Launches Early Learning Hubs

HB 2013 is the next step in the development of the early childhood portion of Governor Kitzhaber’s efforts to transform Oregon’s education system.  The law moves funding decisions on early learning services to a series of geographically based hubs that replace the local Commissions on Children and Families.  About half of the hubs will be formed in the first year of the biennium with the other half established in the second year.

Restores Senior and Disabled Property Tax Deferral

HB 2489 marked the Legislature’s first step in undoing the damage from changes to the Senior and Disabled Property Tax Deferral (SDPTD) program that were enacted in the 2012 legislative session.  The law permanently reinstated about 1,500 previous program participants who had been excluded because they had reverse mortgages on their homes. 

HB 2510 allowed another 700 previous participants to reenter the program.  Additional issues with the SDPTD program will need to be addressed in future sessions.

Expands ombudsman scope

SB 626 expands the duties of Oregon’s Long Term Care Ombudsman to include monitoring of care provided to about 8,500 Oregonians with developmental, intellectual, mental health or behavioral disabilities.

Expands abuse reporting

HB 2205 adds attorneys, dentists, chiropractors, optometrists and members of the legislative assembly to the list of individuals required by law to report abuse of Oregon elders.

Funds afterschool nutrition

HB 2729 provides $300,000 in state grants to local schools to provide afterschool snacks to students who qualify for free and reduced-price lunches.

Expands funding for summer meal programs

HB 2730 expands state support for summer meals to include breakfasts as well as lunches.