Legislative Update: Upcoming District 5 Meetings and Cover Oregon


Senator Arnie Roblan
D-Coos Bay
District 5

Phone: 503-986-1705    900 Court St. NE, S-417, Salem Oregon 97301
Email: sen.arnieroblan@state.or.us    Website: http://www.leg.state.or.us/roblan

Dear Friends, Family and Neighbors,

I hope this newsletter finds you and your family well as the holiday season approaches!

I have organized a series of meetings across Senate District 5 (Coos Bay to Tillamook) to help in increasing local participation in the legislative process on issues of common interest. To that end, I will be attending the City Club of Florence Meeting, scheduled for December 6th at 12:00 p.m.

My discussion will be focused on "The State of the State Economy," which will include:

SB 116 Task Force -- Creates Shipping Transport of Aquatic Invasive Species:
Senate Bill 116-A recreates the Task Force for a third time for the purpose of studying and making recommendations on combating the introduction of aquatic nonindigenous species associated with shipping-related transport; evaluating funding mechanisms to support and maintain prevention efforts and ballast water program activities; and shipping industry compliance with the ballast water statute. The Task Force will sunset again on January 2, 2019.

HB 2620 - Economic and Community Development Alignment Plan:
Like individual businesses, local and regional economic development organizations, such as Southern Oregon Regional Economic Development, Inc. (SOREDI), and Strategic Economic Development Corporation (SEDCOR), are required to navigate various state agencies in taking action on their development priorities.  House Bill 2620 A establishes a state commitment to regional and community based problem solving and directs the Governor to develop a plan to align state economic and community development programs with regional and community based development programs.

SB 582A - Streamlining Building Code Regulations:
SB 582A aims to streamline and stabilize the building inspection process as well as benefit Oregon’s economy by providing flexibility and timeliness with building inspection and plan review for construction projects, especially in rural areas of the state. In addition to streamlining the regulatory process, this bill responds to counties struggling to keep local programs. By allowing the state and local governments to combine resources and enter into partnerships, the state can better address rural Oregon’s unique construction needs.

I will also be attending Senator Wyden's Coos County Town Hall on November 24, 2013 1:00 p.m. at the Southwestern Oregon Community College- Empire Hall Lakeview Rooms, 1988 Newmark Ave Coos Bay, OR.

In December, I will be the keynote speaker at the 20th Annual Bay Area Economic Outlook Forum Friday at the Mill Casino, North Bend. I will discuss the recent economic forecast, my efforts with the annual Oregon Coast Economic Summit and expectations for general fund revenue growth for the south-central coast.

I hope you’ll be able to join me at any of these events. This meeting should serve as an occasion to participate in community dialogue, build connections, and learn from one another, as well as to focus on the legislative process.


Cover Oregon: The Exchange Process

Senate President Peter Courtney recently noted that the troubles with Cover Oregon mirror those of the national insurance marketplace website. The federal on-line exchange has struggled to enroll people in health insurance plans even as millions of Americans are receiving notices that their current plans will be cancelled Jan. 1, when the Affordable Care Act fully goes into effect. The Oregon Insurance Division this week allowed insurance companies to extend those current plans for one additional year.

Oregon has had success in reducing the number of uninsured in the state by expanding Medicaid to include 56,000 additional persons. Officials say that expansion alone reduced the number of those without healthcare coverage by 10 percent.

Cover Oregon's Application Fairs are taking place this week. These events are a great opportunity to ensure consumers have the help they need to complete applications, and to educate them on health insurance and how to enroll in a plan. Cover Oregon continues to urge Oregonians to apply right away for coverage starting January 1, 2014.

Application Fair Locations & Dates.  Click here for more details to all Application Fairs.
Portland, Nov. 23 & 24
Salem, Nov. 25

Here is more detail on what happens after an application is received:

  • A letter is sent to the applicant summarizing any tax credit eligibility available to apply towards purchase of private insurance. If any individuals on the application qualify for Oregon Health Plan or Healthy Kids, the letter will state this, as well.
  • People who are eligible for private insurance will then receive an enrollment packet in the mail from Cover Oregon. The packet must be completed and returned to Cover Oregon, postmarked by Dec. 15 for coverage starting January 1, 2014. Cover Oregon encourages consumers to choose their preferred plan right away so they are ready to fill out their enrollment packet as soon as it arrives. To start researching plans, Oregonians can go to CoverOregon.com anytime.
  • If applicants are eligible for Oregon Health Plan or Healthy Kids, they are automatically enrolled and will receive a confirmation letter.