HOUSE COMMITTEE ON

BUSINESS, LABOR, AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS

 

March 04, 2005   Hearing Room B

9:00 A.M. Tapes  46 - 47

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:            Rep. Alan Brown, Chair

Rep. Sal Esquivel, Vice-Chair

Rep. Mike Schaufler, Vice-Chair

Rep. Paul Holvey

Rep. George Gilman

Rep. Derrick Kitts

Rep. Chip Shields

 

STAFF PRESENT:                  Janet Adkins, Committee Administrator

Jania Zeeb, Committee Assistant

 

MEASURES/ISSUES HEARD:        

HB 2124 – Work Session

Introduction of Committee Measures – Work Session

HB 2572 – Public Hearing

HB 2641 – Public Hearing

HB 2434 – Public Hearing

HB 2521 – Public Hearing and 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 46, A

003

Chair Brown

Calls the meeting to order at 9:04 a.m. and opens the work session on HB 2124.

HB 2124 – WORK SESSION

006

Janet Adkins

Committee Administrator.  Summarizes HB 2124.  Discusses the -1 amendments (EXHIBIT L).  Refers to the revenue impact statement (EXHIBIT A).

028

Rep. Esquivel

MOTION:  Moves to ADOPT HB 2124-1 amendments dated 02/23/05.

030

 

VOTE:  6-0-1

EXCUSED:  1 - Kitts

 

Chair Brown

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

033

Rep. Esquivel

MOTION:  Moves HB 2124 to the floor with a DO PASS AS AMENDED recommendation.

036

 

VOTE:  6-0-1

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

EXCUSED:  1 - Kitts

 

Chair Brown

The motion CARRIES.

REP. ESQUIVEL will lead discussion on the floor.

039

Chair Brown

Closes the work session on HB 2124 and opens the public hearing on HB 2572.

HB 2572 – PUBLIC HEARING

049

Chair Brown

Closes the public hearing on HB 2572 and opens a work session to introduce committee measures.

INTRODUCTION OF COMMITTEE MEASURES – WORK SESSION

058

Janet Adkins

Committee Administrator.  Summarizes the following LC Drafts :

          LC 1591 (EXHIBIT D)

          LC 1592 (EXHIBIT C)

          LC 1593 (EXHIBIT E)

          LC 3052 (EXHIBIT B)

069

Rep. Gilman

MOTION:  Moves LC's:  1591, 1592, 1593, 3052 BE INTRODUCED as committee bills.

070

 

VOTE:  6-0-1

EXCUSED:  1 - Kitts

 

Chair Brown

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

072

Chair Brown

Closes the work session on the introduction of committee measures and opens a public hearing on HB 2572.

HB 2572 – PUBLIC HEARING

078

Janet Adkins

Committee Administrator.  Summarizes HB 2572. 

099

Rob Wagner

Political and Legislative Affairs, American Federation of Teachers Oregon.  Testifies in opposition to HB 2575. 

115

Rep. Gene Whisnant

House District 53.  Begins testimony. 

131

Chair Brown

Closes the public hearing on HB 2572 and opens the public hearing on HB 2572 and HB 2641.

HB 2572 AND HB 2641 – PUBLIC HEARING

137

Rep. Whisnant

Submits and presents prepared testimony in support of HB 2572 and HB 2641 (EXHIBIT F).  Uses the former Deschutes County Sheriff, Greg Brown, as an example of the need for HB 2572 and HB 2641.   

201

Rep. Whisnant

Comments that HB 2572 and HB 2641 would hold public employees accountable for their actions.  Summarizes HB 2641.

239

Rep. Whisnant

Discusses HB 2572.  Comments that these bill are important to help restore confidence in public employees. 

266

Chair Brown

Inquires if there was restitution for the funds stolen by Greg Brown.

269

Rep. Whisnant

Responds that the fines and court costs were repaid immediately.

276

Rep. Schaufler

Comments that he hopes that confidence in public employees can be restored.  Asks for clarification of what would happen to the family of an employee who is disciplined.

298

Rep. Whisnant

Answers that protection of the family is important. 

