/distribution/purchase of “groceries” (defined) enacted after September 2017.  OPHA Board voted to oppose this measure.

Measure 103 would amend the Oregon Constitution to prohibit local and state governments from taxing the sales/distribution/purchase/receipt of groceries. It would make that ban retroactive to Oct. 1, 2017, meaning any tax passed since that date would be invalidated.

The OPHA board of directors voted to oppose Measure 103 for a variety of reasons. The definition of "groceries" in this measure is broad enough that questions begin to arise about what is covered, possibly including the liquid in e-cigarettes and any current or future products deemed "groceries" that may have or are known to have detrimental effects on health. The taxes included in the measure are also extremely broad, going far beyond banning a simple sales tax. Taxes at all levels from farm to table would be banned including options for corporate taxes, which would significantly hamper efforts at tax reform in the state. Finally, on principle, several directors felt that amending the constitution for this purpose was an inappropriate method for changing tax policy. We are working with partner groups to better understand the many effects this measure would have and will keep members up to date.

Learn more:  https://noon103.org

Measure 104 - Amends Constitution:  Expands (beyond taxes) the requirement that a three-fifths legislative majority approve bills raising revenue.  OPHA Board of Directors voted to oppose this measure.

Oregon law currently requires a 3/5 majority vote of the legislature to raise taxes.  Constitutional Amendment 104 would require this super majority for all revenue raising and reduction of tax breaks.  This would include any plans to raise new revenue for public health modernization or existing public health programs that improve population health and prevent illness and disease on a daily basis as well as perfunctory votes like fee raising for agencies like the State Boards of Nursing, Dentistry and Medicine.   Measure 104 will contribute to an increase in health disparities by perpetuating

and worsening current under-funding, making it more difficult to eliminate wasteful tax breaks and more difficult to bring in new revenue for programs that serve not just Oregon’s most underserved, but all Oregonians.  

Learn more:  https://noon104.org

Measure 105 - repeals Oregon Revised Statute 181A.820, Oregon’s “sanctuary law.”  OPHA Board of Directors voted to oppose Measure 105.

Measure 105 would repeal Oregon’s existing “sanctuary law” that limits the use of local personnel, funding, equipment and facilities to enforce federal immigration laws. Oregon’s “sanctuary law” has been in place for more than 30 years to end unfair racial profiling in our state.  Passage of Measure 105 would directly affect public safety by decreasing the likelihood that immigrant communities and communities of color would interact with law enforcement for the reporting and prevention of crime. Public safety goes hand in hand with public health.

Learn more:  https://orunited.org/

Measure 106 - Ballot Measure 106 amends the Oregon Constitution to prohibit publicly-funded healthcare programs, including the Oregon Health Plan and the Public Employees Benefit Board, from covering abortion. OPHA Board of Directors voted to oppose Measure 106.

Currently women in Oregon may obtain abortions when approved by a medical professional, under publicly funded health plans or health insurance provided through public employment or service.

Measure 106 chips away at healthcare benefits and decreases coverage for reproductive health care for hundreds of thousands of Oregonians. This right to healthcare is the foundation of freedom and opportunity for women and their families. No one should be denied care because of how much they make or how they are insured. All women and their families should have the opportunity to make choices about when and if to start a family and when to make changes.

Over 270,000 women of reproductive age receive health care through the Oregon Health Plan. Under Measure 106, these Oregonians will no longer have access to the full range of reproductive healthcare they need.

Measure 106 would have a disproportionate effect on teachers, nurses, firefighters and thousands of other public service members who would no longer be eligible for abortion coverage as part of their public employee benefits plan. According to the Department of Human Services and Oregon Health Authority, a total of 77,344 women of reproductive age are insured through the Public Employees’ Benefit Board (PEBB) and Oregon Educators Benefits Board (OEBB) as of June 2018.

Learn more:  https://nocutstocare.com/

Measure 26-199 - $652.8 million regional (Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties) bond to fund affordable housing for low-income families, seniors, veterans and people with disabilities.  OPHA Board of Directors voted to support this measure.

