Latest Rev Forecast, VA Veteran Town Halls, Session Accomplishments & 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                     September 2019

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Dear friends,

        As we transition back into the school year, please remember to use extra caution in and around school zones. Also please use caution in work zones as many projects enter a "home stretch" for the season. Too many flaggers get hit, injured or killed each year.

    The first set of "legislative days" for the 2019 interim will take place September 16-18. This is an opportunity for committees to hold informational hearings and begin discussions on bill concepts for the 2020 "short" session. The Senate will also meet for consideration of the Governor's appointments to various boards and commissions. You can review committee agendas (once posted) and watch live proceedings using the Legislature's online information system.

    Leading up to our first set of 2019 legislative days, new committee assignments have been announced. In addition to continuing to serve as chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I have been re-appointed as a member of the Environment & Natural Resources Committee and appointed to the newly formed Committee on Wildfire Prevention & Recovery.

    Below you will find information on:

- September Revenue Forecast
        - VA Veteran Town Halls
        - 2019 Session Accomplishments: Environment & Rural Oregon

    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

September Revenue Forecast

    The September 2019 Economic and Revenue Forecast was released at a joint meeting of the Senate and House Revenue Committees. The forecast shows that Oregon's economy remains strong, with low unemployment rates and higher wage growth than other parts of the country. Oregon's State Economist warned, however, that
we are "starting to see some cracks in the national economy" with a rising risk of recession.

    State income tax receipts have come in stronger than projected, resulting in a $1.56 billion kicker that will be returned to Oregonians on their state income taxes next year.

    With the projected impending economic slowdown, we cannot expect these benefits to continue in the next biennium, according to the State Economist. If we go into recession, that could mean a reduction in projected revenues and difficulty funding state services at the current level. I'm proud to note, however, that the Legislature has been committed to building up Oregon's "rainy day" reserves over the last decade so that we may better protect essential services from devastating cuts.

    A video recording of the September revenue forecast is available, here. A copy of the forecast presentation itself cane found, here.

VA Veteran Town Halls

    The Roseburg VA Health Care System will host Veteran Town Halls this month in Eugene and Roseburg. Veterans, their family members and stakeholders are all welcome to attend these opportunities for veterans to be heard and have their questions answered.

    The Roseburg town hall will take place on Wednesday, September 18, from 5-7 p.m. at Building 16, 1st Floor Auditorium (913 NW Garden Valley Blvd, Roseburg).

    The Eugene town hall will take place on Thursday, September 19, from 5-7 p.m. at the VA Healthcare Center (3355 Chad Dr, Eugene).

2019 Session Accomplishments: Environment & Rural Oregon

    Continuing my in-depth summaries of bills passed during the 2019 session by subject area, here is a comprehensive listing of accomplishments related to environment and rural Oregon — by Senate/House bill and in numerical order:

Senate Bills

    SB 47 - Water Access Permit: Currently, owners of nonmotorized boats at least 10 feet long must purchase an Aquatic Invasive Species permit from the State Marine Board for each qualifying boat. This legislation eliminates that requirement, instead requiring these boaters to purchase a new Waterway Access Permit. Funds from the permits will go to a new Waterway Access Fund, which the Marine Board will use to enhance access to nonmotorized boat water access and increase educational opportunities for boaters.

    SB 69 - Broadband Equity Planning: This legislation requires the Public Utility Commission to establish a plan to provide low-income Oregonians assistance for accessing broadband Internet services. Under the bill, the Public Utility Commission would include broadband Internet in the mix of services for which it must establish a low-income assistance plan. To qualify, a family must demonstrate its income or participate in government assistance programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

    SB 90 - Single Use Straw Ban: This legislation prohibits a food and beverage provider or convenience store from providing single-use plastic straws unless requested by the consumer. It authorizes an enforcement officer to impose a fine of up to $25 per day after a second violation, up to $300 in a calendar year for each food and beverage provider or convenience store. This bill exempts health care and residential care facilities that provide single-use plastic straws to patients or residents.

    SB 219 - Commercial and Development Opportunities for Tribes: The Legislature created the Regional Infrastructure Fund in 2013 to provide grants and loans to local governments for Regional Solutions implementation projects, including long-range planning, research, and design. The Oregon Business Development Department, known as Business Oregon, administers the lottery-funded Regional Infrastructure Fund. Eligible entities currently include cities, counties, authorities, or entities organized under state statute or city or county charter, including any council of government. This legislation adds federally recognized Indian tribes located in Oregon as an eligible entity for grants and loans from the Regional Infrastructure Fund.

    SB 256 - Offshore Drilling Ban: This legislation prohibits the Department of State Lands from leasing any submerged or submersible lands in the Oregon territorial sea for the exploration, development, or production of oil, gas, or sulfur or related activities.

    SB 580 - Bans Cyanide Traps for Hunting: Sodium cyanide ejectors such as "M44s" are spring-powered devices that are used to control predators, but also pose a lethal threat to pets and children. Once the mechanism is triggered, it shoots sodium cyanide in the direction of whatever animal has triggered it, most often resulting in death. These devices are responsible for the death of pets in Oregon and other states, as well as for causing injury to a teen in Idaho (who also lost his dog in the incident). I was proud to chief-sponsor this legislation to prohibit the use of sodium cyanide devices for purposes of killing animals.

    SB 1025 - Clams: This legislation requires the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife to produce a survey of bay clam populations in priority areas within Tillamook Bay by December 31, 2021. It directs the department to establish the Tillamook Bay Clam Advisory Committee, comprised of a balance of persons who are commercial clammers and recreational clammers, as well as conservation interests. The committee will make recommendations to the Department and Legislature before the 2023 Legislative Session.

