Legislative Updates

Current OPHA Policy Priorities (updated 7/10/2018)

At their monthly meeting in June, OPHA's board of directors voted to endorse Initiative Petition 44 and oppose Initiative Petition 37. Requests were brought to the policy committee and board from partner groups.

IP44, "Safe Gun Storage and Reporting of Lost/Stolen Guns"
Initiative Petition 44: Requires owner/possessor of firearm to secure it with trigger or cable lock, or in locked container when not being carried by owner/possessor; must transfer firearm with trigger or cable lock, or in locked container; must report theft or loss of firearm to law enforcement within 24 hours; person who transfers firearm to minor must directly supervise minors’ use of firearm. Failure to comply with requirements treated as violation. Person failing to comply with requirements is strictly liable if injury to person or property results within five years from failure to comply; liability does not apply if injury results from self-defense/defense of another. Attorney General to adopt specifications for trigger locks, cable locks, firearms containers.

OPHA is aware that the primary petitioners are not planning to gather signatures due to a compressed timeline and are pursuing legislation in 2019 or a 2020 ballot initiative. The OPHA policy committee and board of directors will continue to follow this initiative and keep members updated through the 2019 legislative session.

IP37 Prohibits state/local taxes on sale/distribution/purchase of “groceries” (defined) enacted after September 2017
IP 37 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 IP37 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.