Legislative Updates

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  • May 07, 2020 2:51 PM | OMBA Admin (Administrator)

    The Governor held a press conference today discussing about how and when our economy will start to reopen.  It was stated that our stay at home policy has prevented over 70,000 infections and 1500 hospitalizations.  They have set prerequisites for counties to meet before they can apply to reopen into phase 1 – this will be a gradual reopening. These prerequisites include things like:  fewer people getting sick for 14 days, emergency room visits below the baseline, contact tracing in place (needing to be able to trace 95% of infections within 24 hours), adequate testing capacity, adequate  healthcare space (20% of hospital beds available) and availability of personal protective equipment.  Applications from counties will start to be accepted tomorrow for the possibility to reopen starting May 15th.  While the number or names of counties that will be eligible to apply to reopen were not listed, it was stated that most would be able to meet the criteria to apply.

    Phase 1, as we have previously described, will have guidelines for the following things to open:

    • Restaurant and Bars - Guidelines are set that include things like maximum party size, distancing between tables, face coverings by employees, limited to no counter seating, limit percentage of total occupancy and more
    • Retail stores - Guidelines are set to how they can reopen that includes things like one direction aisles and social distancing measures
    • Personal services (hair, nail, etc) - guidelines here are set to including things like face coverings, appointment only visits, sanitation, and more
    • General Business - guidelines here include things like encouraging telework, social distance, face covering and more (sounds like for businesses that are open today, not much change during phase 1)
    • General public - guidelines here encourage face coverings in public, social distance, maximum size of social gatherings, limit nonessential travel
    • Outdoor recreation - guidelines here have already started to be implemented but it is a gradual opening of outdoor areas.  It was stated that things like basketball courts will not reopen in phase 1
    • ​Childcare and summer camp guidelines will come out next week

    Once in phase 1, it will be a minimum of 21 days before a county can apply for phase 2.  They will need to show they can continue to meet prerequisites, etc.  Phase 2 guidelines are still being processed and determined.

    It was clear that until there is a vaccine, life as we know it, will not return to normal.  Our new normal will include social distancing and face coverings for some time.  It was also stated that large gatherings that include concerts, sporting events, conventions, and fairs will not be allowed until at least September and likely longer (it was said some parts of fairs potentially could take place with limits on people and other strict limitations)

    The Governor also stated that she wants to have students back in the classroom this coming fall, but what that looks like is still being worked on.

    Here are the guidelines of each areas that have been release so far (these weren’t available earlier):

    The Public:
    https://sharedsystems.dhsoha.state.or.us/DHSForms/Served/le2342D.pdf

    Employers:
    https://sharedsystems.dhsoha.state.or.us/DHSForms/Served/le2342C.pdf

    Outdoor Recreation:
    https://sharedsystems.dhsoha.state.or.us/DHSForms/Served/le2342E.pdf

    Personal services:
    https://sharedsystems.dhsoha.state.or.us/DHSForms/Served/le2342F.pdf

    Restaurants and Bars:
    https://sharedsystems.dhsoha.state.or.us/DHSForms/Served/le2342B.pdf

    Retail:
    https://sharedsystems.dhsoha.state.or.us/DHSForms/Served/le2342A.pdf

    As always, this is a moving target, but happy to try and answer any questions you might have

    Markee & Associates, Inc.
    5605 Inland Shores Way #110
    Keizer, Oregon 97303
    503.378.0412
  • April 29, 2020 5:33 PM | OMBA Admin (Administrator)