    SB 1044 - Zero Emission Vehicles: This legislation requires state agency light-duty fleets to consist of 25 percent zero-emission vehicles by 2025 and entirely by 2029. The measure creates an exemption based on availability, or lack of availability, of zero-emission vehicles on the market that meet agency needs. The procurement requirement does not include police vehicles, fire vehicles, or certain utility vehicles. The bill also gives school districts spending flexibility to procure zero-emissions vehicles and deploy electric charging infrastructure.

House Bills

    HB 2007 - Clean Diesel: Diesel is the fuel most frequently used by the commercial transportation sector. Approximately 80 percent of all freight in the U.S. is moved by diesel engines. In 2007, the federal government set emissions standards requiring diesel engines to release fewer pollutants. Because of the durability of diesel engines, however, many vehicles powered by diesel engines from model years before 2007 continue to be used. This legislation directs Department of Environmental Quality to award grants for the purpose of reducing emissions from diesel engines. This includes retrofitting older diesel engines to reduce pollution. The bill also creates the Supporting Businesses in Reducing Diesel Emissions Task Force and requires the Department of Transportation to provide an annual report related to registration of medium- and heavy-duty trucks.

    HB 2173 - Broadband Office: In December 2018, Governor Brown issued Executive Order 18-31, establishing the Oregon Broadband Office within Business Oregon to develop broadband investment and deployment strategies for underserved areas and to help communities access federal and state funds. This legislation statutorily codifies the Oregon Broadband Office and defines its responsibilities.

    HB 2184 - Universal Service Fund: The Oregon Universal Service Fund (OUSF) helps ensure the availability and affordability of basic telephone service and helps encourage broadband service availability throughout Oregon, especially in rural and remote areas. Historically, the OUSF has been funded through a surcharge imposed on wireline telecommunications services. This legislation expands the categories of telecommunications services that are subject to the surcharge and reduces the surcharge cap from 8.5 percent to 6 percent. The measure also establishes the Broadband Fund that will be used to help applicants install broadband infrastructure, giving preference to schools and public libraries.

    HB 2225 - Land Use: In forest zones, categories of dwellings are currently allowed: large-tract dwellings, lot-of-record dwellings, forest template dwellings, replacement dwellings, and temporary hardship dwellings. This legislation defines "center of the subject tract" as the mathematical centroid of the tract for siting certain permissible forest dwellings and adds additional requirements for these dwellings. The bill also authorizes certain counties up until to November 1, 2023, to allow establishment of a single-family dwelling on a lot or parcel that was part of a tract as of the beginning of 2021.

    HB 2250 - Oregon Environmental Protection Act: This legislation ensures that Oregon maintains high environmental standards. HB 2250 requires the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) regularly assess final changes to federal environmental law and to determine whether the changes are significantly less protective of public health, the environment, or natural resources than baseline federal standards established in January 2017. The bill would direct DEQ and OHA to recommend actions that would maintain the baseline and provides for exceeding federal environmental standards when necessary.

    HB 2509 - Plastic Bag Ban: This legislation prohibits retail establishments and restaurants from providing single-use checkout bags to customers. Exceptions include bags provided to package bulk items such as fruit and vegetables or other items because of dampness or sanitation, bags that contain a prescription drug, newspaper bags and laundry bags.

    HB 2618 - ODOE Solar Energy Rebate Program: Solar energy technologies, including daylighting, passive solar space heating, solar water heating, and solar electric or photovoltaic (PV) systems, generate electrical and thermal energy in all parts of Oregon. This legislation directs the Oregon Department of Energy to administer a program to provide rebates through contractors for the purchase, construction, or installation of solar electric systems and paired solar and energy storage systems. It requires ODOE to prioritize rebates that benefit low- and moderate-income residential customers and nonresidential customers that are low-income service providers.

    HB 2623 - Five-Year Fracking Ban: Hydraulic fracturing, often called "fracking," involves injecting water, sand, and chemicals under high pressure into a bedrock formation via a well in order to produce oil and natural gas. Fracking has been linked to negative impacts on waterways, ecosystems and public health. This legislation imposes a statewide moratorium on hydraulic fracturing until January 2, 2025.

    HB 2829 - Oregon Conservation and Recreation Fund: This legislation establishes the Oregon Conservation and Recreation Fund to protect, maintain and enhance fish and wildlife resources. Programs and activities that fit this purpose include improving educational outreach, expanding joint parks and recreation programs, improving public engagement in outdoor recreation programs, and promoting the health of Oregon's ecosystems. An Oregon Conservation and Recreation Advisory Committee will make recommendations to the Fish and Wildlife Commission on the use of moneys from the fund. An appropriation of $1 million from the General Fund will be available when the fund raises a matching $1 million from private sources.

    HB 2834 - Wildlife Crossing and Safe Road Crossing Act: A wildlife corridor is a path that animals and plants use to travel between habitats. The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) reports that there were 2,212 vehicle collisions with deer and elk in Oregon during the months of October and November 2018 alone. In an effort to preserve wildlife and prevent accidents, this legislation requires that ODFW, along with ODOT, collect data regarding the connectivity of wildlife habitat areas and develop a Wildlife Corridor Action Plan. The plan should identify species at risk of habitat fragmentation; identification of known migration and dispersal, potential effects of climate change on species movement; identification of known and potential human-caused barriers; and contemporary map showing existing and potential wildlife corridors.

    HB 3273 - Prescription Drug Take Backs: Approximately a third of pharmaceutical drugs purchased in the United States go unused, are considered hazardous waste, and end up in water systems or landfills. This legislation requires manufacturers of covered drugs that are sold within Oregon to develop and implement drug take-back program for the purpose of collecting leftover drugs for disposal.

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