HOUSE COMMITTEE ON

BUSINESS, LABOR, AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS

 

 

May 04, 2005 Hearing Room B

8:00 A.M. Tapes  114 - 116

Corrected 09/30/05

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

Katie Howard, Committee Assistant

 

 

MEASURES/ISSUES HEARD:        

HB 3319 – Work Session

HB 3256 – Work Session

HB 2077 – Work Session

HB 2669 – Public Hearing and Work Session

HB 3017 – Public Hearing and Work Session

HB 2525 – Public Hearing

HB 3462 – Public Hearing

 

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 114, A

003

Chair Brown

Calls the meeting to order at 8:05 a.m.  Opens the work session on HB 2077.

HB 2077 – WORK SESSION

008

Janet Adkins

Committee Administrator.  Explains HB 2077.  States that amendments are being picked up from Legislative Counsel.

035

John Jackley

States that he has not seen the amendments.

041

Chair Brown

Closes the work session on HB 2077 and opens the work session on HB 3319.

HB 3319- WORK SESSION

046

Lisa Trussell

Associated Oregon Industries.  States that they have reached an agreement with the Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI).  Talks about getting multiple penalties for the same violations.  States that the language is being drafted.

053

Paul Caster

Edis Healthcare.  Talks about people working offsite and that an agreement has been reached with BOLI.  States that the agreement details that if an employer makes an estimate of the hours worked, they do not have the timecard for the last paycheck and the estimate is wrong, they are not subject to a penalty if a correct paycheck is issued within five days of receiving the timecard. 

069

Annette Talbot

BOLI.  Says that if there are multiple penalties for one paycheck then the employer should only be subject to one penalty and believes that it will help the courts.  States that if multiple problems exist with multiple paychecks then the business will be subject to multiple penalties.

085

Chair Brown

Closes the work session on HB 3319.  Opens the work session on HB 3256.

HB 3256 – WORK SESSION

087

Lisa Trussell

Associated Oregon Industries.  Speaks in support of HB 3256 with the amendments.  States that an agreement has been reached with the Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI).  Talks about the broadness of definitions regarding an employer in terms of a civil preceedings in ORS 659.230.  Says that the protection will exist in civil proceedings against an employer that involve a whistleblowing issue.

102

Annette Talbot

BOLI.  Speaks in support of HB 3256 with the amendments.  Believes that HB 3256 will clarify the statutes to define what whistleblowing is.  Asserts that HB 3256 with the amendments will still create the ability for someone to come forward and talk about an industry problem. 

115

Rep. Shields

Asks if the amendments would weaken the protections afforded to the legal and accounting professions if they blew the whistle on their client.

120

Talbot

States that the amendments would not weaken those protections.

122

Rep. Schaulfer

Thanks BOLI and AOI for working so well together.

125

Rep. Holvey

Asks what the status would be for an employee who is whistleblowing on an employer who does not directly employ the employee.

131

Talbot

Maintains that an employee will still be able to whistleblow on employers who are not their direct employer and the protections will not change.

138

Chair Brown

Asks when the amendments will be ready.

139

Trussell

Does not know.

140

Chair Brown

Closes the work session on HB 3256.  Opens the work session on HB 2077.

HB 2077 – WORK SESSION

149

Janet Adkins

Committee Administrator.  Submits the -3 amendments (EXHIBIT A)

151

Jessica Harris Adamson

Associated General Contractors.  Talks about how any price change above 10 percent in steel materials will activate a renegotiation of the contract.  Notes that a contractor has to provide invoices to prove that the price change has occurred.  Says that the rule making process is open for the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT).

177

Rep. Gilman

Asks what happens if the price change is below ten percent.

180

Harris Adamson

States that the contract is not renegotiated.

182

Rep. Holvey

Asks if HB 2077 applies to contracts with agencies other than ODOT.

185

Harris Adamson

Says that HB 2077 only applies to ODOT.  States that contractors who only work for ODOT are the ones who have raised the concern.

197

Rep. Holvey

States that the rapid change in steel prices seems as though it would be an issue for other contractors that are working with other state agencies.

202

Harris Adamson

Says that they have not heard those concerns from other contractors. 

211

Rep. Esquivel

Asks how the ten percent is calculated.

213

Harris Adamson

States that the contractors keep long records of quotes and invoices.  Asserts that the specific price will be easily calculated from the contractors’ records. 

226

Rep. Esquivel

Asks if HB 2077 could be used as a leverage tool for under bidding steel to get a contract and then renegotiating it with ODOT once the contractor gets the contract.

230

Harris Adamson

Anticipates that the scenario is unlikely because the Steel Escalation Clause will be put into ODOT’s contracts starting several weeks after HB 2077 passes.

236

Rep. Esquivel

Asks if the Steel Escalation Clause will be in future bids.

237

Harris Adamson

Affirms that statement.  States that section 2(4) says that once the Steel Escalation Clause is in place then HB 2077 no longer applies to contracts.

256

Jon Jackley

ODOT.  States that they are comfortable with the amendments.

260

Rep. Esquivel

MOTION:  Moves to ADOPT HB 2077-3 amendments dated 05/04/05.

261

 

VOTE:  7-0-0

 

Chair Brown

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

264

Rep. Esquivel

MOTION:  Moves HB 2077 to the floor with a DO PASS AS AMENDED recommendation.

268

Chair Brown

States that HB 2077 will have a fairly sizable fiscal impact that will need to be explained on the floor.

273

 

VOTE:  7-0-0

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

 

Chair Brown

The motion CARRIES.

REP. ESQUIVEL will lead discussion on the floor.

280

Chair Brown

Closes the work session on HB 2077.  Opens the public hearing on HB 2669.

HB 2669 – PUBLIC HEARING

301

Paul Romain

Oregon Petroleum Association.  Speaks in support of HB 2669 with the -3 amendments.

312

Janet Adkins

Committee Administrator.  Explains HB 2669 and submits the -2 and the -3 amendments (EXHIBIT B and C).  Submits written testimony on the behalf of Richard McHale (EXHIBIT D)

354

Romain

Reads from existing law in section one of HB 2669.  Talks about financial stability requirements for service agreements being too burdensome, which has caused people to create service contracts without insurance.  States that people have been creating illegal service agreement contracts.  Notes that HB 2669 was created to solve these two problems.  Indicates that he does not support -2 amendments submitted by Mr. McHale.

TAPE 115, A

001

Romain

Explains the -3 amendments and says that they cover the home service agreements as currently covered in ORS 731.164.  Urges the committee to adopt the -3 amendments and pass HB 2669.  Needs a way to allow for the service contracts without requiring very expensive insurance while still offering consumer protection. 

023

Rep. Schaufler

Asks if the -3 amendments would still protect small businesses.

028

Romain

States that the -3 amendments will still protect small businesses.

040

Adkins

States that the original bill did exempt all businesses and that is why the -2 amendments are being proposed to make a slight change to the original bill.

044

Romain

Notes that the original bill was a concept and a result of taking Washington law and bringing it to Oregon. 

073

Richard McHale

McHale Warranty Group.  Believes that the -2 amendments fixes a flaw in HB 2669.  Talks about how Washington has had some problems with the law because it makes it more expensive to sell the businesses.

094

Carl Lundberg

Deputy Administrator, Department of Consumer and Business Services.  Submits written testimony on the behalf of Joel Ario (EXHIBIT I).  Talks about issues with the -2 amendments.  States that the second approach on the -2 amendments are not supported by the department.  States that the -3 amendments would allow a person who is selling home service agreements to post a bond in a different way than is currently done under home service agreements. Says that the bond has a private right of action attached to it with attorney fees and believes that it will provide adequate consumer protection. 

126

Rep. Schaufler

Asks if consumers means homeowners and small businesses.

128

Lundberg

Notes that consumer does mean both groups.  Says that a small business would have to have a $25,000 bond. 

135

Rep. Schaufler

Clarifies that a small business person is protected.

136

Lundberg

States that a small business is protected by the existing system that is in place, which is why DCBS wants the system to stay the same.

138

Rep. Schaufler

Asks if the -3 amendments change the current system for small businesses’ service agreements.

