Most Recent News/Updates
Springfield Chamber Submits Testimony on Proposed PPP Loan Taxes
OSCC Legislative Update: June 1st, 2021
Here’s latest update from our Oregon State Chamber of Commerce (OSCC) legislative counsel, outlining what’s happening (OSCC Political Observations), activity on major issues, and what’s coming up. Any opinions expressed or implied are those of OSCC and do not necessarily reflect those of the Springfield Chamber or its representatives.
How to Submit Testimony
Learn how to submit written testimony with a video how-to from the Oregon State Chamber of Commerce
Appeal for reasonable revisions to OR-OSHA COVID-19 Permanent Standard Draft Rules
OR-OSHA should be providing workers and local businesses with certainty, not layering new regulations on local employers nearly 14 months into the pandemic that pose barriers to already challenging economic recovery efforts.
Coalition Letter Urging Extension of PPP Deadline
March 3, 2021
The Springfield Area Chamber joins 12 Oregon chambers of commerce in support of letter to congress urging extension of the Paycheck Protection Program deadline.
ILR Leads Letter Urging Congress to Pass COVID-19 Liability Protections
February 1, 2021
The Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce signed on to the Institute for Legal Reform's letter to Congress urging members to consider targeted and temporary liability protections in the next COVID relief package.
Appeal for Small Business Remedy and Relief
The Springfield Chambers wrote a letter to Governor Kate Brown and Lane County representatives to the Oregon legislature to recognize the critical role small business plays in sustaining our state’s economy and to prioritize substantial remedies for small business employers.
Chamber Calls for City Council's Focus on Business Recovery
What’s Happening (OSCC Political Observations)
The final month of this year’s session is finally here. Lawmakers are Constitutionally required to adjourn by June 27, and indications are that the Legislature will be in session up until that final weekend. While it is possible the Senate could adjourn earlier, House Speaker Tina Kotek told reporters last week that she expects the House will be working through the final weekend.
With the end of the session comes the most unpredictable and often fastest moving phase of lawmaking. Later today, both Speaker Kotek and Senate President Peter Courtney are likely to formally declare that “Sine Die is imminent.” This means that bills can be posted and voted on with just one hour of notice. In other words, legislative concepts can be resurrected or introduced and passed with very little warning.
This phase of the session requires close tracking of nearly every committee and near constant communication between lawmakers and organizations like OSCC.
OSCC will keep you apprised of significant development that impact local business communities.
Paid Family Leave Delayed Implementation (HB 3398)
OSCC is expecting passage of legislation to delay implementation of Oregon’s Paid Family Leave law. Under the law passed in 2019, the department is supposed to begin collecting the tax to fund the program beginning in January 2022, with employees receiving benefits in 2023. However, the Employment Department is nowhere near ready to collect the tax nor distribute the benefits, which led the agency to request a delay in the implementation dates.
Under HB 3398, the new tax would be delayed for one year – until January 2023 – with benefits being paid out later that fall.
PPP Loan Forgiveness Tax (SB 137 -2)
The Senate Finance and Revenue Committee considered a gut-and-stuff amendment to SB 137 on last week that would result in increased taxes on PPP loan funds forgiven by the federal government. Under the amendment, the taxes would kick in on forgiven loans above $100,000. The Legislative Revenue Office estimates this tax would cost Oregon businesses between $450-$600 million. The proposal comes despite record revenues being received by the state government, including an extra billion dollars in the current biennium ending June 30.
OSCC immediately jumped into action and rallied members to testify en masse. The amendment received overwhelming pushback from the chamber community, including OSCC and many of its members. Its future beyond last week’s hearing remains unclear. OSCC will continue to vigorously oppose the amendment and any other similar bills that may receive consideration in the final weeks of this session.
We continue to be unclear on why the legislature seems fascinated with taxing PPP loans when the state is bringing in record revenues and the PPP program cost the state nothing.
Presumption of Retaliation (SB 483)
On a party-line vote, the House Rules Committee advanced legislation establishing a rebuttable presumption that an employer retaliated against an employee if an employer takes an adverse action against that employee within 60 days after a workplace complaint was filed. The -A6 amendment brought forward by Rep. Daniel Bonham (R-The Dalles) that would have provided employers with some level of protection for unknowingly taking adverse action on an employee that filed an anonymous complaint was rejected by Democrats on the committee. SB 483 now advances to the House floor where it is expected to pass.
