SENATE COMMITTEE ON BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

 

 

March 22, 2005                                                                                                       Hearing Room B

1:00 P.M.                                                                                                                     Tapes  46 - 47

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:         Sen. Rick Metsger, Chair

Sen. Bruce Starr, Vice-Chair

Sen. Jason Atkinson

Sen. Ryan Deckert

Sen. Laurie Monnes Anderson

 

GUEST MEMBER:               Sen. Vicki Walker

 

 

STAFF PRESENT:                 Theresa Van Winkle, Committee Administrator

James Goulding, Committee Assistant

 

 

MEASURES/ISSUES HEARD:

                                                SB 983 – Public Hearing and Work Session

                                                SB 390 – Public Hearing

                                                SB 671 – Public Hearing

                                                SB 585 – Public Hearing and Work Session

                                                SB 398 – 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 Metsger

Calls the committee to order as a subcommittee at 1:09 p.m.  Opens a public hearing on SB 983.

SB 983 – PUBLIC HEARING

007

Sen. Vicki Walker

Senate District 7.  Testifies in favor of SB 983 and explains the measure and its origin.

039

Chair Metsger

Observes that a full committee is present.

040

Cheryl O’Neill

Executive Director, Womenspace, Eugene, Oregon.  Testifies in favor of SB 983 and submits written testimony (EXHIBIT A).

070

O’Neill

Relates incidents of domestic violence against women who did not have phone service to call for help. 

100

O’Neill

Discusses the need for a payment plan for those who need access to a phone for their own safety.

123

Denise Washington

Executive Director, Oregon Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence (OCADSV).  Presents written testimony in favor of SB 983 (EXHIBIT B).

140

Jeff Bissonette

Citizens’ Utility Board of Oregon (CUB).  Presents written testimony in favor of SB 983 (EXHIBIT C).

180

Sybil Hebb

Oregon Law Center.  Presents the committee with a letter from Rebecca Gandy in favor of SB 983 (EXHIBIT D).  Testifies in favor of SB 983. 

207

Chair Metsger

Summarizes the measure.  Closes public hearing on SB 983.  Opens a work session on SB 983.

SB 983 – WORK SESSION

220

Sen. B. Starr

MOTION:  Moves SB 983 to the floor with a DO PASS recommendation.

224

Sen. Monnes Anderson

Wonders why there hasn’t been any testimony from the telecommunication industry.

232

Schelly Jenson

Verizon.  Does not have any objection to the bill.

237

 

VOTE:  5-0-0

 

Chair Metsger

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

SEN. WALKER will lead discussion on the floor.

242

Chair Metsger

Closes work session on SB 983 and opens a public hearing on SB 390.

SB 390 – PUBLIC HEARING

245

Dan Gardner

Commissioner, Bureau of Labor and Industries.  Presents written testimony in favor of SB 390 (EXHIBIT E). 

265

Sen. Monnes Anderson

Comments on the current criteria for members of the commission.

277

Gardner

Offers he could get that info to her.

280

Sen. Monnes Anderson

Asks if the members have a business background.

285

Chair Metsger

Closes public hearing on SB 390 and opens a public hearing on SB 671.

SB 671 – PUBLIC HEARING

290

Chair Metsger

Mentions the -2 amendments before the committee (EXHIBIT F).

310

Kevin Campbell

Oregon Mutual Utility Development, INC (OMUD).  Testifies in favor of SB 671 with the -2 amendments.

315

Chair Metsger

Clarifies the amendments and purpose of the legislation.

330

Campbell

Introduces Mr. Barrows and Mr. Lanz.  Discusses the efforts to address options that the Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC) in regulating the potential purchase of a public utility. 

360

Campbell

Discusses the tools that this legislation would give the PUC to evaluate a buyer of a utility such as Portland General Electric (PGE). 

390

Campbell

Elaborates on purchase criteria that the measure would impose.

410

Bob Lanz

(OMUD).  Testifies in favor of the amendments and the measure.

TAPE 47, A

005

Lanz

Outlines the intent of the measure to provide other options to keep a utility locally owned. 

027

Sen. Atkinson

Asks for clarification on Mr. Lanz’s previous statement.

033

Lanz

Attempts to clarify his comments.

035

Campbell

Explains the funding and asset source handling.

040

Sen. Deckert

Expresses appreciation for their efforts.  Asks for a ball park tariff or fee that ratepayers would pay.

