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Special Session Recap

June 27, 2020 11:17 AM | Mary Ann Gray (Administrator)

Oregon’s first Special Session of 2020 finished last night after a grueling three days. Obviously we are experiencing unique times with the pandemic and  that created for a very unique session.  As we have discussed before, the capitol was closed to the lobby and the general public for the duration of the session.  The only people that were allowed in the building were limited staff and legislators.  While I am not saying that anyone else should have been allowed in the building, I do believe the outcome or the versions of what passed, would have been different.  I understand there was the ability for public comment, but working in close to a vacuum like this in today’s environment with the pandemic and policing issues on the top of everyone’s mind, created some unusual scenarios for legislators that otherwise wouldn’t have been presented.  Basically all of the list of policy issues that was presented just before session started ultimately passed this session (about 20 or so issues).  Below is a list of the key pieces of legislation that passed.  If legislation more directly affected your industry, you should have already gotten a more detailed explanation of everything through out the session.  One key issue that the Republicans pushed hard before and during the session was some sort of liability reform for business, employers, and/or government bodies as it relates to the pandemic.  The idea was to make sure that employers that are taking precautions for their employees were not held liable if there was a work place outbreak, etc.  Most Democrats from day one pushed back on this and weren’t very interested.  Many stated their reason for not doing this was because the legislature was not looking at the workers compensation system to create a presumption for the coronavirus.  With that said, there was an agreement Thursday night (after 10 democrats signed a letter stating the need for liability reform) between Republicans and Democrats to create an interim workgroup to study the liability issue in hopes of bringing legislation to a future session.  We will most likely have another special session the second half of July to look at budget issues and I am sure some policy at the same time.  Please let us know if you have any questions or comments.


Key legislation that passed

HB 4202 – small technical changes to the Corporate Activities Tax

HB 4204 – moratorium on residential and commercial foreclosures

HB 4206 – stablishes a statewide program for inspection of meat processing

HB 4210 – disallows a suspension of drivers license for anyone that doesn’t pay a traffic fine

HB 4212 – omnibus bill that helps with public meeting law during pandemic, disallows garnishments on CARES Act money and also allows for remote/virtual public notary

HB 4213 – moratorium on residential and commercial evictions

SB 1602 – forest management agreement between environmental and industry groups to have Governor facilitate meetings

SB 1603 – creates a new tax on cell phones to help pay for the Universal Service Fund and some broadband

SB 1607 – extend the sunset for one year on small school district grants and foreign exchange students

Policing Accountability

SB 1604 – Limits an arbitrator from overturning a police discipline when a law enforcement agency uses a discipline guide

HB 4201 – Establishes joint committee on use of force and transparency

HB 4205 – Requires rules be created to require police officers to stop certain act of misconduct

HB 4207 – Creates statewide database for police officers who have lost or had certification suspended

HB 4208 – Limits use of Tear Gas

HB 4203 – Limits choke holds or other types of scenarios that impeded breathing or blood circulation


Markee & Associates, Inc.
5605 Inland Shores Way #110
Keizer, Oregon 97303


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