The 2019 Oregon Legislative session begins January 22 and will likely include discussion of many issues of interest to AOR’s members. The legislative committee began review of legislative concepts in November. This update includes a summary of recent committee meetings and information about open positions on the committee and how to apply for those positions.
Potential legislation of interest and recent committee discussions
The legislative committee meeting on Nov. 28 included a general election and legislative update from Chris Parta, AOR’s lobbyist. Chris also provided an overview of legislative concepts that he was aware of at that time which included: extended producer responsibility legislation related to household hazardous waste, pharmaceuticals, and mattresses (three separate concepts), right to repair legislation, bottle bill related legislation, and concepts for single use plastics, including plastic bags bans (two concepts) and a plastic straw ban.
The group subsequently reviewed a more detailed legislative concept (LC 2075) related to the bottle bill and recommended that the AOR board take a position to oppose the draft concept due to negative impacts on the convenience, use and future siting of Bottle Drop sites. AOR’s board concurred with the committee recommendation.
The committee meeting also included updates on single use plastics policy work at the local government level, as well as a broad discussion about plastic bag bans. Some group members suggested that plastic film recovery requirements are included in bag ban legislation to help capture and recycle the bags and film that are not included, such as produce bags and paper towel overwrap. Others had concern about pre-emption of local policies. Substitution of other single use items, such as bio-plastic or compostable plastic bags, was another concern because these items have the same negative impacts on our recycling system and also have environmental and health impacts associated with their use. It was noted that the city of Salem’s plastic bag ban also bans bio-plastic and compostable plastic bags.
Draft bills began to be released this week. The committee will review and discuss the bills as they are available, and will provide another member update late next week. Members are encouraged to provide any comments or questions related to legislation to the committee chair, Pam Peck, committee members or the board. At the December AOR Board meeting the board determined that legislative committee meetings should be limited to committee members, as the committee was structured to represent AOR’s membership and limit the number of participants to provide ample time for discussion.
Call for committee members
AOR’s legislative committee provides a forum for members to discuss materials management-related legislation and provide feedback and make recommendations to the AOR Board to support, protest or remain neutral on bills introduced to the Oregon Legislature. The group includes 11 members that represent the overall demographics of AOR’s members. AOR’s Board seeks applications for the following legislative committee positions:
- Processor/recyclers (1 open position, term ends September 2019)
- Government agency staff (1 open position, term ends September 2020)
- Nonprofit organization (1 open position, term ends September 2020)
Committee members or the organization they represent must be AOR members in good standing to serve on the committee and may serve multiple terms. Committee members are expected to engage with the sector they represent to ensure the perspectives they bring to the committee are representative of the interests and views of that sector. Applications for committee membership are due February 1, 2019. See AOR’s website for more information about the committee and details about how to apply.