Direct to you from Salem

Current Events & News | 05/28/2019

Parasa Chanramy
Policy & Implementation Director

May is almost over, which means we only have about a month left before the end of legislative session!

Last week, we watched Governor Brown’s ceremonial bill signing for the Student Success Act (HB 3427). The Act -- now law -- dedicates $2 billion in new revenues from a corporate activities tax to early childhood education and K-12 investments, including full Measure 98 funding.

To be eligible for Student Investment Account dollars from the Act, districts must complete a needs assessment and a plan for how they will utilize the dollars. Want to learn more? Here are some helpful resources to get you started:

Our work doesn’t end here though. We must make sure that the Act is implemented well and that we are able to defend it from any unnecessary challenges at the ballot box.

To learn more about what’s at stake and how you can help, please continue to tune in to our weekly Friday calls during session. More info below:

Upcoming calls for Stand leaders, members, and partners

Every Friday from noon to 12:30pm during session (until June 30)

Key updates from last week:

Last week, the Senate voted and passed the budget bill for the Student Success Act (HB 5047), as well as a $9 billion allocation for the State School Fund (HB 5016). Both bills head to the Governor’s desk next.

The full Joint Ways and Means Committee also passed a PERS bill (SB 1049) in the middle of the week; and then the Senate moved it last Thursday (16 yes votes; 12 no votes; 2 excused). Senators described the vote as one of the most challenging that they have had to take in their lifetime in order to begin addressing the growing costs of PERS. If SB 1049 passes the House, it will protect all benefits earned by public employees to date. The bill will also: i) require public employees to contribute a small percentage to their PERS pension plan; ii) place a cap on high-dollar pensions for future service; iii) stretch out the repayment schedule for the state’s unfunded liabilities; and iv) provide state matching funds for local governments to pay off their PERS debts.

Under this new plan, savings are estimated to be between $1.2 to $1.8 billion a biennium (beginning with the 2021-23 biennium through the 2033-35 biennium) for state agencies, universities, judges, school districts, and participating cities, counties, and special districts.

The Joint Committee for Student Success (JCSS) held a hearing on an essential skills bill, and work sessions on CTE and computer science, room clears and student transportation.

The Education Subcommittee on Ways and Means had a presentation on Baby Promise and the Child Care Block Grant.

The Senate Education Committee worked a number of bills before the May 24th cut off deadline. You can watch those work sessions here.

The House Education Committee also worked a handful of education bills. You can view their work sessions here.

What’s on the docket this week:

JCSS may meet again this week (note: they have not posted their schedules yet).

The Education Subcommittee on Ways and Means will receive presentations on the Educator Advancement Council and the State Apprenticeship Expansion Grant.

The Senate Education Committee will hold informational hearings on federal education issues and diversity, equity and inclusion in Oregon’s public schools. The House Education Committee will update their schedule throughout this week.

For more details about what’s happening during session, tune in every Friday during session at NOON for a recap and preview of each week.

Tune in by phone: 408-740-3766 (Access code: 669 855 1592 #)


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