The Legislative Session ended in June and the Elders in Action Commission was pleased with the results. While not all the bills the Commission advocated for passed, many did very well:
CARE Act (HB 3378) Proponent: AARP
The Caregiver Advise, Record, Enable Act will provide a patient admitted to the hospital an opportunity to name a family caregiver who is recorded in the medical record; alert the family caregiver prior to the patient being discharged; and provide the family caregivers a live demonstration on how to perform post-discharge care.
Senior Property Tax Deferral
Proponents: Multnomah County
Modifies the eligibility requirements to better reflect the goals of the program.
Earned Sick Leave (HB 454)
Proponent: Family Forward Oregon, Multnomah County
Requires employers to let employees earn sick days to recover from illness and take care of sick kids without losing critical income or their jobs.
Ban the Box (HB 3025)
Proponents: Urban League of Portland, Oregon Action and AFL-CIO
Would eliminate job and housing discrimination against people with arrest and conviction histories by “banning the box”, or prohibiting the placement of box on job and housing applications that requires applicants to mark “yes” if they have ever been arrested or convicted.
End Profiling (HB-2002)
Proponent: Center for Intercultural Organizing
Prohibits law enforcement agencies and officers from profiling based on specified personal characteristics or circumstances of individuals, except when tied to a specific suspect description or credible information related to criminal incidents or activity.
Inclusionary Zoning (HB 2564)
Proponent: Coalition by OPAL
This bill would have repealed the existing ban on inclusionary zoning in Oregon. Inclusionary zoning or inclusionary housing, as it is also known, is a land use practice that requires affordable housing units to be built along with market rate housing, typically in new developments.
Raise Minimum Wage
(HB 2009/SB 610)
Proponents: 15 NOW Oregon
Would raise Oregon’s minimum wage to $15.00/hour for most workers by January 2016. Businesses with less than 10 employees would be eligible for a two year phase-in process where the minimum wage would rise to $12.50 per hour in 2016 and to $15 per hour in 2017.
Other Good News…. The Legislature approved $60 million for housing programs, $40 million; will go to support housing for low income families and $20 million will create housing for people with mental illness. Another $2.5 million in lottery backed funds was approved to preserve affordable housing.