Some important developments happening now:
OSCC weighs in on Medicaid funding – $291 million cost on employers
Today, OSCC issued a floor letter to the Oregon House of Representatives on HB 2010, the Medicaid funding bill, which put a stake in the ground and alerted legislators that although OSCC does not oppose the legislation, this is the first major cost imposed on business from the 2019 Oregon legislature. HB 2010 will cost Oregon businesses over $291 million per budget cycle when fully implemented. You can see OSCC’s comments here.
Tourism tax diversion for housing?
A hearing was held yesterday on Senate Bill 595, which would reduce lodging tax reforms of 2003. If successful, SB 595 would take 30% of the industry’s 70% of any new or increased lodging tax implemented since July 2, 2003, allowing local governments to redirect those funds for “affordable workforce housing” projects. This would allow only 40% of new or increased local lodging taxes to be protected for tourism promotion and tourism-related facilities. OSCC is unaware of any further pending action at this time, but will be monitoring this bill.
SAIF eyed again for $1 billion raid
OSCC is also watching the Governor’s latest proposal to reduce pension costs by taking $1.4 billion from the SAIF worker’s comp surplus. In an article by The Oregonian, the idea is still tentative, but it has already raised concerns from the business community. Oregon Business and Industry CEO, Sandra McDonough, stated that they were concerned “with any proposal that would undermine the fiscal integrity of SAIF.” You can read the full article here. At this point, it is still a proposal and OSCC will continue to monitor and let you know as we hear anything.