    As many of you are aware, the State's next revenue forecast is May 20th.  What that forecast might say is still a bit of an unknown, but certainly there are lots of qualified rumors that seem to be close to at least current projections.  It sounds like for this current biennium we will be down between 2 and 3 billion dollars (that is about 10%, over the two year period).  This of course is subject to change depending on how successful the reopening of our economy turns out. As for the 2021-23 biennium, this is much harder to predict, but we are hearing anywhere from flat to down as much as $5 billion.  For the next biennium, things like: will there be a vaccine, immunity, or a number of other major factors all come into play.  In my opinion, the sooner a vaccine happens, the more likely things look positive in the 2021-23 biennium.  As for lottery dollars for this biennium, it appears that they will be down around 20% or about $250 million.  The numbers for lottery could be even more bleak should the reopening of bars and restaurants not be a smooth process.  It is important to remember a large percentage of our lottery revenue comes from Video Poker/slots.  ​As far as what Oregon has in reserves, in my opinion, is better than what the state has had in past downturns.  Our ending fund balance is between $1 and 1.2 billion and we have an additional $1.5 billion in "rainy day" funds.  We still have some rebalancing of our budget that didn't get done in the February session but that should leave us somewhere in the neighborhood of $2.5 billion in total reserves.  

    The question now becomes how to rebalance our budget.  I am sure there are some people that would like to fill the entire gap for this biennium with our reserves in hopes that the economy bounces back before the 2021-23 biennium.  I don't think that happens at this point, but certainly it is in the realm of possibilities, and as we all know things change on a daily basis.  It is also important to remember that budget cuts made this biennium reduce some roll up costs for the following biennium.  Another huge outlier right now is if states will get any federal assistance to help with budgetary issues.  Assuming we go into Special Session (which best guess would be in June after the revenue forecast), I think there will be some mix of budget cuts and use of reserves to balance the budget.  Don't think that we won't also spend some money at the same time - I do think there are a few COVID-19 related budget items, homelessness, etc that could get more dollars.  However, at this point, most all things that were funded during the February Session that didn't ultimately get over the finish line I think are off the table for now.  For all of you that may have had items on this list, we continue to talk and work with the Co-Chairs of Ways and Meanson a frequent basis so your projects are still on their minds should this situation change and other funding request get attention. One other scenario that could happen is that we don't have a special session, or at least don't have one soon.  In this case, the Governor could wait and see what, if any, Federal help Oregon receives and assuming budget cuts are still needed she could make those evenly across the board on her own without legislative review.  If the Governor makes cuts on her own, they must be made equally across the board to state agencies.  Obviously the Legislature doesn't like this approach, but is something that is being talked about (hard to tell how likely it is at this point).  Remember, if we make cuts in the 2nd half of the biennium, they will equate to about 17% based on these projections.  Again, as budget cuts are discussed, we continue to advocate the importance of your programs.

    As for reopening our economy, we continue to move forward in that direction.  The Governor is expected next week to announce her guidelines for things like restaurants, personal service, etc (all of this is still in draft form now).  Non-emergency medical and dental procedures are allowed to reopen starting May 1st assuming they have a plan in place to deal with social distance, sanitation, and personal protective equipment.  The Governor has already issued her guidelines on how medical offices would reopen.  When will our Phase 1 start?  This is still unknow but some think it will be the middle to the end of May.  I believe the State of Washington isn’t looking until after May 31st.  Phase 2 could start as soon as 14 days after if the number of new cases continue to decline, this seems to be a big “if”.  I think it is important to note that phase 1 for most businesses that are currently open, whether they are working from home or at an office, things basically stay the same and telework will still be the first choice.

     If anyone has any specific questions or comments, please don't hesitate to reach out.

    Matt

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

    503.378.0412
    www.markee.org

  • April 01, 2020 3:00 PM | OMBA Admin (Administrator)

    NEWS RELEASE

    April 1, 2020

    Media Contact:

    Charles Boyle, 503-931-7773

     

    Governor Kate Brown Issues Commercial Eviction Ban

    New order strengthens residential eviction ban, prohibits late fees 
     

    (Salem, OR) — Governor Kate Brown today issued Executive Order 20-13, placing a 90-day moratorium on commercial evictions for nonpayment, in light of the impacts on business owners caused by the COVID-19 crisis. The order also strengthens Governor Brown's previous ban on residential evictions, and prohibits landlords from charging tenants late fees for nonpayment of rent during the moratorium.

