We just wanted to give everyone a quick update on legislative activities in Oregon.
There is still some talk of having another Special Session the end of September or early October, whether or not this happens is anyone’s best guess right now. If it does, it would mainly be focused on policy type issues, but certainly we could see some budget tweaks at the same time. Policy issues that could be discussed include: possible extensions to eviction and foreclosure moratoriums, employer liability limitations, workers compensation presumption, and possibly changing our mail in ballot timelines to being allowed if post marked by election day (and I am sure others as well). I think the chance of a special session at the end of September isn’t super likely at this point, but things change very quickly these days and I might have a different opinion come next week. I do think we will see at least one more special session sometime before the end of the year.
Business groups, Unions and Trial lawyers continue to discuss possible changes to limit employers liability during this pandemic. A complete presumption on workers compensation is a huge part of this conversation brought forward by the unions. This workers compensation presumption would essentially mean if someone tested positive for COVID-19, and was working, there would be a complete presumption that the individual contracted it from work – kicking in workers comp benefits. While conversations continue, I think it is unlikely at this point that something comes together. Trading one for the other (with the liability clause being fairly weak) in the eyes of many business groups isn’t a good trade to make.
OSHA continues to move forward with their temporary rules on infectious disease. Their goal is to get this temporary rules in place the first half of September and continue to work on a permanent rule to be adopted shortly after the first of the year. Please don’t hesitate to ask if you would like more information on this process - here is a link that shows the draft rule and the current timeline in place. Comments on the rules are due by September 7th.
September 21-25 the legislature will be holding remote/virtual legislative days where all interim committees will be meeting. This will be a similar to what we saw last June when we held a virtual interim committee week. As agendas come out we will make sure you have all the pertinent information.
Talks continue around what our normal legislative session might look like come 2021. There seems to be a growing sentiment that session may be held off until sometime mid-spring with the idea of conducting business in person. These conversations are in the very early stages, but as they progress we will keep you informed. We are of the belief it would be good to put things off a little bit if it meant we could have a session in person, virtual sessions in our opinion are very hard to operate with much transparency.
As you all know, elections continue to progress as we get closer to November. If anyone has any election questions please reach out; we are happy to talk you through any state race you would like.
Please let us know if you have questions
Markee & Associates, Inc.
5605 Inland Shores Way #110
Keizer, Oregon 97303