2021 Legislative Victories!
Yesterday was the end of a busy 2021 Oregon Legislature in the midst of the COVID pandemic. Nearly all bills from the MACG Legislative Agenda passed, with some awaiting final signatures this week.
MACG 2021 Legislative Agenda
✅ SB 282 - Extends the grace period for all tenants for repayment of back rent to February 2022.
✅ SB 79 - Promotes homeownership for BIPOC people by providing down payment assistance, grants, loans and technical assistance to organizations.
✅ HB 3265 - Sanctuary Promise Act - Strengthens our state’s sanctuary law to reduce the gap between the protection that Oregonians want and the reality in our communities.
✅ HB 2475 - Energy Affordability - Decreases utility costs for families already struggling in the economic recession by establishing a Low-Income Utility Rate Class.
✅ HB 2842 - Healthy Homes - Supports home upgrades to help improve the health of families across Oregon. Establishes a program to provide financial assistance to low-income households and landlords.
✅ HB 2021 - 100% Clean Energy for All - Creates good, well-paying, local jobs in the renewable energy sector that incentivize local projects that are good for communities and reduce pollution by achieving 100% clean energy, as soon as possible.
X HB 2002 - An expansive public safety reform bill that includes eliminating mandatory minimum sentencing, reducing unnecessary arrests, and investing in victim services and culturally specific services.
X SB 401 - Converts mandatory minimum sentences for specified felonies other than murder to presumptive sentences.
These bills are a significant victory for Oregon!
Here you can read a bit more what impact these bills will have in years to come:
SB 282 extends the rental repayment grace period until February 2022. Includes additional protections against retaliatory evictions or evictions based on double occupancy. A major step forward, but it doesn’t go far enough because it lets the eviction moratorium expire on June 30th.
SB 781 was amended late in the session to require landlords and courts to delay termination of residential tenancies for nonpayment for 60 days if the tenant provides documentation of application for rental assistance. No one should be evicted while waiting in line for help!
SB 79 enables down payment grants and loans, and technical assistance to organizations increasing homeownership program access to persons of color. As noted by the Oregon Housing Alliance, “Across Oregon, people experience barriers to homeownership, and due to systemic racism, red lining, disparities in wealth and wages, people of color are less likely to own their home than their white peers...65% for the white people, 35% for Black people, 46% for Native Americans.” SB 79 made fixes to the program used to administer Home Ownership Assistance Program (HOAP) funding in order to help address this disparity.
The Sanctuary Promise Act Strengthened
HB 3265, The Sanctuary Promise Act protects Oregonians from racial profiling, regardless of immigration status, and ensures that local police and resources will not be used for federal immigration enforcement.
This significant win continues our momentum to support and advocate for immigrant communities.
Passage of HB 3265 provides important protections and accountability regarding detention and arrests. From the press release:
"The bill also ensures that immigration detention centers cannot operate in Oregon and prohibits federal immigration authorities from carrying out warrantless arrests in Oregon’s courthouses and their vicinities. House Bill 3265 also provides an option to hold accountable individuals and entities that violate this policy."
Oregon Clean Energy Opportunity Campaign
In collaboration with the Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA) and many BIPOC-led and frontline environmental organizations, we passed all three of our energy justice laws this year.
Victory! Oregon has officially passed
Thanks to organizing led by rural, coastal, low-income and communities of color across the state, today the Oregon Senate passed a groundbreaking bill to transition Oregon’s electricity to 100% clean energy by 2040. The 100% Clean Energy for All Bill centers benefits for communities and workers most impacted by climate change and extractive industries. With this bill, Oregon will have the fastest timeline and best labor standards for emissions-free energy in the country and will be the first U.S. state to ban new development or expansions of fossil fuel power plants.
“HB 2021 sets Oregon on a clear course for local renewable energy development that provides jobs, boosts community vitality, and supports economic recovery across the state,” said Rep. Pam Marsh (D-Southern Jackson County), co-chief sponsor of the bill. “This historic legislation will serve as a catalyst for our resilience, helping Oregonians to thrive despite the impacts of pandemic, wildfires, and drought.”
Organizing works! The Healthy Homes Act (HB 2842) passed with bipartisan support in the Oregon Senate. This historic legislation will invest $10 million to ensure low-income communities have access to healthy homes through upgrades to increase energy efficiency, eliminate indoor pollutants, and prepare for disasters.
The Energy Affordability Act (HB 2475) passed the Oregon Senate with bipartisan support and was signed by the Governor. Now the Public Utility Commission will be able to create rate structures to reduce energy costs for low-income Oregonians. And organizations representing environmental justice communities will be supported to participate in energy decision making at the Public Utility Commission.
This is a major victory for energy justice!
- Investments in restorative justice
- Elimination of supervision fees
- Reimagine Oregon investments (investments in policy demands developed by Black-led organizations and Black individual activists and organizers)