News From Representative Breese-Iverson


OSHA Seeks to Make Permanent Rules - I Oppose

In November of last year, OR-OSHA adopted temporary COVID-19 workplace rules that are set to expire on May 4th of this year. Now, with herd immunity on the horizon and COVID cases steadily declining, OR-OSHA is considering making these temporary rules permanent. While OR-OSHA has made clear that they do not intend these rules to be permanent in perpetuity (they indicate the rules will end when the state of emergency ends), there is no sunset clause forcing these rules to end when the pandemic does! To consider making these rules permanent 14-months into the pandemic is, I believe, absurd.

The proposed permanent workplace rules would go into effect May 5th and would further burden on our local businesses - many of which are already struggling to survive the significant cost endured the past 12 months from this pandemic. We can't afford to see any more of our businesses close their doors permanently due to COVID-19.

In addition to extending the existing workplace rules, the new rule would, among other things, require employers to keep records of possible COVID-19 exposure for 30 years. Additionally, the rule would require that employers record whenever a worker declines a vaccine. This is a completely inappropriate and quite possibly illegal. 

Our office will be submitting formal comments to OSHA regarding this points and others and we encourage you to do the same.

Do you think OR-OSHA's COVID-19 rules should be permanent or expire when the Governor's declaration of a public health emergency is rescinded? Do you think our businesses have borne enough of a burden during this pandemic? Submit your comments before April 2nd and make your concerns known.

You can read the proposed rules HERE.

Send comments to Administrator Michael Wood via email at or by mail to: Department of Consumer and Business Services/Oregon OSHA, PO BOX 14480, Salem, OR 97309


Some Bad Bills and Adding More to the Dead Bill Pile

Even though we are in the midst of a virtual session, when policy concerns should focus heavily on legislation that will help our communities heal, the supermajority has continued to push exceedingly contentious bills irrespective of overwhelming public opposition. SB 554, which allows local municipalities to ban concealed carry in buildings, is an excellent example of this.

SB 554 was scheduled for one 4-hour public hearing in the aftermath of an ice storm that left hundreds of thousands without power. Even with this obstacle, public testimony still reflected an overwhelming and record-breaking opposition. Over 80% of the verbal public testimony, and over 90% of the 2,000 pieces of written testimony submitted to the record, expressed opposition to its passage.

Even with extraordinary public disapproval, Democrats passed SB 554 out of the Senate last Thursday.

Other bills with major opposition are slowly moving through as well. HB 2357, which would eliminate the Oregon Forest Research Institute, a valuable educational resource for our children and teachers, is headed to the House Floor for a vote. HB 2942, which paves the way for criminals to work in classrooms, and SB 401, which reduces mandatory minimums for many violent crimes are set to receive work sessions soon. HB 2358, which would mandate farmers pay overtime hours to their employees – a job killing for farmers and employees alike – was heard this week as well.

However, there is some good news. Thanks to your efforts, and the work of my colleagues, several bad bills have died in committee.

HB 3305 – prohibits the sale of diesel fuel.

HB 3008 – prohibits a person from using specified types of animals in traveling animal act.

HB 2205 - would allow any individual or organization to bring suits on behalf of the state of Oregon for any provision in state law that may be enforced by a state agency.

Facebook Expansion in Prineville

Facebook will be adding two more data centers to their complex on the outskirts of Prineville. With the $2 billion investment will come more jobs, both inside the data center and in the form of local contractors from in and around Crook County. In fact, according to Facebook, 85% of employees and workers for the data centers live in Crook County.

This isn’t the only the economic benefit from these data centers to our economy. Prineville benefits in a plethora of ways from the presence of Facebook. Facebook has consistently provided grants to local projects and non-profits for many years. They have shown what a mutually beneficial partnership between a small community and large corporation can look like in rural Oregon. I applaud their generosity, and in particular, their support of the Crook County School District. As a founding board member of Crook County Education Foundation, I was very happy to see the investment in the K-12 robotics program with a new $60,000 grant.

The expansion is partly due to the fact that Oregon has "enterprise zones" which allow certain tax exemptions for businesses looking to expand in rural areas. In our case, Facebook has a 15-year deferral for taxes relating to the building and everything in it, but not for the improved property the buildings sit on. The first building was built in 2012, and the exemptions will end in 2027.


School Sports Is a Good Start

Thanks to the efforts of our dedicated teachers, coaches, parents and students school sports are back in swing (for the most part). My youngest son, Brit, is playing football this year – his final game this season was last night in fact, and I look forward to football starting again in the fall! My other son Alex will be on the golf course soon, and I cannot wait to watch him play.

Vaccination Update

List of populations currently eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations:

  1. All individuals who match the criteria listed in Phase 1A.
  2. All Oregon educators — including public and private K-12 educators and staff, early childhood educators and staff and childcare providers and staff (Phase 1B, Group 1).
  3. All individuals who are 75 years of age and older (Phase 1B, Group 2 and 3).
  4. All individuals who are 70 years of age and older (Phase 1B, Group 4).
  5. All individuals who are 65 years of age and older (Phase 1B, Group 5).
  6. Migrant and seasonal farmworkers currently working in the fields (Phase 1B, Group 6)
  7. Individuals in Phase 1B, Group 6 (Phase 1B, Group 6)

If you need assistance with scheduling your appointment, please visit HERE

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HD 55 COVID-19 Update

For a detailed breakdown of case rates in House District 55, please click HERE.

To view our past newsletters, please visit our legislative website. 

Capitol Phone: 503-986-1455
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, H-395, Salem, OR 97301