2020 LEGISLATIVE FRAMEWORK
Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association Heads in to the 2020 Short Session
ORLA will be focused on several key areas in the 2020 short session including protection of the lodging tax distribution, banning high velocity gaming on mobile devices, pursuing legislation related to short-term rental fees and homelessness and the classification of misrepresenting an animal as a service animal as a misdemeanor crime.
Protection of the Lodging Tax Distribution
This is an annual agenda item for ORLA as it seems each legislative session there are bills threatening either the definitions of tourism facilities or an expansion of what the lodging tax may be spent on. Working with Governor Brown, ORLA’s priority will be to make sure the current distribution formula and definitions remain the same.
Banning High Velocity Gaming on Mobile Devices
With the introduction of more lottery products available on mobile devices including the new sports betting app Scoreboard, ORLA is committed to ensuring high velocity games (HVG) are not going to be available through this platform. Helping protect consumers, especially those with gambling addictions, from having access to these types of games 24/7 as well as the issues surrounding inadvertent access for minors and the protection of retailer establishments as a buffer are the key reasons behind our support for legislation banning HVG.
Short-Term Rental Fees and Homelessness
With the passage in Portland of a $2 per night fee on short-term rentals dedicated to alleviating homelessness and providing social services for the homeless, ORLA wants to make sure other cities and counties have the opportunity to address these issues in their communities while protecting traditional lodging establishments from these fees. Short-term rental homes remove housing stock from the market making it more difficult and expensive for people to find affordable housing. Traditional lodging establishments in some cases, actually provide gap housing solutions for people who are in transition between housing options.
Classification of Misrepresenting an Animal as a Service Animal
ORLA pursued legislation in the 2019 session around classification of misrepresenting an animal as a service animal as a misdemeanor crime but due to other, more controversial issues, the bill did not pass. ORLA continues to hear from members about the frustrations and potential PR issues surrounding this issue and are working to help strengthen protections for those who actually need a service animal.
With the session lasting only 35 days and rumors of larger, weightier issues such as cap and trade, campaign finance and gun control being discussed, there is a chance some of our issues may not receive the attention we hope they should. If this is the case, any issues not receiving due consideration will be brought back to the Oregon Legislature in the 2021 session.
If you have any questions, contact Greg Astley, Director of Government Affairs, at Astley@OregonRLA.org.
Watch biweekly 2-minute video updates to stay up-to-date on issues. Be sure to subscribe to ORLA's YouTube channel to stay in the know.
Sign up for ORLA's communications: