Senate Bill 481 aims to increase government transparency. The bill, introduced at the request of Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, sets deadlines by which public officials must evaluate and respond to the public's requests for government documents.
Senate Bill 719 will allow Oregon judges to issue so-called "extreme risk protection orders" to take firearms away from people determined to pose an immediate threat to themselves or family members. A judge would make the call whether to issue the order.
Oregon drivers will begin paying a slew of tax increases come January 1 as part of the Legislature's $5.3 billion transportation funding plan.
The statewide gas tax will increase 4 cents, to 34 cents.
Car registration fees will increase $13 to $43 and title fees go up $16 to $93 for a regular title. There will be higher fees for registration of trailers, motorcycles, mopeds and heavy trucks. The tax and fee revenue will fund highway and infrastructure upgrades statewide for at least a decade.
There is a new increase in the surcharge for Crater Lake license plates, from $10 to $15 per plate.
Beginning Jan. 1, Oregon drivers are allowed to black out addresses on their registration card and proof of insurance.
People will no longer need to take a driving test to get an endorsement on their license for driving three-wheeled motorcycles, known as “autocycles”.
Senate Bill 357, the Legislature reduced the punishment for people caught riding public transportation without paying a fare. The new law ratchets down fare evasion from a Class A to a Class C misdemeanor, but penalties are higher for anyone caught evading fares three times or more.
Oregon will join a handful of states that have increased the tobacco age to 21. The law requires anyone buying tobacco or vape products to be 21-years-old or older and creates stiff penalties for convenience store clerks who sell to the underage.
Starting July 2018, employers will be required to give their employees at least one week notice of their work schedule. The law applies to employers with more than 500 employees. In 2020, the law will increase the time frame to two weeks advanced notice. This law makes Oregon the first state in the country to mandate when employee schedules are released.
Employers in the mill, factory or manufacturing industries will be required to pay their employees daily or weekly overtime (whichever is greater) starting Jan. 1. The law also prohibits employees from working more than 55 hours unless they agree to more hours.
Employers will be banned from asking employees to falsifying documents in relation to hours worked or compensation received. Any employer that violates this law may face a penalty of up to $1,000. For employees forced to violate this law, they may receive up to $1,000 in damages.
Companies may adopt policies limiting the accrual of paid sick leave to 80 hours per year. Companies can also adopt a policy prohibiting employees from taking no more than 40 hours of paid sick leave a year. Employers with 10 or more employees are required to offer 40 hours of paid sick leave annually. Any companies with less than 10 employees must offer up to 40 hours of unpaid sick leave a year.
CONSERVATION & RECYCLING
Oregon's famous bottle bill, which allows people to turn in empty bottles to redeem a 10 cent deposit, will expand to apply to beverages beyond beer, water and soft drinks. Beginning in 2018, nearly all beverage bottles will require a deposit. That means bottles that contained coffee, tea, hard cider, fruit juice, coconut water, kombucha and other drinks can be redeemed for the deposit.