Update from Virtual Legislative Session

In Event, Legislative Session by OLCVstaff

It’s an exciting time at the Oregon State Legislature! Our priority bills are gaining momentum! Help us keep the momentum going by joining us for OLCV/OCN’s Virtual Lobby Day on March 24th!

On Tuesday, HB 2357, our bill to eliminate the Oregon Forest Resources Institute (OFRI), had its first public hearing. Our team of experts (including me!) testifying, coupled with a strong showing of grassroots support, made a powerful case to the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. It is time for OFRI to go and for its money to be redirected to scientifically-sound and climate-smart forest management practices and independent science-based forest education that gets kids into the woods.

Our trio of climate bills are also on track—Healthy Homes (HB 2842) and Energy Affordability (HB 2475) are having hearings and gaining bipartisan support. Energy Affordability has even passed out of the House Energy and Environment committee putting it a step closer to a final vote in the House! We expect a hearing on the 100% Clean Energy For All bill (HB 2995) very soon. (Thanks to our friends at Verde and The Clean Energy Opportunity Campaign for their leadership on these three climate justice bills!)

On the budget front, we are working hard with our OCN partners to push for much needed funding for the Oregon Climate Action Plan programs (created by the governor’s executive order), funding for key environmental justice programs, as well as keeping Natural Resources agencies fully staffed so that crucial programs we fought so hard to pass in previous sessions can be successful.

We are also working together to ensure the state legislature passes a smart, comprehensive wildfire policy that responsibly uses limited state resources to protect lives and property from future wildfires.

Finally, we always have to defend against rollbacks to environmental protections. We are supporting our partners at 1000 Friends of Oregon in stopping SB 16—the first Major Threat bill of the session. This bill would set a dangerous precedent in land use law by allowing housing to be built on land exclusively designated for agriculture.

Session is heating up! All of these important environmental bills plus more are at critical points. Whether they pass or not depends on the next few weeks. And it depends on lawmakers hearing from the people they represent — YOU — that these bills matter. That’s why the OLCV/OCN Lobby Day makes such a big difference. Together we can help make sure each of these priorities gets across the finish line this 2021 session.

The best way you can help us win is by showing up to our Lean Green Virtual Lobby Machine on March 24th! Sign up today and our organizing team will send you all the details.

We hope to see you there!