The first day of the 2020 legislative session is now in the books.
The 2020 Legislature introduced about 250 bills. Last week, the OSCC Government Affairs Committee and Board convened to develop the OSCC legislative priorities for 2020.
Yesterday, OSCC did the following:
- Testified in support of additional BOLI Technical Assistance for employers (HB 4087). OSCC appeared before the House Business & Labor Committee to testify with Labor Commissioner Val Hoyle in support of her bill, HB 4087. This bill would transfer civil penalty reserves (approx. $100,000/ year) to fund technical assistance for employers in Eastern Oregon and the free online publication of BOLI technical assistance and compliance manuals. OSCC worked with Commissioner Hoyle on the -1 amendment, which removes the authorization to propose legislation that would increase civil penalties for Oregon employers. You can see OSCC's written testimony here. Chambers are encouraged to submit written testimony at: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Testified in opposition to HB 4113, which would require BOLI screening of all employers - and all employees - if there are minors employed in the workplace. The legislation is well intended -to protect minors from sex offenders or other criminals in the workplace - but OSCC testified that employers no longer have the tools to screen employees for criminal background and that it was unfair to subject employers to civil penalties and lawsuits if they themselves have no ability to screen employees for past criminal behavior. OSCC is expecting an amendment from BOLI to address our concerns. Chambers are encouraged to submit written comment at: email@example.com
Today, OSCC will be watching the following:
- Statewide Lodging Tax legislation (HB 4047) will make permanent the 1.8% statewide lodging tax rate that was passed in 2016. The rate was scheduled to be reduced to 1.5% this year, but in order to lock in the higher rate for statewide tourism promotion instead of other unrelated objectives, the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association agreed to keep the rate at 1.8% so long as the money is dedicated to tourism promotion. OSCC will support the legislation for the simple reason that if HB 4047 is not passed, the statewide Lodging Tax will be used as a vehicle to fund all manner of new programs and objectives unrelated to the tourism promotion that local communities rely on. You can see OSCC's testimony here. It's being heard this evening in the House Revenue Committee. Chambers are encouraged to submit written comment to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Interfering with Non-Competes (SB 1527). On Tuesday, the Senate Committee on Labor and Business will hold a hearing on SB 1527, which interferes with and reduces the scope of enforceable noncompete agreements. OSCC's biggest concern is the dramatic shift in enforceability of an agreement from 18 months under existing law to only 6 months. OSCC is concerned that six months may not be long enough to protect the investment the employer made in the former employee or to protect intellectual property. Chambers are encouraged to submit written comment to: email@example.com