Education-related bills await action as Legislature races to finish
Friday, June 30, 2017
The speed has picked up at the Capitol, with a flurry of bills, amendments and compromises combined with last-minute policy choices. The end is in sight, but legislative maneuvers mean once-dead bills can come back and new amendments can completely change the original meaning of other bills.
The remaining open committees are on a required “one-hour notice” before holding hearings so things will continue to change rapidly. Nothing is over until the constitutionally required adjournment by July 10.
OSBA is keeping a sharp eye on a number of bills that could affect schools. Following is a list of some of the key bills; others could still find their way through the process.
Developing Friday, June 30, in the Joint Ways and Means Education Subcommittee:
Senate Bill 5516is the budget bill for the Oregon Department of Education. The $2.6 billion budget includes $1.4 billion of federal funds and $170 million for the High School Graduation and College and Career Readiness Fund created by Measure 98. The bill was sent to the full Ways and Means Committee.
Senate Bill 182would create the Educator Advancement Council with an emphasis on supporting teacher professional development and new teacher training and mentoring. It was also sent to Ways and Means.
Senate Bill 1062would add the healthy and safe schools plan to statute and include lead in water testing requirements. It was assigned to the Joint Ways and Means Education subcommittee on Wednesday, which passed it to the full Ways and Means on Friday.
Senate Bill 1002 is the “Clean Diesel” bill that would include money for retrofit and replacement of school buses.
Senate Bill 845 would designate that marijuana tax revenue go to the State School Fund instead of the Common School Fund.
Passed the House and awaiting a Senate vote:
House Bill 2060 would limit the number of people who could use a specific lower business tax rate, increasing Oregon revenue an estimated $197 million in the next biennium.
Still in committees:
Senate Bill 183 would create a statewide early indicator and intervention system, intended to help with graduation rates. It is in the Ways and Means Committee with no hearings scheduled, but this is one of Gov. Kate Brown’s priority education bills. Parts of it have been added to SB 5516.
Senate Bill 1067 is the legislative leadership cost containment bill, with strategies to reduce the growth of the Public Employees Retirement System and other state expenses. It is in the Joint Ways and Means Capital Construction Subcommittee with no hearings scheduled.
Senate Bill 847 is the trust lands transfer bill, intended for use by the Legislature and Department of State Lands to use when property assets in the Common School Fund are not performing and slated to be removed. It would apply to situations similar to that of the Elliott State Forest. It was amended Wednesday in the Joint Ways and Means Natural Resources Subcommittee and moved to the full Ways and Means Committee, where it passed Friday.
With the end of the session remaining so fluid, the Oregon Legislature website (www.oregonlegislature.gov) is a handy place to look for updates. You can look up committee agendas, bills and chamber votes.