055

Lanz

Describes the factors that would determine the ultimate cost for ratepayers.   

077

Sen. Deckert

States the importance of the interest rate.

080

Lanz

Describes crafting language similar to what was acceptable in other states.

087

Sen. Deckert

Considers what a ratepayer’s bill would look like and the probable tariff fee.

095

Lanz

Replies that it is too early in the process to tell.

100

Sen. Deckert

Asks about the makeup of the board for PGE.

105

Lanz

Notes his hopes for greater representation of local interest groups on the board in addition to the investors.

113

Sen. Deckert

Wonders how they would handle liabilities such as the decommissioning of the Trojan plant.

117

Lanz

Responds that they are trying to preserve the current management of liabilities.

125

Sen. Deckert

Observes the factors that could assist in keeping rates low. 

130

Lanz

Relates that PUC regulation provides a way to have safe and reliable service.

140

Sen. Deckert

Wonders about federal taxes.

143

Lanz

Offers they will continue to pay federal taxes.

147

Chair Metsger

Expounds upon Sen. Deckert’s question of the governance model for the board membership.

153

Lanz

Describes the potential makeup of the board and candidates.

167

Chair Metsger

Considers the particulars.

170

Lanz

Expands on his previous remarks.

187

Chair Metsger

Clarifies the use of capital and its relationship to the ratepayers.  Asks for Mr. Lanz’s opinion on why this model is better than some of the other proposed models.

200

Lanz

Details the advantages of the proposed model. 

230

Sen. Walker

Comments on the lengthy process with settling the Enron court cases.  Wonders how a mutual utility would fare in establishing itself in a short amount of time.

245

Lanz

Replies that this measure would allow for expedited financing and hopefully move the process forward.

265

Sen. Walker

Asks if they have contacted the bankruptcy trustee for this case.

267

Lanz

Responds that they have.

280

Sen. Walker

Discusses similar proposals to mutualize other state owned assets.  Expresses her concern over resolving matters in a reasonable amount of time.

290

Sen. Monnes Anderson

Requests additional clarification on the tax structure.

300

Lanz

Replies.

303

Sen. Monnes Anderson

Provides her observations.

310

Sen. Deckert

Discusses the differences between the proposal they are hearing and the proposal he is offering.

317

Chair Metsger

Reiterates the federal taxation issues.

330

Lanz

Talks about the consumer benefits.

335

Dave Barrows

OMUD, Inc.  Testifies in favor of SB 671 with the -2 amendments.  Mentions the advantages of a mutual company.  Offers this proposal as another possible model that could be used to resolve this issue.

370

Barrows

Addresses potential creditor and trustee concerns.

400

Chair Metsger

Observes the that this measure creates a mechanism.

TAPE 46, B

005

Chair Metsger

Recalls similar issues involved in evaluating the State Accident Insurance Fund (SAIF).

007

Barrows

Mentions an information packet he is passing out to the committee (EXHIBIT G).

025

Jeff Bissonnette

Citizens Utility Board (CUB).  Testifies in favor of SB 671 in its original form.  Expresses the complications of adding the -2 amendments.

053

Brad Higbee

Renewable Northwest Project.  Testifies in favor of SB 671 with some additional language.  Reads the additional language to the committee.

067

Chair Metsger

Asks for additional clarification on Mr. Bissonnette’s comments

073

Bissonnette

Clarifies his comments.

077

Chair Metsger

Expresses his desire to examine the -2 amendments in greater detail before moving this measure forward.  Closes public hearing on SB 671.  Opens a public hearing on SB 585.

SB 585 – PUBLIC HEARING

105

Neil Jackson

Board of Governors, Oregon Trial Lawyers Association.  Presents written testimony in favor of SB 585 (EXHIBIT H).  Supports the proposed -2 (EXHIBIT I) and -3 (EXHIBIT J) amendments to SB 585.

135

John Powell

State Farm Insurance.  Expresses support for SB 585 and the -2 amendments.  Testifies in opposition to the -3 amendments.  

160

Powell

Discusses the -2 amendments and the issues resolved by them.  Talks about liens against Personal Injury Protection (PIP) amounts.

190

Vern Saboe

Chiropractic Association of Oregon (CAO).  Testifies in favor of SB 585.  Explains the provisions of the bill and what it aims to prevent.

213

Chair Metsger

Reiterates the medical scenarios this legislation seeks to address.  Asks Mr. Jackson about trends in managed care services.

