Policy Update- 4.20.17
Solar Makes its Mark on Legislature
OSEIA is beyond grateful to its members and supporters who attended Monday's Solar Lobby Day in Oregon's capitol. The importance of that event is difficult to overstate. With all three of OSEIA’s priority bills out of their first committee last week, this was our first chance to carry the message of RETC’s importance to a broader range of legislators.
By any measure, lobby day was successful. All told we met with 67 legislators or their staff. That’s 75% of the 90-person legislature. At least 83 solar pros and supporters attended, including almost the entire staff at Synchro Solar, Abundant Solar, and CED GreentechPDX, and large contingents from SolarCity, True South Solar, Legend Solar and others. All day throughout the capitol, our participants and legislators could be seen wearing the bright yellow “I support Oregon Solar” stickers which we distributed. Check out Solar Lobby Day photos here.
The meetings provided OSEIA with a wealth of new information to inform OSEIA’s plan for the second half of the legislative session, in which our primary goal is to win funding for the Residential Energy Tax Credit (RETC).
Most legislators told us they support solar, and many were willing to express that support to Legislative leadership, which was our “ask” for the meetings. But with legislators grappling with $1.6 billion budget shortfall, many also acknowledged that we face an uphill challenge in winning RETC funding this year—and some were even skeptical that it should be funded given other competing priorities.
To win, OSEIA needs to make the case to the legislature’s leadership and state budget writers that funding RETC is indispensable. Lobby day helped us do that by allowing solar industry professionals to talk to their own legislators as constituents, attempt to persuade them, and initiate a relationship which OSEIA will build on in the weeks ahead. Crucially, lobby day will also help us identify which of the 90 legislators will be true solar champions—those who will make hard asks of the legislature’s budget writers and whom we can work with closely moving forward. Thank you to everyone, again, for a great lobby day.
To help our legislative efforts more moving forward, please join our legislative rapid response team.