Storm Recovery, Latest Revenue Forecast, & More


Senator Floyd Prozanski
South Lane and North Douglas Counties
District 4

900 Court St. NE, S-417, Salem Oregon 97301
Capitol phone: 503-986-1704
e-Bulletin                     March 2019

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Dear friends,

    I don't need to tell you that recent weeks delivered a real winter wallop to our district. I have been in contact with local jurisdictions (including Oakridge, Drain, Glide and Yoncalla), the Governor's office, Oregon's Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and utility providers about needed resources and the urgency of restoring power to hard-hit communities. Please see below for a storm recovery update from OEM.

    Having now entered the third month of the 2019 legislative session, the deadline for introducing most legislation has passed and the deadline for most bills to receive committee action in their chamber of origin is fast approaching on April 19. "Most," because a few committees — namely, the Rules, Revenue, and Ways & Means committees — are not subject to the same deadline, and members are allowed a very limited number of "priority bills" for submission following the deadline.

    Last Thursday, I was proud to vote in favor of HB 2010 to maintain coverage for Oregon's share of Medicaid, allowing our state to obtain significant federal matching funds. Oregon is one of 49 states using this type of funding mechanism. The legislation was negotiated as part of a larger budget package for the Oregon Health Plan during the interim. HB 2010 provides support for insurance carriers to protect against catastrophic claims, which allows insurers to pass along savings to consumers. This benefits small businesses purchasing employee benefits and those who purchase insurance individually. Currently, the Oregon Health Plan  which administers the state's Medicaid program provides health care coverage to nearly 400,000 children. It also provides coverage for seniors and people with disabilities, as well as adults earning at or below 138 percent of the federal poverty level (about $16,700 per year). In total, about 1 million Oregonians are covered by the program. HB 2010 now awaits the Governor's signature.

    Sadly, Secretary of State Dennis Richardson succumbed to brain cancer on February 26. On March 6, he was given a state funeral at the Capitol. Dennis served six terms in the House of Representatives before being elected as Oregon's 26th Secretary of State. Dennis was very committed to both his family and public service. He will be missed.

    Below you will find information on:

- Storm Recovery Update
Latest Revenue Forecast
My Session Bills: SB 593 (ODFW Licenses)

    I hope this information is helpful and informative for you or someone you know. As always, feel free to share your comments, questions or concerns with me by phone, mail or e-mail.

                                                               Sen. Prozanski signature

Storm Recovery Update
(From the Office of Emergency Management, March 4, 2019)

As of Sunday night (March 3), all local emergency operations centers transitioned to virtual or remote operations. The Oregon Office of Emergency Management (OEM) has transitioned to 24-hour duty officer coverage and planned to daily coordination calls with local, state, and nonprofit emergency management partners through at least March 6. All counties report critical life-safety needs have been met and there are no outstanding requests for state assistance.

    Utility and local/state highway crews continue to work to restore access and service to areas impacted. Below are updates from state Emergency Support Functions (ESF) with significant updates:

ESF 1 (Transportation)
    All weather-related road closures have been lifted (with the exception of Highway 101 in Curry County). The Highway 101 Slide in Curry County has a detour in place via Carpenterville Highway (ORE 255), however, trailer length restrictions are in place for commercial vehicles with this detour. ODOT is working to restore one lane of flagged traffic through the slide area, but there is no estimated time for restored traffic flow due to the continued slide activity. Please see ODOT TripCheck for the latest info.

ESF 6 (Mass Care)
    Oregon Department of Human Services continues to coordinate the American Red Cross, Oregon Food Bank, and other organizations to provide support to those displaced by the storm or without heat/power. Emergency shelters will remain operational as long as there is a need. Below is a list of known shelters/warming centers supporting Lane and Douglas counties:

  • Elkton Charter School, 739 River Road, ELKTON
  • Lookinglass Grange, 7426 Lookinglass Road, ROSEBURG
  • Old Harrison Elementary School, 1000 S. Tenth Street, COTTAGE GROVE
  • Upper McKenzie Fire Department, 56578 McKenzie Highway, MCKENZIE BRIDGE
  • Warming Center New Hope Baptist Church, 597 S. Front Street, CRESWELL
  • McKenzie Fire Training Center, 20 McKenzie Highway, WALTERVILLE
  • Yoncalla Elementary School, 401 First Street, YONCALLA

ESF 12 (Energy)
    BPA has fully restored power transmission in Oregon. Local utility providers continue to restore rural power service. Additional information for impacted utility providers may be found on utility-specific outage websites: Pacific Power, Douglas Electric, Lane Electric, Emerald PUC, and EWEB.
Here is information from utility providers via their websites or updates to the Oregon Public Utility Commission as of March 4:

  • Emerald PUC: 1,300 customers without power, no estimated time for full restoration
  • Douglas Electric: 4,700 customers without power, full restoration is estimated to take up to three weeks.
  • Lane Electric: 2,200 customers without power, full restoration is expected by March 7.

