Sine Die! Week Five Update

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Representative Anna Scharf

Week 5 and finally Sine Die

Hello Friends,

Going into this week there was a feeling of relief knowing that the end was near, but also a feeling of hopelessness knowing that there were so many bad bills coming.

Monday I once again spoke on the floor about the “teeter totter” decisions being made by Governor Brown regarding the end of the mask mandate and the subsequent emails from Department of Administrative Services Director, Katy Coba.  Watch the floor speech here.

Tuesday was one of the most challenging and personally emotional days I have had this session. HB 4002, the mandatory Ag Overtime bill was up for debate on the floor.  My colleagues made a motion to send it back to committee to try and come up with a compromise solution, an Oregon Solution, but the Portland Metro supermajority once again ruled with an iron fist.  After hours of floor debate and passionate, personal speeches, the bill passed on a party line vote.   Watch my floor speech here.

Wednesday was an ironic day in the building.  It was Oregon Dairy day at the State Capitol.  I had to chuckle as I watch the supermajority scramble off the House floor to get their free ice cream and cheese.  These were the same members who, the day before, passed the ag over time bill that will have devastating effects on the dairy industry. I was also invited on the Lars Larson radio show for the first time.  I was grateful for the chance to talk about the ag overtime bill.  The audio clip can be found here.

Thursday was shaping up to be the last day of session, if the Senate could get all the bills over to the House, and I had to make a choice.  Stay and vote on bills that would pass or die despite my vote or jump in the car and get to Coos Bay in time to watch my daughter play in the State basketball playoffs.  I stayed on the floor and voted till we recessed at noon and then jumped in the car and watched floor on OLIS while my driver got me to Coos Bay.  They were unable to get all the bills completed, so will Sine Die on Friday morning.  Highlight of the day, my daughter’s team won game one and I was there to cheer her on!

Friday I video conferenced in with the caucus before floor and reviewed the final bills of the session. I then once again watched floor and made bill notes but this time I was doing it from the gym floor at Marshfield High School.  As game 2 progressed so did floor session.  With OLIS playing on my earbuds, note pad in hand and eyes on the court, the Amity Warriors managed to barely pull out the win almost simultaneously as the House gaveled the session closed, sine die. It was a very emotional day as I reflected on the win for my daughter’s team and the losses for all Oregonians in the bills passed this session.

Basketball Team

2022 Amity Warriors Girls Basketball Team

Representative Anna Scharf

Representative Scharf multitasking

Below find my No vote explanations for official votes taken this week.  After those is a list of bills I would have voted no on, had I been on the floor Thursday afternoon and Friday.  *Warning:  There are a lot  of NO's this week!


HB 4124 (B-Engrossed) requires the Oregon Department of Education (ODE) to survey academic assessments administered by school districts, establish best practices related to district-level assessments, and make recommendations regarding the use of assessments. The measure requires a report to the Legislature and to the State Board of Education by May 1, 2024.  It also appropriates $193,482 to the Department of Education for one limited-duration position to conduct the survey and provide the required report.

Why is the legislature putting into statute that ODE must do their job?  I find it hard to believe that ODE does not have an existing person that could research this. 

It is a good idea, but not one that required Legislative action or more taxpayer money, therefore I voted no.

HB 4051 (B-Engrossed) extends the sunset date for the Task Force on Homelessness and Racial Disparities to January 2, 2026.

In 2021, the Legislative Assembly enacted House Bill 2100, which clarified Oregon Housing and Community Services' (HCSD) role and responsibilities in administering federal antipoverty programs.

The Task Force provided an initial report to the Legislative Assembly on January 15, 2022, which included recommendations that the Task Force be allowed more time to develop recommendations for changes to funding structure, contracts and services for individuals experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity.