    "During this unprecedented public health crisis, too many Oregonians have found themselves with no way to pay the monthly rent for their homes and businesses," said Governor Brown. "These are difficult times. This order will help Oregon small businesses stay in their locations without the threat of eviction."

     

  • March 27, 2020 1:00 PM | OMBA Admin (Administrator)

    The Joint Special Committee on Coronavirus Response last night published their recommendations for items to be considered during a special session.  While the document is eleven pages long, you will see they left many of the items on the larger list off of their recommendation.  Please review the document and let us know of any concerns you may see.  You should also know that the business industry in general is continuing to push for a delay in the CAT tax.   

    Special Session continues to look like it will be next week but timing of that is still unknown.  There is a high likelihood that the public will not be allowed in the building during this time, with hearings being done virtually/online.  While things are subject to change (which they seem to daily) we still believe we will have a series of Special Sessions throughout this interim.  The focus of this first special session should be directed to coronavirus issues only.  Subsequent sessions are when we may see some broader types of issues addressed.  As a reminder,  our next Revenue Forecast is not until May 20th, and no one has a good idea of where our budget is at or how long it will take to recover. 

    The Governor also announced yesterday that Oregon will be delaying our tax filing deadline until July 15th.  Here is a break out from the Department of Revenue's news release:

    For personal income taxpayers:

    • The Oregon return filing due date for tax year 2019 is automatically extended from April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020.
    • The Oregon tax payment deadline for payments due with the 2019 tax year return is automatically extended to July 15, 2020.
    • Estimated tax payments for tax year 2020 are not extended.
    • The tax year 2019 six-month extension to file, if requested, continues to extend only the filing deadline until October 15, 2020.
    • Taxpayers do not need to file any additional forms or call us to qualify for this automatic Oregon tax filing and payment extension.
    • If you have questions about your personal income tax, contact
    questions.dor@oregon.gov.

    For corporate income/excise taxpayers:
    • The Oregon return filing due date for tax year 2019 is automatically extended from May 15, 2020 until July 15, 2020. Returns due after May 15, 2020 are not extended at this time.
    • The Oregon tax payment deadline for payments due with the 2019 return by May 15, 2020 is automatically extended to July 15, 2020. Payments for returns due after May 15, 2020 are not extended at this time.
    • Estimated tax payments for tax year 2020 are not extended.

    • Taxpayers do not need to file any additional forms or call us to qualify for this automatic Oregon tax filing and payment extension. 

     

    As always, please don't hesitate to reach out with questions

     

    Matt Markee

  • March 23, 2020 9:44 AM | OMBA Admin (Administrator)

    Bulletin No. DFR 2020-7: 

    Purpose

    This bulletin encourages all Oregon-regulated lenders and loan servicers to take active measures to help borrowers economically affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes offering loan forbearance plans, fee waivers, and other deferred payment options.

    To read this and other bulletins and get more information, please visit the Division of Financial Regulation's Bulletins page at:

    https://dfr.oregon.gov/laws-rules/Documents/Bulletins/bulletin2020-07.pdf

  • March 13, 2020 11:00 AM | OMBA Admin (Administrator)

    The Oregon Division of Financial Regulation has published the following:

    Bulletin No. DFR 2020-6: Temporary Authorization for DFR Licensees to Work from Home While Transacting Business

    Purpose

    In response to the threat of COVID-19, this bulletin temporarily authorizes Oregon licensed mortgage loan originators and other employees of Oregon licensed mortgage lenders, mortgage loan servicers, consumer finance companies, payday/title lenders, and manufactured structure dealers to work from home while transacting business when certain conditions are met.

    To read this and other bulletins and get more information, please visit the Division of Financial Regulation's Bulletins page at:

    https://dfr.oregon.gov/laws-rules/Documents/Bulletins/bulletin2020-06.pdf

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