Oregon state capitol

Chamber recaps results from the 2024 legislative session

April 2024

The Portland Metro Chamber works to shape public policy in areas most impactful to the local business community and Portland metro region at-large. We advocate at the local, regional, state, and federal levels and during the Oregon legislative session, the Chamber worked collaboratively with our statewide business partners and coalition stakeholders to advocate for legislation that aligned with our 2024 Policy Agenda.

View our 2024 Policy Agenda

Spurred by the widely supported recommendations released by the Governor’s Central City Task Force, our main policy focus was to prioritize housing development and address the growing impacts of public drug use and addiction. This year, the Chamber had an overwhelmingly successful session with virtually all of our top legislative priorities being adopted or funded, with only a few exceptions.

Below is a recap of the policies the Chamber supported and the results.

Address the impacts of the public use of hard drugs on communities

  • HB 4002 – Passed. The Chamber strongly supported House Bill 4002, which recriminalized the possession of any amount of fentanyl, meth, and heroin. The bill created a new misdemeanor with numerous deflection opportunities to enter treatment and avoid criminal penalties, essentially creating a modernized diversion system that balances the recognition of addiction as a health problem, with the accountability tools criminal penalties provide. The bill also developed new criminal penalties for dealing drugs in proximity of schools, parks, shelters, and treatment facilities.
  • SB 1553 – Passed. The Chamber played a key role supporting this bill which banned the use of controlled substances on public transit vehicles.
  • Funding for Multnomah County 24/7 Sobering Center – The Chamber helped Multnomah County secure their requested $25 million for the launch of a new 24/7 sobering center. This funding allocation will cover the entire estimated start-up cost of the new regional facility.

Supercharge housing production

  • SB 1537 – Passed. The Chamber endorsed the Governor’s housing production bill which would invest more than $370 million into housing development.
  • Funding for Broadway Corridor & OMSI District – Funded. The Chamber partnered with the City of Portland to advocate for funds to spur development for both the Broadway Corridor and the OMSI District re-development projects. Working with the city, the Chamber was able to increase funding from $8 million to $12 million, split evenly between both projects. We will continue to advocate for additional funding for these two impactful regional economic development projects.

Local taxpayer confidentiality

  • HB 4031 – Passed. The Chamber was made aware that confidential Portland Clean Energy tax records would be released as part of a public records request due to inconsistency in State of Oregon tax law. This bill provides the same confidentiality protections to local tax records that were already in place for state tax records. Thank you to our statewide partner, Oregon Business & Industry and the leadership of House Revenue Committee Chair, Rep. Nancy Nathanson, for working to find a solution.

Maintenance of state infrastructure

  • Support Governor’s request for funding to clean-up ODOT infrastructure in Portland – Funded. The legislature allocated a record $20 million to ODOT for graffiti removal and trash clean-up on state-owned infrastructure. This specifically allocated $4 million each to graffiti clean-up, homeless camp removal, and trash collection, along with $8 million focused on prevention strategies.

Support key industry strengths

  • Continue to invest in the State of Oregon’s outdoor apparel, recreation and sports industry – Funded. The Chamber partnered with Sport Oregon and a large coalition of stakeholders to successfully support funding of new stadiums for both the Hillsboro Hops and Portland Pickles baseball teams. We were disappointed that SB 1539, which would have created a Sport Oregon led youth sports event fund, did not pass.

Build economic prosperity for communities of color in Oregon

  • HB 4031 – Failed. The Chamber will continue to support the Black Business Association of Oregon’s (BBAO) proposal to collect business registration data to help identify businesses owned by people-of-color. We realize that many companies are being passed over or are not aware of policies that prioritize minority-owned businesses. HB 4031 would have improved the State of Oregon’s registry of minority-owned businesses and make it easier for organizations like BBAO to support their economic growth.