While HCSD will continue to use existing staff, but has already contracted with a third-party facilitator, ICF Incorporated (ICF), at a cost of $447,038 for a seven-month duration, ending June 15, 2022.  Extending the sunset date of the task force will require HCSD to extend its contract with ICF. Thus, the measure makes a one-time appropriation to HCSD for $362,977.

I felt the task force underestimated their timeline and entered into a contract that now needs to be bailed out.  Therefore, I was a no vote. 

HB 4052 (B-Engrossed) Requires the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) to administer a pilot program to establish culturally and linguistically specific mobile health units to serve priority populations.  Requires OHA and the Oregon Advocacy Commissions Office to report to the Legislative Assembly on recommendations for funding programs to address health inequities. 

Allocates almost $2M to this program which will only serve specific populations based on race and ethnicity.  It does nothing to address health inequities of all people just specific ethnic groups and may even be constitutionally illegal.  Therefore, I voted no.

HB 4002(B-Engrossed) Establishes maximum hours employers may require of agricultural workers prior to compensating additional hours as overtime. Specifies maximum hours as: For calendar years 2023 and 2024, 55 hours per workweek, for calendar years 2025 and 2026, 48 hours per workweek, and for calendar year 2027 and thereafter, 40 hours per workweek. 

This bill passed on a party line vote and is indicative of the will of the super majority.  Despite a year long workgroup, they were not willing to find compromise and dictated yet another policy that is bad for agriculture and all Oregonians. 

This bill will only harm the workers that the supporters of the bill said it was designed to help.  Farms cannot afford the overtime costs associated with this bill and will cut workers hours, cut positions, and automate additional processes eliminating jobs permanently.  

The supporters offered partial tax credits to specific classifications of farmers, by size, but the tax credits will take years to get, if they are received at all. 

This bill is just another partisan bill that will prove over time to be bad policy and bad for Oregonians.  I was happy to vote no.

SB 1565 (B- engrossed) States that a place of public accommodation that refuses to accept United States coin and currency as payment for goods and services engages in an unlawful practice.

While this bill does make exemptions for businesses such as farmers' markets and roadside stands, purchases on aircraft, internet-based transactions, etc. it also exempts government.  So, in other words, a privately owned business is now mandated to accept cash, but the Department of Motor Vehicles is not.  

If this bill had included government then I would have voted yes, but because they received an exemption, I was a no vote. 

SB 1583 Requires Oregon Department of Education (ODE) to ensure that standardized summative assessments are administered to the minimum extent allowed by federal law. Requires ODE to apply annually to the U.S. Department of Education for a waiver of state assessment requirements.

First, ODE is already required to apply with the U.S. Department of Education for a waiver on an annual basis.  This just tells them to do their job.

Second, the U.S. Department of Education allows states, to allow students and families, to opt out of assessments but requires a 95 percent participation rate.  This bill would allow ODE to opt out with the Federal Department of Education at the minimum level allowed.  It would allow them to do the minimum necessary to assess the academic progress of students.  Why are we once again doing the minimum for our students?

HB 4035 (B-Engrossed) Requires the Oregon Health Authority to develop plans for conducting Medicaid redeterminations and establish a bridge program to provide coverage to individuals who churn out of Medicaid eligibility due to income fluctuations.

The federal Family First Coronavirus Recovery Act established continuous Medicaid coverage during the federal public health emergency in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Once the public health emergency ends, states will have 12 months to redetermine eligibility for all Medicaid enrollees. The Oregon Health Authority estimates that once redeterminations commence, approximately 300,000 individuals will lose the OHP coverage they currently have.  There is also a $120M General Fund allocation for the bill.

This was a major policy gut and stuff bill in a short session.  In addition, this is an attempt at expanding Medicaid without review of the current system and the long-term impacts that it will have to the healthcare system or the ability of the state to pay for its expansions.  

HB 4034(A-Engrossed) The healthcare omnibus bill for the session and therefore it contains several provisions. 

While I agreed with some sections of this bill, I could not support it as a single yes vote.  