The regional affordable housing bond will build new affordable homes and renovate existing homes for over 7,500 people in the region in need of safe, affordable housing, or up to 12,000 people if statewide Measure 102 passes as well.  These numbers only include the people who will be served immediately by the housing created; the housing will be affordable for the long term, so the actual number of people served over the lifespan of the bond is significantly higher.  The bond is a property tax inside the Metro district, at .24 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. Housing and homelessness are significant social determinants of health and this measure is aimed at underserved communities, addressing one of OPHA’s priorities, health inequity.

Learn more:  https://www.yesforaffordablehousing.com/

Measure 26-201 - Portland Clean Energy Community Benefits Initiative.  The measure would create a 1 percent tax on businesses that make more than $1 billion in gross revenues nationally and $500,000 in Portland. The 1 percent tax will apply to the gross revenue made in Portland.  The tax will not apply to groceries, medicine or health care services. OPHA Board of Directors voted not to support this measure.

This November 2018 Portland ballot Initiative is aimed at helping the city of Portland reach its climate change goals and help low income families weatherize their homes, thus using less energy and lowering monthly utility expenses.  It is estimated to generate $30 million annually to:

  1. Weatherize and solarize Portland homes and businesses.
  2. Provides job training, apprenticeships, and minority contractor support.
  3. Energy efficiency upgrades for low income housing.
  4. Build green infrastructure such as tree canopy, and local food production.

The OPHA board of directors remains committed to addressing health inequities in Oregon and recognizes that climate change is one of the most important issues impacting population health today and in the future. The board did not actively oppose the measure but did not support it. Concerns included the fact that this is a local measure, but should be done on a statewide level, directors living outside of Portland abstained, if this bill is intended to impact climate change, it isn't appropriate to tax only profitable companies. If a large company has a good environmental record and is not a big polluter, it doesn't make sense for that company to pay an extra tax if, for example a company that profits less than $1 billion, is a big polluter.

Learn more:  https://www.portlandcleanenergyinitiative.com/

HB 4145A: Relating to gun violence prevention - Expands the prohibition on possession of firearms or ammunition to include certain persons in domestic violence situations. Changes "intimate partner" to "family or household member" within the prohibition. Specifies that family or household member includes persons who have co-habitated with each other or who have been involved in a sexually intimate relationship. Includes persons convicted of stalking and persons convicted of qualifying misdemeanors who are parents or guardians of victims of offense in the prohibition. Requires Department of State Police to enter qualifying convictions and judicial findings or terms of judgment, when available, into Law Enforcement Data System (LEDS) and the National Crime Information Center of the U.S. Department of Justice (NCIC). Requires Department to report attempted transfer to or purchase of firearm by individual prohibited from possessing a firearm within 24 hours to all federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, including district attorneys having jurisdiction in the location of the sale or transfer. Includes notification, as appropriate, to supervising officer, court, or Psychiatric Security Review Board. Requires yearly report on number of attempted purchases, the number of investigations resulting from those reports, and the charges and dispositions of charges arising from the reports. Updates language.

HB 4003: Relating to diesel emissions - Specifies requirements for certain public contracts, adoption of indirect source review program rules, registration requirements for nonroad diesel engines; directs adoption of diesel engine emission standards for specific on-road vehicles and nonroad engines. Defines environmental justice communities. Authorizes additional grant awards from the Environmental Mitigation Trust Agreement and to be allocated to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions from diesel engines operated in environmental justice communities or communities of color, and specifies that a portion of financial assistance from the Environmental Mitigation Trust Agreement be held for applicants that are businesses owned by women or by members of minority groups. Repeals state preemption of local regulation of idling by primary engines in commercial vehicles. Specifies operative date for certain sections. Becomes effective July 1, 2018.