(Again: This information is current as of March 4.)

Declaration Status
    On February 28, Governor Brown declared a state of emergency for 10 counties in Oregon (Coos, Curry, Deschutes, Douglas, Jackson, Josephine, Klamath, Lane, Linn, and Marion). Four of these counties (Coos, Curry, Douglas, and Lane) also issued local declarations of emergency. Oregon OEM requested all counties statewide formally begin the initial damage assessment process to provide data that will inform a decision whether or not to recommend the governor seek federal disaster recovery assistance. This includes damage to publicly owned infrastructure (to include publicly owned utilities) and costs incurred for debris removal and emergency protective measures. These eligible costs must exceed $5.6 million statewide for Oregon to be considered for a federal disaster declaration.

    The process from the end of the weather event to a request for federal assistance can take six to eight weeks. County Emergency Managers will serve as local points of contact for this effort. We have also asked counties to assess impacts to businesses and private residents to determine eligibility for Small Business Administration emergency assistance. The Oregon Department of Transportation has submitted a letter of intent to the Federal Highway Administration stating our state's intent to apply for assistance to repair damage to state-maintained portions of the federal highway system (including the landslide area of Highway 101 in Curry County).

Latest Revenue Forecast

    The March 2019 Economic and Revenue Forecast was released at a joint meeting of the Senate and House Revenue Committees last week. The forecast, summarized below, shows that Oregon's economic growth remains strong while the national economy is stable but slowing slightly.

Revenue Outlook
    The projected ending balance for the 2017-19 biennium is up $144.1 million and the projected ending balance for the 2019-21 biennium is up $61.5 million from the December 2018 forecast. The projected ending balance is also up $1.25 billion from the 2017 close-of-session estimate.

    Oregon's Rainy Day Fund is projected to receive $199.3 million following the end of the 2017-19 biennium. Projected 2017-19 lottery resources are also up $3.8 million since December.

    The projected ending balances for the reserve accounts for the 2017-19 biennium are as follows: Education Stability Fund ($617.9 million), Rainy Day Fund ($595.4 million) and General Fund ($1.45 billion). This totals $2.665 billion in reserves.

Kicker Outlook
    Both the personal and corporate kickers will be triggered. A personal kicker of $748.5 million is projected for 2019-21. The corporate tax revenue of $352.8 million is projected to be dedicated to K-12 education spending in in the 2019-21 biennium. The median personal kicker is predicted to be $180.

Economic Outlook
    Oregon is projected to maintain a low unemployment rate, around 3.9 percent, through calendar year 2019. Large service sector industries have been leading job growth. This growth has been taking place in professional and business services, health services and leisure and hospitality industries. Oregon's median household income is currently in line with the U.S. median household income. This has not happened since the mills closed in the 1980s.

Forecast Risks
    The Oregon Office of Economic Analysis has identified multiple risks to monitor regarding Oregon's economic and revenue outlook, including housing affordability, federal fiscal policy, global spillover, environmental climate and disasters, commodity price inflation, federal timber policy, ballot measures and the state of the U.S. economy at large.

My Session Bills: SB 593 (ODFW Licenses)

    SB 593, which came to me as a request from a veteran and constituent, Mr. Ron Hjort of Oakland, makes a person holding resident disabled veteran hunting license eligible for additional "preference points" in the controlled hunt permit preference system. Less technically: It allows residents to get both a Disabled Veteran hunting license along with a Resident Pioneer license. Under current law, the two are mutually exclusive.

    On February 28, I was honored to co-carry SB 593 to unanimous passage in the Senate on with Senator Manning. You can read the bill in full, review co-sponsors and track its progress, here:

        It was an honor to testify alongside Mr. Ron Hjort in support of SB 593.

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