Submitted by PSU-AAUP VP for Legislative and Political Action, Ramin Farahmandpur
Upward of 4,000 bills may be introduced in the 2021 Oregon legislative session—the most since 2009. To date, 2,100 bills have been published.
How many legislative bills reach the Governor’s desk and are passed into law? According to the Oregonian’s analysis, in the 2019 legislative session, for example, of the 2768 bills introduced, only 757 bills were signed into law.
As is always the case, higher education is a topic that draws both budgetary and policy attention.
At the February 18 House Education Committee hearing, several community college and university faculty members gave powerful testimony in support of House Bill 3007, the part-time faculty healthcare bill. The Senate version of the bill, Senate Bill 551, is scheduled for a hearing on February 22.
House Bill 2873 and Senate Bill 712, the House and Senate bills that would confer rights to non-voting members of the HECC, will likely be scheduled for a hearing during the first two weeks of March.
Senate Bill 233, the common course numbering bill, will also likely be scheduled for a March hearing.
The Higher Education Coalition is working on adding amendments to House Bill 2919, the textbook affordability bill. The amendments would exempt those courses taught by late-hired instructors from posting course textbook prices before the deadline.
Senate Bill 412, the impact bargaining bill, is under review. Joe Baessler from Oregon AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees) joined the meeting to discuss the bill’s merits. Impact bargaining allows unions to bargain through arbitration when employers increase employee workload.