327

Rep. Shields

Expresses concern with unforeseen consequences.  Asks about applying HB 2572 and HB 2641 only for elected officials.

345

Rep. Whisnant

Responds that it needs to cover all public employees because if you are paid by the public you should be held responsible. 

370

Rep. Esquivel

Concurs with Rep. Whisnant.  States that he thinks HB 2572 and HB 2641 are a good step.

383

Rep. Schaufler

Expresses support for Rep. Whisnant’s concept.  Emphasizes the importance of protecting the families and states that he thinks the scope of the bills should be broadened.

418

Rep. Shields

Comments that we should look at how this is being handled in the private sector.

428

Rob Wagner

Political and Legislative Affairs, American Federation of Teachers Oregon (AFT-Oregon).  States that Rhode Island, New Jersey, and Massachutes have similar statutes.

TAPE 47, A

020

Wagner

Lists three concerns that AFT-Oregon has with HB 2572 and HB 2641.  Comments that it is possible that the state would face litigation as a result of these two bills.

038

Rep. Schaufler

Inquires if the Department of Justice has commented on this legislation.

042

Rep. Whisnant

Answers that Legislative Counsel should have checked with them.  Discusses what was done in order to avoid litigation problems in the future.

052

Chair Brown

Comments that the committee can get that information from Legislative Counsel.

054

Janet Adkins

Provides information from her conversation with Legislative Counsel. 

059

Rep. Whisnant

Responds that he understands the issues discussed with Legislative Counsel but still wants to move forward.

068

Rep. Esquivel

Reminds the committee that they are talking about convicted felons, who were employees of the state. 

074

Rep. Holvey

Asks if there is a list of what classifies as work related felonies.

089

Rep. Whisnant

Answers that he did not go into that detail.

103

Paul Cleary

Executive Director, Public Employee Retirement System (PERS).  Introduces Steve Delaney, Deputy Director, PERS.  Submits and presents prepared testimony discussing concerns with HB 2572 (EXHIBIT G) and HB 2641 (EXHIBIT H)

135

Cleary

States that they need to be careful not to do anything that will hurt people who are not involved in the crime.

141

Cleary

Discusses the concern with Internal Revenue Services (IRS) regulations.  States that if these bills pass, they need to be approved by the IRS. 

163

Chair Brown

Comments that he wants to create a work group to work on this issue. 

175

Chair Brown

Closes the public hearing on HB 2572 and 2641 and opens a public hearing on HB 2434.

HB 2434 – Public Hearing

186

Janet Adkins

Committee Administrator.  Summarizes HB 2434.

191

Rep. Gary Hansen

House District 44.  Discusses HB 2434.  Introduces Pat West.

217

Pat West

President, Oregon State Firefighters.  Discusses the situation for firefighters who are injured on the job and how HB 2434 would help injured employees.  Comments that they want to work with the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) to come up with language to dissolve their concerns.

259

Rep. Hansen

Summarizes the problems that PERS is having with HB 2434. 

277

Rep. Brown

Inquires if the employer is paying into the system during the time the employee is on disability. 

281

Rep. Hansen

Responds that it is if the employee is receiving a salary.

289

Rep. Schaufler

Inquires if we are talking about on the job injuries only.  Asks if men and women in reserves or national guard who leave and come back injured would also be included.

298

West

Answers that HB 2434 would not change how the reserve or national guards are handled. 

300

Rep. Kitts

Asks what the maximum length of time a person can be on the temporary disabled list.

304

West

Responds that it is based on when they are declared medically stationary. 

309

Rep. Kitts

Inquires if HB 2434 applies to any member in PERS. 

311

Rep. Hansen

Concurs.

314

Rep Kitts

Comments that it is currently extremely unlikely that anyone would be classified as permanent total disability (PTD).  Asks how HB 2434 would affect people awarded PTD.

331

West

Comments that it would not affect people with PTD, because PTD is tied to workers comp. 

338

Rep. Esquivel

Asks what the private sector is doing regarding this issue.

348

West

Answers that he does not have a study on that.

353

Rep. Hansen

Remarks that it would vary from company to company.

368

Rep. Kitts

States that he would be interested to know if there is a comparable plan in the private sector.

TAPE 46, B

029

Steve Delaney

Deputy Director, PERS.  Submits prepared testimony in opposition to HB 2434.  Comments on unintentional consequences of HB 2434.

038

Rep. Schaufler

Asks if we can examine private plans.

045

Delaney

Answers that he does not have contact with private plans, but we can look at how other states handle this.

053

Jim Green

Oregon School Boards Association.  Discusses the unintended consequences of HB 2434 for schools.  Comments that he is worried about the extra cost this could add to the schools.

083

Rep. Kitts

Inquires if it is a violation of the union contract to hire a temporary employee for the duration of the injury of a worker.

084

Green

Answers that it is not a violation of a collective bargaining agreement.  Explains the situation with PERS.

094

Rep. Kitts

Asks if there is something they could put in HB 2434 to help alleviate the problem in regards to PERS.

100

Green

Responds that there is nothing to prohibit it from being put in the bill, but he thinks there would not be full support for that.

104

Rep. Schaufler

Inquires if special districts, school districts, or local governments are required to be in PERS, or enter into a collective bargain contract with the union.

109

Green

Remarks that school districts are required to be in PERS and they must collectively bargain.

115

Rep. Schaufler

Comments that HB 2434 would be a burden, but we should not focus on the burden we should also discuss the benefits we are getting as a result of the program. 

125

Green

States that we are getting benefit, but it is still important for us to look at the cost of providing those services.

133

Janet Adkins

Submits prepared testimony from Michelle Deister in opposition to HB 2434 (EXHIBIT J).

138

Mary Botkin

American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).  Comments on the importance of taking care of employees and making sure they do not suffer ill effects if they get injured on the job.

189

Chair Brown

Closes the public hearing on HB 2434 and opens the public hearing on HB 2521.

HB 2521 – PUBLIC HEARING

211

Rep. John Dallum

House District 59.  Introduces Del Ceaser.  Gives the history of the issue of forgiveness of state taxes for Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) retirees. 

221

Del Ceaser

Citizen, The Dalles.  Testifies in support of HB 2521.  Gives a background on his involvement on the issue and a history of HB 2521. 

278

Ceaser

Submits and reads a letter, dated February 10, 1999, from Governor Kulongoski regarding the issue  (EXHIBIT K). 

307

Chair Brown

Inquires if there are other cities that are affected.

310

Ceaser

Responds that the only one he knows of is Astoria.  Comments on retirement plans in small communities.

321

Rep. Schaufler

Expresses support for HB 2521.  Asks if they opted not to be in PERS.

324

Ceaser

States that the city council opted not to be in PERS, not the employees.

338

Rep. Gilman

Comments that Eagle Point is not a PERS city.

343

Ceaser

Remarks that this problem affects anyone who retired before 1991.

347

Rep. Dallum

Offers to check if there are other cities that are impacted.

360

Chair Brown

Closes the public hearing on HB 2521 and opens the work session on HB 2521.

HB 2521 – WORK SESSION

367

Rep. Schaufler

MOTION:  Moves HB 2521 to the floor with a DO PASS recommendation and BE REFERRED to the committee on Revenue by prior reference.

377

 

VOTE:  7-0-0

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

 

Chair Brown

The motion CARRIES.

397

Chair Brown

Closes the Work Session on HB 2521 and adjourns the meeting at 10:34.

 

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

  1. HB 2124, revenue impact statement, staff, 1 p
  2. Introductions, LC 3052, staff, 2 pp
  3. Introductions, LC 1592, staff, 3 pp
  4. Introductions, LC 1591, staff, 4 pp
  5. Introductions, LC 1593, staff, 39 pp
  6. HB 2572 and HB 2641, prepared testimony, Rep. Gene Whisnant, 3 pp
  7. HB 2572, prepared testimony, Paul Cleary, 2 pp
  8. HB 2641, prepared testimony, Paul Cleary, 1 p
  9. HB 2434, prepared testimony, Paul Cleary, 2 pp
  10. HB 2434, prepared testimony, Michelle Deister, 1 p
  11. HB 2521, letter, Del Cesar, 1 p
  12. HB 2124, -1 amendments, staff, 1 p