Latest Rev Forecast, Housing Bills & More


Senator Floyd Prozanski
South Lane and North Douglas Counties
District 4

900 Court St. NE, S-413, Salem Oregon 97301
Capitol phone: 503-986-1704
e-Bulletin                     December 2019

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Dear friends,

    I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends. As we move into winter, I want to provide a final e-bulletin for the year.

     With the 2020 "short" legislative session fast approaching, my colleagues and I met November 18-21 in Salem for committee hearings and a meeting of the full Senate to consider executive appointments. The Senate Judiciary Committee, which I chair, met jointly with the House Judiciary Committee to hear updates on public defense services and other topics. I also chaired the Senate Special Committee on Conduct and co-chaired the Joint Committee on Conduct, in addition to participating in hearings of the Senate Committee on Wildfire Prevention & Recovery and the Committee on Environmental & Natural Resources.

    Until December 24, the sounds of the season will be heard in your state capitol rotunda daily from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Please click here for a detailed performance schedule.

    Below you will find information on:

- December Revenue Forecast
        - Medicare Annual Enrollment
- 2019 Session Accomplishments: Housing
        - Holiday Shopping Tips to Protect Your Money and Information
        - Giving Thanks: Cultural Trust Impact in Senate District 4

     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. Please stay safe when traveling this holiday season; remember to check ODOT's for road conditions and traffic information.

                                                                   Sen. Prozanski signature

                Santa observing this year's tree being decorated at the Capitol.
        The official lighting ceremony is scheduled for Tuesday, December 3, at 5 p.m.

December Revenue Forecast

    The December 2019 Economic and Revenue Forecast was released at a joint meeting of the Senate and House Revenue Committees. This forecast, summarized below, shows that Oregon's economic growth has slowed, as projected employment is slightly down compared to the September forecast. It appears that the slowdown is due to labor supply constraints. Encouragingly, income figures are still coming in above expectations. Also, while Oregon's communities of color continue to experience poverty at higher rates, this gap is narrowing as economic expansion continues.

Revenue Outlook

    The projected General Fund ending balance is up $162.8 million from the September revenue forecast. The projected ending balance is also up $475.1 million from the 2019 close-of-session estimate.

    Additionally, the Rainy Day Fund is projected to receive an additional $224.1 million following the end of the 2019-21 biennium. Projected 2019-21 lottery resources are also up $4 million since the September 2019 forecast.

    The projected ending balances for the state's reserve accounts for the 2019-21 biennium are as follows: Education Stability Fund ($858.7 million); Rainy Day Fund ($899.4 million); General Fund ($980.1 million). This totals $2,738.1 billion in reserves.

Kicker Outlook

    Oregonians can expect a kicker refund in 2020 but currently, no personal kicker is projected for 2021. Corporate tax revenue of $135.1 million is projected to be dedicated to K-12 education spending in in the 2021-23 biennium.

Economic Outlook

    Oregon is continuing to experience healthy growth in employment, income and GDP. Employment growth rates have been transitioning down to a more sustainable level. Workers across Oregon are continuing to experience personal income growth across the board. For the first time in at least 40 years, Oregon's median household income is higher than the national average. The state's poverty rate continues to decline and now sits half a percentage point below the U.S. at 12.6 percent statewide.

Oregon's Labor Market

    All main sources of jobs data being monitored by the Office of Economic Analysis are improving. Though job growth is slowing, the unemployment rate remains under what would be historically considered full employment. Wage growth remains strong. Oregon's average wage is at its highest relative point since the mills closed in the 1980s.

Forecast Risks

    The Oregon Office of Economic Analysis has identified several risk factors on the Oregon Economy. These risk factors include issues such as the U.S. economy at large, housing affordability, global economic spillover, federal fiscal policy, climate and natural disasters, commodity price inflation, federal timber policy and possible impacts from initiatives, referendums and referrals. While recession risks remain elevated, these risks seem to be abating somewhat.

Medicare Annual Enrollment

    Medicare beneficiaries have only until December 7 to decide among multiple coverage options to determine which plan works best for their integrated health care. The task is made more complex by the varying provider and facility networks and prescription drug formularies in different Medicare plans, some of which have changed drastically for the upcoming year. Counselors and state staff members are still available to provide free, local one-on-one counseling to Medicare applicants throughout Oregon.

    Learn more at or by calling 800-722-4134.

2019 Session Accomplishments: Housing

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

Senate Bills

    SB 8 - Limiting Neighborhood Associations from Blocking Development: Local jurisdictions in Oregon are required to prepare comprehensive land use plans that are consistent with implementation of a set of statewide planning goals, overseen by the Land Conservation and Development Commission. Projects approved at the local level may be appealed to a specialized tribunal called the Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA). This legislation requires LUBA to order challengers who appeal locally approved applications to develop publicly supported housing, to pay reasonable attorney fees and expenses to prevailing respondents who are the applicant or the local government.

