What it does: Oregon law addresses types of damages awarded in civil actions, including economic damages (e.g., medical or hospital expenses, loss of income and future earning impairment, costs to replace damaged property) and noneconomic damages (e.g., pain, mental suffering, emotional distress, injury to reputation, loss of care, comfort and companionship, interference with normal activities aside from employment). In 2016, an Oregon Supreme Court case analyzed the remedy provisions in the Oregon Constitution and limited recovery on all noneconomic damages to $500,000. House Bill 2014 would increase the $500,000 statutory cap on noneconomic damages to $1.5 million and provide for a yearly cost of living adjustment. OSBA did not take a position on the bill.
What’s new: The bill passed the House on March 25 but failed in the Senate on June 4, by a 14-15 vote. The bill is dead.
What it does: Enacted in 1973, the Public Employee Collective Bargaining Act governs employment relations between public employers and their employees throughout the state. The act encompasses state, county, city, school district, transportation district and other local government agencies, as well as private employers not subject to the jurisdiction of the National Labor Relations Board. This bill would modify the PECBA to place into statute much of what is currently negotiated. OSBA opposed the bill.
What’s new: This bill passed the House and Senate and is awaiting Gov. Kate Brown’s signature. It will become operative Jan. 1, 2020.
What it does: SB 1067 (2017) required the Public Employees’ Benefit Board and Oregon Educators Benefit Board to limit growth in premium or per-member health plan costs to 3.4 percent per year; eliminate double coverage for PEBB and OEBB employees who have family members also employed by a PEBB or OEBB employer; and prohibit PEBB or OEBB employee double coverage incentive payments. The changes were aimed at reducing health care costs in PEBB and OEBB. Since the close of the 2017 session, further analysis of SB 1067 indicated that some portions of the law will not bring about cost reductions and would hurt employees’ finances. HB 2266 restores the ability of employers to offer double coverage and opt-out incentives to PEBB and OEBB employees. Additionally, the bill authorizes PEBB and OEBB to impose a surcharge on eligible employees who choose double coverage. OSBA supports the bill.
What’s new: This bill passed the House on June 6 and is headed to the Senate this week.
What it does: Special service districts are formed to provide one specific service, financed through property taxes and/or fees for services in the area under the district's control. All funds collected are used to support the service (e.g., irrigation districts, fire districts and water conservation districts). The Oregon Constitution dedicates property tax revenues toward funding the public school system so long as such revenues are used exclusively for educational services, including support services, that are provided by a unit of government. SB 543 would allow for the formation of “children's special districts,” granting them power to levy and collect taxes to provide services that support children's total health and well-being outside school hours. OSBA opposed the bill.
What’s new: The bill passed the Senate on March 14 but failed in the House on June 5, by a 21-38 vote. The bill is dead.