2021 Legislative Priorities

LOC Board Approves 2021 Legislative Priorities

On August 19, the LOC Board unanimously adopted six legislative priorities for cities for the 2021 session. During the spring, a list of 26 priority issues was compiled by the LOC’s seven policy committees, and these issues were ranked by the League’s 241 member cities through a survey conducted over the summer.  The following six issues received the most votes, and were adopted by the LOC Board:    

  1. Mental Health Service Delivery – this received support as a top priority from virtually every region in Oregon.
  2. COVID-19 Economic Recovery Investments – while there have been recent investments to support small business, these resources have yet to meet current needs, and more resources will be needed to support long term economic recovery for Oregon’s communities.
  3. Comprehensive Infrastructure Package – this priority combines three ballot items: Infrastructure Financing and Resiliency, Broadband Infrastructure and Technical Assistance Funding, and Long-Term Transportation Infrastructure Funding. A comprehensive infrastructure package will help rebuild communities and the economy as we near the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  4. Property Tax Reform –  an important, long-standing priority for LOC members, and conversations for 2021 are already underway. To move this issue forward, the LOC will need to work with the business community and other local government partners to identify policy solutions and set the stage for real property tax reform to restore local choice, equity, fairness, and adequacy.
  5. Housing and Services Investment – the LOC  will support increased investments for affordable housing, homeless assistance, and related services, including funding for: shelter, homeless services, case management, rent assistance, the development and preservation of affordable housing, and permanent supportive housing.
  6. Water Utility and Rate Assistance – unlike the energy utility sector, there are currently no state or federal assistance programs available to ratepayers who may be struggling to afford these utility services. While many municipalities provide funding for low-income utility assistance at the local level, there is a significant unmet need that has been made worse as a result of the economic impacts associated with COVID-19.

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Oregon Municipal Policy (OMP) - The OMP is one of the LOC's foundational documents and describes policy stances adopted by the League's membership.