OR State Capitol Bldg 2 (cropped)

 

 

 

 

During the 2013 legislative session, AARP Oregon achieved a number of its legislative priorities, including:

  • Maintaining or enhancing funding levels of home- and community-based services (with various adjustments related to DHS budget, the recommended budget for Aging & Physical Disabilities is 10.3% general fund more and 18.4% total funds more than the 2011-13 approved budget). This marks a significant investment in Oregon’s LTSS/HCBS system after years of budget reductions. (SB 5529/HB 5008);
  • Securing expansion under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) of health coverage under Medicaid for all persons under 138% of federal poverty level (HB 5030);
  • Establishing study related to consideration of retirement security issues in Oregon with recommendations for 2015 legislative session (HB 3436);
  • Establishing an alternative resolution process for medical liability incidents (SB 483);
  • Reauthorizing nursing facility assessment fee and enhancing federal matching funds for Oregon’s LTSS/HCBS system (HB 2216);
  • Establishing study related to Oregon’s long-term care system (SB 21); and
  • Resolving concerns related to the property tax deferral property and reverse mortgages to protect homeowners adversely affected by previous legislative actions. (HB 2489/HB 2510).

It achieving these legislative priorities, as well as passage of other legislation, it is important to recognize the tremendous support and contributions of many individuals and organizations:

  • Member organizations of the on-going Campaign for Oregon’s Seniors & People with Disabilities with particular note of extra work by SEIU Local 503, Oregon Health Care Association and Alzheimer’s Association, OR Chapter;
  • Coalition partners related to health care reform and consumer protection with particular note of extra by OSPIRG, Our Oregon, Human Services Coalition of Oregon, Oregon Law Center, HELP Coalition and Oregon Housing Alliance;
  • House and Senate legislative leaders and their staff;
  • Co-Chairs of the Joint Ways & Means Committee, Co-Chairs of the Human Services subcommittee and their staff;
  • Chairs of Senate and House Revenue Committees and their staff;
  • A number of legislators considered “champions” on LTC/HCBS and retirement security issues;
  • AARP staff: Oregon, region and national team; and most significantly
  • AARP Oregon’s volunteer leadership: Executive Council, Diversity Advisory Council, local Community Action Team and Chapter leaders, and thousands of member activists.

Below is a description of specific legislation and advocacy efforts. Copies of bills and other information can be found on the Oregon Legislature’s website (http://www.leg.state.or.us/mag/home.htm).

ACA Advocacy and health-related issues:

  • HB 2118EN – Related to qualified health plans offered through Cover Oregon (Health Insurance Exchange), it creates health plan quality metrics work group and requires report and recommendations. AARP Oregon signed on to coalition letter supporting criteria related to affordability and quality and outcome metrics. (Passed House 43-16, passed Senate 26-4, awaiting action by governor)
  • HB 2134EN – Requires Oregon Health Authority and Department of Human Services to adopt by rule, using advisory committee, uniform standards for collection of data on race, ethnicity, preferred languages and disability status of public assistance recipients. AARP Oregon signed on to coalition letter of support. (Passed House 55-0, passed Senate 28-0, signed by governor – effective 6-4-13)
  • HB 2611EN – Provides that certain health-related boards may adopt rules under which boards may require person authorized to practice profession regulated by board to receive cultural competency continuing education. ARRP Oregon signed on to coalition letter of support. (Passed House 46-12, passed Senate 26-2, signed by governor – effective 5-28-13)
  • HB 2902EN – Requires insurers to reimburse physician’s assistants and nurse practitioners in independent practices at same rate as physicians for same services. AARP Oregon signed on to letter of support and floor letter. (Passed House 39-20, passed Senate 27-2, signed by governor – effective 6-26-13))
  • HB 3407EN – Establishes Traditional Health Workers Commission within Oregon Health Authority and requires OHA to adopt by rule criteria and descriptions for coordinated care organizations to use with respect to health workers who are not licensed by the state and training and education requirements for those workers. AARP Oregon signed on to letter of support. (Passed House 52-7, passed Senate 27-3, awaiting action by governor)
  • HB 5030EN – Appropriates moneys from state General Fund to Oregon Health Authority, including Oregon’s medical assistance program. AARP Oregon provided oral testimony in support of expansion of Medicaid program as allowed under ACA. (Passed House 35-24, passed Senate 18-10, awaiting action by governor)

 

