Legislature Considers Substantial Policies in Weeks

The 80th Oregon State Legislature ended on Saturday, March 3, a surprising eight days early.
When the Legislature implemented annual sessions, it established a “short,” 35-day session in
even numbered years for budget rebalancing and policy fixes. However, the 2018 short session
once again saw significant policy bills advanced over the course of tight timelines and limited
public hearings.

With a special election weeks before the beginning of session, 2018 began with budget
uncertainty. Oregon voters overwhelmingly voted to pass Measure 101, which will raise $210
million to $320 million in taxes on Oregon’s largest hospitals and many health insurance policies
by 2019. Had Measure 101 failed, the 2018 Legislative Session would have had to shift its focus
to funding a significant Medicare gap. The passage of the ballot measure, therefore, allowed
democratic leadership to focus on a variety of substantial policy bills including cap and invest,
healthcare as a constitutional right, paid family leave, disconnection from the federal tax code,
drug price transparency, net neutrality, data breach overhaul, and classroom size as a mandatory
subject of collective bargaining.

In addition to the consideration of significant policies, the 90 member chambers had nine new
members appointed since the conclusion of the 2017 Legislative Session. Numbers retirements
led to these new appointments, which are fairly unusual in a non-election year. Many other
legislators announced that they would not seek re-election this cycle, meaning another large
turnover of veteran politicians.

Ultimately, some of the issues including cap and invest and paid family leave failed. Interim
workgroups will work to produce bills on these policies for the 2019 Legislative Session (among
others). While only some of the big policies passed this session, one thing is clear; the short
session is no longer only for small budget and policy fixes.

For the Building Owners & Managers Association, it was a fairly good session. The
Association’s Legislative Team tracked nearly twenty bills on various issues affecting BOMA
interests during the 2018 Legislative Session, but did not take an official position on any of the

You may access the BOMA’s 2018 Bill Tracking program on its website at

BOMA would like to thank the Legislative Committee members whose collective efforts helped
to enhance the Association’s credibility and effectiveness in the Legislative arena.