Legislative Update 2.16.23

Weekly legislative update 

February 16, 2023

As you know, the most impactful way to affect change in the legislature, is to make your voice heard. Last week we had a number of hearings for bills that support the work our members do every day, and we wanted to give a quick shout-out to a few of those members who provided testimony to our state lawmakers:

  • Gabrielle Dibble and Joe Moore from Benton County Local 2064, and Chris Priest from the City of Salem, Local 2067 shared their stories with the Senate Committee on Labor and Business at our hearing for SB 418. This bill is important because it will help prevent injured workers from having to use their own sick leave time for medical appointments related to a workplace injury. 

  • Department of Corrections Pastor Ken Ball from Local 2376 (Deer Ridge) shared his testimony before the Senate Committee on Labor and Business to help us pass SB 128, which would allow housing stipends to be included in the PERS final average salary calculation for prison chaplains. 

  • Due to a time shortage, our hearing for SB 584, which creates a statewide portal for scheduling and payment of OHA certified medical intepreters, was cut short. We thank Elva Caldera, who is currently part of the Oregon AFSCME effort to organize Oregon Interpreters in Action, for her testimony. The hearing has been rescheduled for Wednesday, 2/15. 

Thank you to all who showed up to share your stories, and also to those of you who shared written testimony on these important issues. We will need as many of our members to share their experiences with our leaders during this legislative session, because we know that your stories have a huge impact on policy decisions – stay tuned for more opportunities to get involved. 

Finally, we know that budget hearings are going to start being scheduled soon, and we need your voices at the table to help us fight for better wages and benefits for employees of our many state agencies. Sign up now to testify at a budget hearing!