On Thursday, March 3, the third constitutionally mandated “short session” came to a close. This session was not “business as usual” and was certainly not what the voters had in mind in November 2010 when they approved short sessions intended to deal only with necessary budget issues and policy crises.
In 32 days, the 2016 Legislature passed three major bills that will fundamentally change Oregon’s economic landscape, including: a three-tiered minimum wage that will be the highest in the country by 2022 and will make it difficult for many employers to stay in business and create jobs; a renewable energy utility mandate that will raise electricity prices by up to 40 percent while doing little to reduce carbon emissions; and a group of bills related to affordable housing that are not anticipated to actually deal with the housing market shortage.
The AGC Legislative Team:
- Defeated a proposal that would have expanded prevailing wage rate laws to certain private construction work;
- Reshaped a bill that would have dramatically expanded BOLI and the commissioner’s authority, in addition to establishing a new private right of action relating to general employment laws;
- Monitored a bill that proposed a cap and trade system and threatened the Highway Trust Fund;
- Pursued a failed attempt at a legislative fix for the statewide paid sick leave law; and
- Monitored a bill that initially would have altered “duty to defend” laws related to construction defects and potentially impacted construction insurance rates.
Read the full 2016 Legislative Session Wrap-Up here.