Weekly Legislative Update 2.20.23

weekly legislative update

February 20, 2023

Last week was a busy one for Oregon AFSCME member action in the Capitol. We had four hearings for bills that are part of our 2023 legislative agenda, with members testifying at all of them – great work! We’d like to thank all of those who shared their stories in person, virtually, and in written submissions:

SB 699 - OLCC Inspectors have a very necessary, yet sometimes incredibly dangerous job of keeping our communities safe from illegal alcohol and cannabis sales. This bill would recognize OLCC Inspectors as part of the public safety infrastructure of Oregon by adding them to the Fallen Officers Memorial Fund. Shout out to Aubrie Loden, Karlee Vetter, Joseph Welp, and Marty Rowley from Local 2505 for their testimony.

SB 584 - Oregon healthcare interpreters currently face a lot of barriers to success in their field, which leads to high turnover and a lack of access for Oregonians who need their services. This bill aims to create a streamlined portal where certified interpreters can be scheduled and paid directly, allowing them to get more work and earn more. Thank you to Felicity Ratway, Monica Pardo, and Sonia Landi from the currently organizing Oregon Interpreters in Action for sharing their stories. 

SB 423 - OHSU serves as Oregon’s largest hospital and medical university, and our members are on the frontlines in community health care. This bill would create two new seats on the OHSU board to allow for better worker and community representation in the board decisions. We thank Local 328 members Michael Stewart, Claire Irvan, Sergio Acena, and Jen Laverdure for testifying on this important issue.

Home-Based Child Care - Our child care system in Oregon is in crisis. Working families are not able to find child care in their communities, even if they can afford to pay for it. We were invited to testify on behalf of the expanding health care and retirement to in-home child care providers, as well as creating a system that pays them on time. This will attract more in-home providers, and allow more families to access child care. Local 132 President Lisa Duffield ad members, Ana Rivera, and Blanca Morgan did an excellent job sharing their experiences on this issue. 

Finally, we have excellent news on SB 128, which allows Oregon’s prison chaplains to count their housing stipend toward their PERS final average salaries. This bill has passed unanimously, with bipartisan support, from the Senate Committee on Labor and Business into the Oregon House. 

When we stand together, we accomplish so much more! We thank all of our members taking the time to ensure that we have safer, more equitable workplaces, and that Oregon continues to become a better place to live and work.