Stand alone bills such as HB 4024 and HB 4025 proposed technical fixes to the 2021 Pseudoephedrine bill (HB2648) which passed.  These bills were not passed as standalone bills but were rather stuffed into this bill.  They were bills that I could have supported.

However, in section 9-12 of the bill it removes the RHEA (Reproductive Health Equity Act) sunset statute, thus making it permanent. The sections also adopt broad and vague language giving the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) the authority to “implement reproductive health services and education programs and provide funding for reproductive health services and education in this state.”  This includes abortion. 

This bill passed on a party line vote and I was pleased to be among those that cast a no vote.

HB 4077(B-Engrossed) Renames Environmental Justice Task Force as Environmental Justice Council (EJC). Modifies membership and duties of council.  Directs certain agencies to develop environmental justice mapping tool.  Authorizes natural resource agencies to consider results of environmental justice mapping tool when developing administrative rules or agency policies or programs.

The Governor ignored the will of Oregonians and implemented cap and trade through executive order and housed it inside the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).  Now the Governor intends to enter into an agreement with DEQ to provide staff support and cover the costs of the EJC. 

The mapping portion of this bill gives me concern.  It defines the inputs that will be used in the mapping development, and organizations that will participate, but the intended and unintended uses of this map moving forward are unclear.  In addition, the mapping may result in unintended consequences when looking at policies and legislation for diverse regions of the state. 

HB 4115 (A-Engrossed) directs the State Treasurer to publish annually complete list of publicly traded assets held in investment funds.  Directs State Treasurer to publish report on climate-related financial risk to assets held in investment funds.

While I normally advocate for transparency in government, I cannot support this bill.  Disclosing the states investment portfolio puts the state investments at risk.  The PERS retirement system, for example, is dependent upon the growth of that portfolio and we need to protect that state investment. 

In addition, publicly invested funds are already subject to public records request.  So, if someone wants to know this information, they are already able to request it.  It’s just not published in an annual report to the public for easy dispersal.

Finally, the actual intent of this bill is in the summary itself.  Environmental groups want to know what climate related, i.e. fossil fuel companies, does the state invest in and trade in the marketplace.  The next step after the annual publication is to make those investment prohibited to appease climate activists. 

HB 4157 (A-Engrossed) Directs Department of Revenue to establish and administer a program to address the negative economic impacts of the COVID-19 public health emergency by providing one-time assistance payments to low-income households with members who worked during the first year of the COVID-19 public health emergency (2020).

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a federal and state credit against personal income taxes for individuals who earn up to $57,414 a year and can reduce a family's tax burden by up to $6,728. The credit amount depends on income, marital status, and family size, and it increases with earned income until it reaches a maximum amount, then gradually phases out. A $57,000 a year income for an individual who works 40 hours a week would have earned ~$27.00 per hr.  This is over double what minimum wage across the state was in 2020. 

Based on data from the Oregon Department of Revenue (DOR), an estimated 245,000 taxpayers will be eligible to receive this one-time $600 payment. Funding for these payments comes from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA - P.L. 117-2) and will total approximately $147M. 

This bill is nothing more than wealth redistribution and buying votes by the supermajority. 

SB 1527 (B-Engrossed) Corrects statutory reference from "return identification envelope" to "secrecy envelope."  It also makes several other changes that were necessary due to legislation that was passed last session allowing for ballots to be counted that were post marked on the date of the election but received 7 days after the election. 

This bill would not be necessary if the ballot extension had not been passed last session.  Oregon has one of the oldest vote by mail systems and continual changes to that system lend to the potential undermining of election integrity.  

SB 1543 (A-Engrossed) Establishes the Universal Representation Fund in the State Treasury to provide a statewide, integrated, universal navigation and representation system for immigration matters. Requires an established Oregon nonprofit to serve as the fiscal agent to award grants to organizations to provide services related to immigration matters through a universal representation program, at no cost to the client. It allocates $15M for that purpose. 