  • SB 132EN – Relating to immunizations of school children and changes certain documentation that must be submitted to school administrator for purpose of opting out of immunizations. AARP Oregon signed on to letter of support. (Passed Senate 16-13, passed House 45-15, signed by governor – effective 6-26-13)
  • SB 460EN – Restricts substitution of biosimilar products for prescribed biological products. AARP Oregon provided letter in opposition. (Passed Senate 29-0, passed House 57-0, signed by governor – effective 6-6-13)
  • SB 483EN – Relating to resolution of matters related to health care and authorizes health care facility, health care provider and patient to file notice of adverse health care incident with Oregon Patient Safety Commission. Provides for process of disclosure of adverse incident and offer of compensation as well as mediation. AARP Oregon provided written/oral testimony in support. (Signed by governor, effective date 3-18-13)

LTSS/HCBS and related issues

  • HB 2002EN – Directs the Legislative Revenue Office to prepare a report analyzing tax credits prior to the start of each odd-year regular session. AARP Oregon provided oral testimony in support. (House passed 45-0, Senate passed 25-5, awaiting action by governor)
  • HB 2216EN (HB 2056 language amended in hospital assessment fee bill) – Provides for reauthorization of nursing facilities assessment (provider tax) and establishes criteria for reducing nursing facility bed capacity. AARP Oregon submitted written testimony, signed on to coalition floor letter and alerted e-activists of senate vote. (Passed House 54-5, passed Senate 25-5, signed by governor – effective 90 days after sine die)
  • HB 2205EN – Related to abuse of vulnerable persons; AARP Oregon supports -2 amendment that reestablishes Elder Abuse Task Force and directs it work related to uniform definition of abuse as well as uniform/objective rules for investigations of abuse. AARP Oregon State Director has been a member of the Elder Abuse Task Force. (Passed House 59-0, passed Senate 29-0, signed by governor – effective 6-11-13)
  • HB 2668EN – Expands definition of “public accommodation” to include places owned or maintained by public body and services provided by public body. Recommended by Oregon Council on Civil Rights; AARP Oregon signed on to letter of support. (Passed House 60-0, passed Senate 29-0, signed by governor – effective 1-1-14)
  • HB 2712 – Requires DHS to establish advisory committee to assist department in developing recommendations for general assistance program to serve low-income, childless adults with disabilities and to report to Legislative Assembly. AARP Oregon signed on to letter of support. (In committee upon sine die)
  • HB 5008 (and HB 2322) – The budget reconciliation bills that implement the remaining pieces of the 2013-15 state budget, including additional $14.7 million in total funds for aging and physical disabilities (APD) and additional $900K for LTC Ombudsman. AARP Oregon worked with legislative leaders and community partners in support of the additional funding. (Passed House 50-9, passed Senate 26-3, awaiting action by governor)
  • HB 5024EN – Appropriated moneys from state General Fund to Long Term Care Ombudsman. AARP Oregon provided oral testimony in support. (Passed House 56-2, passed Senate 28-1, signed by governor – effective 7-1-13)
  • SB 21EN – Requires DHS to develop plan for long-term care. AARP Oregon actively engaged in development of bill and supported -3 amendment to bill. (Passed Senate 25-5, passed House 56-3, signed by governor – effective 7-1-13)
  • SB 5529EN – Appropriates moneys from state General Fund to Department of Human Services. AARP Oregon provided oral testimony in support of Governor’s Recommended Budget (GRB), including funding of current service level, investment initiatives and amendment of state plan related to Community First/K Option. (Passed Senate 23-7, passed House 38-21, awaiting action by governor)
  • SCR 1EN – Supports adoption of State Plan for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias in Oregon. AARP provided joint floor letter of support with SEIU and Oregon Health Care Association. (Filed with Secretary of State on 3-19-13)

Asset Protection & Retirement Security

  • HB 2469 (See HB 3367) – Extends sunset date for tax credit for pension income. AARP Oregon provided oral testimony in support. (In committee upon sine die)
  • HB 2489EN – Related to property tax deferral program for seniors and people with disabilities and permanently extends exception to prohibition on deferral of property taxes for certain homesteads pledged as security for reverse mortgages. AARP Oregon has continued to work legislative leaders and staff to sustain deferral program and provide oral testimony in support of bill. (Signed by governor 4-5-13, effective 90 days after sine die)
  • HB 2507 – Requires the Department of Revenue and Legislative Revenue Office to conduct study of costs and benefits of homestead property tax relief programs. AARP Oregon provided oral testimony in support. (In committee upon sine die)
  • HB 2510EN – Follow-up bill to HB 2489, it extends the similar provisions to individuals who participated in the tax deferral program at the beginning of 2011 but who did not apply for recertification for 2011-12 tax year. AARP Oregon provided oral testimony in support. (Passed House 60-0, passed Senate 30-0, signed by governor – effective 90 days after sine die)

 

