Representative Deborah Boone April 6 2017 Legislative Update

Deborah Boone

Dear Friends:

As we begin our third month of the 79th Oregon Legislative Assembly, bills are moving through both the House and Senate chambers.  While many of the proposals clarify or fine tune existing laws, others attempt to make more dramatic changes and attract more interest from state residents.

The issue of Pay Equity received lots of attention this past week as HB 2005 came up for a House floor vote.   After nearly four hours of debate, the legislation that would expand Oregon’s existing pay equity laws and increase penalties for business that violate them, passed 36-24.   HB 2005 prohibits employers from paying people less based on race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, age, and national origin. Another version of the bill, the Minority Report added veterans as a protected class, while the Majority Report did not.   Because I feel so strongly that veterans should be included, I voted for the Minority Report, which failed on a 31-29 vote.  I then supported the Majority Report, because I totally support Pay Equity.  I have asked for an amendment to add veterans to the bill which now moves to the Senate for consideration.

Another bill that received extensive floor debate was HB 2004 which would lift Oregon’s statewide ban on rent control and establishes a just cause eviction standard allowing for no-cause evictions only during the first six months of occupancy.   After that time, for the most part, landlords would need a tenant fault-based cause to terminate month-to month rental agreement. The bill includes many exceptions, including allowing landlords to evict for business or personal reasons, but they would need to give 90-days notice, and must provide one month’s rent for moving expenses, unless they own four or fewer units.  The just-cause standard does not apply to landlords who live on the same property as the tenant and have two or fewer units.  This bill now moves to the Senate.

For many years, I have been focused on disaster preparedness for the coast and the state of Oregon, and one of my bills relating to this topic moved out of committee this week and is now heading for a floor vote.  HB 2933 relates to emergency project funding by the Special Public Works Fund.  Established in 1985, the Special Public Works fund is an important source of funding for critical infrastructure projects throughout Oregon.  When disaster strikes, the fund provides matching funds for federal and other local assistance.   HB 2933 removes the limitation on the amount the Oregon Infrastructure Finance Authority may grant for emergency projects. Exceeding the upper limit of $2.5 million per project should only occur in the event of a catastrophic seismic event.  On Tuesday, HB 2933 was voted out of the House Veterans and Emergency Preparedness Committee with a unanimous “Do Pass” recommendation. 

On Wednesday, HB 2900 relating to Port Advertising passed the House of Representatives with a unanimous vote of approval.   I sponsored this legislation at the request of the Oregon Ports Association to allow them to advertise their own facilities and the activities of the port and those who are using the port.   The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

I want to thank the thousands of SOLVE volunteers who turned out last weekend for the 34th annual Spring Beach Cleanup.  Nearly 5,000 people participated in this year’s event which picked up 28 tons of trash from Oregon’s coastline.   The beaches now look great, and are ready for company!

This week several constituents visited my office to talk about Safety and Justice, Banking issues, and Higher Education.  I always look forward when someone from the north coast visits, and my door is always open to constituents.  If you are planning a trip to the Capitol it’s best to contact my office a few days in advance so we can try to schedule an appointment.

If you have a concern or comment about a state agency or proposed legislation, you can write, phone or email my office.  Your input helps me make the decisions that best represent House District 32.


Deborah Boone

Representative Deborah Boone

House District 32

email: I phone: 503-986-1432
address: 900 Court St NE, H-481, Salem, OR, 97301