2022 Oregon Legislature: Mid-Session Update

The 2022 Legislative Session is well underway. OEC staff have jumped in with both feet, analyzing bills and recommending improvements, writing and delivering strong testimony, organizing partnered groups, and defending against harmful proposals. So far we have testified on over 20 unique bills and inspired nearly 300 citizen contacts to legislators and committees from OEC activists like you. We have focused our efforts on four key areas. 

  • Efficient and resilient buildings and communities,
  • Clean and equitable transportation, 
  • Jobs, Justice, and Health 
  • Resilient Lands, Waters, and Rural Economies

Find out more about our work in each of these areas below. Want to get in on the action? Sign up for our emails and we’ll keep you engaged.

As the session moves on, we’ll be tracking which bills move forward and continuing to advocate, up to the last day of the session, for budget decisions that support healthy communities. Specifically, we’re asking the Oregon Legislature to prioritize investments that decarbonize buildings and transportation, protect people from environmental harm, create more resilient natural water systems, protect pollinators, and add capacity to state agencies, councils, and commissions.

Efficient and Resilient Buildings and Communities

Reach Codes and Resilient, Efficient Buildings (SB 1518)

  • Status: Referred to Ways and Means with a “Do Pass” recommendation. 
  • OEC Action: OEC testified in support. 
  • Summary: Buildings are the second largest source of climate pollution in Oregon. This bill would have allowed cities to adopt stronger energy efficiency requirements for new buildings. The bill was amended to create a Task Force charged with delivering a much broader set of policy recommendations for more resilient, energy-efficient new and existing buildings for the 2023 legislative session. 

Emergency Heat Relief for Communities (HB 4058)

  • Status: Referred to Ways and Means with a “Do Pass” recommendation.
  • OEC Action: OEC submitted written testimony in support.
  • Summary: HB 4058 protects communities during extreme heat and wildfire events by distributing energy efficient air conditioners, electric heat pumps, and air filtration devices to low-income, rural, and other environmental justice communities in Oregon 

Emergency Heat Relief for Renters (SB 1536)

  • Status: Referred to Ways and Means with a “Do Pass” recommendation.
  • OEC Action: OEC submitted written testimony in support.
  • Summary: HB 1536 protects renters during extreme heat events by removing some limits that landlords have used to prevent installation of air conditioners and providing funding to install efficient electric heat pumps (prioritizing housing that is affordable) and establish community cooling centers.

Changes to Rulemakings and Cost Assessments (SB 1537)  

  • Status: Referred to Rules Committee without recommendation.
  • OEC Action: OEC testified in opposition.
  • Summary: This bill would constrain state agency rulemakings (which OEC regularly participates in) and make them more legally vulnerable.

Clean and Equitable Transportation

Changes to EV Rebate and Limiting Local Regulation Transportation Network Companies (SB 1558)

  • Status: This omnibus transportation bill amended a problematic section, passed out of Joint Transportation Committee and is headed to the Senate for a floor vote.
  • OEC Action: OEC opposed a section.
  • Summary: OEC opposed the portion of the bill that would have removed the cap on the number of EV rebates a company can access, which would have then limited how many are available to individuals and low- and moderate-income households. It also would have gutted local authority to regulate Transportation Network Companies, like Uber. 

Jobs, Justice, and Health 

Modernizing the Bottle Bill (SB 1520)

  • Status: Referred to Ways and Means with a “Do Pass” recommendation.
  • OEC Action: OEC testified in support.
  • Summary: ​​SB 1520 expands the bottle deposit and return system to include wine in cans and creates new rules that help ensure there is better access to bottle returns. 

Mattress Recycling and Toxics Reduction (SB 1576)

  • Status: Referred to Ways and Means with a “Do Pass” recommendation.
  • OEC Action: OEC testified in support. 
  • Summary: ​​Up to 80% of the materials in mattresses is recyclable, but most mattresses go to the landfill, or are illegally dumped. SB 1576 requires matress producers to create a stewardship program, similar to the bottle deposit and return program, so that mattresses can be recycled.

Environmental Justice for All (HB 4077)

  • Status: Amended and referred to Ways and Means with a “Do Pass” recommendation. 
  • OEC Action: OEC testified in support.
  • Summary: HB 4077 will provide Oregon’s Environmental Justice Task Force with dedicated funding and better tools so that it can map and identify environmental justice communities throughout the state and help the Governor’s office and state agencies deliver solutions that address environmental racism.

Farmworker Overtime (HB 4002)

  • Status: Referred to Revenue with a “Do Pass” recommendation.
  • OEC Action: OEC submitted written testimony in support. 
  • Summary: Farmworkers have historically been left out of overtime pay and benefits. HB 4002 will ensure that farmworkers in Oregon receive overtime pay after 40 hours in a work week. Not only are farmworkers bearing the brunt of extreme heat and unsafe wildfire smoke, but climate disruptions are also impacting harvesting schedules. 

Protections for Climate Impacted Workers (HCR 203)

  • Status: Referred to House Rules Committee.
  • OEC Action: OEC testified in support.
  • Summary: Defines specific climate-induced circumstances in which work should stop to protect the health and safety of people who work outdoors. Creates a path to protect worker pay in conditions when it’s not safe to work. 

Resilient Lands, Waters, and Rural Economies

  • Expanding Broadband Access (HB 4092)
  • Status: Referred to Ways and Means with a “Do Pass” recommendation.
  • OEC Action: OEC submitted written testimony in support. 
  • Summary: HB 4092 will allow the state of Oregon to invest over $200 million in federal funds to support the expansion of access to high speed internet. These connections support residential, medical, educational, and business needs as well as help gather data for water management, transportation, and much more.  

Sprinkler Efficiency (HB 4057)

  • Status: Sent to House floor with “Do Pass” recommendation. Scheduled for House and Senate votes.
  • OEC Action: OEC submitted written testimony in support. 
  • Summary: This legislation allows the Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) to adopt efficiency standards for landscape irrigation sprinklers. Oregon is the only state on the West Coast that has not adopted efficiency standards for spray sprinklers. 

Illegal Water Use on Cannabis Operations (HB 4061) 

  • Status: Referred to Ways and Means with a “Do Pass” recommendation.
  • OEC Action: OEC submitted written testimony in support.
  • Summary: This bill gives the Oregon Water Resources Department (OWRD) narrowly expanded enforcement authority for illegal water use on cannabis grow operations. Illegal water use is stressing already stretched water systems. 

Natural + Working Lands + Waters (SB 1534)

  • Status: Referred to Ways and Means with a “Do Pass” recommendation.
  • OEC Action: OEC joined written testimony in support.
  • Summary: Establishes state policy to increase carbon sequestration on natural and working lands and waters–including forests, grasslands, farmlands, and wetlands–and directs relevant state agencies to develop metrics and monitor progress toward achieving sequestration goals.

New Licensing for Pesticides (HB 4062)

  • Status: Passed out of House Committee on Agriculture, Land Use, and Water, headed to House floor for a vote. 
  • OEC Action: OEC submitted written testimony in support. 
  • Summary: This legislation will allow the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA) to establish new types of pesticide licenses through rulemaking rather than through legislation. This will speed up and improve training and guidance for handling pesticides using best practices.

OEC also joined partners and coalitions in submitting joint letters of testimony on the following bills.

  • Racism as a Public Health Crisis Bill (HB 4052) 
  • Better Fuels for Oregon (HB 4141)
  • Treasury Climate Risk Disclosure (HB 4115)
  • Updates to Labor Standards, 100% Clean for All (4059)

 

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