The 2016 Legislative Short Session has commenced! I'm pleased to report, the majority of the legislation I championed this short session has successfully passed.
HB 4072 - Establishes the University Development Fund (UVDF), benefiting the business community and supporting our public universities by providing up to 60% in Oregon income tax credits for donors who support the transfer of university research to Oregon's commercial marketplace. It's a great way for business to support higher education.
HB 4071 - Extends Medicaid like coverage to the COFA (Compacts of Free Association) Islanders by providing a 9-1 federal match that will ensure 1,500 Islanders receive the proper health care they are in dire need of as a result of the 67 atomic bomb tests conducted by the United States in the Marshall Islands.
HB 4086 - Extends unemployment benefits up to an additional six months to workers who have been locked out. To clarify, locked out workers are extremely different than those on a strike. Locked out workers want to work, but the employer will not allow them to come back into their place of employment during a labor negotiation. Considering 180 workers from the Albany area have been affected by this, I am extremely grateful to see this legislation pass with bi-partisan support.
HB 4094 - Removes the criminal liability from state law to allow banks and credit unions to bank with and lend to lawful marijuana businesses. This is an important step in reducing criminal activity and providing security for banks, credit unions, and the public.
SB 1571 - Ensures untested sexual assault forensic evidence kits will be handled with the same protocol throughout the State of Oregon. With this legislation, each kit is required to be tested so that we can better protect victims and identify suspects in prosecuting future sex crimes.