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Legislative Update: April 7, 2021

The legislative session is in full swing. April 13th is the deadline for bills to advance out of policy committees in their chamber of origin. Committee schedules are packed full with work sessions as bills are either moving forward, dying or being amended. 

Lawmakers are expected to begin deliberations over traditional state budget bills as well as how to allocate $780 million worth of federal aid associated with the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) over the coming week. 

Over the last 10 days, legislators have been collecting and submitting capital funding requests that would be eligible for $780 million in one-time federal funding. Budget writers will begin their review of the project proposals this week. These projects would be in addition to the normal funding projects eligible for capital funding from the state. 

It is believed many of the tax bills have lost steam right now due to the large infusion of cash the state will receive from the Federal government as part of the $2.6 billion ARPA allocation to Oregon. The bills to disconnect businesses from Federal CARES Act tax benefits (SB 137, HB 2839) as well as bills to tax PPP loans (HB2253) have lost steam. 

Here are a few bills that we recommend you watch: 

100% Clean Electricity Mandate (HB 2021) – 

There continues to be a significant amount of discussions around the development of this policy. Since the last update that we have received, no updated language has been released publicly. The bill is scheduled for public hearings nd possible work sessions where we will most likely get a look at the language that has been developed.  

Indirect Source Regulatory Program (HB 2814) –

Representative Maxine Dexter shared with stakeholders last week that her bill to establish one of the most expansive indirect source regulatory programs in the country will be amended into a study bill. The DEQ-led study will specifically focus on diesel emissions, with the goal of preparing legislation for the 2023 legislative sessions. 

Presumption of Retaliation (SB 483) –

This policy as amended creates a rebuttable presumption that an employer has engaged in retaliation or discrimination if – within 60 days of an employee or prospective employee reporting a labor or workplace safety violation – the employer takes an adverse employment action against that person. The presumption of retaliation is rebuttable upon by demonstration of a preponderance of the evidence. The bill is set for a Senate floor vote as soon as this week. 

Expansion of Oregon Family Leave Act (HB 2474) –

This bill would expand Oregon’s family leave law down to the smallest of employees (1 employee) and add new provisions. This bill is a work in progress. 

Repeal Oregon taxes on federal stimulus payments (SB 842) –

This bill would ensure all Oregon residents get the full amount of their Federal Economic Impact Payments without state taxation. 

Tax Credit for Forgiven Rents (SB 330) –

This bill would give commercial landlords a tax credit, to be taken over 5 years, for forgiven rents. 

Unemployment Insurance Rate Reduction (HB 3389) –

This bill would enact a number of policies that would help struggling small businesses to lower their unemployment insurance liability. Among other things, the bill would revert an employer’s experience rating back to 2019 levels and update Unemployment Trust Fund solvency requirements to lower tax rates into the future. 

Nominations for Inner City Capitol Connections are open now!

Inner City Capital Connections (ICCC) is a tuition-free executive leadership training program designed by the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) to help business owners in under-resourced communities build capacity for sustainable growth in revenue, profitability, and employment. ICCC is uniquely designed to provide three critical elements for sustainable growth:
·        Capacity-building education
·        One-on-one coaching
·        Connections to capital and capital providers
Last year the Tigard Chamber nominated 50 businesses and saw 22 of them enter this program.
For more information and program criteria, please check their website here: you’d like to be considered for this program, please connect with us about a nomination at:

How to Testify at the 2021 Oregon Legislative Session?

In order to prevent the transmission of COVID-19, entry to the Oregon State Capitol is for authorized personnel only until further notice. The Oregon Legislative Assembly has established a process to accept remote verbal public testimony on bills by video or phone during this time, in addition to written public testimony.

You can submit written testimony up to 24 hours after the scheduled start time of the committee meeting at which a bill is listed on the agenda for a public hearing.

All committee meetings, as well as House and Senate floor sessions, will continue to be live streamed on OLIS. A public access station will be set up outside of the State Capitol building if you do not have access to the internet. Closed captioning is available for all meetings when viewing online.

If you are only interested in watching a committee meeting, or submitting written testimony on a bill, there is no need to follow the testimony registration process.


There are several ways to know when a bill is scheduled for a public hearing:

  • You can search for a bill by bill number, bill text, or bill sponsor on the Oregon Legislative Information System (OLIS), and look at the bill’s measure history.
  • When a bill has been referred to a specific committee, you can: 1) search for that committee or subcommittee on the OLIS website, and look at whether that committee has scheduled the bill for a public hearing, or 2) subscribe to receive committee or subcommittee meeting agendas via email using the e-subscribe link on the committee
  • If you do not have internet access and are near the Capitol, you can view committee or subcommittee agendas on a screen that is visible through the center State Street Capitol doors.

Once a bill is scheduled for a public hearing, you can register to speak at the hearing. It is not possible to register to testify before the bill is formally scheduled.


You must register in advance to provide verbal testimony during a committee or subcommittee meeting. Registration closes at the start of the meeting. There are three ways to register:

  • Look up the committee or subcommittee meeting agenda on the Oregon Legislative Information System (OLIS) website and follow the testimony registration link on the agenda. The system will send you an email with a registration meeting link and instructions for delivering your verbal/video testimony using the Microsoft Teams platform.
  • Look up the committee or subcommittee meeting agenda on the OLIS website and call the listed toll-free number. The phone system will provide you with a phone number and access code to call into the meeting and deliver your verbal/audio testimony.
  • On the day of the hearing, come to the public access station outside of the State Capitol building to deliver your testimony into a publicly provided laptop. Please note that this option is intended for those who do not have internet access or an available phone.


