2023 Legislative Session Report
2023 Legislative Session Report
2023 Legislative Session – The Indescribable Session
It’s hard to know where to begin. 2023 was a new year with a new Governor, a new Senate President, and a new Speaker of the House. In addition, more than half of the 60 House districts had new representatives and the Senate welcomed eight members who were either new or in different seats. This was also the first in-person session since Covid. With so many new members, it was a breath of fresh air (except for the jackhammering as the Capitol undergoes a $500 million renovation closing nearly two thirds of the building to the public). The Democrats continued to control the House and Senate, but slimly lost their super majorities this cycle. During the first couple of months, bipartisan legislation flowed through the chambers and there appeared to be a certain amount of harmony.
The first few months were a welcome change from the last few years. Inevitably, the fairy tale ended. The Republicans accused the Democrats of overreaching on reproductive rights and gun control, and for the fifth year in the row, they walked out (this time only in the Senate) bringing everything to a screeching halt. This walkout exposed the inexperience of the new legislators and negotiations were at a stalemate.
After much speculation among the lobby about whether the Republicans would return to avoid triggering Measure 113, which prohibits legislators with 10 unexcused absences to run for re-election, the Senate Republicans and one Independent defied the measure and did not return. With the Senate on pause, the House continued to work, but again, bills needing to pass the Senate were in limbo. Even the Governor got involved but was not able to strike a deal.
Eventually, in the eleventh hour, a compromise was reached and most of the Republicans returned to finish the work of the legislature. The two bills at the heart of the controversy were sent back to Rules Committee to be amended and then sent back to the floor. The dichotomy of the two parties and the return with just one week of session left led to bipartisan drama. With days until the constitutionally required Sine Die of June 25, the Christmas Tree bill dropped, although they will deny it, the projects that the Democrats promised to the Republicans were added to the list the weekend before the bill dropped. Many of the projects of those Republicans that did not return, were removed. Naturally, this did not smooth anything over. This even turned into fighting among the Democrats for compromising with the Republicans dragging the session on to the bitter end. Finally, after a dramatic six weeks, the Legislature completed on Sunday, June 25.
Those that walked out are challenging the constitutionality of Measure 113. We will await to see what the courts say.
Let’s see if anything changes in 2024. Hopefully, lessons were learned.
Building Owners & Managers Association Priorities
The Association’s Legislative Team tracked over 100 bills during the 2023 Legislative Session, on various issues affecting BOMA interests. You may access the BOMA’s 2023 Bill Tracking program on its website at http://www.bomaoregon.org/advocacy/.
BOMA would like to thank the Legislative Committee members and the Board whose collective efforts helped enhance the Association’s credibility and effectiveness in the Legislative arena. Below is a list and explanation of some of the tracked bills:
Building Resiliency Standards
SB 870A – Failed
Requires Department of Consumer and Business Services to study how to build resiliency and efficiency into buildings. Directs department to submit findings to interim committees of Legislative Assembly related to environment not later than September 15, 2024. BOMA participated in a workgroup early during session to draft an amendment that works better for BOMA members.
We submitted testimony discussing how BOMA Oregon has been a leading organization helping building owners maximize energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions. We were supportive of the goals of SB 870. The bill’s framework as amended allowed for a staged implementation with reasonable financial tests to ensure that existing buildings that represent sequestered and embodied carbon remain viable. As an organization with experience with the challenges of implementing efficiency goals BOMA simply asks to be an engaged partner in further refining the rules and look forward to a productive conversation with the State. This bill will likely be back next session, but also a casualty of the walkout.
Conversion of Commercial to Residential Property
HB 2984B – Passed
Allows conversion of building from commercial use to housing within urban growth boundary under certain conditions. Prohibits, for such conversions, local governments from enforcing parking minimums and limits collection of system development charges.
Repeal of Dry Cleaner Environmental Program
HB 3273A – Passed
Repeals Department of Environmental Quality's dry cleaner environmental program. The bill prohibits use of perchloroethylene and n-propyl bromide as dry cleaning solvents. Provides that prohibition becomes operative January 1, 2028.
Tax Credit for Preservation of Historic Property
HB 2079 – Passed
The bill requires the Legislative Revenue Officer to study potential of implementing tax credit and direct grant program to encourage preservation of historic property.
HB 2198 – Failed
This bill would have prohibited a municipality that administers and enforces building inspection program from adopting construction standards or methods from Reach Code, or similar or related code of standards and methods, that exceed or are more stringent than statewide standards and methods Director of Department of Consumer and Business Services adopts and administers. This bill never received a public hearing.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions
HB 2236 – Failed
This bill prohibits the Governor and specified state agencies from taking measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Oregon unless authorized by Legislative Assembly by law enacted on or after effective date of Act. The bill did not receive a public hearing and died in committee.
Structural Masonry Licensing Standards
HB 2300 & 2877– Failed
Permits Building Codes Structures Board to adopt licensing standards for performing structural masonry in essential facilities. Permits Construction Contractors Board to adopt licensing standards for applying or installing fireproofing materials in essential facilities. This bill also did not receive a public hearing and died in committee.
