OHA Legislative Report

Updated 2 15 18

The first and second weeks of the 2018 Legislative “Short” Session are behind us. A “short session” is like being dropped in the middle of a marathon. Everything happens quickly and at once and that is a very good way to describe what occurred last week. Here is a break down of some of the action.

HB 4015
Summary: The bill establishes Oregon Conservation and Recreation Fund. The bill appropriates fund moneys to State Department of Fish and Wildlife for carrying out activities serving to protect, maintain or enhance fish and wildlife resources in Oregon. The bill also establishes Oregon Conservation and Recreation Advisory Committee to review department policies regarding use of fund moneys and make
recommendations regarding use of fund moneys for implementing and administering department
activities.

2/15/18 Update: This bill had a hearing on Tuesday (OHA testified in support of the bill) and a work session on Thursday of this week. The bill has passed out of committee and now goes to Ways and Means for further consideration.
2/10/18 Update: In the past seven days this bill has seen many twists and turns. As drafted, HB 4015 included a $13 million General Fund appropriation to the Oregon Conservation and Recreation Fund, which represented Oregon’s match for federal funding proposed in Recovering America’s Wildlife Act.

To hopefully insure passage this is the new strategy for the bill:
• the general fund request in the bill will be reduced from $13 million to a minimal level to set up the fund’s oversight committee and lay the groundwork for the federal funds.
• ODFW has provided a rough cost estimate of $40,000 to get the fund up and running, analyze current/future implementation of the conservation strategy, etc.
• Based on those numbers, an amendment will be prepared to reduce the appropriation in HB 4015 to $40,000.

This approach is being proposed to try and move the bill this session. The bill is scheduled for a hearing and possible work session.

House Bill 4030
Summary: The bill provides that for a misdemeanor under wildlife laws that involves taking or killing of wildlife, in addition to any term of incarceration imposed, court may impose applicable fine for misdemeanor or impose compensatory fine payable to State Fish and Wildlife Commission.

2/15/18 Update: This bill had a work session today. The bill passed out of committee and is now headed to the floor of the House for a vote.
2/10/18 Update: This bill had a hearing last week and OHA testified in support of the bill. The bill and all the testimony were received favorably by the committee. The bill is scheduled for a work session.

House Bill 4106
Summary: The bill requires State Department of Fish and Wildlife to biennially report to Legislative Assembly regarding estimated change in wolf population. The bill requires:
• The Legislature to identify amount of state funding necessary to provide counties with assistance sufficient for carrying out essential features of county programs regarding wolf depredation and financial assistance.
• The Legislature to review estimate of change in wolf population prior to making appropriation to fund used for wolf depredation and financial assistance grant program.
• The Legislature to establish, to the extent practicable, fund appropriation amounts greater than identified necessary funding amount and reflecting estimated change in wolf population.
Please Note: This bill has been introduced at the request of: Rep. Barreto (R-Cove), Rep. Witt (D-Clatskanie), Senator Hansell (R-Athena), Senator Baertschiger (R -Grants Pass).

2/15/18 Update – The bill had a work session today and passed out of the committee and now goes to Ways and Means for further consideration.
2/10/18 Update: This bill had a hearing last week. The bill is scheduled for a work session.

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OHA Lobbyist Al Elkins Email: alvinelkins@yahoo.com

 

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