February 5, 2024

Our 2024 Legislative Session Priorities

Hello, APANO Community! My name is Sam Guthman (she/her). I recently joined APANO as Policy Manager and I'm excited to share with you what we've been up to these past few months.

As you might know, Oregon’s legislative session began today. Over the next 35 short days, our representatives will be meeting to work on passing important policies and budgets that will affect Oregonians across the state. It is during this time that we, the community, make a concerted effort to advocate for the things we need to provide for ourselves and our families.

This session, APANO and our sibling organization APANO AF are supporting a number of policies championed by our extensive and diverse network — including members of our community, like you! These policies are important components to creating a more just and equitable Oregon for all of our community members. We know politics and policy can be a daunting subject for many, and we know there is a lot of information to sift through. We hope this brief overview of our priorities helps to weed out some of the noise and confusion.

Our Policy Priorities

Whether it’s childcare so parents don’t have to worry about choosing themselves over their children; upgrades to older homes so residents can feel safer when weather disasters hit; rental assistance for immigrant communities to help them become financially stable; or providing mental health care and resources for our state’s youngest students, APANO and APANO AF support each of these policies in our hopes to build a better, more equitable environment for our communities to live safely in. 

Below are our legislative priorities for Oregon's 2024 short legislative session.

  • Child Care for Oregon: Fund the Employment Related Day Care (ERDC) Program*
    The ERDC program is currently underfunded by $250 million dollars. A vital program, ERDC helps families who are working, in school, receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or experiencing domestic violence pay for child care. Without proper funding, more than 1,600 families across the state will be left without access to child care.
    *also part of the People’s Budget
  • Healthy Homes Initiative Budget Ask
    The Healthy Homes Initiative was passed in 2021 to help make homes more climate resilient, which includes better insulation, heat pumps, air filtration, etc. The state must invest $15 million to ensure people doing this work can continue to serve low income communities.
  • Senate Bill (SB) 1530: The People’s Budget, Housing Stability and Rental Assistance
    Rental assistance programs must be adequately funded to support Oregonians facing eviction due to late payments. This bill would specifically help immigrant communities stay in their homes.
  • House Bill (HB) 4070: The People’s Budget, School-Based Health Centers
    The state needs to invest $18.2 million into existing facilities at schools around the state to include mental health services into the care already provided for our youngest students.
  • SB 1533: Expanding Voter Languages
    To increase accessibility and expand the potential for voters to engage in the legislative process, SB 1533 would expand the number of languages that voter materials are translated into from 5 to 10.
  • SB 1559: Updating Climate Emission Goals
    Carbon emission goals and limits have not been updated since 2007. SB 1559 would amend the state’s goals around reducing greenhouse gas emissions to address the ever-increasing threats of climate change.
  • SB 1596: Right to Repair
    This would allow businesses to repair common technologies like phones and tablets. Currently, manufacturers do not allow people to repair their own product, significantly increasing costs to consumers.
  • House Joint Resolution (HJR) 202: Simple Majority Quorum
    In Oregon, quorum requires 40 legislators in the House and 20 in the Senate to show up before work can begin. As we saw last year, when walkouts happen this can prevent important bills from passing. Reforming this rule allows those who show up to fulfill their duties. 
  • The People’s Budget (Universal Representation)
    The People’s Budget requests an investment from the legislature of $7.5 million dollars to upkeep and expand the Equality Corps of Oregon, an organization that provides no-cost legal help to immigrant families.
  • SB 1595: Family Financial Protection Act
  • HB 4060: Funding for Oregon Heritage Program and Staffers
  • HB 4083: Coal Divestment for State Treasury (COAL Act)
  • HB 4002: Drug Recriminalization
    In 2020, Oregonians voted to pass Measure 110 to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of illicit drugs, reducing the harm caused by incarceration and criminal charges. HB 4002 seeks to undo the will of voters and recriminalize user-amount possession, mandating rehabilitation programs and increasing rates of incarceration.

Download a PDF of our legislative one-pager below.

Before advocating for any policy, thorough consideration and analysis is done to ensure we are fully aware of the scope and impact of anything we support. That includes listening to our community members and asking,"What is impacting you the most? What is most important to you and your families?"  We then reach out and work in collaboration with our partner organizations — any institution that aligns with our values and mission — to pool our efforts to push for ethical policies in Oregon, both at the state and local levels. 

Interested in being involved in our efforts to create a just Oregon? Let us know! Sign up to learn more here, and reach out if you have any questions or concerns. You can email me at sam@apano.org.

To hear about upcoming opportunities to take action or be in community together, follow us on Instagram or sign up for periodic email alerts here. And for any media inquiries, please reach out to Ashley Mumm at ashley@apano.org.

Thank you for all that you do.