From onions to IB credits: bills make their way through state legislature


After a momentous midterm election, which saw Oregon Democrats gain a supermajority in both chambers of the state legislature, the 2019 legislative session has begun. Oregon’s new elected officials are now making decisions on a range of bills covering everything from onions to public employee pensions.

Here are some selected bills being considered by each chamber:

House Bill (HB) 2451: Prompted by Oregon’s onion producers, the House passed a bill ending mandatory onion inspections that growers say were obsolete and burdensome. It has been sent to the Senate.

HB 2001: Allows the construction of buildings with up to four units in areas of Portland previously zoned exclusively for larger, single-family homes. It aims to decrease rents and housing prices by increasing the total supply of housing.

HB 2303: Allows pharmacies to sell pseudoephedrine behind-the-counter, removing the current prescription-only requirement (see page 13).

HB 2578: One of a number of miscellaneous bills sponsored by Rep. Brian Clem (D-Coos Bay), 2578 would enter Oregon into an interstate compact with 11 other states to give all of their electoral votes to whichever candidate wins the national popular vote.

HB 2341: Stipulates that employers may not deny opportunities to pregnant employees or job applicants and requires them to make workplace accommodations for pregnant workers and provide “accommodations to known limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth or related medical condition.”

House Bill 2505: Requires firearms to be secured in a locked box with a cable around the trigger when not in use. Failure to comply will result in fines and, if the violator’s gun is stolen, legal liability for crimes committed with said firearm within four years of the violation.

Senate Bill (SB) 608: Bans no-cause evictions and limits rent annual increases to seven percent.

SB 4: Permits the merger of community colleges and public four-year institutions.

SB 160: Requires Oregon public higher education institutions to offer credit to students scoring 4 or higher on IB exams”

SB 10: Requires cities to allow for higher density housing in areas near public transport hubs in Oregon cities in order to increase the supply of housing in highly buildable areas.

SB 160: Requires Oregon public higher education institutions to offer credit to students scoring a 4 or higher on IB exams.

SB 497: Lowers the minimum GPA required to participate in Oregon Promise from 2.5 to 2.0