City Club of Portland’s Legislative Task Force is advocating for the Oregon Legislature take action based on findings and recommendations made in recent City Club research reports. City Club reports are produced by diverse committees of Oregonians who carefully study each issue, consult with experts and develop practical recommendations.
City Club’s recommendations include:
* Ending the ban on local rent regulation.
* Supporting health care reform that helps Oregon’s most vulnerable residents.
* Restricting the operation of older, dirtier diesel technology and accelerating the adoption of newer diesel engines.
* Empowering localities and homebuyers to prepare for a catastrophic earthquake.
* Allocating dedicated funding to subsidize GED testing for qualified persons with demonstrable need.
Specifically, City Club notes that the following bills align with the recommendations of its research recommendations.
City Club’s Position: Housing affordability affects everyone, regardless of income. Fewer federal dollars are available to fund affordable housing projects, forcing developers to navigate a patchwork of state and local funding sources. The Legislature has limited what localities may do to encourage affordability, provide tax sunsets and enforce tenant’s rights. At a minimum, they need to end the ban on local rent regulation as recommended in the report.
* SB 191: Requires increased transparency on state website re: affordable housing.
* HB 2004: Prohibits landlords from terminating month-to-month tenancy without cause, under certain circumstances, within 90 days written notice and payment of relocation
Note: City Club of Portland’s earthquake resilience committee issued its report on Feb. 15. Until the Club membership adopts the report, the Club has no official position on the issue. The result of the vote will be announced on March 2.
CCOP’s Pending Position: A catastrophic earthquake could strike Oregon at any time. The Portland area -- with local, regional and state support -- must pursue strategies that focus on creating systems to preserve social and physical infrastructure. Immediate and ongoing investment will help the region bounce back after an earthquake. There are several bills under consideration that address these important issues.
* SB 311: Allows localities to grant temporary property tax exemptions to buildings that install seismic retrofitting.
* SB 312: Requires seller of real property to disclose seismic risk in seller's property disclosure statement.
Health Care Reform and Homelessness
CCOP’s Position: The combination of negative institutional experience and disproportionate trauma rate exacerbate the problem of obtaining health care for homeless Oregonians.
* HB 2305: Allows Legislature to authorize the Oregon Health Authority to provide healthcare to low income children.
* HB 2215: Allows people to remain in hospital longer after treatment.
* SB 147: Reimburses costs of oral health care for low income families.
CCOP’s Position: The Portland metro area endures toxic air pollution at concentrations that negatively affect the public’s overall health and increase the rate of disease. At least 52 air toxics are present in Oregon, and 6-10 are at unhealthy concentrations in Portland. Reducing emissions from wood smoke and diesel engines are recommendations included in the report.
* HB 2110: Requires Environmental Quality Commission (DEQ) to, no later than January 1, 2022, adopt by rules standards and programs for reducing diesel emissions from medium-duty trucks and nonroad diesel engines.
* HB 2124: DEQ to provide rebates for replacement/removal of wood burning devices.
* HB 2269: Modifies fee schedules for Clean Air Act. Adds grants and loans funding to Diesel Engine Fund.
Oregon GED Preparedness
CCOP’s Position: Approximately 11 percent of Oregonians do not have a high school diploma or alternative credential. The legislature can help adults complete their education to compete for jobs by continuing and expanding funding for the GED program.
There are currently no bills in support of the GED program.
City Club of Portland brings together civic-minded people to make Portland and Oregon better places to live, work and play for everyone. For more information about City Club of Portland, visit pdxcityclub.org or call (503) 228-7231.