Gov. Kate Brown announced she plans to reinstate a statewide mask requirement for all indoor public settings, including businesses, regardless of vaccination status. The new mandate comes as COVID-19 hospitalizations break records throughout the state due to the highly transmissible Delta variant.
“These tremendous honorees represent our state’s unlimited potential,” said OBI Board Chair Karen Vineyard. “Each of them – through their professional work as well as community service – have shown their dedication to shared prosperity and opportunity for all Oregonians. They have set aside individual interests and traditional political allegiances to bring Oregonians from all walks of life together around a common set of values. We are grateful to honor these true Oregon visionaries at OBI’s biggest event of the year.”
A key part of Biden’s agenda, the bipartisan bill is the first phase of the president’s infrastructure plan. It calls for $550 billion in new spending over five years above projected federal levels, what could be one of the more substantial expenditures on the nation’s roads, bridges, waterworks, broadband and the electric grid in years.
On Aug. 2, the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published temporary workplace rules related to heat and labor housing, and wildfire smoke. The rules go into effect Monday, Aug. 9 and will remain in effect for 180 days while work on a permanent rule continues.
It’s clear to me – and to my fellow board members – that OBI is stronger than it’s ever been. And that’s thanks largely to our incredible staff, who work each day to ensure that our voices are heard in Salem, and that Oregon’s amazing businesses have a place to convene and celebrate the strength of our community.
Your OBI team went into this session with a very straightforward policy agenda approved by our board of directors: we wanted lawmakers to refrain from enacting major new taxes and regulations so that Oregon businesses would have an opportunity to recover from the devastating impacts of the COVID pandemic.
Effective today, June 30, Oregon businesses no longer need to require customers, employees, vendors or others to wear a mask on their premises. Additionally, no physical distancing requirements or capacity limits remain in effect.
“In more than 15 years working with the Oregon Legislature, I have never seen a session like this one,” said Paloma Sparks, vice president of government affairs at OBI. “While the COVID precautions and virtual process made direct advocacy more challenging for everyone, our voice on behalf of Oregon businesses was heard.”
Today, OBI joined 25 other chambers and association partners urging Gov. Brown and the Legislature to consider using American Rescue Plan funds to create an incentive program aimed at encouraging people to accept work rather than relying on continued unemployment benefits. Read the full letter here.
The problems we face are only getting more complex and intertwined, which means the solutions must be more comprehensive and creative. In other words, we need more Oregonians with a vision. In her monthly column, OBI Chair Karen Vineyard makes a big announcement about one of our most cherished traditions at OBI.