Legislative Update – April 25, 2013

OSWA Legislative Update

OSWA’s Day at the Capitol, on Tuesday April 23rd was a great success. Over forty OSWA members and partners visited with legislative leaders during the morning, participated in an optionals tour of the golden pioneer atop the Capitol building, toured the Capitol with Roger Beyer, individually visited with representatives, and participated in the afternoon Senate Hearing on HB 2441, OSWA’s Pole Building Bill. The hearing was successful. The Senate Rural Communities and Economic Development Committee approved HB 2441 and forwarded it to the full Senate with a do pass recommendation. HB 2441 has already passed the House by a 58-0 vote.

Also that day, the House voted on OSWA’s HB 2615, which adds truffles to the State list of Special Forest Products. The bill passed the House with a 59-0 vote and will move on to a Senate Committee for a hearing sometime soon. Legislators meeting with OSWA included Senators Roblan, Oslen, Ferrioli, Girod and Dingfelder and Representatives Hoyle, McLane, Gilliam, Unger, Witt, and Speaker Kotek. Thank you to everyone who participated.

The next GAC Conference call is scheduled for Tuesday, May 7th from 7:00 AM to 8:00 AM.

Call #: 1-800-861-4084
Participating code: 1036304

I will send out a reminder next week. We will still have several issues ahead of us in this session.

OSWA’s HB 2442, the farm plate bill is still waiting for a hearing in the House Revenue Committee. The committee is waiting to hear from us when we are ready. We will discuss strategies for this bill at the next GAC call.

Senate hearing on our truffle bill, HB 2615, yet to be scheduled.
The hearings on the Department of Forestry budget and the OSU Extension budget went well, but the desired funding is still in question. The Wildfire Protection Act, HB 2050, has been connected to the ODF budget process. OSWA members provided written and verbal testimony in support of these budgets, but we may need to testify again in early May. The hearing schedules are not out yet.

OFIC’s fire liability bill which is a high priority for OSWA had identical Senate and House versions. Both have passed their respective chambers, but still await a joint conference between the Senate and House to agree on the other chamber’s bill. OSWA may still need to weigh in to support this bill.
SB 401, the Wild and Scenic River Bill was modified to a study on the need for and what rivers should be included in a Wild and Scenic Rivers bill. This issue is dead for now, but will re-emerge in the future. We will need to discuss any OSWA involvement in the study group.
HB 2555, the bill that would have imposed a $15 harvest tax to encourage domestic use of Oregon timber is dead. However, the concept of increased harvest taxes for a variety of reasons could still be in play in some legislators’ minds. This concept will need to be monitored and discouraged for the remainder of this session.


Jim James
Executive Director
Oregon Small Woodlands Association

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