Update from the Capitol 5.16.19
It’s the final six weeks of legislative session and things are heating up in the Oregon Capitol. After the Oregon House passed a new corporate tax to fund schools, Senate Republicans walked out, delaying a Senate vote on the tax bill. The Senate struck a deal – in order to allow the tax bill for a vote, a pro-vaccine bill and a gun violence prevention bill would have to die. The tax bill passed the Senate and is on its way for the Governor’s signature. It’s great news that the tax bill passed – not only will Oregon’s schools finally have adequate funding, but also the bill’s passage clears the way for other bills to move forward.
On May 15th there was good and bad news from the Capitol – the revenue forecast for the state was way above projections. While this means extra revenue for the budget this year, it also means an extremely high “kicker” or rebate to individual taxpayers.
This bodes well for HB 2618, the Solar Rebate bill that OSEIA is working through the Legislature. However, there are still more demands for funding than there is funding available. The OSEIA team will be fighting hard until the last day to pass the bill.
HB 2496, the bill to improve the 1.5% Green Energy Technology requirement for public buildings bill passed a Senate committee and is on its way to the Senate floor. While we are pleased that battery storage is now included as an eligible use, unfortunately the bill does not include increased compliance measures like OSEIA was seeking. The Oregon Department of Energy has committed to working to increase compliance through education measures and OSEIA will be actively involved in the rulemaking. OSEIA will continue to work on compliance measures in future sessions.
Thank you to OSEIA members who visited the Capitol for Solar Lobby Day, which was a huge success. Special thanks to Senator James Manning and Representative Marty Wilde to speaking to OSEIA members and for being solar champions