We expect the Oregon Legislature to meet in a special session next week to designate funding to address the pandemic’s affect in Oregon. The Joint Special Committee on Coronavirus Response has been meeting, getting input and reviewing a long list of priorities. OBI sent two letters (one on March 17 and one on March 22) urging state leaders to include important business segments in those to remain open and operating during this crisis. A coalition also submitted this letter requesting relief from the scheduling law.
OBI is staying engaged and will continue to do so when the special session convenes. Below is the list of priorities we and our partners asked the committee to focus on:
- Delay implementation of the Corporate Activity Tax (CAT) until August 1, 2020, to protect cash flow for all businesses subject to the CAT.
- Provide immediate and temporary relief to employers who are required to comply with state scheduling mandates and manufacturing overtime limits.
- Support small businesses with immediate cash relief. The Legislature must pass policies to provide immediate cash relief to businesses to help keep employees on the payroll.
- If the Legislature expands unemployment insurance (UI) to cover self-employed workers, they must also protect businesses who already have paid into the UI system. Any expansion of the system should be temporary, and the additional costs of expansion should be covered by the state, not by other employers.
Provide a grace period to local workers and businesses during this crisis and extend all professional licenses, certifications and business registrations issued by state and local government for 90 days.