230

Jackson

Offers that he doesn’t see a trend.  States he is seeking to make it fair.

237

Jane Myers

Government Relations, Oregon Dental Association (ODA).  Testifies to explain the intent of the -3 amendments to SB 585. 

280

Chair Metsger

Asks if there is any additional testimony.  Closes public hearing on SB 585.

SB 585 – WORK SESSION

290

Sen. B. Starr

MOTION:  Moves to ADOPT SB 585-2 amendments dated 3/16/05.

292

 

VOTE:  4-0-1

EXCUSED:  1 - Deckert

 

Chair Metsger

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

294

Sen. B. Starr

MOTION:  Moves SB 585 to the floor with a DO PASS AS AMENDED recommendation.

297

 

VOTE:  4-0-1

EXCUSED:  1 - Deckert

 

Chair Metsger

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

SEN. MONNES ANDERSON will lead discussion on the floor.

300

Chair Metsger

Closes work session on SB 585.  Opens a public hearing on SB 398.

SB 398 – PUBLIC HEARING

310

Sen. Ben Westlund

Senate District 27.  Testifies in favor of SB 398 and explains the measure.

345

Jim Noteboom

Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon.  Presents the written testimony of Ron Suppah to the committee (EXHIBIT K).  Advocates passage of the bill.

390

Chair Metsger

Notes his statement in regards to “amendment”.  Clarifies that there are no proposed amendments to SB 398.

395

Noteboom

Replies that he was referring to an amendment of statute and not the measure itself.

397

Chair Metsger

Asks for clarification on creation of a foreign Limited Liability Corporation (LLC).

400

Noteboom

Clarifies the method of obtaining LLC status.

415

Sen. Atkinson

Asks if a reservation could create a single member LLC.

416

Noteboom

Believes they can.

417

Sen. Atkinson

Asks if the State of Oregon recognizes an S-Corporation (S-corp.) started on a reservation.

420

Noteboom

Details the process.

425

Sen. Atkinson

Considers the protections available in an LLC.  Notes the need to protect land assets.

430

Noteboom

Relates the handling of land assets.

435

Sen. Atkinson

Observes the unique policy questions that are raised.

445

Noteboom

Addresses current uses of tribal lands.

TAPE 47, B

005

Sen. Atkinson

Voices support for the measure.  Points out the protection of a capitol corporation.

013

Noteboom

Talks about the evolving economic factors of tribes.

020

Michael Mason

Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs.  Testifies in support of SB 398. 

030

Sen. Monnes Anderson

Asks for clarification on foreign LLCs.

035

Noteboom

Explains the laws related to formations of LLCs.

043

Sen. Monnes Anderson

Request clarification on land acquisitions.

045

Noteboom

Discusses the types of LLCs that could be formed.

050

Sen. Westlund

Adds that it doesn’t apply outside of tribal lands.

055

Noteboom

Offers additional details.

059

Sen. Atkinson

Proposes potential scenarios where this bill would enable greater tribal business opportunities.

067

Sen. Westlund

Reiterates that this is a simple, but important bill.

070

Chair Metsger

Closes public hearing on SB 398.  Opens a work session on SB 398.

SB 398 – WORK SESSION

077

Sen. B. Starr

MOTION:  Moves SB 398 to the floor with a DO PASS recommendation.

079

 

VOTE:  4-0-1

EXCUSED:  1 - Deckert

 

Chair Metsger

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

SEN. WESTLUND will lead discussion on the floor.

081

Chair Metsger

Closes work session on SB 398.  Adjourns the committee at 2:39 p.m.

 

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

  1. SB 983, Written testimony, Cheryl O’Neill, 1 p
  2. SB 983, Written testimony, Denise Washington, 1 p
  3. SB 983, Written testimony, Jeff Bissonette, 1 p
  4. SB 983, Written testimony of Rebecca Gandy, Sybil Hebb, 1 p
  5. SB 390, Written testimony, Dan Gardner, 2 pp
  6. SB 671, -2 amendments, staff, 16 pp
  7. SB 671, Information packet, Dave Barrows, 7 pp
  8. SB 585, Written testimony, Neil Jackson, 1 p
  9. SB 585, -2 amendments, staff, 1 p
  10. SB 585, -3 amendments, staff, 1 p
  11. SB 398, Written testimony of Ron Suppah, Jim Noteboom, 1 p