2022 Bills that Back a Thriving Rural Oregon

The Roadmap to a Thriving Rural Oregon is made up of the priorities our communities need to move from fighting for survival to truly thriving. The Roadmap came out of hundreds of conversations with human dignity groups across rural Oregon about what our communities need most as the COVID-19 pandemic and unstable economy lay bare the big gaps in our communities’ social safety nets that have been widening for decades. Now we must bring these priorities to the legislative session! Check out the Roadmap and see below for bills being considered in the Oregon State Legislature under each of the four Roadmap categories. Want to dig in further? We’d love to hear your thoughts! Reach out to your friendly ROP organizer or email monicap@rop.org to get in touch.

We Are All Essential

  • Child Care For Oregon Child Care Package (HB 4005) If passed, this would create a law that would increase the amount of money that the Employment Related Day Care (ERDC) subsidies pay per child to child care providers, leading to more equitable rates for parents. This will also increase purchasing power for parents who utilize ERDC. It would also suspend the rule that requires sprinkler systems for in-home providers until 2024.

Healthy People Make Healthy Communities

  • Farmworker Overtime (HB 4002) Farmworkers have been excluded from minimum wage protections and overtime pay since these labor policies went into effect in 1938. Since 1938, people of color have made up the majority of farm laborers, and this explicitly racist exclusion from overtime pay continues to have wide reaching effects on not just communities of color but also the entire Oregon economy. If passed, this would create a law that would phase-in overtime pay to 1.5 times the regular pay rate for all agricultural workers after they work 40 hours in a week. Farmworkers would qualify regardless of whether they are paid hourly or on a piece-rate, and would be enforced just like overtime pay for every other industry. 

Safe and Welcoming Communities

  • Universal Legal Representation (SB 1543) Everyone deserves adequate legal representation, but community members are routinely deported and separated from their families simply because they can’t afford an immigration lawyer. If passed, Universal Legal Representation would expand legal services through the use of collaborative representation, community-based lawyering and client empowerment. The program would be flexible and responsive to anticipated legalization programs, massive raids, a sudden influx of asylum seekers, or any other changes in the immigration system.
  • Transforming Justice Bill (SB 1510) If passed, this would create a law that would transform our public safety system into one that provides help to people experiencing houselessness or mental health crises, and it would prioritize rehabilitation over punishment. It would limit unnecessary stops and arrests by law enforcement, remove barriers for people on probation or post-prison supervision seeking to rebuild their lives, and invest resources in communities of color.
  • Equity Investment Act (SB 1579) Creates the Equity Investment Fund, which allocates $50M using existing cannabis tax revenue, to Business Oregon, which will provide grants to culturally-responsive, community-based organizations that support entrepreneurship, workforce development, and paths to home and land ownership for Black, Indigenous and Latinx communities.
  • Treasury Transparency Bill (HB 4115) By investing in fossil fuel corporations, the Oregon State Treasury is risking Oregon’s financial future and supporting the climate crisis. We know this puts us at risk, but we have no way of knowing by how much. If passed, this bill would ensure the Treasury is transparent about the climate-related risk involved in their investments.

Connecting our Voices

  • Broadband Governance, Availability and Equity (HB4092) With American Rescue Plan Act dollars, and the Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act allocating broadband funding directly to states, Oregon is poised to receive more than $200 million to address gaps in broadband infrastructure and reduce barriers to access. This bill would prepare the Oregon Broadband Office for the work ahead including: creating a broadband strategic framework; exploring how to create a broadband subsidy fund; and establishing a fund to enable libraries to capture federal investment monies.
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