We are at the beginning of the end! Another major deadline in the legislative process is behind us. June 5 was the last day for bills to be worked in their 2nd chamber policy committee. This means that legislation under consideration at this stage has been approved by either the House or the Senate–they are halfway through the process–and must be approved by a committee on the other side of the building… and get one more floor vote, before going to the governor. But, in addition to the standard parliamentary process, there is one more hurdle: the session rules require these bills be voted out of committee by Friday, June 5.

Bills not moved out of policy committees by this date are now dead.

Except, this deadline does not apply to the budget process, anything in Revenue committee, anything in the Rules committee or any joint committees, so hundreds of pieces of legislation were unaffected the cutoff. But, hundreds more came under this deadline and are ineligible for further action this session. Legislators are planning to conclude their work by June 26, but could extend to the constitutional deadline of July 11 if needed.

This has been a very active session for the cultural community. The Coalition has both policy and funding concepts before the legislature. Below is a quick overview of legislation we are tracking and current status.

Bills we support:

  • SB 441 Modifies Oregon Cultural Trust and increases arts and culture grants (Ways and Means)
  • HB 2962 Designates Cultural Trust as exclusively for arts & culture purposes (Rules)
  • HB 3042 Designates April 14 as honorary Artists of Oregon Day (Enacted)
  • HB 3526 Creates and funds Oregon Main Street Revitalization grant program (Ways and Means)
  • HB 5525, HB 5502, HB 5030 Funds cultural activities and agencies (Ways and Means)
  • HB 5528 Funds heritage commission and state historic preservation office (Enacted)

Active bills moving with Coalition requested amendments:

  • HB 2214 Adds nonprofits to list of public employers for purposes of transfers (Amended to exempt transfers between nonprofits) (Enacted)
  • SB 699 Exempts theatre hair stylists from cosmetology regulations (Amended to clarify scope of exemption) (en route to House floor)

Bills with Coalition amendments left in committee:

  • SB 913 Criminalizes ivory sales  (Amended to exclude instruments) (dead-Judiciary)

Bills we oppose:

  • HB 2137 Taxes works of art valued above $250,000 (art stored or sold in Oregon) (Revenue)

Thanks to those who have testified in support of amendments, written and called your state legislators. We have found that policymakers are open to our concerns and are willing to work with us to strengthen legislation to advance and protect art, heritage and the humanities statewide.

We aren’t done yet, but with your help, this has been a strong session for culture in Oregon.

Christine Drazan
Executive Director