I am pleased that a number of my bills have already passed the House! My vaccine stewardship bill was even featured in an article by The Lund Report when it passed the House. Each of my bills passed with a solid margin, in some cases, with only one or a few "nay" votes, but they still face hurdles to be passed by the Senate. The committee chair decides whether to hear the bill, then if the Chair agrees to schedule a work session, the committee will discuss and vote on the bill; finally, a vote in the Senate. That's what we're working on now: pushing our government efficiency, health care, and other bills in the Senate.
I've selected a few other bills to report on, based on hearing from quite a few people on the topic, to let you know what the legislature is considering.
Cool Schools - HB 2960:
Creates family-wage jobs and establishes a Jobs, Energy & Schools Fund to retrofit school buildings to make them more energy efficient. The bill is currently in the Joint Ways and Means Subcommittee on Natural Resources.
Oregon's Virtual State Bank - HB 3452:
Consolidates Oregon's economic development loan programs into a single fund and empowers the state to make loans to Oregon farmers and business owners who have struggles to get credit during the global recession. The bill recently had a public hearing and work session in House Revenue Committee.
Buy Oregon First - HB 3000:
To support the Oregon economy and keep more Oregon money circulating in the state, this bill allows contracting state agencies to pay up to 10 percent more for goods fabricated or processed in Oregon or services performed entirely within the state when bidding out contracts. This bill passed the House and is currently in the Senate General government, Consumer and Small Business Protection Committee.
Constituents talk about school funding with Representative Nathanson over coffee in Eugene.
Business Ombudsman - HB 2770:
Directs the Oregon Business Development Department to explore the feasibility of a establishing a Business Ombudsman position and related website to provide guidance and assistance during the creation of new business and consultation to existing businesses. This bill passed the House and is currently in the Senate General government, Consumer and Small Business Protection Committee.
The Bottle Bill - HB 3145:
Since 1971, Oregonians pay the same 5 cent deposit on a bottle, and it's gotten more confusing knowing which bottles can be returned, with all the new juice, tea, energy, and other kinds of drinks. This bill expands the types of containers accepted for deposit and raises the deposit from five cents to ten cents if recycling rates fall below 80 percent. This bill passed the House and is currently in the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee.
Better Government Transparency - HB 2825 & HB 2788:
These bills require additional information to be posted to the transparency website created from legislation passed during the 2009 legislative session. HB 2825 requires state agencies to submit information about tax expenditures connected to economic development, such as business tax credits, to be posted on the website. HB 2788 includes the State Treasurer as a state agency subject to the Oregon transparency website and requires agencies to post notices of public meetings. Both bills have passed the House and are currently in the Senate General government, Consumer and Small Business Protection Committee.