Posts Tagged ‘Senator Chip Shields’
SALEM—On May Day, the Oregon Senate advanced a jobs bill that will help Oregonians get on-the-job skills training and boost the state’s occupations and trade industries. Senate Bill 782A, which passed on a unanimous vote, requires state contracting agencies to use apprentices to carry out ten percent of work hours for the appropriate parts of the contract.
“Investing in apprenticeships will strengthen Oregon’s workforce and help our state succeed in the 21st century economy and grow our middle class,” said Senate Majority Leader Diane Rosenbaum (D-Portland). “Apprenticeships will provide new workers with a great opportunity to learn and apply skills that will eventually help them get living-wage jobs.”
Apprenticeships serve as a rigorous occupational training opportunity for new workers by combining on-the-job work experience with classroom instruction. According to the Bureau of Labor and Industries’ Apprenticeship and Training Division, there are 121 different occupations that train workers as apprenticeships in Oregon, with about 5,000 apprentices currently registered in Oregon in 2013. SB 782A will provide these apprentices with substantial prospects to participate on a state contact for construction or other work.
“Connecting new workers to apprenticeship programs will help train tomorrow’s living-wage workforce,” said Sen. Chip Shields (D-Portland). “Senate Bill 782A will help more Oregonians find their way into the middle class by providing more skills-training opportunities for building trades and other occupations.”
SB 782A takes an incremental approach to increasing the amount of apprenticeships state agencies must use for state contracts. When the bill takes effect, it would require any state contract over $5 million to use apprenticeships for 10% of the work, with the exception of the Department of Transportation. Starting in 2018, that percentage of apprentice work would increase to 12%.
The bill will now go to the Oregon House of Representatives for consideration.
Small business owners, state leaders testify on legislation from recent session
SALEM – Two Senate Interim Committees have small business support and job growth on the agenda for the first of three September Legislative days being held in Salem today. The committees will hear from experts on how to grow Oregon jobs and help small businesses prosper.
“Job creation and business growth continue to be the top priority for Senate Democrats and for Oregon families,” said Senate Majority Leader Diane Rosenbaum (D-Portland). “We are focused this interim on proposals to help Oregon’s struggling families and small business owners. When we convene in February 2012, job creation will continue to be at the top of our agenda.”
This morning, the Senate Interim Committee on General Government, Small Business, and Consumer Protection heard from business owners located in Northeast Portland and McMinnville. They spoke of how small business loans and assistance through the state can continue to help home grown businesses prosper and create jobs.
“These business owners have a firsthand perspective that is crucial to our conversations about how to revitalize our economy,” said Senator Chip Shields (D-Portland), chair of the General Government, Small Business, and Consumer Protection Committee. “We’ll be hearing from local businesses over the months leading up to the 2012 session to better understand how we can work in partnership to make it easier for them to create jobs.”
Following this morning’s testimony, the Senate Interim Committee on Business, Transportation and Economic Development will meet at 2:00 this afternoon to take testimony on several key pieces of the Senate Democrats’ successful 2011 agenda. Items included in that discussion include:
- “One stop shop” for Oregon business registry (HB 3247) – Directs the Secretary of State to create and maintain a “One Stop Shop for Oregon Business” web portal to help businesses start, expand, relocate, or operate in Oregon. Business owners will be able to update, maintain, and track progress on their registration information online through this portal.
- Streamlining industrial lands permitting to accelerate growth and create jobs (SB 766) – Establishes an expedited process for approving significant industrial development projects throughout the state. Senate Bill 766 assures that proposed industrial projects with the greatest jobs potential are able to get fast and definitive approvals for required state and local land use approvals.
- Removing barriers for Oregon’s small businesses, creating jobs (SB 494) — Removes barriers to loans and capital for Oregon’s small businesses by removing the sunset and making permanent the changes in the Access to Business Capital Act, passed by the Legislature in February 2010. This bill frees up hard-to-come-by business capital and has already helped create hundreds of jobs across Oregon.
The Committee will hear from statewide elected officials, including Secretary of State Kate Brown and State Treasurer Ted Wheeler. Brown will be on hand to discuss the the implementation of the “One Stop Shop” legislation and Wheeler will testify on the state’s work to expand access to capital for Oregon businesses.
“We passed significant legislation in the recent session that will help make it easier to do business in Oregon,” said Senator Lee Beyer (D-Springfield), chair of the Business, Transportation and Economic Development Committee. “Legislative oversight is key to making sure that our intentions are followed and that legislation is being implemented effectively and efficiently. This hearing gives us the first such opportunity to see what kind of progress we’re making.”
The Business, Transportation and Economic Development committee will meet at 2:00 PM this afternoon in Hearing Room B. The meeting can be streamed live here.
Legislative days are being held three times prior to the start of the 2012 short session. The consolidation of interim work over designated three day periods was implemented in 2009 to save taxpayer dollars and improve government efficiency while the Legislature is not in session.
HB 3000 will support local industries and jobs
SALEM – The Senate approved House Bill 3000 this morning, legislation known as the “Buy Oregon First” Bill. The bill allows state agencies to give a preference to goods and services produced in Oregon when bidding out contracts if the cost is not greater than ten percent more than out-of-state goods and services.
“This bill is a great example of legislation that can create and support Oregon jobs,” said Senate Majority Leader Diane Rosenbaum (D-Portland). “By allowing state agencies to exercise the preference to use Oregon services and products first, we are giving our local businesses a much-deserved leg up on the competition.”
SB 863 will raise funds to help struggling families pay power bills
SALEM – Legislation that increases resources available to help struggling families with their electricity bill passed in the Oregon Senate this morning. Senate Bill 863 has the support of ratepayer watchdogs, advocates for low-income Oregonians, and Oregon’s major power providers. By raising an extra $5 million for the Oregon Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) over the next two years, Senate Bill 863 will help thousands of Oregon families keep the lights on and stay in their homes.
SB 718 sets clear expectation for explaining why increases are approved
SALEM – The Oregon Senate approved a bill this morning that will require health insurers to alert policy holders when rates increase under certain conditions. Senate Bill 718 will also require the Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS) to post online detailed explanations of their approval of rate hikes.
“The cost of health care is absolutely prohibitive for too many Oregonians and those costs don’t show any sign of falling in the near future,” said Senator Chip Shields (D-Portland), chair of the committee on General Government, Consumer and Small Business Protection. “Senate Bill 718 shines a light on the problem of spiraling health care costs and how these costs are approved. These issues are too important to Oregonians and small business to happen behind closed doors.”