2021 LEGISLATIVE SESSION RECAP
Conducting a legislative session in the middle of a global pandemic was as challenging as you might imagine it to be. The 2021 Oregon Legislative Session was held remotely for the most part, with COVID-19 cases among the members leading to interruptions, lobbyists and the public not being allowed in the building, and technological glitches before and during committee meetings. The inability to meet in person coupled with the introduction of almost 4,000 bills this session meant there was a lot that did not get done. The focus for legislative leadership was on police reform, housing, and social justice.
There was also a historic amount of money available for legislators to work with this session between federal dollars coming in the forms of the CARES Act, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), and an additional $1 billion in state revenue.
For the hospitality industry, we gained some victories to help our members and managed to help kill some bad bills that would have negatively impacted operators. Below is a summary of the key legislation from the 2021 session for our sector.
SB 317A – Allows holder of full on-premises sales license to make retail sales of mixed drinks in sealed containers for off-premises consumption.
HB 3361 (Passed) – Requires third-party food platform to enter into agreement with food place before arranging delivery of orders from food place or listing food place on application or website.
HB 3178 (Passed) – Temporarily removes condition for being deemed "unemployed" that individual's weekly remuneration for part-time work must be less than individual's weekly unemployment insurance benefit amount.
HB 3389 – Extends look-back period used to determine Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund solvency level from 10 years to 20 years.
Provides that calendar years 2020 and 2021 may not be considered high benefit cost period for purposes of making determinations of solvency level of fund.
Provides that employers’ experience ratings used to determine 2020 unemployment insurance tax rates shall be used to determine rates for 2022, 2023 and 2024.
Provides deferral of up to one-third of 2021 unemployment insurance taxes for employers whose tax rates increased by 0.5 percentage points or more from 2020 to 2021.
Authorizes forgiveness of percentage of deferrable taxes according to tax rate increase brackets.
Reduces fund adequacy percentages used to determine employer tax rate schedules.
HB 2205 (Dead) – Establishes procedure for person to bring action in name of state to recover civil penalties for violations of state law.
HB 2365 (Dead) – Prohibits food vendor from using single-use plastic food service ware when selling, serving or dispensing prepared food to consumer.
HB 2521 (Passed) – Requires transient lodging tax collector to provide invoice, receipt or other similar document that clearly sets forth sum of all transient lodging taxes charged for occupancy of transient lodging.
HB 2579 (Dead) – Increases state transient lodging tax rate and provides for transfer of moneys attributable to increase to county in which taxes were collected.
HB 2593 - Permits Office of Emergency Management to enter into agreement with nonprofit organization representing sheriffs under which organization is authorized to administer program to produce and sell outdoor recreation search and rescue cards.
HB 2818 – Allows payment from Wage Security Fund to be made to wage claimant for wages earned and unpaid in event that Commissioner of Bureau of Labor and Industries has obtained judgment in action or has issued final order in administrative proceeding for collection of wage claim.
HB 2966A – Extends grace period for repayment of nonresidential rent between April 1, 2020, and September 30, 2020, until September 30, 2021, for certain tenants.
HB 3058 (Dead) – Increases distance from certain parts of public places and places of employment in which person may not smoke, aerosolize or vaporize from 10 feet to 25 feet.
HB 3296 (Dead) – Increases privilege taxes imposed upon manufacturer or importing distributor of malt beverages, wine, or cider.
HB 3351 (Dead) – Establishes increase in statewide minimum wage rate beginning on July 1, 2022.
SB 650 (Dead) – Creates Public Assistance Protection Fund.
SB 750 (Passed) – Authorizes Oregon Liquor Control Commission to grant temporary letter of authority to eligible applicant for any license issued by commission.
HB 3177 (Dead) – Limits types of restrictions that Governor may impose on certain businesses during state of emergency related to COVID-19 pandemic.
SB 483A (Passed) – Creates rebuttable presumption that person violated prohibition against retaliation or discrimination against employee or prospective employee if person takes certain action against employee or prospective employee within 60 days after employee or prospective employee has engaged in certain protected activities.
SB 582A - Establishes producer responsibility program for packaging, printing and writing paper and food serviceware.
SB 515 (Passed) – Requires employee of certain licensed premises who is permittee to make report if permittee has reasonable belief that sex trafficking is occurring at premises or that minor is employed or contracted as performer at premises in manner violating Oregon Liquor Control Commission rules.
SB 569A (Passed) – Makes unlawful employment practice for employer to require employee or prospective employee to possess or present valid driver license as condition of employment or continuation of employment.
For more information on ORLA's policy positions and priorities, reach out to Greg Astley, Director of Government Affairs.
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