There are no limits as to who these funds will represent.  It could be used to help people who flee war, famine or persecution in their home country that need legal assistance to help them in getting permission to stay.  However, it could also be used to legally assist people who have been or could be convicted of a felony crime the ability to get legal counsel to avoid Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deportation. 

SB 1576 Establishes a program to collect and manage discarded mattresses. The program is to be run by a stewardship organization, with oversight from the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).  This measure also establishes the Mattress Stewardship Fund. 

The bill directs that there must be, at a minimum, at least one permanent collection site in every county, 25 additional collection sites distributed throughout this state, and each county must hold at least one collection event per year. 

While this all sounds like a great idea to promote mattress recycling, the lofty goal of the task is just a hidden tax on consumers called an “assessment”.  The estimated $9-$16 would be used to build the collection infrastructure, but will that be enough?  If not, where does the funding come from?  

Mattress manufacturers and/or mattress sales businesses will simply build in the cost of this program and pass it along with no guarantee that it will prevent people from dumping mattresses alongside the road or the State of Oregon from needing to bail out the program.

SB 1579 (A-Engrossed) Directs the Oregon Business Development Department (OBDD) to develop and implement an Economic Equity Investment Program to award grants to qualified organizations that provide culturally responsive services disadvantaged individuals, families, businesses, and communities.

This bill makes a one-time General Fund appropriation of $15M to establish the Economic Equity Investment Fund, and $15M for payments.

This program would provide grants and funding to people based on their race and ethnicity, therefore making it very likely unconstitutional.  Legislative Council submitted an opinion on this bill stating that:

“Under the U.S. Supreme Court’s affirmative action decisions, the Equal Protection Clause mandates that state governments treat similarly situated persons equally under the law.  The Court has concluded that all race-conscious state laws are so inherently suspect that they are unconstitutional under Equal Protection analysis unless they pass strict scrutiny”.

I believe that this program will be deemed unconstitutional and therefore, I voted no on the bill.

SB 1589 (A-Engrossed) Provides that maximum loading weight of motorboat must be less than 5,500 pounds to obtain towed watersports motorboat certificate.  Authorizes State Marine Board to conduct study related to increasing or decreasing prescribed maximum loading weight. Provides that person shall carry towed watersports endorsement if engaged in any towed watersports within Newberg Pool Congested Zone. Modifies definitions of "Newberg Pool Congested Zone". 

This bill has been discussed the last two sessions and is at the request of a few homeowners on this stretch of the Willamette River.  Multiple amendments to this bill were proposed to get to a compromise solution but most were rejected.  In addition, the bill contains no independent state funded study that would show the actual reason for the riverbank erosion it is all based on antidotal testimony that was rebutted by other testimony. 

Finally, this bill expands the current Newberg Pool Congested zone to include many more miles of river, from the Willamette Falls River Mill 26.6 and ending at the mouth of the Yamhill River.


Included is the bill number, house vote (Y/N), bill description and my vote explanation

HB 5201 A    34/23  Approves certain new or increased fees adopted by state agencies.

Government fees are not my favorite thing, so a no vote would have been easy.  However, I also realize that costs increase and some of the fees had not been raised in some time and had not even kept up with the current rate of inflation.  The bad things is, like with many bills, it is an all or nothing vote.

HB 5202 A    41/16   Appropriates moneys from General Fund to specified state agencies and Emergency Board for biennial expenses.

This bill would have been very hard no vote to cast, due primarily to the fact that there were two project funded in it for HD23.   Otherwise known as the "Christmas tree bill" it contains all kinds of asks by Legislators that help each of their districts in some way.  However, there is also other funding like $2.9M for OSHA for COVID costs, $120M to move Harriet Tubman Middle School and $15M to a non-profit group called Seeding Justice for advancing reproductive health equity.  

SB 1501   43/15   Directs State Board of Forestry to adopt single rule package on or before November 30, 2022, to implement Private Forest Accord Report.

The was the third bill that was part of the Private Forest Accord.  While I would have supported SB 1502 which provided relief to the small woodland owners, I struggled with supporting SB 1501 with defined environmental practices associated with the negotiated package.  There are things in there that would have major impacts on private timber tracts and especially small woodland owners that could potentially not be mitigated with the credits and incentives in SB 1502.

SB 1504    39/21   Provides that Multi-Jurisdictional Simulcasting and Interactive Wagering Totalizator Hub licensee may establish account for wagering on greyhound racing for individual unless wagering on live greyhound racing is unlawful in jurisdiction of individual's principal residence.

I was a no on this bill in committee and would have been a no on the floor.  Oregon greyhound racing ceased when the track closed in 2004.   Like many forms of gambling, wagering moved to online platforms and in small business off track betting establishments.  These wagers assist in offsetting general funds and governmental regulatory commissions. The estimated loss of revenue to OR was estimated at ~$7M in committee testimony.

SB 1510 B    34/24   Requires police officer to inform stopped person of right to refuse consent to search.

This is one of the worst law enforcements bills this session.  It ties the hands of law enforcement by limiting the reasons they can pull vehicles over.  Most people know it as the headlight bill (meaning an officer cannot pull you over just because you don't have your headlights on or you are missing a license plate).  Then buried in section 15 of the bill it gives $10M to the NW Health Foundation so they can provide grants to culturally specific organizations and culturally responsive service providers.  It then goes on to state that "Recognizing that systemic racism exists within this state and within the criminal justice system, and that culturally specific organizations and culturally responsive services must be expanded to address those disparities, the purpose of the Justice Reinvestment Equity Program is to promote racial equity, reduce racial disparities".  In other words, all law enforcement is racist.  This statement is offensive and does NOT belong in statute.

SB 1518 B     36/21    Establishes Task Force on Resilient Efficient Buildings and specifies task force membership.

This was a bill establishing a Task Force on Resilient Efficient Buildings.  Requires task force to identify and evaluate policies related to building codes and building decarbonization for new and existing buildings that would enable the state to meet greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals.  The concern I have is that this task force will set the tone for possible policies in 2023 and there is no real requirement that any of the proposed policies be affordable.

SB 1522 B    38/20    Authorizes high school teachers who are employed by education service districts to serve as members of Transfer Council.

Despite the measure description, this is the education omnibus bill.  Among other things it offers in-state tuition at universities and community colleges to individuals granted humanitarian parole, but there is no definition in the bill as to what this means.  It also added “Student bathroom means a bathroom that is accessible by students in kindergarten or above, including a gender-neutral bathroom, a bathroom designated for females and a bathroom designated for males".  The add was “in kindergarten”. 

SB 1560 B     48/9    Updates statutory references to individual who is not a citizen or national of United States to replace "alien" with "noncitizen". Directs state agencies to use "noncitizen" in rules and regulations to reference individual who is not a citizen or national of United States and to update rules and regulations that use "alien" to use "noncitizen." Authorizes agencies to amend rule without prior notice or hearing for purpose of changing term or phrase in order to conform with change made by law.

This bill does nothing.  Changing the definition in statute and rule will take time and does nothing substantial.  It is virtue signaling.  The current understood definition of aliens is non-citizen and this change will not align with federal statute. 

SB 5701    45/11    Modifies projects and amounts authorized for issuance of general obligation bonds, revenue bonds, certificates of participation and other financing agreements for biennium.

This was the general obligation bond bill and has some great projects in it, but again encompassed some existing projects with very large cost overruns.

SB 5702       46/10  Establishes and modifies limits on payment of expenses from specified funds by certain state agencies for capital construction.

The capitol construction budget had so many cost overrun projects in it, such as the OLCC liquor warehouse and conveyor system.

Yours truly,

Representative Anna Scharf

Capitol Phone: 503-986-1423
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, H-381, Salem, OR 97301