139

Lundberg

States that the -3 amendments do not change the current system.

143

Chair Brown

Closes the public hearing on HB 2669 and opens the work session on HB 2669.

HB 2669 – WORK SESSION

146

Rep. Kitts

MOTION:  Moves to ADOPT HB 2669-3 amendments dated 05/02/05.

148

 

VOTE:  7-0-0

 

Chair Brown

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

151

Rep. Kitts

MOTION:  Moves HB 2669 to the floor with a DO PASS AS AMENDED recommendation.

155

 

VOTE:  7-0-0

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

 

Chair Brown

The motion CARRIES.

160

Rep. Kitts

MOTION:  Moves HB  2669 be placed on the CONSENT CALENDAR.

162

 

NAY:               1 - Shields

 

Chair Brown

The motion FAILS.

REP. SHIELDS will lead discussion on the floor.

170

Chair Brown

Closes the work session on HB 2669.  Opens the public hearing on HB 3017.

HB 3017 – PUBLIC HEARING

185

Janet Adkins

Committee Administrator.  Explains HB 3017.

200

Jerod Broadfoot

National Electrical Contractors Association.  Says that HB 3017 clarifies current law.  States that if a contractor is found guilty of a crime by the Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS) then the penalty begins when the individual is convicted.

218

Rep. Schaufler

Asks if the contractor can keep their license if the person is found innocent.

220

Broadfoot

States that Rep. Schaufler is correct.

224

Jessica Harris Adamson

Associated General Contractors.  Explains the history of the Public Payment Law (1999) that is being amended by HB 3017.  Believes that there are concerns on a broader scale with the Public Payment Law and hopes that the committee will not just fix one part of the law.

254

Chair Brown

Closes the public hearing on HB 3017.  Opens the work session on HB 3017.

HB 3017 – WORK SESSION

255

Rep. Kitts

MOTION:  Moves HB 3017 to the floor with a DO PASS recommendation.

257

Rep. Kitts

Urges the 2007 House Business Committee to listen to Ms. Harris Adamson’s additional concerns about the Public Payment Law (1998).

273

 

VOTE:  7-0-0

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

 

Chair Brown

The motion CARRIES.

276

Rep. Kitts

MOTION:  Moves HB 3017 be placed on the CONSENT CALENDAR.

283

 

VOTE:  7-0-0

 

Chair Brown

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

290

Chair Brown

Closes the work session on HB 3017.  Opens the public hearing on HB 2525.

HB 2525 – PUBLIC HEARING

295

Janet Adkins

Committee Administrator.  Explains HB 2525.  Submits the -1 amendments and the -2 amendments (EXHIBIT J and E)

336

Scott Barrie

Oregon Homebuilders Association.  Speaks in support of HB 2525.  Wants the committee to move the original HB 2525.  States that an offer can be made on a home and then the repairs can begin. 

368

Rep. Kitts

States that he gets nervous when the committee is asked to pass HB 2525 so that it can be amended in the Senate.  Asks what the concern with HB 2525 is.  Asks if the concern is that a homeowner cannot sue a contractor if they begin the mediation process and the homeowner rejects the repairs that the contractor wants to make. 

390

Barrie

States that the -1 amendments were meant to solve the problem of homeowners not being able to sue the contractor.  Notes that the -1 amendments would complicate and possibly make the process more expensive for the consumer.  Wants to give consumers an option to sue the contractor and needs amendments that will address this concern.

404

Rep. Kitts

Asks why the amendments cannot be done on the House side.

406

Barrie

Mentions that the time constraint is of concern to him.

415

Chair Brown

Asks how much time is needed to create the amendments.

TAPE 114, B

004

Kristin Leonard

Oregon Trial Lawyers Association (OTLA).  States that they need a week to look at how the -1 amendments came out and then they can come back with amendments. 

012

Rep. Esquivel

Asks what the issue is with the -1 amendments.

026

Leonard

Says that they are trying to determine if it puts a cost burden on the consumer and wants to fine tune some of the elements in HB 2525.  Shares concerns about the way the process is put together in the -1 amendments. 

035

Rep. Schaufler

Asks if Ms. Leonard and Mr. Barrie are opposed to moving HB 2525 out of committee with the -1 amendments.

