When you rush to meet a deadline, often it ends up being less than your best work. The Oregon Legislature is no exception. This week marked the deadline for bills to move out of most committees in the chamber of their origin, lest they die. There was a big scramble to get things passed, and in that scramble some real problematic bills stayed alive.
Here are two examples that don’t make financial sense:
HB 3115 is an unneeded bill that only increases construction costs for the state. The Legislative Fiscal Office stated that, “The amount of increase is unknown, but is estimated to be as much as 3 percent over contracts under current statute.”
By raising construction costs we are going to move money away from educating our kids and helping needy Oregonians. This is not the time for bills like this.
Next, last session we helped local school districts save money by letting them opt-out of the state mandated insurance pool. HB 2128 rolls back those reforms that allowed local school districts to opt-out for a better local option. This bill changes that and will mean more expensive health care for many school district who are already facing rising PERS costs, laying off teachers, and increasing class sizes.
I will continue to fight these bills, but they are two examples of legislation that was rushed through without considering the full impact they will have on Oregonians.