CONFERENCE COMMITTEE ON SB 323A

 

 

June 28, 2005 Hearing Room D

1:45 P.M.             Tape 1

 

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:            Sen. Rick Metsger, Chair

                                                Sen. Roger Beyer

                                                Sen. Vicki Walker  

                                                Rep. Alan Brown    

                                                Rep. Sal Esquivel   

                                                Rep. Paul Holvey

 

 

STAFF PRESENT:                  Theresa Van Winkle, Committee Administrator

Katie Lowry, Committee Assistant

 

MEASURES/ISSUES HEARD:        

SB 323A – 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

005

Chair Metsger

Calls the meeting to order at 1:49 p.m. and opens a work session on SB 323A.

SB 323A – WORK SESSION

006

Chair Metsger

Relates purpose of meeting. States that Legislative Counsel has drafted the –A11 amendments which have been submitted by staff for the record (EXHIBIT A).

012

Sen. Walker

Discusses concerns with section 9 of the A-engrossed bill. Provides an overview of the –A11 amendments.

033

Chair Metsger

Asks Mr. Gallagher to comment on the –A11 amendments.

038

Tom Gallagher

Oregon Newspaper Publishers. Expresses support for SB 323A. Explains newspaper “stringers”. Expresses support for the –A11 amendments.

058

Chair Metsger

Asks witnesses to explain the material change in the amendments regarding the stringers. Asks them to comment why the language is helpful.

061

Tamara Brickman

Legislative Coordinator, Oregon Employment Department. Explains reasoning for choosing the language in the –A11 amendments.

081

Chair Metsger

Inquires if a newspaper stringer would not be considered an employee. Verifies that this language would not convert an employee into a stringer in order to avoid the associated taxes and that this language would strictly be for those who were submitting information independently.

094

Gallagher

Replies yes, that is his understanding of the amendment.

096

Sen. Beyer

Wonders about other situations where a person is not truly an employee,  but does not meet the definition of an independent contractor so they get counted as an employee. Points out they may not have someone to lobby on their behalf in order to create an exemption for their industry.

102

Gallagher

Explains his understanding is that a person is either an employee or an independent contractor under Oregon law. Discusses previous hearings on this issue.

118

Sen. Beyer

Points out newspaper carriers and independent truck drivers have an exemption under statute. Suggests the statute is not constructed properly.

126

Gallagher

Discusses the difficulty in addressing every possible circumstance within a law. Discusses anomalies in the area of employee and independent contractor.

136

Sen. Beyer

Explains he would solve the problem by case law. States he won’t oppose the amendments or the bill. Expresses concerns regarding this issue.

152

Rep. Brown

Relates experience with the issue of independent contractors. Remarks exemptions are probably an acceptable part of the statute. Believes this bill is a product of a work group and that he is pleased with the product.  

182

Rep. Esquivel

Comments this issue has been around for a while. Believes the definition of an independent contractor is very subjective based on perspective. Believes they will never satisfy everyone with a definition.

197

Chair Metsger

Comments on the difficulty of finding the appropriate language for this issue.

201

Rep. Holvey

Inquires why a stringer is able to be defined as an independent contractor while only working for one newspaper. Expresses concerns with the –A11 amendments.

237

Chair Metsger

Appreciates Rep. Holvey’s comments. Comments on dollar threshold.

242

Gallagher

Points out that a newspaper stringer could not produce enough articles to make a living. Provides examples of who this legislation would apply to.

271

Rep. Holvey

Asks why we wouldn’t want to put a dollar threshold in statute in light of witness’ response. Expresses concerns for abuses of this situation.

287

Gallagher

Reiterates one cannot make a living from being a stringer. Explains what kind of things would be submitted by a newspaper stringer. 

310

Rep. Holvey

Remarks that doesn’t answer his question regarding a dollar threshold. Believes that if a person is being paid a pre-determined amount of money they should be considered an employee.

318

Gallagher

Believes setting a threshold would not solve the problem for the worker. Explains in detail.

328

Sen. Walker

Explains reasoning for not choosing to use a dollar threshold. Comments on Sen. Beyer’s concerns regarding exemptions.

359

Sen. Beyer

Makes comments on exemptions.

365

Chair Metsger

Makes comments on exemptions.

380

Sen. Beyer

Comments on unequal treatment by different agencies.

407

Chair Metsger

Appreciates work done.

415

Sen. Walker

MOTION:  Moves to ADOPT SB 323AA-A11 amendments dated 06/28/05.

417

 

VOTE:  6-0-0

 

Chair Metsger

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

425

Sen. Walker

MOTION:  Moves SB 323AA to the floor with the recommendation that the Senate CONCUR in House amendments dated 06/08/05 and that the bill be FURTHER AMENDED by the –A11 amendments dated 06/28/2005 and the measure be REPASSED.

433

 

VOTE:  6-0-0

 

Chair Metsger

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

REP. BROWN AND SEN. WALKER will lead discussion on the floor.

438

Sen. Walker

States she has appreciated working with Rep. Brown on this issue.

442

Chair Metsger

Closes the work session on SB 323A and adjourns the meeting at 2:18 p.m.

 

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

A.     SB 323A, -A11 amendments, staff, 1 p