SB 1529 Access to primary care and behavioral health PASSED

This bill originated from the 2020 House Committee on Health Care Universal Access to Primary Care workgroup, chaired by Rep. Rachel Prusak, D-West Linn. It requires insurers to reimburse the cost of at least three primary care visits for behavioral or physical health each year. This coverage may not be subject to copayments, coinsurance, or deductibles, and is in addition to the yearly preventive primary care visit that must be covered without cost sharing. This measure also prohibits an insurer from excluding coverage for a behavioral or physical health service on the basis that these services were provided on the same day or in the same facility; from imposing a copayment for physical or behavioral health services provided by an in-network provider if on the same day a copayment was imposed for other services; or from requiring prior authorization for a covered behavioral health service provided by a specialist in a behavioral health home or patient centered primary care home. These requirements also apply to CCOs unless they are using a value-based payment or other alternative payment methodology. This bill has been a long-time priority for the Children’s Health Alliance and also supported by the Oregon Psychiatric Physicians Association and Oregon Pediatric Society.

SB 1536 Emergency heat relief PASSED

This bill directs Oregon Health Authority (OHA) to create a program to acquire and distribute air conditioners and air filters on emergency basis to individuals eligible for medical assistance, adopt rules to implement the program, and appropriates $5 million to OHA to implement the program. Most Oregonians (59 percent) do not have air conditioning. Nearly 100 people died during the June 2021 heat dome. Note: HB 4058 did not move forward but merged with SB 1536.

SB 1549 Long-term staffing agency regulation PASSED

This measure, put forward by Sen. Kate Leiber, D-Beaverton, directs the Health Licensing Office (HLO) to issue a temporary staffing agency licensure. Fees will be paid by the licensees. OHA, in collaboration with stakeholders, shall create and submit a report to the interim Health Care committee no later than December 31, 2021.

SB 1554 OHA study of the public health system response to the COVID-19 pandemic. PASSED

Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, D-NW Portland and Beaverton, put forward SB 1554, which requires the Oregon Health Authority to contract with an independent third‐party consultant to study the state’s public health response to the COVID‐19 pandemic in partnership with counties. The final report and recommendations are due September 1, 2023. The measure includes a General Fund appropriation of $899,573 to support the fiscal impact.

SB 1543 Universal representation PASSED

Senate Bill 1543 appropriates $10.5 million to a newly created Universal Representation Fund to provide a statewide, integrated, universal legal navigation and representation system for immigration matters, and $4.5 million for the Oregon State Bar’s Legal Services Program to provide legal services to individuals on immigration matters.  Sen. Kate Leiber, D-Beaverton, and a number of other legislators co-sponsored this bill.

SB 1545 Future Ready Oregon PASSED

This legislation from Gov. Kate Brown makes $200 million in investments towards building career pathways in targeted sectors, including health care, manufacturing and construction. The package will particularly focus on opportunities for historically underserved communities, including adult learners, dislocated workers, people of color, women, people with low incomes, rural communities, and disconnected youth.

An active interim and a preview for bills in 2023

The interim is the period in which legislators, state agencies and stakeholders work on upcoming legislation. During a short session, up to 300 bills are introduced. During a long session, there may be up to 3,000.

State agencies submit their legislative concepts to the Governor’s Office for consideration in April of even-numbered years and also prepare for the biennial state agency budgets. The deadline for members and committees to submit requests for drafts of measures to be filed pre-session is September. Look for informational hearings during May 2022 Legislative Days and previews for committee bills during the September 2022 Legislative Days. The deadline to request pre-session bills is September 23, 2022.

Turbo History of the 35-day session in Oregon

During the first short session in 2010, the Legislature passed major overhauls to health care championed by Gov. John Kitzhaber. In 2012, they tackled education reform, expanding early childhood programs, and creating the health insurance exchange. In 2014, lawmakers took on Cover Oregon problems, marijuana legalization and gun control. In 2016, they passed landmark minimum wage legislation, affordable housing reform and a clean energy bill. In 2018, they aligned Oregon’s tax code with the federal tax overhaul and passed a gun control bill to close the “boyfriend loophole.” In 2020, minority party walk-outs caused early adjournment with only three bills passing for the entire session. In 2022, legislators had over $2 billion to spend from surging tax revenues and focused on pandemic recovery workforce packages, including health care, behavioral health, housing, and economic relief for low-income Oregonians.

For more information about these bills or any other legislative issues, please contact Katy King Government Relations and Public Affairs at

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