    SB 262 - Multifamily Housing: Oregon needs a bigger supply of affordable housing to buck the current statewide housing crisis. This legislation extends the sunset on a program that permits cities and counties to grant property tax exemptions for multiple-unit rental housing. Multi-unit rentals can provide affordable housing options for Oregon families. This bill extends the incentives for builders and developers to create this type of housing.

    SB 278 - Foster Youth Housing Stability: This legislation extends eligibility to the Oregon Housing and Community Services Rent Guarantee Program to individuals between the ages of 16 and 27 who were wards of the juvenile court within the past 10 years. The program provides comprehensive tenant education to get individuals prepared to be successful as renters, as well as incentives for landlords who rent to program participants. It guarantees payments to landlords for unpaid rent in the case of eviction, as well as property damage costs, within the first 12 months of the rental or lease agreement.

    SB 484 - Single Applicant Screening Charge Per Landlord: It is common practice for landlords to ask potential renters to pay the cost of processing and screening their applications. For tenants who apply for multiple locations, these fees add up quickly. Senate Bill 484 requires that only one fee be assessed when an application is made to rent one of multiple units owned or managed by the same landlord within a 60-day period.

    SB 534 - Housing on Narrow Lots: Developers in the late 1800s and early 1900s sometimes platted narrow lots in Portland, measuring 25 feet or 33 feet wide and 100 feet long. These lots were sold individually or as bundles, depending on the buyer’s preference. At the time, Portland allowed building homes on 25-foot-wide lots, though most homes were built on bundled narrow lots. This legislation requires local governments to allow development of at least one unit on each platted lot zoned for a single-family dwelling that is within the urban growth boundary of a city of more than 25,000, with certain exceptions.

    SB 608 - Tenant Protections: This legislation
establishes new protections for renters across Oregon. After the first year of occupancy, SB 608 provides that no-cause termination notices may not be used. SB 608 creates some for-cause, landlord-based reasons for terminating a tenancy after the first year of occupancy with 90 days' notice. SB 608 also establishes a statewide cap on raising rent at 7 percent plus CPI per year, with exemptions for new construction and subsidized housing.

    SB 970 - Limiting Landlord Screening Criteria: When evaluating applicants, all residential landlords have been allowed to consider whether the applicant has committed certain crimes. This legislation excludes prior convictions solely for minor recreational use or possession of marijuana and also prohibits landlords from considering an applicant’s status as a medical marijuana patient.

    SB 1045 - Home Sharing Tax Exemption: This legislation aims to increase affordable housing inventory by allowing local jurisdictions to adopt a property tax exemption for homeowners participating in a public or nonprofit homesharing program. In order to qualify for the exemption, a homeshare must be offered to homeshare seekers living at 60 percent or below the area median income and cannot include a homeshare agreement between family members.

House Bills

HB 2001 - Middle Housing: This legislation seeks to promote denser residential construction by requiring many local governments to allow the development of middle housing in areas currently zoned for single-family dwellings. Middle housing includes duplexes, triplexes, quadplexes, cottage clusters and townhouses. The measure also contains a $3,500,000 appropriation to the Department of Land Conservation and Development for the purpose of providing technical assistance to local governments in meeting the requirements of the bill.

    HB 2002 - Affordable Housing Restriction Notice: Preserving existing affordable housing is a key component in managing Oregon’s housing crisis. This legislation refines provisions of statute that require a property owner or long-term lessee of publicly supported housing to provide notice to Housing and Community Services and local governments when affordability restrictions expire or the property is intended to be withdrawn from the program. This enables interested qualified buyers to have an opportunity to purchase the property to maintain it as affordable housing.

    HB 2003 - Ensuring Housing Inventory: Goal 10 of Oregon's Statewide Planning Goals is the requirement to provide for the housing needs of the citizens of the state. This legislation promotes local accountability by directing the Housing and Community Services Department, the Department of Land Conservation and Development, and the Department of Administrative Services to develop a methodology to assess existing housing stock and housing needs, conduct a regional housing needs analysis, and develop a survey for cities on housing affordability. Cities are directed to develop and adopt a housing production strategy to meet estimated housing need.

    HB 2056 - Housing Development Grant Program: This legislation updates and expands current loan guarantee programs by creating the Housing Development Grant Program to provide grants that support affordable rental housing development and allow grant recipients to tailor services to the needs of tenants. OHCS is directed to establish a separate Guarantee Fund, may guarantee loans made to persons with moderate incomes, and may transfer surplus funds from the Guarantee Account to the Affordable Housing Land Acquisition Revolving Loan Program.

    HB 2336 - Bend/Redmond UGB Housing: In 2016, the Legislative Assembly enacted HB 4079, creating an affordable housing pilot program to be implemented by the Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC). The measure specified that two projects would be selected from sites nominated by local governments: a city with a population less than 25,000, and a city with a population more than 25,000. This legislation removes the population requirement, allowing Redmond to participate in the pilot program because no cities with populations less than 25,000 were nominated.