  • HB 2671A – Creates State Office of the Public Guardian and Conservator to provide public guardian and conservator services for persons without relatives or friends willing or able to do so. AARP provided written testimony in support. (In committee upon sine die)
  • HB 3436EN – Establishes study to consider issues related to retirement security in Oregon and requires report and recommendations regarding retirement savings options. AARP Oregon provided written/oral testimony in support, worked with coalition strategy/tactics, assisted coalition with earned media, alerted e-activists, and signed on to floor letters. (Passed House 33-26, passed Senate 16-14, awaiting action by governor)
  • SB 558EN – Relating to foreclosures of residential trust deeds and requires beneficiary under residential deed to request resolution conference with grantor for purposes of negotiating foreclosure avoidance measure. AARP Oregon signed on to letter of support. (Passed Senate 22-7, passed House 45-12, signed by governor – effective 6-4-13)
  • SB 822EN – Relating to public employee retirement and modifies cost-of-living adjustments under Public Employees Retirement System (PERS). AARP Oregon provided written/oral testimony in opposition. Passed Senate 16-13, passed House 33-27, signed by governor, effective 5-6-13)
  • SB 857A – Relating to public employees retirement, it makes further modifications to cost-of-living adjustments under Public Employees Retirement System (PERS). AARP Oregon provided written and oral testimony in opposition. (In Committee upon sine die)

Livable Communities

  • HB 2195EN – Related to Oregon’s Medically At-Risk Driver Program and provides that physicians or health provider may at any time report to ODOT that person’s cognitive or functional impairment affects person’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle, without regard to whether report is required by department. Recommendation from interim work group; Oregon’s AARP Driver Safety State Coordinator was member of work group. AARP Oregon provided oral testimony in support. (Passed House 57-2, passed Senate 25-1, signed by governor, effective 1-1-14)
  • HB 2417EN – Increases recording and filing fee from $15 to $20 to assist homeless veterans and veterans at risk of becoming homeless. AARP Oregon signed on to support letter. (Passed House 55-4, passed Senate 29-0, awaiting action by governor)
  • HB 2890 – Repeals provision that prevents local governments from imposing conditions on approved permits that effectively establish sales price for residential development or limit purchase to class or group of purchasers. AARP Oregon submitted testimony in support. (In committee upon sine die)
  •  SB 260EN – Relating to Multimodal Transportation Fund and allows bicycle and pedestrian projects to be considered. AARP Oregon signed on to letter of support. (Passed Senate 22-7, passed House 44-14, awaiting action by governor)

Revenue & Tax Expenditures

  • HB 2477, HB 2850, and SB 326 (See HB 3367) – Bills that extends sunset date for earned income tax credit and increase percentage of federal EITC allowable as credit against Oregon personal income tax. AARP Oregon provided oral testimony in support. (In committee upon sine die)
  • HB 2503 – Provides authority to reduce state tax expenditures in tax year by same percentage that Oregon Department of Administration and Governor reduce budget allotments to state agencies for same tax year. AARP Oregon provided oral testimony in support. (In committee upon sine die)
  • HB 2456B – An omnibus bill, it raises tax revenue by making changes in several existing taxes and tax credits including increasing corporate income tax rate, phasing out personal exemption credit, increasing taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products, and limiting the senior medical deduction. AARP Oregon provided written and oral testimony in support of converting the senior medical deduction to a subtraction, capping and phasing out the subtraction based on income. AARP Oregon also negotiated with legislative leaders to ensure that a majority of the savings from changes to the senior medical deduction would be allocated to services for seniors. (Failed in Senate 15-15)
  • HB 3367EN – An omnibus bill, it extends several tax credits including the earned income tax credit and pension income. AARP Oregon provided oral testimony in support of both tax credits. The bill also makes one change in the Additional Senior Medical Deduction by restricting the deduction of expenses to taxpayers who are age eligible (at least age 62). AARP Oregon provided written and oral testimony in support of the change. (Passed House 51-6, passed Senate 22-8, awaiting action by governor)

Other

  • HB 2669EN – Extends certain employee protections to persons (interns and volunteers) performing work for educational purposes. Recommended by Oregon Council on Civil Rights; AARP Oregon signed on to letter of support. (Passed House 59-0, passed Senate 30-0, signed by governor – effective 6-13-13)
  • HB 2686 – Establishes provisions relating to selection and conduct of redistricting commission. AARP Oregon provided written/oral testimony in support. (In committee upon sine die)
  • HB 2950EN– Allows eligible employees to take family leave to deal with death of family member. AARP Oregon signed on to letter of support. (Passed House 40-18, passed Senate 22-6, signed by governor – effective 1-1-14)
  • HB 3137EN – Permits person to provide ODOT with odometer reading for vehicle 10 years old or older. AARP Oregon provided letter in support. (Passed House 60-0, passed Senate 29-1, awaiting action by governor)

Copies of bills and other information can be found on the Oregon Legislature’s website .

 

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