Here is your daily update.
- We continue to believe the Senate is slightly disinclined to pass HB 2060-A which repeals the small business tax cut passed by the 2013 legislature. It is a direct $200 million tax increase on small business.
- We can now confirm that HB 2269 is dead. This is the DEQ fee bill that would have created a funding stream for the ‘Cleaner Air Oregon’ regulatory initiative. This is great news for OSCC as we strongly opposed the bill.
- Predictive scheduling – SB 828 – will be on the House floor today. We expect it will pass with strong bipartisan support. The bill requires 7-day advance notice of scheduling with additional wages due for scheduling changes. It applies to retailers, hospitality establishments and food service establishments with 500 or more employees. In return, business gets a preemption on all local workplace scheduling ordinances.
- We believe that there is still a strong potential for a transportation funding package in the final days. We have yet to see any amendments to HB 2017, however.
- Based on yesterday’s announcement by House Revenue Chairman Phil Barnhart that he is shutting down his committee on all House bills, we now believe that the House will abandon HB 2019 (corporate tax disclosure), HB 2064 (expanded use of lodging tax revenues), HB 2951 (eliminates deductions of wages of highly compensated employees), and HB 2067 (expansion of Oregon’s ‘tax haven’ list).
- The trial bar is taking a fourth stab at increasing Oregon’s $500,000 non-economic damage limit in the last days. The trial bar is making a last gasp effort at proposing a $3 million limit. Business and health care groups have been effective at blocking this legislation all session, but trial lawyers are threatening to withhold campaign funding if a bill is not passed. HB 2807 is the bill to watch.
- We continue to believe that there is an expedited pathway to balancing the state budget and adjourning with (1) no additional tax revenue needed, and (2) without the need for a “special session” to balance the budget. But due to lack of effort on curbing state costs this session, we believe the 2019 session will be an unmitigated disaster unless the economy keeps producing record amounts of revenue.
It appears that legislators are working toward a July 7th adjournment date, but a lot has to go right in order to facilitate this (expedited paperwork, rules suspensions, etc). By law, legislators must conclude their work by 11:59 PM on Monday, July 10th.