036

Kristin

States that the OTLA is opposed to moving HB 2525 out of committee with the -1 amendments.

038

Barrie

Wants HB 2525 to be moved without the -1 amendments.

052

Craig Smith

Construction Contractors Board (CCB).  Shares concerns that they are exceeding the one year limitation on seeking action against contractors.  Explains the current mediation process between contractors and the people who have employed them.

070

Kevin Neeley

Concerns about significant amounts of damages on multiple contractors’ projects.  Shares concern that people may not be able to sue contractors once they have entered into the reconciliation process. States that they are uncomfortable with HB 2525 and the -1 amendments.  Believes that it is beneficial to keep the process outside of the courtroom.  States that the consumer has to bear the entire cost of the investigation and none of the costs are born by the contractor. 

115

Rep. Schaufler

States that something can only be repaired once.  Asks if it is constitutional to deny someone the ability to go to court. 

125

Neeley

Says that he has not looked at the bill closely but knows that there are instances in the law that say that you have to go through a certain process before another legal action can be taken.  Offers to get the information for the committee.

135

Rep. Schaufler

States that he has no problems moving HB 2525 but says he will not carry it on the floor.

137

Chair Brown

Closes the public hearing on HB 2525 and opens the public hearing on HB 3462.

HB 3462 – PUBLIC HEARING

143

Janet Adkins

Committee Administrator.  Explains HB 3462.  Notes that it has a referral to Ways and Means.

160

Rep. John Lim

House District 50.  Speaks in support of HB 3462.  Says that he was a co-sponsor of the original Jobs Plus bill in the 1993 Oregon Legislative Session.  Believes that the Job Plus program is working well.  Notes that it creates an incentive for employers to form new positions for employees. 

233

Marc Kane

Chair, Klamath and Lake County Jobs Plus Program.  Submits and reads written testimony in support of HB 3462 (EXHIBIT F).  Talks about resistance to the Job Plus program.  Talks about the devastating effect of unemployment on the state of Oregon.   

280

Kane

Talks about the negative effects of unemployment on individuals’ health and society at large.  Says that Job Plus has employed 7,000 people. 

330

Kane

Continues reading from written testimony.

380

Kane

Continues reading from written testimony.

TAPE 115, B

001

Kane

Continues reading from written testimony.

034

Rep. Schaufler

Speaks in opposition to HB 3462.  Believes that the money can be used.  States that he knows that there are success stories. Emphasizes that he supports working families.

046

Kane

States that unions have been in opposition to HB 3462.

050

Joe Spendolini

Chair, Klamath and Lake County Jobs Plus Council.  Submits and reads written testimony in support of HB 3462 (EXHIBIT G).  Talks about the benefits of the Job Plus Program.  Notes that the Jobs Plus Program costs less per week in benefits than an average week of Unemployment Insurance.   

090

Rep. Shields

Asks if 68% of employees stay on the job with the Job Plus employment.

094

Kane

States that 68% relates to being on any job after twelve months.

097

Rep. Shields

Asks if the 12 months is when they are working for the employer and not the Jobs Plus Program.

100

Kane

Says that they reported that 80% of the people stayed on the job at the end of the training period and says that the 12 months begins when they complete the Job Plus training period.

107

Rep. Esquivel

States that some people just want a chance to be employed.  Believes that the private sector needs to be taught to utilize the program.

114

Kane

Affirms Rep. Esquivel’s statement.

119

Chair Brown

Asks when authorization for the program will expire.

120

Kane

Says that it will continue until the funds are exhausted, which will be at the end of the 2005 fiscal year.

126

Rep. Shields

Asks what the total cost is per participant. 

130

Kane

States that the administrative cost of the program is $666 per participant and $5 per hour worked.

143

Lisa Trussell

Associated Oregon Industries.  Speaks in support of HB 3462. Believes that the Jobs Plus Program is another tool that the Employment Department can use to help unemployed individuals return to work.

150

Chair Brown

Asks if any other programs exist to help unemployed people.

153

Trussell

Talks about the I-match online.  Says that the One Stop are also part of the Employment Departments program as well.

