OSCC Legislative Update – 3/11/2013


March 11, 2013




OSCC Legislative Update



Last week you received a link to a video that provided the facts about PERS.  If you have not used this to educate your members, here it is again:   http://youtu.be/8viDMetIUHA
The budget reality is that in the 2013/15 biennium, there will be 16.5 billion dollars in revenue compared to the 15 billion dollars in 2011/13.  On top of that, based on the Governor’s budget, there would be an additional $865 million in savings from PERS reform that could be invested in programs.
The Co-chairs budget proposal, however, does half of what the Governor wants in PERS reform savings and therefore wants the legislature to find new revenue.  Most of their focus at this point is on capping mortgage interest deductions.
The budget issues will drive much of the process in the next couple of months.  OSCC is on record in support of significant PERS reform so, it is important that there is a statewide movement to contact all legislators letting them know anything less than significant reform is not acceptable. 
SB 754 is the main PERS reform bill which gets to $1.8 billlion in savings right now.
  Employment Law:
HB 2976 piles on multiple new regulations on staffing agencies and would ultimately squeeze them out of business.  The first hearing on this bill is Wednesday March 13 at 8:00 a.m. 
Business, Environment, Natural Resources:
SB 488  repeals sunset on provisions related to low carbon fuel standards.  This would allow the DEQ to move forward on cap & trade on gas and diesel.  Only the state of California has anything like this and this would do further harm to Oregon’s economy.
The hearing for this bill is March 18 at 3:00 p.m. in the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources. 
SB 633  is important to agriculture.  
The first legislative hearing on SB 633 will be  Tuesday, March 12, at 3:00 pm.
SB 633 would ensure that the regulation of agriculture seed and crops would only occur at the state and federal levels where the proper expertise lies. This would prevent Oregon’s 36 counties, and over 400 cities, from adding regulations on these important crops. This will ensure that farmers across Oregon have the right to operate their farms without local regulators deciding what crops they can and cannot choose to grow.
Did you know:
Oregon among top 20 biggest spending states in the nation!By Taxpayer Association of Oregon http://www.oregonwatchdog.com/
Census Bureau numbers show that total state & local government spending per capita places Oregon at the 17th biggest spending.
State & Local Spending Rank State Per Capita
1. Alaska,$20,830.40
2. Wyoming, $15,141.50
3. New York,$14,383.70
4. California, $11,542.80
5. Massachusetts, $11,151.30
6. New Jersey, $11,007.00
7. Washington,$10,884.20
8. Hawaii, $10,621.60
9. Delaware, $10,561.90
10. Louisiana, $10,544.30
11. Connecticut, $10,518.40
12. New Mexico, $10,418.00
13. Nebraska, $10,306.30
14. Minnesota, $10,284.90
15. Vermont $10,137.90
16. Rhode Island, $10,135.40
17. Oregon $9,935.40
18. Illinois $9,731.80
19. Pennsylvania $9,548.80
20. Maryland $9,525.10


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