This will be new law that businesses should be cognizant of.
Engage with your Springfield Area Chamber Advocacy Team
The Springfield Chamber advocates and works with elected representatives around issues, policy, and legislation of impact and interest to our members at all levels of government. The 2020 Legislative Priorities reflect our commitment to members and to the Springfield Area Chamber’s mission: fostering a prosperous community by strengthening, representing, and promoting business. We encourage our members to stay informed and engaged with the Chamber and elected officials as we pursue these state-wide legislative priorities.
Keep up with the CAT
The Oregon Department of Revenue recently implemented a new email subscription service which will make it easier for our members to keep track of the latest news about the Corporate Activity Tax (CAT).
The fourth quarter is going to be busy and you will want to be up to date on the latest CAT information. The CAT policy team is planning to host electronic training sessions, provide training videos, and hold public hearings on two additional rounds of administrative rules in the fourth quarter of 2020.
The best way to keep up with it all is to sign-up to receive updates on the CAT.
Support for the passage of a Pandemic Relief Bill Before the end of 2020
The Springfield Chambers wrote a letter to our congressional delegation appealing for passage of a bipartisan COVID Relief Bill. You’ll find it substantiated by data pulled from US Census Bureau polls. Given the Governor’s freeze orders and subsequent “extreme risk” restrictions on small business, and despite a solid commitment by local communities to support them, our businesses are facing hard winter months ahead.
OSCC Calls for Small Business Relief
The Oregon State Chamber issued a statement and call for action in response to new and mounting COVID restrictions and the impacts on small business. Please utilize the function and give you and your Chamber / business / community a voice, in your own words, as some 500+ like you have already.
You can find the full statement and a quick link to email legislators and Governor’s office at this link: https://www.oregonchamber.org/advocacy-in-action
Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce Supports Legislative Redistricting Reform – Endorses IP57
August 19, 2020
Joining a growing and impressive statewide coalition of bipartisan supporters, the Springfield Chamber board of directors voted to endorse IP57, a pending ballot measure calling for greater transparency and bipartisan balance in the redrawing of voting districts. Every 10 years, the US Census requires that states must re-draw legislative and congressional electoral districts to account for population changes. Currently, these legislative and congressional districts in Oregon are drawn by legislators and subject to a veto by the Governor. IP57 proposes the creation of an independent Citizens Redistricting Commission charged with drawing legislative and congressional districts through a transparent, fair and impartial process.
Why should I care?
New district lines based on the 2020 census will be especially important because Oregon is projected to gain a sixth U.S. congressional seat due to population growth, we need to make sure the process for drawing new district boundaries is fair.
Creates an independent commission to draw fair and impartial districts so that every vote matters.
Provides a greater opportunity for under-represented communities like low-income Oregonians, persons of color, rural Oregonians and seniors to have a voice in their representation.
Creates better geographic, economic, social, community and political diversity in drawing the district maps for our state legislators and congressional representatives.
How does Oregon stack up nationally?
Only twice since 1911 has the Oregon legislature passed a redistricting plan that became the final adopted plan.
Advocates across the country in red, blue and purple states are fighting to reform redistricting to put people in charge of the process.
Only four states in the West – including Oregon – don’t have some form of independent redistricting.
As recently as 2018, five states passed redistricting reforms: Colorado, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio and Utah
Seven states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Michigan, Montana and Washington have independent citizen redistricting commissions
How would redistricting work under the proposal?
More: FAQs on redistricting in Oregon HERE
What can I do?
Liability Protections to Businesses Affected by COVID Pandemic
The Springfield Chambers wrote Senator Beyer and Representative Lively to ask for support in enacting the employer liability protections needed to balance our state’s
economic recovery alongside public health goals.
Extend Liability Protections to Businesses Affected by COVID Pandemic
June 17, 2020
The Eugene and Springfield chambers have rallied regional public sector partners - City of Eugene, City of Springfield, Lane County, Lane Transit District, Lane Community College and Willamalane – to ask state legislators’ and the Governor’s support for temporary, targeted, and timely liability protection.
