Oregon State Capitol (Caleb Wolf/Special to Salem Reporter)

Efforts by  local lawmakers to help laid-off agricultural workers, get student-athletes paid and regulate a plant from Southeast Asia are still alive in the 2020 Legislature.

But their other bills that would help homeschooled kids get into technical programs, make schools bargain over class sizes and another allowing all universities to offer doctorates have stalled.

Thursday, Feb. 13, was a make-or-break moment for the priorities of legislators from across the state as the second legislative deadline passed. 

Bills needed to have been passed out of committee and in the chamber they were introduced into in order to stay viable. For legislators across the state, that meant their bills for the 35-day session are on their way to becoming law or will have to wait until a future session.

Many bills are referred to each chamber’s rules committee or financial committees, which aren’t subject to regular legislative deadlines. For some bills, this means more time to iron out any wrinkles. For other bills, this is a legislative purgatory where they will languish. 

Here’s where bills from legislators from Marion and Polk counties stand.

Sen. Peter Courtney, D-Salem

The issue: College athletics are big money-makers. But student athletes are prohibited from being paid. 

What it does: Allow college athletes to be paid and retain agents.

Bill number: Senate Bill 1501

Status: Still moving. Passed the Senate. 

Sen. Fred Girod, R-Stayton

The issue: NORPAC, a large agricultural cooperative in Marion County, went bankrupt. 

What it does: Extends unemployment benefits for employees of the cooperative. 

Bill number: Senate Bill 1571

Status: Still moving. Referred to Ways and Means. 

Sen. Denyc Boles, R-Salem

The issue: A pilot program in Marion and Polk counties that provides childcare for parents with court business was considered successful but funding hasn’t been extended for it. 

What it does: Direct $200,000 to extend the program. 

Bill number: Senate Bill 1558

Status: Still moving. Referred to Ways and Means. 

Sen. Kim Thatcher, R-Keizer

The issue: Critics say that Oregon's short legislative session held in even-numbered years was supposed to be used for minor legislation but is instead used to push through consequential policies. 

What it does: Eliminates the short session. 

Bill number: Senate Joint Resolution 202

Status: Still moving. The bill has remained in Senate Rules (although no hearings have been held on it.)

Sen. Brian Boquist, R-Dallas

The issue: Last year, the Legislature and Bureau of Labor and Industries entered into a settlement over sexual harassment at the Capitol. Critics say that the settlement left out former employees with the Senate president’s office. 

What it does: Allows former employees from the Senate president’s office who experienced harassment or mistreatment to file complaints with the commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries. 

Bill number: Senate Bill 1505

Status: Still moving. Referred to Ways and Means (although no hearing has been held on it.)

Rep. Bill Post, R-Keizer

The issue: Kratom, a plant native to Southeast Asia, is thought to have medicinal uses but there are fears it’s addictive.

What it does: Creates regulations for Kratom and ups the age to buy it to 21.

Bill number: House Bill 4013

Status: Still moving. The bill is scheduled for a vote in the House.

The issue: A quirk in Oregon’s land-use laws makes it harder to have a dog-training facility in a farm building.

What it does: Allows dog-training businesses to set up in farm buildings. 

Bill number: House Bill 4014

Status: Still moving. Passed the House and is in the Senate.

Rep. Mike Nearman, R-Independence

The issue: It’s not clear which businesses involved in vehicle repair need to have bonds. 

What the bill does: Clarifies when these businesses need a bond. 

Bill number: House Bill 4058

Status: Still moving. Passed the House. 

The issue: Kids who get a homeschool diploma have to jump through additional hoops to get signed up with a technical education program. 

What the bill does: Requires professional licensing boards to consider homeschool diploma to be the equivalent of a high school diploma. 

Bill number: House Bill 4059

Status: Spiked. Stuck in committee. 

Rep. Teresa Alonso Leon, D-Woodburn

The issue: Minority students are underrepresented in higher education.

What the bill does: establishes a task force on helping students from underrepresented communities succeed in higher education. 

Bill number: House Bill 4160

Status: Still moving. After a hearing, it was referred to Ways and Means. 

The issue: The state currently has Regional Health Equity Coalitions that seek to involve local communities of color in reducing health inequities. Proponents want them to do more.

What the bill does: creates a new $244,000 grant program to address health inequities among communities of color. 

Bill number: House Bill 4161

Status: Still moving. After a hearing the bill was referred to Ways and Means. 

Rep. Brian Clem, D-Salem

The issue: Previous legislation blocked development near the Metolius River. Clem has called this bill a “consolation prize” for those developers.

What the bill does: Allows some development around the city of Bend.

Bill number: House Bill 4012

Status: Still moving. Scheduled for a House vote.

The issue: Class sizes are getting too big. 

What the bill does: Makes class size a mandatory subject of bargaining between school districts and unions. 

Bill number: House Bill 4094

Status: Spiked. Stuck in committee. 

Rep. Paul Evans, D-Monmouth

The issue: People enjoy recreating in Oregon. But there are limited funding sources for search and rescue operations when they get lost.

What the bill does: Creates a fund that people can voluntarily pay into to help with these efforts.

Bill number: House Bill 4111

Status: Still moving. After a committee hearing, the bill was referred to Ways and Means.

The issue: Some universities in Oregon, including Western Oregon University, aren’t allowed to offer doctorates, even if they excel in some subjects. 

What the bill does: authorizes all public universities in Oregon to offer doctoral degrees. The bill would also block public money from going to online universities that have engaged in fraudulent practices. 

Bill number: House Bill 4137

Status: Spiked. Stuck in committee.

Rep. Raquel Moore-Green, R-Salem

The issue: Last year, lawmakers passed a Corporate Activity Tax to help fund education. There are concerns that it will increase the price of pharmaceuticals. 

What the bill does: exempts sales of prescription drugs by licensed pharmacies from the tax.

Bill number: House BIll 4138

Status: Still alive. The bill remains in the Revenue Committee, although no hearing has been held on it.

The issue: A century ago, Oregon ratified a constitutional amendment giving women the right to vote. 

What the bill does: commemorates Oregon’s ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which granted women the right to vote. 

Bill number: House Concurrent Resolution 204 

Status: Still moving. Passed the House and is in the Senate.

Rep. Rick Lewis, R-Silverton

The issue: Lewis noted in a newsletter that seven military personnel deemed “missing in action” have been identified and returned home for burial. 

What the bill does: allows families to apply to the Oregon Department of Transportation for a roadside sign honoring a family member deemed a prisoner of war or missing in action. 

Bill number: House Bill 4083

Status: Still moving. Passed the House and is in the Senate.

The issue: Developers have to pay System Development Charges. These charges pay for sewer and other infrastructure but rural communities have a hard time offsetting them to help keep housing affordable. 

What the bill does: creates a state program that pays the system development charges for affordable housing in rural areas

Bill number: House Bill 4084

Status: Still moving. Passed out of committee and is in Ways and Means. 

Rep. Sherrie Sprenger, R-Scio

The issue: Currently, insurance companies don’t have to provide notice or reason for cancellation of policies that have been in effect less than 60 days. 

What the bill does: Requires insurers to give 10-day notice for these policies.

Bill number: House Bill 4125

Status: Still moving. Passed out of the House and in the Senate.

The issue: Oregon has seen an uptick in confrontational political rallies that have devolved into riots. Some of these rioters wear masks. 

What the bill does: Makes it illegal to wear a mask in a riot. 

Bill number: House Bill 4126

Status: Still moving. Was referred to the Rules Committee. 

Contact reporter Jake Thomas at 503-575-1251 or [email protected] or @jakethomas2009.