The 2023 Legislative session is well under way as lawmakers enter their 6th week at the State Capitol. This year, being an odd year, is scheduled to last 160 days as the Senate and the House consider legislation and pass a budget for the next biennium. Lawmakers are off to a busy start with nearly 3000 bills introduced to date. In the coming weeks, the Legislature will meet its first significant deadline for moving bills forward in the Committee process. State budget writers will also receive the quarterly economic forecast on which the FY 23-25 budget will be based.

The Chamber is tracking nearly over 75 bills in a variety of issue areas from economic development and tax reform to child care and housing issues. In short, there is a lot under discussion in Salem. In the coming e-News, we’ll focus on key priorities and related legislative proposals for the Bend Chamber. This week we’re focusing on Workforce and Affordable Housing legislation.

Two key housing bills moving through the legislative process this week are a part of Governor Kotek’s housing agenda and are receiving bi-partisan support from House members.

HB 2001: Sponsored by Representative Dexter and Senator Jama, chairs of their respective Housing Committees, HB 2001 codifies the Governor’s state of emergency related to homelessness, and establishes sustainable funding for youth experiencing homelessness. The bill also makes investments in modular housing for low and middle income projects, and establishes funding for infrastructure and predevelopment costs for moderate income housing.

HB 2889:  Sponsored by Representative Dexter and Senator Jama, HB 2889 establishes the Oregon Housing Needs Analysis in the Department of Housing and Community Services.

This bill is an omnibus approach to addressing the respective roles of state and local government planning for housing growth. The bill creates statewide housing production targets and a public facing dashboard to measure progress. Another key component of the legislation is accountability measures and enforcement for local governments as it pertains to their housing production targets.

Both bills have bi-partisan support and a broad coalition of community, industry and advocacy partners. Updated details on both bills is located on the Oregon Legislature website. We’ll continue to update on these and other housing bills as they move through the process.

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