One more week of session remains, and bills are moving fast at this stage with most state agency budgets being finalized. We received good news on funding for the ODA Noxious weed program and we’re still advocating for money for alternatives to Chlorpyrifos. OFS also continues to advocate for continuing service level funding for the OSU Statewides. The funding allocated by the Joint Committee on Ways and Means falls $2.5 million short of the amount needed to maintain current programs. This funding is critical to ensure that research and extension programs can continue at current service levels.
OFS continues to track and oppose SB 582, a bill that proposes a complex and costly recycling system overhaul for the state. Most of the products covered under this bill are already being recycled efficiently, so the $82 million cost of this system, largely passed on to businesses and consumers, will make little difference in recycling outcomes. A large number of industries are opposing this bill for a wide variety of reasons, which reveals a lack of consultation and consideration for the bill’s impacts. If you haven’t responded to our action alert yet regarding this bill, please do so now!
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While you’re at it, take a minute to respond to this action alert from Oregon Farm Bureau regarding SB 762, the Omnibus Wildfire bill. Without critical amendments, this bill poses a major threat to rural landowners, creating an alarmingly broad definition of Wildland Urban Interface (WUI), meaning that croplands, orchards, vineyards and more may need to be removed if located near a structure in the wildland urban interface.