HB 4160: Relating to family medical leave insurance benefits - The Paid Family and Medical Leave insurance program will be a self-sustaining insurance program administered by the Department of Consumer and Business Services. Like the programs that have been enacted in 5 other states, Oregon’s plan will be structured as a social insurance program, like Social Security or Unemployment Insurance. Employees and employers will contribute less than one percent of payroll each to a state-managed insurance fund that administers the benefit. Employees can then submit a claim for partial wage replacement when they have a qualifying reason for leave, including:

  • The birth or adoption of a child
  • Taking in a child from the foster care system
  • An employee’s own serious illness
  • The serious illness of an employee’s family member

The insurance benefit will provide partial wage replacement that is based on a formula to ensure that lower income individuals get closer to 100% of their wages replaced and that % decreases as an individual moves up the income spectrum.

HB 4001: Clean Energy Jobs Bill: Relating to climate pollution -  Clean Energy Jobs is a policy to hold transportation, utilities, and industrial facilities accountable for climate pollution by putting a price on it and to set a cap on that pollution. It would limit climate pollution for statewide emitters of 25,000+ tons of greenhouse gases per year (the largest polluters in the state). These emitters would purchase permits within the cap that may be traded with other regulated entities. Proceeds can be reinvested to further reduce climate pollution, assist low-income households, create benefits for disproportionately impacted communities, retrain workers, and advance clean economic development. The policy would create a mechanism to enforce the state’s existing climate goals, setting interim targets. 

SB 1515: Children's Service Districts - Authorizes formation of children’s service districts. Authorizes children’s service districts to levy property taxes to fund programs that offer children’s services. Defines “children’s services” as services that support children’s total health and well-being provided outside of school hours to individuals not more than 18 years of age. Provides that, if court holds that revenue funding project is subject to compression under $5 per $1,000 of real market value cap for purposes of Ballot Measure 5 (1990) as revenue funding project constituting educational services, children’s service district shall discontinue project and shall use revenue for project that does not constitute educational services.

Budget allocation for 211Info: expanding service to 24/7, year round service - 211info informs and connects individuals and communities to health and human services. In the past fiscal year, 211info responded to over 700,000 inquiries for services including health, housing, food, transportation, and utility assistance. Current hours of operation are 8AM - 6PM. Data analysis shows that 1/3 (150,000) of incoming calls are turned away after those hours. 24/7/365 services will provide access to the service for those unable to call during daytime hours, reduce wait time, and improve operational readiness to respond to emergency events like tsunami warnings, forest fires, severe weather or other emergency events with health implications.

Ballot Measure 101: Relating to funding of Medicaid in Oregon (the Oregon Health Plan) -  A "yes" vote will affirm the bipartisan law Oregon lawmakers made during the 2017 legislative session.  A “Yes” vote approves temporary assessments on insurance companies, some hospitals, the Public Employees’ Benefit Board, and managed care organizations. Assessments provide funding for health care for low-income individuals and families, and individuals with disabilities via the Oregon Health Plan (Oregon's name for Medicaid); also stabilize premiums charged by insurance companies for health insurance purchased by individuals and families. Insurance companies may not increase rates on health insurance premiums by more than 1.5 percent as a result of the assessments. Hospital assessments may not begin without approval by a federal agency.

If the measure passes, the health care program and health insurance premiums stabilization program are funded as adopted by the 2017 Legislative Assembly.

If the measure is defeated there will be a reduction of $210-$320 million in state revenue, resulting in a possible reduction of $630-$960 million, or more in federal Medicaid matching funds. The total revenue reduction to the 2017-19 state budget may be $840 million-$1.3 billion or more.

Action Alerts

APHA ACTION ALERT - Act now to stop the repeal of the ACA! (January 9, 2017)

OPHA ACTION ALERT - Express Your Support for Public Health Funding TODAY! (March 7, 2017)

OPHA ACTION ALERT - Gun Legislation Hearing Monday, April 17th 8am (April 13, 2017)

OPHA ACTION ALERT - DIESEL BILL GUTTED - Call Your Oregon State Senator & Governor Brown THIS WEEK (April 19, 2017)

APHA ACTION ALERT - Oppose repeal of the Affordable Care Act (June 20, 2017)

OPHA & Coalition Letters

Oregon State Advocacy Efforts:

National Advocacy Efforts: