Press Release/Newsletter on The Coronavirus Aide, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) ACT and Oregon State Legislature Interim Special Joint Committee on Coronavirus Response Work & Initial Recommendations 

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Representative David Brock Smithstimulus 1

Press Release


Contact: Shelia Megson
Chief of Staff

Thursday, March 26th, 2020


I wanted to reach out to you with the most up to date information. I appreciate our Federal Senate Colleagues for their work on the The Coronavirus Aide, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) ACT that just moved unanimously out of their Senate Chamber and is expected to be voted on tommorrow, March 27th, in the House of Representatives. 

I have been on multiple conference calls daily with my State & Federal Colleagues, the Governors Office, State Agencies & Federal Agencies.

I appreciate Congressman Walden's time and efforts on the phone today and for he and his staff supplying some of the information on the CARES ACT below.

I also appreciate Senator Merkley for his time, work and effort in the Senate on this bipartisan legislation and his staffs efforts in supplying some of the information on the CARES ACT below. 

Here's the breakdown as best as I have it: 

The Coronavirus Aide, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) ACT

Relief for American Families:

One-time tax rebate check:

  • $1,200 for an individual, $2,400 for a couple, $500 per child.
  • Not reduced for lower income Americans.
  • Reduced for higher income Americans, starting at $75,000 or $150,000 per couple.
  • Phases out completely for individuals with adjusted gross income of $99,000 or $198,000 for couples.

Unemployment Insurance:

Expanded unemployment insurance to cover independent contractors, self-employed, and non-profit employees.

Small Business Assistance

  • $349 billion in forgivable loans through the Paycheck Protection Program, with no personal guarantee or collateral required. See further details below.
  • $10 billion for SBA economic injury disaster loans (EIDL), which provide grants of up to $10,000 or loans of up to $2 million to qualifying small businesses. See further details below.
  • $17 billion for SBA to cover six months of payments for small businesses with existing SBA backed businesses loans. This is six months of total relief from payments for existing and new applicants, though collateral is required. New applicants have six months from the signing of the legislation to apply through SBA’s Lender Match Portal, with six months of relief for both principal and interest.
  • An Employee Retention Tax Credit.
    • - Employee retention tax credit of 50% of wages for each employee, capped at $10,000 in wages.
    • - The tax credit is available to small businesses who do not participate in the Paycheck Protection Program, and businesses of all sizes who had to fully or partially suspend operations at the direction of the government due to the COVID-19 outbreak or have gross receipts that are 50% less than the same quarter the previous year, until they reach 80% of their gross receipts.
    • - This is a refundable payroll tax credit, and the IRS will provide employers with methods to request advance refunds to get the money back faster.

FAQs: The Paycheck Protection Program

Small businesses can receive fully forgivable loans through the newly-created Paycheck Protection Program to address important payroll and operational costs. The federal government has guaranteed these loans, so no personal guarantee or collateral will be required.

FAQs: Eligibility and Application Process

Who can apply?

  • - Small businesses, nonprofits (excluding local affiliates of some national organizations), veterans’ organizations, and tribal businesses with fewer than 500 employees are all eligible to apply.
  • - Any business that employs not more than 500 employees per physical location and is assigned a North American Industry Classification System code beginning with 72 is eligible.
  • - Individuals who operate as sole proprietors, are self-employed, or are independent contractors are also eligible.       
                  Note: Individuals must submit documentation to demonstrate their eligibility, including payroll tax filings, Forms 1099–MISC, and income and expenses from the sole proprietorship.
  • - Undocumented business owners are not eligible for this relief, but legal permanent residents can apply.

Is my business eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program if I have already had to lay off employees?

  • - Companies that have already laid off employees can hire back the laid off employees and have that payroll expense covered under the Paycheck Protection Program.

How much can I receive?

This forgivable loan is intended to cover eight weeks of payroll and operational costs, based on the sum of:

  • -The average total monthly payments for payroll costs from the prior year before the date the loan was made, multiplied by 2.5.
  • - For seasonal employers, the average total monthly payments for payroll for the 12-week period from February 15, 2019, or March 1, 2019, to June 30, 2019, multiplied by 2.5.
  • - For those small businesses that were not in business from February 15, 2019 to June 30, 2019, the average total monthly payments by the employer for payroll costs incurred during the period beginning on January 1, 2020 and ending on February 29, 2020, multiplied by 2.5.
  • - Plus any outstanding loans made beginning January 31, 2020.

How do I apply?

  • - The federal government has provided a guarantee of these loans to qualified lenders, which includes most banks and established lending institutions that small business owners already work with (the federal government will also reimburse lenders for processing these loan applications).
                 Note: Because the federal government has guaranteed these loans, no personal guarantee or collateral will be required.
  • - Applicants will need to make a good faith certification to lenders that:
    • - Uncertain economic conditions require a loan to support ongoing operations;
    • - Funds will be used to retain workers, maintain payroll, make mortgage interest and lease payments and utility payments, and to service existing debt;
    • - No other applications are pending for a loan for the same purpose, and the recipient has not received any loans for this purpose.
                  Note: Recipients of economic injury disaster loans between January 31, 2020 and February 15, 2020 may also be recipients of these loans to support payroll obligations.

FAQs: How Paycheck Protection Program Loans Are Forgiven

Recipients of Paycheck Protection Program loans can have their loans forgiven for costs incurred on eligible expenses in the 8 weeks following the origination of their loan. Recipients must submit an application for forgiveness to the lender who originated the loan, with the appropriate documentation.

How much can be forgiven?  

  • - All loan proceeds spent on the eligible expenses (see below for a list of eligible expenses) can be 100% forgiven.  
  • - The amount of forgiveness will be reduced pro-rata based on the number of full time employees maintained during the outbreak of COVID-19, compared to the number of employees maintained between February 15, 2019 and June 30, 2019; or between January 1, 2020 and February 29, 2020, or for seasonal employers, the average number of full-time equivalent employees per month from February 15, 2019 and June 30, 2019.
  • -The amount of forgiveness will also be reduced by the amount of any salary reductions that are greater than 25% of the total salary or wages of that employee, prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.

What are eligible expenses?

Eligible expenses to be forgiven include:

  • Payroll costs.
              Note: Employers with tipped employees may receive reimbursement for additional wages paid to those employees during the outbreak.
  • Costs related to health care benefits and insurance premiums. 
  • Employee salaries, commissions or compensations.
  • Interest payments on mortgages (funding shall not go towards the principal).
  • Rent.
  • Utilities.
  • Interest on other outstanding debt obligations (incurred before the COVID outbreak, which began on February 15, 2020).

Are there any limitations on these eligible expenses?

  • Eligible payroll costs are capped at salaries over $100,000 per employee.
  • Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiveness cannot be used to cover paid time off or paid sick leave. Separate credits to cover these expenses have been provided in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

Can I use the Paycheck Protection Program to help refinance existing loans? 

  • A loan made between January 31, 2020 and February 15, 2020 may be refinanced as part of these covered loans.

FAQs-Paid Leave Through the Families First Act

Following the passage of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, businesses with fewer than 500 employees are eligible to be reimbursed for paid sick leave and child caregiving leave that they provide to their employees in response to this crisis.

How much paid time off can be covered, and what type of paid time off is eligible?

Under this program, employees are eligible for—and employers can be reimbursed for—paid time off up to:

  • Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at the employee’s regular rate of pay (up to $511 per day/$5,110 total) where the employee is unable to work because the employee is quarantined or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical assistance;


  • Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay (up to $200 per day/$2,000 total) because the employee is unable to work because they need to care for an individual subject to quarantine, or to care for a child whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable because of COVID-19.

What if two weeks of leave is not enough?

This program can also provide for up to an additional 10 weeks of paid leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay (up to $200 per day/$10,000 total) where an employee, who has been employed for at least 30 calendar days, is unable to work because they must care for a child whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.

Who is eligible?

  • -Employees at companies with fewer than 500 employees.
  • -Local, state, and federal government employees.
  • -Union members employed under a multi-employer plan.
  • -Contractors are eligible.
  • -Nonprofits are eligible.

How will it work for eligible employers to be reimbursed for these costs?

  • -Employers initially front the cost of emergency paid sick leave, but will be fully reimbursed by the federal government within three months.
  • -The reimbursement will cover both the wages paid and the employer’s contribution to employee health insurance premiums during the period of leave.
  • -Employers will be reimbursed through a refundable tax credit that counts against employers’ payroll tax, which all employers pay regardless of non-profit/for-profit status.
  • -Employers and self-employed individuals will submit emergency paid sick leave or child caregiving expenses as part of their estimated quarterly tax payments. If employer’s costs more than offset their tax liability, they will get a refund from the IRS.
  • -More information will be available from the IRS soon on how employers can start the application process for these credits.

FAQs – Small Business Administration Assistance

The Small Business Administration (SBA) is also making assistance available to small businesses to weather the coronavirus crisis.

What programs are available through SBA to support small businesses?

  • - Small businesses and private non-profits can apply for disaster grants of up to $10,000 and disaster loans of up to $2 million in states, including Oregon, where a coronavirus disaster has been recognized by the SBA.

How do SBA grants work?

  • - Small businesses and private non-profits can receive a grant of up to $10,000, within three days of applying, to support their operating costs.
    • Note: Small businesses who receive this SBA assistance can still apply for Paycheck Protection, but can’t be forgiven for that $10,000 because that would be considered double dipping.

What are the terms of SBA disaster loans?

  • - These loans, capped at $2 million, carry an interest rate of 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for non-profits. The interest rate will not exceed 4% and the loan term is not to exceed 30 years.

How can I apply and what else do I need to know?

Further information and directions for applying online can be found on the SBA’s website at:

Ensuring Access to Care for All Americans

Increased Medical Product Supplies:

  • Increases access to testing by allowing Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) to stockpile medical supplies like swabs used in COVID-19 testing.
  • Permanent liability protection for manufacturers of PPE in the event of a public health emergency.

Faster Approval for Treatments:

  • Allows FDA to quickly approve the use of new medication and treatment.
  • Prioritize drug applications.
  • Requires drug manufacturers to provide additional information when there is an interruption in the supply chain as well as to submit information to FDA regarding shortages.
  • Allows Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to more easily partner with private sector on research and development, which includes helping to scale up manufacturing.
  • Provides breakthrough therapy designations for animal drugs that can prevent human diseases.

Access to Health Care for COVID-19 Patients:

  • Facilitates the use of new and innovative telemedicine technology to protect and contain the spread of COVID-19.
  1. Expands Medicare telehealth flexibilities.
  2. Expands Medicare telehealth for home dialysis patients.
  • Reauthorizes HRSA grant programs to strengthen rural community health by focusing on quality improvement and access to care.
  • Allows Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) and Rural Health clinics to furnish telehealth for Medicare beneficiaries.
  • All testing for COVID-19 is to be covered by private insurance plans without cost-sharing, including those tests without an emergency use authorization.
  • Allows Medicare beneficiaries to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in Medicare Part B with no cost-sharing.
  • Medicare Part D plans would be allowed to provide a 90-day supply of a prescription medication during the COVID-19 emergency period.
  • Increases Medicare reimbursement rate to assist providers caring for our most vulnerable population.
  • Provides $1.32 billion in supplemental funding to Community Health Centers (CHC).

Increases Medical Professional Staffing:

  • Establishes a Ready Reserve Corps to ensure we have enough trained doctors and nurses to respond to public health emergencies.
  • Includes a Good Samaritan provision for doctors who provide volunteer medical services during the public health emergency related to COVID-19 to have liability protections.

  • Allows the Secretary of HHS to reassign members of the National Health Service Corps to sites close to the one they were originally assigned, in order to respond to the COVID-19 public health emergency.
  • Directs the Secretary of HHS to strengthen the health professions workforce

Supporting Health Care Providers:

  • $100 billion for hospitals and health care providers
  • Temporarily lifts the Medicare sequester, which reduces payments to providers by 2 percent, from May 1 through December 31, 2020, boosting payments for hospitals, physicians, nursing homes, and home health.
  • Increases payments to hospitals treating patients admitted with COVID-19 by 20 percent; this add-on payment is available through the duration of the COVID-19 emergency
  • Expands an existing Medicare accelerated payment program for hospitals. With Critical Access Hospitals eligible for an advance payment up to 125 percent, based on net reimbursement represented by unbilled discharges or unpaid bills.
  • Delays cuts to Disproportionate Share Hospitals (DSH) through November 30, 2020.

Support for Education

Provides $30.9 billion in emergency supplemental funding to the Department of Education.

Higher Education Assistance:

  • Higher Education received $14.25 billion to directly support students and institutes of higher education. Half of this funding is directed to support students.
  • Waives the requirement for federal aid funds to be returned if students withdrew from the university during the payment period.

Student Assistance:

  • Universities can use emergency financial aid grants to assist undergraduate and graduate students with unexpected expenses as a result of COVID-19.
  • Universities participating in work study may make payments to students participating in work study even though affected students were not able to fulfill the students’ work study obligation.
  • If the semester was not completed due to COVID-19, that semester will not count against the student for an enrolled semester for subsidized loan or Pell grant semester limits.
  • Students are not required to return Pell grants or federal student loans if they withdrew due to COVID-19.
  • Student loans are cancelled for this period ONLY, if the student withdraws from the university.
  • For Federal Student Loan Borrowers, all payments for federal loans have been suspended through September 30, 2020. All interest has also been suspended until September 30, 2020.

States’ Department of Education Assistance:

  • Elementary and Secondary Education received $13.5 billion to states to help respond to COVID-19. This funding can be used to meet the immediate needs of students and teachers, as well as improve remote learning.
  • The Secretary of Education may provide waivers to State Educational agencies or Indian Tribes to waive:
    • End of year testing
    • Attendance and long-term goal strategic plans
    • Plans for targeted support of underperforming schools
    • Report cards

Direct Funding to Combat the Pandemic

Coronavirus Relief Funds

  • $340 billion supplemental appropriations:
    • $150 billion emergency relief fund for states, cities, localities to fight the pandemic.
    • Each state will receive a minimum of $1.25 billion.
    • Support for health care workers and hospitals.
    • Funding for Personal Protective Equipment.
    • Support for our local responders.
    • Funding for the research of new treatments and vaccines.
    • Support for small businesses.
    • Support for local colleges and universities.
    • Support for veteran health care.
    • Support for DOD response to COVID-19.

Capitol Gold Man

Oregon State Legislature Interim Special Joint Committee on Coronavirus Response Work & Initial Recommendations 

The Oregon Legislature Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives created the Committee with a focus on these three areas. The Committee has been meeting and I have posted links to some of their meetings. 

Below is information from the Committee Co-Chairs, Senator Roblan and Representative Holvey to the Senate President and Speaker of the House.

'We are honored that you have confidence in us and the fourteen committee members you tasked with responding to the impact of the novel coronavirus. You specifically asked the committee to focus on the following:

  1. Identify actions to support economic relief and household stability for low-income workers, individuals, and small businesses who are at risk of being significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  2. Produce budget and policy recommendations for legislative action in a timely manner; and
  3. Monitor Oregon’s ongoing public health response and make recommendations for further legislative action if needed.

"The novel coronavirus pandemic is unlike any challenge we have ever faced as legislators and unlike anything we have experienced in our lifetimes. The potential number of deaths and those needing intensive medical treatment is sobering. The necessary actions Governor Kate Brown has taken to slow the spread of the coronavirus have resulted in immediate, unfortunate, and unavoidable impacts on every Oregonian, but especially workers, business owners, first responders, the health care system, students, children and vulnerable populations. As these first impacts are felt across Oregon, a second wave of indirect impacts will be felt in our communities, our economic activities, and our state and local government services, and exacerbated by disappearing incomes and revenues.

It was always our first priority to identify what action that the legislature could take in the very near future to provide resources and direction that would assist the response efforts and dramatically slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus, recognizing the extreme negative impacts on human health and our economy. The committee has identified that providing economic relief and economic stability to low-income workers and small businesses as a first response to enable these groups the resources to stay home and prevent further spread of the virus. Individuals need to have the assurance that their finances will sustain this necessary shut down of activities and enable individuals and families to stay safe and hopefully healthy.

The committee met four times in the course of seven days. We were briefed by some of the Governor’s closest advisors, the director of the Oregon Health Authority, members of the Governor’s Economic Advisory Council, leaders from Oregon Health and Science University, the director of the Office of Emergency Management, and Chief Justice Walters. But maybe most importantly, the committee received more than 1,500 pieces of testimony representing all sectors of the economy and citizens from all corners of Oregon who told how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting them and offering suggestions for legislative action.

The committee members discussed 47 possible policy proposals, looking for what would provide immediate relief to workers and businesses as well as bolster our health care system as it prepares for an onslaught of Oregonians infected with the novel coronavirus.1 We set aside some proposals that are being addressed through the Governor’s executive authority conferred upon her when she declared an emergency under 401.165 et seq. on March 8, 2020. We also set aside some proposals that require or are being addressed by federal action. Additionally, some proposals that would provide relief in the future but not address the immediate needs we also set aside for future action. However, we do not want to diminish the importance of many of these proposals for future action.

We recognize the extreme need for supplies, equipment and infrastructure to respond to the immediate health care needs across the state. We especially understand the need of our hospitals, health systems, and provider practices during this time.

The co-Chairs are pleased to see the federal government acknowledge this need in their newly proposed Marshall Plan for our health care system. We will look forward to seeing how much of the $150 billion-dollar health care package Oregon will receive. And we know unemployment resources will need revenue infusion for employees in our traditional system; and will also have to address those that are not currently eligible in that system. Businesses will also need to cover their operating expenses and ideally have resources available to keep their workforce employed in operations that are able to continue functioning safely, as well as essential operations that are necessary for our response and keeping households and individuals safe for a period of time.

Our committee and staff divided our response proposals into several categories:
Stability for Working Families, Health Care System Needs, Short Term Employer Supports, and items that need more conversations or information to proceed or to be considered in our next recommendation effort.

We endeavored to reflect the priorities of the committee in these separate categories.

The committee also wants to ensure that most all of the proposals need to have time limited-authority or sunsets that coincide with the end of the emergency declaration. There may be exceptions to that, as in item #26 (1).

We fully expect Governor Brown to call the Legislative Assembly into special session within the next week. As co-Chairs of the committee, we recommend the following proposals be considered in this upcoming special session.

Below is a list of recommendations in NO order of importance.

Housing and Shelter

Proposal #1

The Governor announced Executive Order 20-11, establishing a ban on residential evictions by directing the courts to cease processing of notices.

This recommendation would enhance the Governor’s order by requiring payment plans for those who can pay, prohibiting late fees for payment plans or back-rent, and requiring an objective loss of income due to COVID-19 be shown.

These same parameters are used to establish a ban on commercial evictions. While federal relief is coming, small businesses lose precious time and capital when being forced out of their existing leases and properties. Ensuring a path to stay in a retail or physical location will help expedite Oregon’s economic recovery. This strategy gives small business a leg-up.

  • Residential Evictions – Enhance EO 20-11
    • a) Must show an objective loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • b) Prohibit late fees for inability to pay entire rent.
    • c) Establish payment plans for those able to pay a portion of their rent.
    • d) Method of assistance must be used to pay rent.
  • Commercial Evictions – Establish new provision
    • a) Prohibit commercial evictions.
    • b) Must show an objective loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • c) Prohibit late fees for inability to pay entire rent.
    • d) Establish payment plans for those able to pay a portion of their rent.
  • Duration - Greater of 90 days or length of the emergency declaration.

Proposal #2

While we await the federal stimulus package, we must do everything possible to help Oregonians stay at home without fear. This strategy leverages existing programs and delivery mechanisms through OHCS to get rental assistance out to those who need it, ensuring that landlords who work in good faith with their tenants on payment plans will have a partner through the state.

We also know that homeowners need support in a time of this crisis. By leveraging OHCS’ HHP program the state can and must support those who are unable to pay their mortgage due to the COVID-19 crisis.

  • Rent Assistance –
    • a) Increase access to residential rental assistance through Emergency Housing Assistance (EHA) through CAPs. Allocate $__ million.
  • Mortgage Assistance –
    • a) Increase access to mortgage assistance through the Hardest Hit Program. Allocate $__million.
  • Duration – Start with support for the first 90-days (April/May/June).

Proposal #31

We must care for our homeless population. We must do so now, more than ever, as those without shelter are at greater risk of falling ill to COVID-19. Redrafting HB 4001-C will permit counties and cities the flexibility needed to establish rapid housing strategies without the usual red tape.

  • Homeless Shelters –
    • a) Redraft HB 4001-C Engrossed (2020)
  • Duration – 90 days or length of the declaration, whichever is greater.

Food & Community Benefits

Proposal #3

Oregonians should not face usual delays in accessing benefits during this unusual time. Recertifications should be paused throughout the duration of the declaration; in-person interviews should be halted. The agencies and programs should be directed to expedite benefit eligibility requirements where possible.

  • Expedite and Continue Current Benefits -
    • a) Provide additional support and flexibility to OHA and DHS to expedite SNAP benefits, TANF, and WIC.
    • b) Waive in-person interviews, where possible.
    • c) Expand recertification periods so renewals and paperwork during the declaration can be extended so benefits do not lapse, where possible.
  • Duration - Greater of 90 days or length of the emergency declaration.

Proposal #4

  • Ensure Access to Food Banks –
    • a) Support the state’s food bank network to purchase food. Allocate $ __ million.

Family Support

Proposal #9

Sick Leave

  • Clarify Statutory Authority for using Sick Child Leave –
    • a) Ensure clear statutory authority to allow parents to use sick child leave, under OFLA, to be home with their child in the event of a statewide public health emergency resulting in school or child-care closures. Align this draft with the temporary rule: OAR 839-009-0230. Same notice and job protection requirements remain.
  • Duration – Period congruent with recently issued BOLI rule.

Healthcare Access

Proposal #11

Should the pandemic continue, hospitalizations will increase, and patients will not know the difference between out-of-network emergency rooms and in-network emergency rooms. Failure to distinguish the difference could result in excessive health system charges and leave patients footing the bill. During this extraordinary time of health system collaboration, we must ensure a path to reimbursement for providers and protect patients from surprise bills and access to all types of acute care.

  • Protect Patients from Out-of-Network Charges.
  • Expand network adequacy requirements to include “any willing provider” provisions for DFR regulated carriers. Establish a definition for services captured.
  • Require the commissioner to adopt a uniform rate.
  • Protect existing contracts.
  • Provisions when enacted must cover the start and end of the service rendered and later billed for (e.g. inpatient admission on the last day of the declaration may result in a 5-day length of stay). The consumer protection shall apply to the full bill (all 5 billing days) based on the date of the admission).
  • Duration – Length of the declaration.

Proposal #29

The Governor has taken executive action to ensure licensed health professionals are able to practice at the top of the scope. However, certain restrictions on physician assistants cannot be waived and statutory language is needed.

  • Physician Assistant Scope
    • a) Amend ORS 677.495 to 677.520 to permit a PA to practice without entering into a practice agreement so long as the PA is practicing according to protocols and standards established by one or more physician supervisors.
    • b) Expand access to PAs utilizing telehealth.
    • c) Duration – length of the declaration.

Proposal #40

Hospitals may need to expand capacity and the Governor’s CERT team has established temporary beds in Salem. Our rural and small (type A and B) hospitals may also have to expand capacity on a temporary basis should the COVID-19 pandemic continue. Hospitals currently pay provider taxes based on a rate that is specific to their hospital type – hospital types are determined by the number of beds as well as other factors. This provision ensures temporary bed additions on hospital property will not change the rate assessed.

  • Prohibit New “Bed Taxes” for Hospitals -
    • a) Temporary beds established to support the COVID-19 response added during the time of the emergency declaration do not constitute an expansion for the purpose of hospital designations made by bed count (type A, type B).
  • Duration – Length of the declaration.

Short Term Employer Support

The committee identified numerous strategies to provide relief and certainty to small businesses. These strategies can be implemented expeditiously, are complimentary to larger federal actions, and are appropriate for the legislature to consider. They are:

See proposal #1: Prohibit Commercial Evictions

Ensuring a path to stability for businesses reliant upon leases and storefronts is an essential way to ensure that small businesses are able to “turn on” when the declaration sunsets. Businesses that must move equipment and physically transition from space to space will fall further behind the economic curve. The state should do what it can today to ensure physical stability for small business.


Proposal #19

Allocate additional funds to Business Oregon’s flexible strategic reserve fund and require grants and loans be generated for small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. As suggested by proposal #46, rental assistance and utility costs must be among the qualifying uses for Business Oregon funds. The committee discussed offsetting cash flow challenges for small businesses subject to federal leave requirements under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act; however, the actual strategy was not decided on by the committee.

Proposal #26

Corporate Activities Tax (1)

While the Department of Revenue has broad authority overseeing our state tax code, the committee seeks to provide clarifications to the Corporate Activities Tax. Specifically, the committee seeks to redraft HB 4009-A Engrossed (2020).

It is important for the legislature to provide certainty where only we can. Unlike other revenue-related actions, the legislature is an appropriate actor to provide certainty to taxpayers and offer relief to some of Oregon’s unique businesses.

  • Corporate Activities Tax –
    • a) Redraft HB 4009-A Engrossed (2020)
  • Duration – not time limited.

Proposal #33

Prohibit Residential and Commercial Foreclosures The foreclosure process can be as life-altering for residents as it can be for businesses that own their property. We are recommending prohibiting judicial and ‘right of sale’ foreclosure during the declared emergency as determined by the Governor.

The committee also sought to prohibit residential and commercial foreclosure during the time of crisis. While the committee advocates for mortgage assistance, we must also advocate for protections from the loss of property due to failure to pay resulting from the economic impact of COVID-19.

  • Residential and Commercial Foreclosure –
    • a) Prohibit judicial and ‘right of sale’ residential and commercial foreclosure.
    • b) Reference ORS 86.705 to 86.795.
  • Duration - Length of the emergency declaration.

Proposal #42

Provide regulatory relief for individuals by suspending required continuing education deadlines such as CLEs and license recertification or renewals due during the emergency declaration period. In addition, provide an additional 30-days post-declaration to allow providers and licensed workforce the time to catch up and meet their licensure requirements.


Grant statutory authority to the Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court during a statewide emergency and for 60 days thereafter to extend timelines in criminal and civil cases.

Oregon Judicial Dept Proposal – Deadlines and statute of limitation

Draft legislation regarding:

  • The suspension or extension of certain, critical timelines in criminal cases.
  • The suspension or extension of timelines in criminal cases.
  • The suspension or extension of post case initiation timelines in noncriminal (civil) cases.
  • Noncriminal statutes of limitations.
  • A proposed Chief Justice Order consistent with the noncriminal (civil) proposals.

Policy Options Considered by the Committee that Require More Information as We Await Passage of the Federal Stimulus Package

Proposal #17, #44, #47

Spreading UI Rate Increases and Freezing UI Rates

The forthcoming federal stimulus package has earmarked $280 billion for UI expansion and supports. We recognize the need to both balance the solvency of our unemployment insurance fund and identify ways to reduce financial barriers for employers, especially those who might be disproportionately affected by rate increases. We must see this money funnel into the system before we can make changes to our system. However, it is important to note that Oregon’s experiential rate formula takes a 12-month look at employer rates. At this time, the Oregon Employment Department asked for additional flexibility for employers from the federal government. However, absent approval, the Department cannot implement #17 and remain in compliance with federal rules. Similarly, we do not recommend proceeding with item #47. Our preferred approach is to see how the trust is affected by the historic increase in UI access, ensure the solvency of the fund, wait for federal support for UI, and then revisit what relief can be provided. We must work with the Department on this approach to ensure federal compliance and take a second look once we receive federal funds.

Proposal #26

See description above. While we are proceeding with recommending that HB 4009-A Engrossed (2020) be redrafted, it is important to note the committee also considered delaying the first quarter payments of the 2019 CAT tax. While the committee could not reach a final decision to delay the tax, some consensus was found on considerations and information needed to better understand the impact of a delay. Some of those questions included: can you differentiate businesses by their margins, or by participation in the federal PFML program, and is there a balance to be struck between new and current local taxes, and more.

Proposal #27

The Executive Branch has taken necessary steps to expand access to UI for many Oregonians. However, many Oregonians remain in the benefits gap. The state should identify ways to support the self-employed, independent contractors, and those unable to qualify for benefits due to immigration status.

The committee considered creating a fund for those excluded from UI, including the self-employed and independent contractors. This fund may be difficult to create on short notice, but the co-Chairs wanted to bring it forward as a recommendation to the presiding officers to consider strategies for those not eligible for UI. There may be implementation challenges to incorporate this substantive change into our existing system. We may have to consider a new program if it cannot be incorporated into the current system; such a new program may not be feasible to draft or implement immediately.

However, we recently learned the forthcoming stimulus package extends UI for the self-employed, which is a necessary step forward.

  • Support for those Unable to Qualify for UI -
    • a) Establish a fund within the Oregon Employment Department.
    • b) Task OED with expedited rulemaking (temporary rule is immediate) to determine a benefit level and application period based on the amount of monies allocated.
    • c) Applicants may not be eligible for UI.
  • Duration – length of the declaration.

Proposal #43

There was much discussion in committee about the need to support our manufacturing sector, especially during times of need to support the physical construction of supplies and equipment. However, the Labor Commissioner submitted information to the committee confirming her ability to review appeals regarding overtime limits on a case-by-case basis. The issue of predictive scheduling also was discussed in committee. The committee debate also affirmed the need to have tools for employers to fill shifts for businesses deemed essential; however, several members of the committee found the existing law provides the necessary flexibility. More discussion is needed to understand the balance of worker protections and temporary flexibility.

Proposal #45, #46

Small Business Loans and Rent Relief for Commercial Businesses

We understand the federal stimulus bill will provide billions in relief to small businesses in addition to early action to provide low-interest small business loans. Namely, to date the small business rescue plan outlines nearly $350 billion in loan forgiveness, SBA emergency grants, and SBA loans to cover 6 months of payments for small businesses with existing SBA loans. For this reason, we seek to ensure the federal package be fully implemented and the legislature take a more specific approach to support gaps between state resources and forthcoming federal investments in small business. The committee should consider these gaps in the long term. The co-Chairs will embed the allowance for commercial rent relief within the existing recommendation of #19. We simply want to call out the strategy is being adopted but will not be a standalone policy. Lastly, while no statutory action is recommended, the co-Chairs strongly encourage the Governor and executive branch agencies to consider payment plans for all permits and fees imposed by state agencies, waiver of renewal requirements for the period of the emergency declaration, and to identify other ways to offer regulatory relief.

The Oregon Dept of Justice / Public Safety - Proposal

Identify all statutes which the Department of Justice is concerned might need to be suspended, either totally or upon good cause shown, to allow the effective administration of justice across the partial suspension of judicial operations prudently required by COVID-19. Although there are critical issues that need to be addressed, the committee believes this proposal needs further consideration and conversation.

"In closing, this document represents the body of work and the perspectives of the committee. Without the complete information and knowledge as to the fiscal and revenue impacts of these proposals, and the resources and proposals from the federal government, further review and prioritization will be necessary ahead of a special session. There are other proposals on the co-Chairs’ document, as posted on OLIS, that we are not considering at this time and will require further discussion should the committee reconvene. There will also likely be new issues that will need to be discussed in order to continue addressing the coronavirus pandemic response.

Additional needs may be identified between now and when we are called into a special session. For example, one of these needs may include additional funding for domestic violence services and supports. We strongly recommend that any new proposals that are not a part of the co-Chairs’ recommendations need to earn the approval of a bipartisan leadership team."

Representative Paul Holvey, co-Chair
Senator Arnie Roblan, co-Chair
Joint Special Committee on Coronavirus Response

I would like to take a moment and thank the Co-Chairs and also the members of the committee for their great work for our residents during this difficult time. I appreciate their respectful debate and bipartisan efforts through this important process for Oregonians. I also appreciate the opportunity to engage with them through their process. 

The link to the Committee is here:

Covid stop

Oregon Health Authority Information


As I have posted on social media regarding visitors that continue to come to the coast from the valley, Washington, California and other states:

"In drawing from my inner former Governor Tom McCall, a Public Service Announcement to all those out of state that want to come visit at this time, PLEASE DON’T!

As the Chair of the Oregon Legislative Coastal Caucus, we want you to enjoy our wonderful area, but not right now! We all need need to do our part to stop the spread and flatten the curve of the Coronavirus. Urban and out of state travelers visiting our coastal communities enhance the potential spread and put our residents that are following protocols to protect themselves and their families at greater risk.

Please understand, we want you to come, stay and enjoy - but not right now.
I hope everyone understands. I don’t want to lose one resident to this disease and we all need to work together!"

Everyone should be following the Governor and OHA orders and protocols regarding the coronavirus. I continue to work with our Local, County and my colleagues at the State on ways we can limit travelers to our area. I want to thank ALL of my Elected Leaders for their proactive efforts to protect the life, health and safety of our residents. Our Port Commissions, City Councils and Counties have, or will soon, follow the recommendations of the Oregon Legislative Coastal Caucus and pass orders to close our coastal communities transient lodging facilities to limit the coronavirus spread in our region and help ensure that the limited health care facilities and resources remain available to our coastal residents. 

I spoke with the Governor Brown and her staff this afternoon and appreciate her assisting in this process with increased OSP presence, monitoring and maintaining our State Parks Closures to none residents and activating Highway Signage discouraging travel to the Coast. 

These are difficult times for all of us. I never thought as a small business owner, former Chamber President/Director, former Vice Chair of the House Committee on Economic Development & Trade, as well as all of my other hats for many years promoting our state, region and communities, that I would ever tell people to stay home. 

However, for the health, life and safety of our residents, we must. I again want to thank all of our County and Community Elected Officials and Leaders for their proactive efforts for our residents.

I would like to thank Lexi, my Legislative Aid in Salem for all of her work. 

I must thank my Chief of Staff Shelia Megson for all of her work as well. Shelia has been an incredible driving force for everything we have accomplished for our residents since her work with me as a Curry County Commissioner. I couldn't ask for better people to work with than Lexi and Shelia. Thank you for all of your efforts on behalf to the residents, communities and businesses of Curry, Coos, Douglas and Josephine Counties.  

Please do not hesitate to reach out to my office via email with questions and Lexi, Shelia and I will continue to assist you.

Please take care of yourselves, your family, your friends and neighbors. Stay safe and healthy. God Bless you and your families. 

For up to date Oregon Coronavirus information please Click Here.

For other Press Releases and Newsletters with more information, please go to my Legislative Website below. 


Representative David Brock Smith

Representative David Brock Smith

House District 1
Curry, Coos, Douglas and Josephine Counties
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1401
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE, H-379, Salem, Oregon 97301