As you’ve probably already heard in the news this week, both the Senate and House have been denied quorum due to twelve Senate Republican members and twenty-one House Republican members leaving the Capitol in protest of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means passing SB 1530 (cap and trade) to the Senate floor.

Unless Legislators return to the Capitol before March 8, all bills and budget requests are at risk of stalling before the constitutionally set deadline. Absent any resolution of the impasse, a special session to address budget priorities, perhaps later this spring, is possible.

According to Alison McIntosh, with Housing Alliance, all our priority bills are “right where they are supposed to be” and will be ready to move if legislators return.

This week the Joint Committee on Ways and Means approved and forwarded the following bills to the House floor:

  • HB 4001 – This is the House Speaker’s priority package of investments in emergency shelters, including: $40 million to increase capacity for emergency shelters and $10 million for other related homeless services investments. Declares state of emergency requiring local jurisdictions to waive land use requirements and expedite siting of low-barrier shelters. Specifies funding for navigation centers in Salem and Eugene. Directs and supports OHCS to provide training and technical assistance for shelter capacity.


  • HB 4003 – A bill from the Joint Task Force on Addressing Racial Disparities in Home Ownership provides $1 million to provide grants and technical assistance to organizations who support access to homeownership for communities of color, $1 million to support individual development accounts for homeownership, and $3 million for down payment assistance. The bill still includes requirements related to additional educational requirements and implicit bias training for real estate professionals, as well as the changes to accelerated savings match for IDAs. Housing Oregon’s comments.


  • HB 4015 – Authorizes OHCS to grant moneys to nonprofit organization for ADU community pilot programs that develop accessory dwelling units that are for income-eligible homeowners or available for rent by income-eligible tenants


Other priorities worked on this week included:

  • SB 1531 – The House Revenue Committee approved and forwarded to the House floor this bill which will make changes to local option affordable housing property tax exemptions, the Home Ownership Limited Tax Exemption program, and will sunset the Oregon Individual Development Account (IDA) Initiative Tax Credit. Housing Oregon’s comments.



  • HB 4039 – The Joint Committee on Ways and Means also held a work session on this bill, which would provide services for unaccompanied homeless youth in Oregon including providing $300,000 to conduct a needs assessment, $1.2 million to expand the host home network, which provides a home for unaccompanied homeless youth while they finish high school, and $1 million to expand existing shelter, mental health, transitional housing, and other services for Runaway and Homeless Youth. Housing Oregon’s comments.



  • SB 1534Joint Committee on Ways and Means also worked on this Fair Housing Enforcement legislation that would change the law to allow Oregon Labor and Industries to enforce federal fair housing law on behalf of the federal government. Oregonians would be better served and protected from unlawful housing discrimination.