CONFERENCE COMMITTEE ON HB 2368C

 

 

August 25, 2003   Hearing Room

9:00 AM      Tapes 1 - 2

 

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:            Rep. Betsy Close, Chair

                                                Rep. Rob Patridge

                                                Rep. Joanne Verger

                                                Sen. Kate Brown

                                                Sen. John Minnis

 

STAFF PRESENT:                  Marjorie Taylor, Committee Administrator

                                                Linda K. Gatto, Committee Assistant

 

MEASURE HEARD:                     HB 2368 Work Session

 

 

These minutes are in compliance with Senate and House Rules.  Only text enclosed in quotation marks reports a speaker’s exact words.  For complete contents, please refer to the tapes.

 

TAPE/#

Speaker

Comments

TAPE 1, A

003

Chair Close

Calls the conference committee on HB 2368 to order at 9:08 a.m.

HB 2368 WORK SESSION

005

Marjorie Taylor

Committee Administrator. Explains that HB 2368 makes technical changes to the cigarette and tobacco product taxes. Introduces HB 2368C -39 through -C42 amendments, (EXHIBIT A) and -C43 amendments (EXHIBIT B), and -C44 (EXHIBIT C).

021

Chair Close

Refers to the state comparison chart, (EXHIBIT D).

030

Pete Shepard

Deputy Attorney General. Presents testimony in favor of HB 2368C-43 amendments. Discusses HB 2094, the non-participating manufacturers statute currently awaiting the Governor’s consideration.

055

Sen. Brown

Asks if it can assumed that the Governor will not veto the bill with the --C43 amendments.

065

Shepard

Responds that he can only speak for the Attorney General but he has no reason to see why the Attorney Genera’s office would recommend a veto. States that they have expressed their policy position regarding the cap question in the -C44 amendments and adds that the Attorney General would not recommend a veto on the -C44 amendments.

077

Rep. Verger

Clarifies that the -C44 amendments does not state a cap.

081

Shepard

Responds that the Attorney General’s office does not support the -C44 because it is not consistent with their policy position, however, they would not recommend a veto if the -C44 became part of the bill.

094

Jim Garner

Attorney, for Garner and Garner, appearing for Phillip Morris. Testifies in support in of the -C43 amendments. Discusses the -C44 amendments cap at $150 million

124

Sen. Brown

Asks why the state of Washington is not on the list, (EXHIBIT D).

127

Garner

Answers that the issue needs to be addressed by court rule amendment. There is a proposal before the Washington Supreme Court for $100 million.

134

Sen. Brown

Request a response to concerns regarding issues of harassment.

140

Garner

Responds it is an essential element similar to the Private Right of Action that is present in similar statutes. Explains that the Attorney General is limited in terms of how much enforcement they can bring and some problems arise in foreign venues.

150

Garner

States for the record that there is no intention to use this tool as a harassment device but rather to ensure adequate enforcement of the law. Notes 40% of all cigarettes consumed in Oregon are illegitimate

162

Rep. Verger

Expresses there is a concern of trust.

168

Garner

Responds there are ample court remedies to address harassment issues.

179

Sen. Minnis

Opposes the Attorney General using outside counsel on contingency fee agreements. Asks if it would be a problem if non-participating manufacturers were harassed.

211

Garner

Responds affirmatively that efforts continue to be coordinated in a responsible manner.

222

Sen. Brown

Confirms that current laws are adequate.

224

Garner

Affirmative.

230

Marshall Coba

Council of Independent Tobacco Manufacturers of America, (CITMA). Testifies in support of the –C39 amendments and discusses    (EXHIBIT E). States these are fairness amendments, notes specifically;

  • Eliminate right of action on escrow.
  • Emphasizes that these are not general funds.
  • Leaves the enforcement with the Department of Justice.

332

Coba

Discusses the Master Settlement Agreement, (MSA) payments.

360

Sen. Minnis

States that these arguments were presented to the Senate Judiciary Committee and rejected.

378

Coba

Responds that the reason is to maintain a presence in the market rather than being removed from the market.

387

Rep. Verger

Asks if he has seen the position paper from the Department of Justice.

388

Coba

Answers no. Continues with testimony.

410

Mark Nelson

Representing RJ Reynolds Tobacco. Submits and reviews         (EXHIBIT F). Discusses HB 2094.

TAPE 2, A

037

Sen. Brown

Asks if the Oregon Rules of Civil Procedure and Oregon Statues are adequate to prevent frivolous lawsuits.

045

Nelson

Answers it is his understanding that they will provide the protection that Mr. Coba is concerned about.

044

Sen. Brown

Asks when is a deal a deal.

048

Nelson

Responds that it is his understanding that the non participating manufacturers were invited to participate. Agreements were made between the National Association of Attorney General and the participating providers, but, non-participating manufacturers can join and be a participating provider and pay into the master settlement agreement. Notes he is unsure if there is a deadline to apply.

059

Rep. Verger

Refers to Sections 72 and 82 regarding delivery to minors. Notes that as Oregon works to enforce prevention of supply to minors, asks that there not be any back door efforts to undermine these efforts.

084

Nelson

Responds that they are in support of HB 2368 and HB 2094 as a enforcement tool to recover a loss of almost $100 million a year and prevent the sale to minors.

083

Chair Close

Concludes invited testimony.

092

Rep. Patridge

MOTION:  Moves to ADOPT HB 2368C-43 amendments dated 8/18/03.

095

 

VOTE:  5-0

 

Chair Close

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

096

Rep. Patridge

MOTION:  Moves to ADOPT HB 2368C-44 amendments dated 8/23/03.

097

Rep. Patridge

Comments that it is his opinion that the bonding amount is too high.

112

 

VOTE:  5-0

AYE:            In a roll call vote, all members present vote Aye.

 

Chair Close

The motion CARRIES.

119

Rep. Patridge

MOTION:  Moves HB 2368C to the floor with the recommendation that the Senate CONCUR in House amendments dated 07/24/03 and that the bill be FURTHER AMENDED by the –C43 and –C44 amendments and the measure be REPASSED.

121

 

VOTE:  5-0

AYE:            In a roll call vote, all members present vote Aye.

 

Chair Close

The motion CARRIES.

 

 

PATRIDGE will lead discussion on the House floor.

MINNIS will lead discussion on the Senate floor.

130

Chair Close

Adjourns the meeting at 9:48 a.m.

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

A. HB 2368C-39 amendments dated 8/13/03, HB 2368C-40 amendments dated 8/18/03 and correspondence, HB 2368C-41 amendments dated 8/18/03, and HB 2368C-42 amendments dated 8/18/03, staff, 25 pp

B. HB 2368C-43 amendments dated 8/18/03, Pete Shepard, 3 pp

C. HB 2368C-44 amendments dated 8/18/03, Senator Minnis, 5 pp

D. State comparison chart, Rep. Betsy Close, 3 pp

E. HB 2368C, written testimony, Marshall Coba, 13 pp

F. HB 2368C, written testimony, Mark Nelson, 4 pp