As we begin the final two months of the 2023 Oregon legislative session, we are eager to share an update on the progress of our legislative agenda. These bills cover a range of important consumer issues and many of them have made encouraging progress toward becoming law.
An Update on Our Lead Policy Priorities this Year
Among our two lead priorities this session was HB 2801. This bill sought to ensure that car sales are not issued on contingent financing, but on agreed-upon terms with consumers, where loan payment details were clearly outlined and honored by the auto dealers negotiating the loan. While this legislation, unfortunately, will not move forward in 2023, we are steadfast in our commitment to expand and protect the rights of consumers. Knowing that car sales and repairs continue to top the list of consumer complaints in Oregon, we anticipate that Representative Sosa will convene a workgroup during the interim between sessions to explore solutions to be introduced as future legislation.
We continue to champion HB 2008, the Family Financial Protection Act of Oregon, as it moves through the legislature. The -1 amended bill had a public hearing in the House Rules Committee on Thursday, April 27. If this legislation is passed, it will update our state’s debt and consumer protection laws to reflect the reality families face. These modernized laws will create a pathway for Oregonians to recover financially when navigating collections rather than becoming stuck in a cycle of poverty. Tell your legislators today to vote YES on HB 2008.
Supporting Key Bills for Consumers
Apart from our priority bills, OCJ continues to work in strong partnership with various coalitions on legislation that is making real progress in Salem. These policies will make a difference in consumers’ lives, and they include:
- HB 3242A will update Oregon’s Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act or the UCSPA. These changes will ensure that individual Oregonians and small businesses can protect themselves if the insurance company harms them during the claims-handling process. Having passed the House, this bill is currently in the Senate Committee On Judiciary, which held public hearings on April 18 and 19.
- HB 3243A will add insurance to the long list of industries subject to the Unlawful Trade Practices Act (UTPA). This will prohibit insurance companies from deceiving, lying to, or stealing from their customers during the claims process and will empower individuals and the Attorney General to enforce this law. Having passed the House, this bill is currently in the Senate Committee On Judiciary, which held public hearings on April 18 and 19.
- HB 2982 will let insurance customers settle their claims for destroyed personal property at 70% of the insured value without completing a household inventory following a major disaster. Having passed the House, this bill is currently in the Senate Committee On Labor and Business, which held a work session on April 25, where it received a unanimous do pass with -3 amendments. A vote in the Senate is expected this week.
- HB 2052 provides that a data broker may only collect, sell, or license brokered personal data if they first register with the Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS). This bill passed out of House Committee on Business and Labor and was referred to the Joint Committee On Ways and Means on February 13.
Home and Telephone Solicitations
- HB 2620 adds violations of the Home Solicitation Sales Act (HSSA) to the Unlawful Trade Practices Act (UTPA). Having passed the House, this bill is currently in the Senate Committee On Labor and Business, which held a public hearing on April 4.
- HB 2759 will hold telemarketing companies accountable for illegal robocalls. This includes if they know—or actively avoid knowing—that these calls are happening on their lines. Having passed the House, this bill is currently in the Senate Committee On Labor and Business, which held a work session on April 27 with a 4-1 vote for a do-pass recommendation with the -A4 amendments.
OCJ is a member of the Fair Shot for All Coalition, consisting of 30+ organizations committed to advancing equity and justice in Oregon. This year’s legislative agenda includes the following:
- Indigenous Language Justice (SB 612 and SB 911)
- In Defense of Humanity (SB 337 and HB 2467)
- Reproductive and Gender Justice (HB 2002)
- Stable Homes for Oregon Families
- Signed into law by the Governor on March 29 and passed with bipartisan support, HB 2001 brings new protections for renters, protecting them from eviction due to nonpayment of rent, fees, or other money owed to landlords.
- SB 611, which will protect tenants from extreme rent increases while preserving landlords’ ability to cover their expenses, is currently in the Senate Committee on Rules and is scheduled for a work session on May 4.
The Toxic Free Coalition is pushing for the passage of bills that would represent an important step forward in protecting the health and safety of Oregon, in particular, our children.
- HB 3043 (Toxic Free Kids) will build on the success of Oregon’s Toxic Free Kids Act by strengthening protections for children’s health and streamlining business reporting requirements. HB 3043 passed the House on March 22 and is now awaiting action in the Senate Committee On Energy and Environment.
- SB 546 (Toxic free cosmetics) will have OHA adopt and maintain a list of designated high-priority chemicals used in cosmetics. This bill is currently in the Joint Committee On Ways and Means.
OCJ has also lent our support to additional bills to expand consumer rights for students and graduates, provide a right to repair, and strengthen Oregon’s data privacy laws.
- SB 424 would protect students and graduates by prohibiting public and private colleges and universities from using the withholding of transcripts as a debt collection practice. This bill passed the Senate on February 22 and held a hearing on April 18 in the House Committee On Higher Education.
- SB 542 will require manufacturers to make available replacement parts, software, physical tools, and any documentation or schematics needed for repair. This will allow consumers to economically and safely make repairs to items they own, either by themselves or by having options about where to take their items for repair. The bill was referred to the Senate Committee On Rules on April 25.
- SB 619 is a data privacy bill being championed by the Oregon Department of Justice. This bill will give Oregonians important rights over their personal data, with specific obligations imposed on companies interacting with these data. OCJ provided supportive testimony for this bill, stressing the importance of providing individuals the right to hold companies accountable when they don’t follow the law. Despite the unfortunate removal of this provision from the legislation’s progression, the bill will still provide Oregonians with valuable safeguards for their personal data. The bill is currently in the Joint Committee on Ways and Means.
As we enter the final two months of the 2023 Oregon Legislative session, OCJ remains committed to diligently advancing pro-consumer legislation. We are focused on protecting and expanding the rights of Oregon consumers this session and laying the groundwork for important future legislation.
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