Removal of Homeless Individuals from Camping Site
HB 2939 – Failed
This bill would have reduced notice period before removal of homeless individuals from established camping site to 24 hours. Eliminates certain requirements related to storage of personal property removed from camping site. This bill also did not receive a public hearing and died in committee.
EV Charging Stations
HB 2941 – Failed
The bill would have allowed the Director of Department of Consumer and Business Services may apply a requirement to include provisions for electrical service capacity for charging electric vehicles only to commercial buildings under private ownership. BOMA monitored the bill, but it did not receive a public hearing and died in committee.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction
HB 3152– Failed
Permits Public Utility Commission to institute one or more proceedings to ensure commission's regulations, rules and orders, and programs overseen by commission, align with greenhouse gas emissions reduction requirements and targets established by statute or executive order, do not impede or delay timely and equitable implementation of greenhouse gas emissions reduction requirements and targets, and mitigate energy burden and risks of stranded assets for residential utility customers. This bill died in committee.
Pay Equity – Hiring and Retention Bonuses
HB 3205A- Failed
Modifies definition of "compensation," for purposes of pay equity requirements, to exclude hiring bonuses and retention bonuses. Permits employer to pay employees at different compensation levels pursuant to retention bonus provided that employer does not discriminate in payment of retention bonus, and that retention bonus accounts for entire compensation differential. This bill made it out of the House and is a casualty of the Senate walkout.
Right to Rest
HB 3501 - Failed
Establishes Oregon Right to Rest Act that makes a violation of the act an unlawful practice enforceable by Commissioner of Bureau of Labor and Industries or by civil action. This bill had a public hearing and died in committee.
Shelter Plus Program
HB 3547 - Failed
Establishes Shelter Plus program to provide temporary shelter and wraparound social and medical services to individuals discharged from hospitals who do not have appropriate housing in which to recover. This bill did not receive a public hearing and died in committee.
SB 799- Failed
Requires residential landlords to extend notice periods for terminations of tenancy based on nonpayment of rent and to include additional notices. Postpones any eviction proceeding based on such termination notices for up to 60 days while an application for rental assistance is pending. Postpones dates for first appearance and trial for evictions based on such termination notices. Requires landlords and clerk to include notice with summons for nonpayment of rent. Requires public bodies and grantees to inform tenants and landlords regarding rental assistance applications. This bill had a public hearing but died in committee.
Abating Waste Due to Homelessness
SB 859- Failed
Allows local governments, and during emergency period allows Governor or certain agencies, to abate waste, graffiti and vandalism associated with homelessness and other factors. Allows costs to be passed to solid waste collection ratepayers. This bill died in committee without a hearing.
Other Bills of Interest
Oregon Housing Needs Analysis
HB 2001B -Passed
Establishes Oregon Housing Needs Analysis in Oregon Department of Administrative Services. Requires cities outside Metro to plan for housing needs as allocated by analysis. Requires Metro to adopt similar methodology to allocate housing needs to cities within Metro. This bill was one of the Governor’s priorities and passed early in the session.
HB 2084- Failed
The bill requires the Legislative Revenue Officer to study calculation of maximum assessed value when taxable property becomes newly eligible for, or is disqualified from, exemption or special assessment program. Directs officer to submit report, in manner provided in ORS 192.245, to interim committees of Legislative Assembly related to revenue not later than December 15, 2023.
Property Tax Withholding
HB 2088 - Failed
This bill directs the county treasurer to withhold three percent of all property tax moneys for use by county for administration of property tax laws. Appropriates moneys from General Fund to Department of Revenue for deposit in County Assessment Function Funding Assistance Account. This bill died in committee.
Tax on Use of Electricity Charge for Electric Vehicles
HB 3131 - Failed
This bill would have required the Department of Transportation to study means of imposing tax on the use of electricity to charge electric vehicles at rate equivalent to tax rate imposed per gallon on motor vehicle fuel. This bill died in committee.
Excise Tax on Tires and Heavy Equipment
HB 3158 - Failed
Imposes excise tax on retail sale of tires, privilege tax for engaging in business of providing nonroad diesel equipment, tax on use in Oregon of nonroad diesel equipment purchased out of state at retail, heavy equipment rental tax on rentals of nonroad diesel equipment, privilege tax on heavy-duty vehicles and license tax on dyed diesel for transfer to Clean Diesel Engine Fund. This bill died in committee.
HB 2003 - Failed
Establishes limits on campaign contributions that may be accepted by candidates and political committees. This bill died in committee without a hearing.
Rank Choice Voting
HB 2004B - Passed
This bill establishes ranked choice voting as voting method for selecting winner of nomination for and election to offices of President of United States, United States Senator, Representative in Congress, Governor, Secretary of State, State Treasurer and Attorney General. This will be referred to voters.
This report has been prepared by BOMA’s Government Affairs advocate Nellie deVries