ORLA Legislative Agenda
Strengthening the Voice of Oregon’s Hospitality Industry
During this 2017 Legislative Session, Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association will be focused on several key issues. As has been the case in the last several sessions, we hope to block bad legislation and promote and pass good legislation for our industry, our customers and our state. The following issues are what we will be concentrating on during this legislative session.
Launching Income Equality in Oregon’s Small Businesses
ORLA believes in the importance of income equality inside the walls of Oregon’s small business restaurants and lodging establishments. We believe in the concept so much that we are partnering with Democratic and Republican lawmakers to introduce the most progressive income equality proposal in the nation. Our proposal? If a front-of-the-house worker is making more than $5 above the minimum wage rate in their region through a combination of their base wage and tips during a given pay period, then the employer can adjust their base wage to $10 an hour, freeing up revenue for kitchen and back-of-the-house staff raises and bonuses.
Protecting Oregon’s Flexible Scheduling Practices by Defeating Restrictive Scheduling
Workers and employers should be able to deal with unexpected life events, changes to shifts due to weather, and be able to adjust schedules as needed due to marketplace demands. Flexible schedules throughout Oregon benefit both employees and employers who are proven to prefer current scheduling policies compared to any new government mandate. Restrictive scheduling will obstruct the freedoms enjoyed by workers across Oregon’s hospitality industry by creating new penalties on employers.
Advocating for Oregon’s Tourism Investment Plans
ORLA continues to fight for the appropriate use of lodging tax dollars at the local, county, and statewide levels as required by law. Since July 1, 2003, 70 percent of any new or increased portion of lodging taxes must fund tourism promotion and tourism related facilities. The remaining 30 percent can be spent on general fund expenses as designated by the taxing jurisdiction. ORLA believes in the full preservation of the 2003 law and will protect its integrity as one of our most crucial tools in growing and enhancing Oregon’s tourism export economy.
Strengthening Oregon’s Roads and Bridges
ORLA believes in the importance of a comprehensive transportation plan that funds needed infrastructure projects throughout Oregon. The flow of people, goods, and services is crucial to the success of Oregon’s hospitality industry and the experience of Oregon’s visitors.
In addition to these four key issues, we will be monitoring bills related to human/sex trafficking, alcohol, lottery, taxes and labor laws.
As always, although we are in the Capitol building every day to keep an eye on these and other issues important to the hospitality industry, we can’t do it alone. Legislators need to hear firsthand how legislation can impact business owners, their employees and our industry overall. We'd like your help to testify, write letters and contact your elected officials when needed to tell your story.
Follow the issues online at OregonRLA.org/GA
or reach out to us for more information by emailing Advocacy@OregonRLA.org
. Better yet, join us at Taste Oregon on February 28 in Salem and share your story with Oregon’s lawmakers. | Greg Astley, Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association
GREG ASTLEY • Astley@oregonrla.org