Use the MS Teams meeting link or phone number to join the committee or subcommittee meeting at least 5 minutes prior to the meeting start time. You will “wait” in a virtual lobby until staff admits all participants into the meeting, shortly before the public hearing begins.
If you are joining the meeting with an MS Teams link, please:

  • Join the meeting with your camera off and microphone muted and stay in that mode until you are called on by the Chair to speak.
  • If time permits, committee staff may be able to quickly test your video and audio.
  • If you are not familiar with MS Teams, spend a few minutes reviewing the user interface ahead of time. This link may be helpful: Join a meeting in Teams.

If you are calling into the meeting, please:

  • Join the meeting with your microphone on mute until you are called on by the Chair to speak. At that time, press *6 to unmute.
  • Be aware that when you call in, your phone number will be displayed on the live stream of the committee or subcommittee meeting.


During the hearing your camera and microphone should be off/muted until you are called upon to testify.

  • If you are watching the meeting live stream on the Oregon Legislative Information System (OLIS) website, close the live stream when public testimony begins and listen to the meeting on MS Teams or your phone instead (live streams have a time delay, and you may miss your name being called).
  • When the Chair calls on you to speak, turn on your camera (optional) and microphone (*6 on your phone to unmute) and provide your testimony.
  • Follow any instructions from the Chair for your testimony. This may include a time limit; in some cases, the Chair will use a chime to indicate when you need to finish.
  • If you do not respond when called on to speak, or you encounter technical difficulties, you may not be able to testify. If this happens, you may submit your testimony in a written format up to 24 hours after the scheduled start time of the committee meeting at which you planned to testify.
  • When your testimony is finished, the Chair may ask that you stay in the meeting to answer questions from committee members.
  • When you are done with your testimony, turn off your camera and mute your microphone/phone. You may leave the meeting and continue to watch the meeting on the OLIS live stream. Or you may remain in the meeting to continue listening and watching with your camera and microphone off. If the meeting is at capacity, you may be
    removed from the meeting upon the conclusion of your testimony to allow others to join.
  • People testifying remotely are subject to the same rules of decorum as an in-person meeting at the Capitol. Anyone who chooses not to follow the rules for remote testimony established by the committee Chair may forfeit their opportunity to testify. At the direction of the Chair, you may be removed from the meeting if you continue to disregard the Chair’s instructions.


Oregon Legislature’s Website:
Oregon Legislative Information System (OLIS):

Questions about the legislature, legislative process, or other government agencies:
Toll-free number: 1-800-332-2313

Information listed above is from the Legislative Policy and Research Office for the State of Oregon. 

City of Tigard Business License Fee Waiver 

On January 5th, Tigard’s City Council authorized a business license fee waiver for new businesses in Tigard – if those businesses have recently or are currently working with one of the city’s business advising partners.  Entrepreneurs preparing to launch a business who receive business advising are better prepared for success and this program is one way to incentivize entrepreneurs to prepare for the challenges of running a business and build their support network. 

Here’s a program summary:

City of Tigard Business License Fee Waiver 

While all businesses operating in the City of Tigard are required by municipal code to have a business license the city does offer a one-time fee waiver for new businesses that meet the following criteria. 

To be eligible for the fee waiver, a business owner must provide proof of successful completion of a business assistance program, financial education workshop, or recurring advising relationship in either the six-month period before the business applies for a business license or during the business’ first year operating in the city. 

An eligible business advising partner must be approved by the City of Tigard’s economic development manager and the economic development manager must approve each business’ request for a business license fee waiver. A list of approved business advising partners will be posted on the city’s website.

Proof of completion of a program can take the form of an email confirmation from a business advising partner or certificate of completion as agreed upon by the economic development manager and the business advising organization. A new business interested in a business license fee waiver must submit this documentation to the city’s economic development manager for review.


Lloyd Purdy MPA/MLA 
City of Tigard 
Economic Development Manager 

Round 2 – Proposed Draft Administrative Rules for Paid Family and Medical Leave

The Oregon Employment Department’s Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance (PFMLI) team is seeking early stakeholder input on its second round of proposed draft administrative rules. The proposed administrative rules explain how the department plans to implement the new law and provide guidance to the public on how to access and comply with the new program.

They plan to share rules for early public comment throughout the coming months, with formal rulemaking processes still to be undertaken later in 2021.

The second round of proposed draft rules is now available on their website. Proposed draft rules will be posted for approximately four weeks. They invite you to provide feedback on the draft rules. Additional rounds of proposed draft administrative rules will be available on our website in the coming months. We will send a newsletter when a new round of rules is ready for public comment.

This round of proposed draft rules are about the following topics:

  • Method to Count Employees and Determine Employer Size
  • Contribution Rate Period
  • Maximum Employee Wages
  • Serious Health Condition Definition
  • Verification of Serious Health Condition
  • Health Care Provider Definition
  • Verification of Safe Leave
  • Employer Equivalent Plans Application Requirements and Effective Date
  • Employer equivalent Plans Definitions and Requirements
  • Employer Equivalent Plans Use of the Other Paid Leave Benefits

The PFMLI Division invites you to get involved with the program in the following ways:

  • View the proposed draft rules: Draft rules are found on our PFMLI Rulemaking webpage for comment. We invite you to review the proposed administrative rules and provide comments.
  • Invite participation and subscribe: Please invite your employers, employees, constituents, and partners to participate by signing up for email updates to be notified when additional proposed draft rules are available for public comment and to stay informed of future events.
  • Ask us questions: If you have questions, comments, or suggestions, we want to hear from you; please email us. Your questions will help our staff create a program for all Oregonians.

Information from Oregon’s Employment Department