03/24/2017 Legislative Update March 27
“It’s the green gold rush.”Sen. Ted Ferrioli, the Senate Minority Leader, referring to economic opportunities presented by the legalization of marijuana. The law went into effect July 1.
This is the last legislative update for the 2015 Legislative Session. The constitutional date for adjournment is July 11 but legislators are trying to accelerate their pace as the July 4 holiday weekend approaches. The Oregon Health Authority budget passed the House floor today. One of the final bills of the session will be the Christmas Tree bill, which allocates additional funds to special projects.
Marijuana Legalization in Oregon
Governor Brown signed HB 3400, the cannabis regulation bill which reduces penalties for several crimes association with the drug. It also makes it easier for local governments to prohibit marijuana businesses if at at 55 percent of county voters had opposed the measure 91 legalization initiative. The bill also allows voters in cities and counties to levy up to a 3 percent sales tax on marijuana. HB 2041 would set a statewide sales tax of 17 percent once the full retail program is running. SB 460 would let adults buy small amounts of pots from medical marijuana dispensaries starting October 1. Marijuana still remains illegal under federal law.
Governor Brown signs remaining ethics reform bills
Ethics reform, the last of the go-home bills for Governor Kate Brown, were signed into law by the Governor this week. HB 2019 expands the Government Ethics Commission from seven members to nine, HB 2020, clarifies the roles of the governor’s partner and SB 9, already signed, calls for a audit of how state agencies handle public records.
Key Votes this Week
HB 2171 Tax Credit Extension Bill. This is a tax credit omnibus bill with 12 tax credits. Of interest to physicians, it modifies the tax credit for rural medical providers based on distance from major population centers.The tax credit sunsets January 1, 2018. Nearly all tax credits have a statutory sunset date.
SB 478, the bill to regulate toxics chemicals in children’s products, passed the Senate and now heads to the House. The bill was originally introduced in 2013.
SB 895, the bill requiring schools to post immunization rates for their students, passed the House today and now heads to leadership for their signatures. In the State of California, Governor Jerry Brown signed a law requiring vaccinations for children enrolled in public or private school or day care unless they have a medical exemption. Callifornia, Mississippi and West Virginia are the only states to ban religious exemptions for school-entry immunizations. http://www.latimes.com/local/political/la-me-ln-governor-signs-tough-new-vaccination-law-20150630-story.html#page=1
SB 844, establishes the Task Force on Researching the Medical and Public Health Properties of Cannabis passed the Senate today and now heads to the House.
HB 3402, increases the speed limits on certain highways, mainly in rural Oregon. The bill, once part of the transportation deal, passed the House and now heads to the Senate.
Thing to Know: Sine Die
The Latin definition is “without a day” and the meaning is “without assigning a day for a future meeting.” This is the last day of a Legislative Session.
For more information about the legislative process, please contact Katy King.