Liability Protections Needed to Shield Employers from Litigation Abuse
May 22, 2020
The Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce wrote a letter on behalf of small business owners to Oregon Representatives: Senator Ron Wyden, Senator Jeff Merkley and Representative Peter DeFazio about the need for support for fair and reasonable small business and employer protections against litigation and penalties during the phased reopening of our state.
Business voices needed in request to delay the Corporate Activity Tax
April 22, 2020
With the signatures of over 300 local area businesses, today the Springfield and Eugene Chambers submitted a letter requesting the delay of the Corporate Activity Tax to Governor Kate Brown and members of the Oregon legislature. Please continue to utilize the form below to submit your name and company in support of delaying the Corporate Activity Tax.
Downtown Springfield Respite Shelter to Springfield City Council
May 4, 2020
The Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce responds to concerns from downtown business community supporting solutions for the compassionate care of vulnerable populations, while stressing the need to avoid consequences detrimental to the hard-earned revitalization in the downtown Springfield.
Extend and Restore the Original Intent of the CARES Act for Small Business Relief
April 20, 2020
The Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce issues an appeal to Oregon federal delegation requesting the restoration of original intent of the CARES Act, and expansion of funding for small business assistance through the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP.)
Chamber Board of Directors Endorses LCC Bond
April 15, 2020
The Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce endorses the Lane Community College Bond Measure that will ensure critical investment in local workforce development and training and improved campus safety and security.
The Mayor and City Council
make up the legislative branch of Springfield’s City government. Each
of the six members of the City Council is elected by citywide vote and
represents an area of town called a ward. The Mayor is also elected by
citywide vote. The Mayor and City Council members serve without pay as
volunteers for four-year terms. They set City policy and make decisions
regarding ordinances and resolutions, authorizing contracts, setting
City goals, and adopting the City’s annual budget. The Mayor and City
Council also appoint the City Manager, City Attorney, Municipal Court
Judges, and many residents to serve on advisory committees. The Mayor
and City Council guide the City staff to provide the highest quality,
lowest cost service to the residents of Springfield.
The Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce strongly encourages
engagement between elected officials and chamber members as a way to
inform and to be informed on issues of interest and impact to the
chamber community. Local non-partisan elections are a great opportunity
to deepen our understanding of each other. While the Chamber will not be
making any candidate endorsements, we seek to inform our members and
voters by engaging in dialogue with those interested in serving and
representing our community.
Damien Pitts appointed to Springfield City Council Representing Ward 1
In a unanimous decision, Springfield City Councilors Monday, March 1st, selected Damien Pitts to represent Ward 1 on the council.
Request to be added to a chamber news or committee mail list:
- Chamber news/information: contact firstname.lastname@example.org for guidance and questions.
Government Issues Committee and Business Advocacy Council Liaison:
- Contact: Max Molzahn, Membership Development Manager Max@springfield-chamber.org
Economic Development Committee and Government Issues Committee Liaison:
- Contact: Dani Thompson, Economic Development Specialist Dani@springfield-chamber.org
Attend the Chamber’s Government Issues Committee
- Meetings are every second and fourth Tuesday of the month from 7:00-8:00am at the Hilton Garden Inn, Springfield/Eugene and are open to all Springfield Chamber members. Contact: Max Molzahn, Membership Development Manager and GIC Liaison for information or to sign up for mail list Max@springfield-chamber.org
Attend the Chamber’s Economic Development Committee
- Contact: Dani Thompson, Economic Development Specialist for information or to sign up for mail list Dani@springfield-chamber.org
Access your Member Benefits with the Oregon State Chamber of Commerce
Because your Springfield Chamber holds a membership with the OSCC Springfield Chamber members not only are assured representation but extended access to state-wide policy resources, information, and expert legislative counsel. To learn more visit: https://www.oregonchamber.org/
Sign up for Advocacy in Action Alerts from the Oregon State Chamber. A valuable tool that will keep you up to date on legislative issues and make it easy to contact your state legislators.
Visit the Springfield Chamber’s Online News Source.
- Weekly updates during the Oregon legislative sessions are posted on The Bottom Line.