166

Debbie Lincoln

Director,  Employment Department.  Submits written testimony in opposition to HB 3462 (EXHIBIT H).  Notes that the Employment Department did not request funding in the 2005-2007 Governor’s Recommended Budget for the Jobs Plus Program.  Says that the program costs $12 million a year and the funds are taken from the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund.  Notes that taking the funds from the trust fund leads to an increase in unemployment taxes.  States that the program is not used well by claimants or employers.

202

Gwyn Harvey

Chairman, Employment Advisory Council.  Speaks in opposition to HB 3462.  Says that employers would experience a tax increase if the Job Plus Program is reauthorized.  Notes the process that the council went through when evaluating whether or not to support the continuation of the Job Plus Program.  States that the council voted to oppose the Job Plus Program.

253

Tim Nesbitt

President, Oregon AFL-CIO.  Speaks in opposition to HB 3462.  States that the Job Plus program is not a legal use of the unemployment trust fund under federal law.  Notes that Oregon has one of the best Unemployment Insurance Trust Funds. 

303

Nesbitt

Reiterates that employers would experience a tax increase if the Job Plus program is reauthorized.  Mentions that the administrative cost is higher than other job placement programs run by the Employment Department.  States that Cirque du Soleil received subsidies from the Job Plus Programs. 

356

Rep. Kitts

Asks what SITEL is.

360

Lincoln

Offers to get the information for the committee.

362

Rep. Kitts

Asks if the majority of Job Plus jobs are minimum wage jobs.

374

Lincoln

States that the majority of the jobs are minimum wage.

389

Rep. Kitts

Asks what stops an employer from starting an additional 13 week period for the same employee.

406

Lincoln

States that nothing stops an employer from “turning through” an employee.  Notes that one of the issues with the program is that the Employment Department cannot audit employers to ensure the Jobs Plus Program is being used properly.

420

Rep. Kitts

Shares a concern that the program can be abused and employers can use the state as a temporary employment agency.  Believes that people are not being trained in the Job Plus Program.  Asks if the goals of the program are being implemented. 

470

Lincoln

Believes that the program is not being used properly.

475

Rep. Esquivel

Asks whose responsibility it is to educate people about the Jobs Plus Program.

TAPE 116, A

001

Lincoln

States that they provide information for every claimant and staff continually provides information to the businesses about the program.

007

Rep. Esquivel

Talks about MasterBrand Cabinets and how he utilized the program.  Shares a concern that he was never approached by the employment department about the Jobs Plus Program. 

011

Lincoln

States that the cost is high for the program and aim for the 4,000 placement would require a more extensive marketing effort.

016

Rep. Shields

Asks if the $2,600 per placement includes the cost of temporary agencies, who act as the connection between Jobs Plus workers and employees.

026

Lincoln

States that the $2,600 does not include those costs.

028

Chair Brown

Asks if there is a program to move people from welfare to the workforce.

035

Lincoln

Talks about the Jobs Plus Human Resources Program in the Department of Human Service and how no plans to change the program for the 2005-2007 biennium exist.

046

Rep. Holvey

Shares concern that 98% of companies are subsidizing a $5 per hour subsidy for 2% of companies.  Notes that he is not seeing job creation due to the Jobs Plus Program.  Asks if that is the Employment Department’s concern.

058

Lincoln

States that is the department’s concern.

065

Chair Brown

Closes the public hearing on HB 3462.  Adjourns the meeting at 10:12 a.m.

 

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

  1. HB 2077, -3 amendments, staff, 2 pp
  2. HB 2669, -2 amendments, staff, 1 p
  3. HB 2669, -3 amendments, staff, 4 pp
  4. HB 2669, written testimony of Richard McHale, 3 pp
  5. HB 2525, -2 amendments, staff, 6 pp
  6. HB 3462, written testimony, Marc Kane, 6 pp
  7. HB 3462, written testimony, Joe Spendolini, 1 p
  8. HB 3462, written testimony, Debbie Lincoln, 3 pp
  9. HB 2669, written testimony, Joel Ario, 3 pp
  10. HB 2525, -1 amendments, staff, 6 pp