Legislative Reports

OEDA uses the grassroots strength of the association and our members to advocate for policy, resources, and tools supportive of economic development. Economic developers today need to maintain and enhance the economic development tools in order to remain competitive in an increasingly complicated business environment.

Traditionally, Oregon has used lottery proceeds, bonding authority, and other rmechanisms to establish economic development incentives designed to promote job growth and the strengthening of wages. While OEDA will be broadly supportive of many business development and business climate programs and policies, OEDA will focus its proactive legislative activity in arenas where OEDA can be particularly targeted and effective.

OEDA will be supportive and respective of the business advocacy agendas of other business and industry organizations. OEDA’s niche will be focused on the specific economic development programs necessary for economic development practitioners to be effective and competitive in their field.

OEDA Legislative Agenda

OEDA works to educate and inform our elected officials about the economic impact of their policies and how these can impact their constituents. We focus our efforts on legislation that can have an immediate and long term effect on the growth of Traded Sector industry in Oregon and our respective local Communities. To do this, we are represented at the State Capitol however; we strongly believe that one of the best assets we possess are the relationships our members have with their local elected officials.

View OEDA’s Legislative Priorities for the recent 2019 Oregon Legislative Session here: OEDA 2019 Legislative Priorities

2019 Legislative Victories

PROTECTED ENTERPRISE ZONES ✔
Together with our members, staff and key partners we built and sustained opposition to House Bill 2408 which proposed that certain projects in Enterprise Zones  comply with reporting requirements for prevailing wage.  Our involvement continues as we work to secure a representative onto the interim work group.

PRESERVED OPPORTUNITY ZONES ✔
OEDA took a lead role to preserve the newly developed Opportunity Zones program. House Bill 2144 proposed disconnecting the program from the federal code, thereby disallowing the Capital Gains advantages for Oregon tax payers. OEDA organized testimony from members, particularly in rural areas, focusing our messaging on the benefits of Opportunity Zones to rural community investment and the drawbacks of limiting Oregon taxpayer’s ability to invest in Oregon.

PRESERVED URBAN RENEWAL ✔

Our Urban Renewal Committee shepherded a bill reflecting a compromise to modernize the urban renewal process and effectively preserve the tool for use in Oregon.  House Bill 2174 reflected 18 months of negotiation and collaboration with special districts and other partners to tackle issues related to the confer and consent process, taxing jurisdiction approval and the types of projects that should be eligible for Urban Renewal dollars.

BUDGET VICTORIES ✔

We continued our advocacy to secure funding to finance local infrastructure, and spent significant time discussing key business issues and supporting Business Oregon. Advocacy secured$30 million in lottery bond proceeds for Special Public Works Fund, $5 million in lottery bond proceeds recapitalize Brownfields Redevelopment Fund, and an overall Business Oregon Budget (SB 5524 – Passed) maintaining funding levels.

This work for OEDA is led by the Government Affairs Committee; we continuously look for new members to join the effort.