Capitol Beat

News from the state legislature and around Oregon


SALEM, Ore.-House Bill 2004 would prohibit landlords from evicting month-to-month tenants without 90 days notice and they could not evict them without cause. Some exceptions were included in the bill but if a landlord were to violate the law, they would be mandated to pay the renter three months of equivalent rent to aid in the search for a new rental space. The bill drew criticism from rental agencies and landlords who took to Salem to voice their concerns over the bill late last week. 

The state senate and house have teamed up to introduce Senate Bill 828 and House Bill 2193 to require certain employers to respect employees' requested work schedule. Employers include certain types of restaurants, retail establishments and the hospitality industry. 

After national fears regarding the separation between local and federal regulations concerning marijuana, the Oregon State Legislature introduced Senate Bill 863. The bill would require marijuana shops to destroy personal identification information of its customers over fears it could be used by federal law enforcement to identify users. 

The battle over health care coverage is heating up with Oregon Congressman Greg Walden telling residents this past week that the republican answer to Obamacare is closing in on a release date. Walden said that despite previous rally cries to "repeal and replace," the new plan would keep many of the aspects of Obamacare including provisions that prohibit discrimination based on per-existing conditions, lifetime caps and the ability to keep children on parents' health insurance plans until they turn 26. 


Sweet Cakes by Melissa of Oregon is headed back to court. The bakery first found itself in the national spotlight and in a legal dispute after citing religious beliefs in declining to bake a cake for a same sex couple. The bakery owners, Melissa Klein and her husband lost their bakery and were fined $134,000.  The couple is now appealing the decision citing constitutional rights to free speech. 

University of Oregon's Willie Taggart made the news for the second time this month when the head football coach offered his son, Willie Taggart Jr. a scholarship for the Ducks. The 15-year-old quarterback is expected to field offers from a variety of schools.

U.S. Representative Greg Walden introduced a bill entitled, "The Resource Management Practices Protection Act of 2017," late last month. The bill would exempt fires that are started during the course of agricultural work as being charged as arson. 

Oregon state parks had a good year in 2016. The parks and historical sites around the state reported more than 50 million visitors throughout the year, shattering previous records set for the past four years in a row. 

The annual Dorchester Conference was held last weekend as a yearly get-together for republicans to assess their platforms and discuss the future of their party. Among the topics of discussion were the upcoming unveiling of the new health care plan and how to make minorities feel more welcomed by the republican party.