HB 2812 - Expanding Use of the Home Ownership Assistance Account: Funds in the Home Ownership Assistance Account have been used to support low and very low income families and individuals with home ownership. However, "low income" and "very low income" are defined terms that limit the use of funds to support families at or below 50 percent of the area median income, and at or below 80 percent of the area median income, respectively. This legislation allows funds in the Home Ownership Assistance Account to be used more broadly, in support of home ownership by households with below area median incomes.

Holiday Shopping Tips to Protect Your Money and Information

The Oregon Department of Justice offers these 10 practical tips to help you watch your wallet, shop wisely, and protect your personal information online:

  1. Protect your personal information. Take time to read privacy policies and understand what personal information is being requested and how it will be used. If there isn't a policy posted, assume that your personal information may be sold to others without your permission.

  2. Know the seller. Anyone can set up an online store or create an app. Confirm the seller's physical address and phone number in case you have any problems or questions.

  3. Stay away from pop-up ads and e-mail deals. Phishing pop-up ads and emails can look similar to those sent by top retailers. Many of these unleash viruses or spyware on your computer when you click on them. Ignore or delete these emails, no matter how good a deal seems, and make sure you have the latest firewall and antivirus software installed on your computer to protect against online attacks.

  4. Review shipping, return and exchange policies. Also, confirm that the seller does not charge a restocking fee on a returned item or charge excessive shipping and handling fees in an effort to recoup some of the cost on sale items.

  5. Keep a paper trail. Print and save records of every online transaction you make, including the product description, price, copy of your receipt, and any correspondence with the seller. These records will be important if you have a problem with the seller, product or service.

  6. Be skeptical of offers that sound too good to be true. Scam artists often lure shoppers to their websites or apps with outrageously low prices or offers of free products. Before you buy, shop around to get an idea of how much other retailers are asking for the same or similar items. Even at steep discounts, retailers tend to price similar items within a general price range. Remember: "If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is."

  7. Stick to secure websites. If you shop online, always verify that the website you are purchasing from is secure. You are especially vulnerable when shopping on a smartphone. Mobile browsers have a much shorter address field, and as a result, you may not see the full URL on your phone. This makes it harder to spot a scam. Make sure that the website has a valid "HTTPS" connection with a lock symbol, not "HTTP," which is vulnerable to attacks.

  8. Use plastic wisely. Consider using a credit card instead of a debit card. Credit cards make fraud easier to discover because they give shoppers more time to notice unauthorized charges, notify their credit card company and promptly report any unauthorized transactions. If you notice unauthorized charges, notify your credit card company of the issue, and have them removed from your bill.

  9. Be careful when downloading apps. Bogus holiday deal apps made by scammers can fool you into typing in your credit card information, while other apps may feature malware that can steal your personal data or lock your smartphone until you pay a ransom fee. To stay safe, research who developed the app, and only download apps from official app stores like Apple and Google.

  10. Report fraud. If you have a problem with an online purchase or charge, try to work it out with the seller first. If you cannot resolve the problem, contact the Oregon Department of Justice online at or by phone at 1-877-877-9392.

    Lastly: When shopping at the malls and other retail outlets, be aware of your surroundings when walking to and from your vehicle. Be cautious of people approaching you in the parking lots and store your purchases out of view in your vehicle since theft of gifts from unattended vehicles is very common during the holiday season.

Giving Thanks: Cultural Trust Impact in Senate District 4

    The Oregon Cultural Trust works to enhance the lives of all Oregonians, including those in rural communities. During its 2019 session, the Legislature extended the cultural tax credit for six more years, ensuring that Oregonians continue to have a voice in providing funding for culture across the state.

    In 2018, generous donors used the tax credit to provide more than $2.7 million in grants to 139 cultural nonprofits for fiscal year 2019-2020. Those awards include a total of $682,005 to the Cultural Trust's five statewide partners (Oregon Arts Commission, Oregon Heritage Commission, Oregon Humanities, Oregon Historical Society and the State Historic Preservation Office); $682,005 to 45 county and tribal cultural coalitions – for regranting in their communities; and $1,394,274 in competitive Cultural Development Program awards to 89 cultural organizations serving most geographic regions of the state.

    In Senate District 4, I'm proud to share that the trust awarded 2018-19 grants to:

  • Applegate Regional Theatre ($9,558)
  • Eugene-Springfield Youth Orchestras ($9,794)
  • Eugene Opera ($14,813)
  • Lane County Cultural Coalition ($41,677)
  • Douglas County Cultural Coalition ($16,838)
  • Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Indians ($6,472)

    The Cultural Trust's commitment is to invest in the people and organizations that help communities thrive. It works to enhance the lives of all Oregonians.

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