The 2023 legislature adjourned sine die on Sunday, June 25th. With the return of the Senate Republicans on June 15th after their record breaking 42-day walkout, it was a mad scramble to fit nearly 8 weeks of legislative work into 8 days!
hero_image_alt_text===An picture of the outside of the Oregon Capitol building
thumbnail_alt_text===An picture of the outside of the Oregon Capitol building
Here is where we the American Heart Association legislative priorities landed at the end of session (please note that the Governor has not signed many of these bills – after sine die she has 30 days to sign bills, but we are not anticipating any surprises):
Tobacco flavor restriction – Unfortunately this bill did not make it out of Ways and Means as part of the end of session negotiations, but advocates have already started planning for our work in the interim and are looking to reintroduce the bill in the 2024 session as “unfinished business” from the 2023 session.
Health Equity Funding - The bill to continue the mobile health units pilot project that serve culturally, and linguistically underserved communities did not pass, however the Oregon Health Authority has found existing funding to continue pilot without getting an additional appropriation.
PE in Schools - Our mediated bill that keeps PE in schools in statute at a lower rate for middle schools passed the Senate and is awaiting signature by the Governor. This should be the last time we need to work on this topic in Oregon.
SNAP Incentives funding - After some panic in the last week of session when the omnibus bill was released without funding for Double Up Food Bucks, we received word from staff in the Legislative Fiscal Office that DUFB was in the current service level funding of the Department of Human Services budget at $4.2 million that should roll up as the starting point for the next biennium budget.
TMSA non-participating manufacturers- After getting stuck in the Senate, the DOJ (who was the sponsor of the bill) had to accept an amendment that removed the retroactive part of the bill, meaning the $40million in escrow accounts will go back to the manufacturers, but that payments moving forward will go to the Oregon Health Authority to fund tobacco prevention efforts (about $3million a year).
- Expansion of School Meals (HB 5014): HB 5014 included an additional $17million for the Hunger Free Schools Account which will expand funding to offer free breakfast and lunch to an additional 198 schools across Oregon. It’s not the full funding we were hoping for to achieve universal school meals, but still an exciting step in the right direction.