PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – As 2022 comes to an end, Oregonians have some new laws to look forward to in 2023.
Lawmakers in 2022 had their plates full as they decided what bills would and wouldn’t be made law. After negotiating during the session, legislators passed hundreds of new laws and 20 of them will go into effect on Jan. 1.
The new laws impact everything from education to red light cameras to voter registration.
Here’s a list of the 20 laws going into effect in Oregon the first day of 2023. These are laws that legislators passed in 2022. However, it’s worth noting that other big changes are coming at the start of 2023, including the launch of voter-approved psilocybin treatment facilities. Jan. 1 also marks the start of employee paycheck contributions for the new Paid Leave Oregon program.
Newborn home visits must be reimbursed
SB 1555 – This new law amends one that already existed. It says a health benefit plan offered in Oregon must fully reimburse the cost of a provider performing a newborn nurse home visiting service. In Oregon, families have the option of taking advantage of a free, optional nurse home visiting program. The program is known as Family Connects Oregon and it provides one to three nurse home visits to every family with a newborn. This new law ensures the cost of the healthcare provider visits will be covered by insurers.
Fish for less
HB 4072 – The price of a one-day angling and shellfish license will be reduced by nearly one-third thanks to the passage of HB 4072. The price of a one-day angling and shellfish license was $32.50, but starting Jan. 1, 2023 it will be lowered to $23. The amendment also creates fees for a wild steelhead harvest card and steelhead validation.
Pay-outs for break-ins
HB 4075 – Small businesses targeted by burglaries will have an easier time receiving compensation thanks to this new bill. HB 4075 intends to ease the path to reimbursement for things damaged during a break-in. The law ensures victims get paid first. Only after they’re paid in full would prosecuted criminals pay court fines. Previously, restitution payments were split equally between victims and the court, hampering financial reimbursements to victims.
A more diverse Department of Education
HB 4031 – Oregon already has a goal for the percentage of diverse educators employed by a school district to reflect the percentage of diverse students in the state’s public schools or the district. This new law adds another element to the goal. It says the percentage of diverse employees at the Department of Education should also reflect the percentage of diverse students in the state’s public schools.
New rules for workers’ compensation
HB 4138 – The provisions of Oregon’s workers’ compensation law are amended slightly as a result of HB 4138. The new law states that the insurer or self-insured employer cannot end temporary disability benefits if they don’t mail or deliver written notice to the worker and the worker’s attorney. The notice must explain why the temporary disability benefits will no longer be paid.
School board member transparency
HB 4114 – Beginning Jan. 1, 2023, school board members in Oregon will be required to file a verified statement of economic interest with the Oregon Government Ethics Commission. A statement of economic interest asks public officials to disclose their responses to a series of questions. Participants must provide the names of their businesses, their sources of income, property they own, their debts, shared business with lobbyists, business investments of more than $1,000, and more. Certain statewide elected officials are already required to file a statement of economic interest and now school board members will also be required to do so.
Traffic enforcement agents can give red-light camera tickets
HB 4105 – Police officers aren’t the only ones who will be authorized to review and issue citations based on photographs taken by red light cameras or radar cameras. Starting in 2023, “a duly authorized traffic enforcement agent” will also be able to issue citations. These authorized agents include people who are employed and sworn in by the governing body of the city they work in. The agent must complete training to become authorized to review the photographs and issue citations.
Standardized test survey
HB 4124 – The Oregon Department of Education will now be required to conduct a survey of the standardized tests given to students. The survey is expected to let educators know what tests work and what tests are creating setbacks for students. The Department of Education must use the survey to develop recommendations and best practices related to the assessments.
New COFA Dental Program
SB 1538 – Compact of Free Association citizens who do not qualify for the Oregon Health Plan will now be eligible to receive dental insurance coverage through the COFA Dental Program. The program aims to provide oral health care to low-income citizens of the island nations in the Compact of Free Association who live in Oregon. To be eligible for the program, a person must be a COFA citizen and earn less than 138% of the federal poverty guidelines.
Sexual assault evidence kits must contain form
SB 1574 – This new law ensures that sexual assault forensic evidence kits collected during sexual assault medical assessments include a copy of the medical-forensic examination form, with the victim’s permission. This form includes the victim’s sexual assault forensic exam history, injury documentation and evidence collection documentation.
“Alien” is out. “Noncitizen” is in.
SB 1560 – Anyone who is not a U.S. citizen will no longer be referred to as an “alien” in all Oregon statutory references. Instead, the word will be exchanged for “noncitizen.” The law instructs state agencies to use “noncitizen” in all rules and regulations where they reference a person who is not a citizen of the United States.
Change to Workplace Fairness Act
SB 1586 – This law amends the Workplace Fairness Act that prohibits employers in Oregon from requiring their employees from entering into an agreement that prevents the employees from disclosing discriminatory conduct or harassment. The original law prevented agreements like this between employers and their employees or prospective employees. The amendment adjusts the law to also include former employees.
New child support referees can conduct hearings
HB 4121 – The presiding judge of a judicial district will now be able to appoint people as child support referees thanks to this new law. Child support referees must undergo training on how to handle child support and parentage matters. Child support referees will be expected to hear certain cases, issue an order, and transmit the child support order to the court.
Hike in unlicensed real estate fines
HB 4103 – Anyone caught conducting unlicensed real estate business in Oregon will face a steeper fine when HB 4103 goes into effect. The law increases the minimum fine to $1,000 and the maximum fine to $2,500 for a first-time offense. With a second offense, the fines climb even higher and range from $2,500 to $5,000. Previously, the first offense fine ranged from $100 to $500 and the second offense ranged from $500 to $1,000.
Register to vote with a Social Security number
HB 4133 – Beginning Jan. 1, people can register to vote in Oregon using a Social Security number, in addition to the driver’s license or state identification card that was previously required to register to vote in the state. The electronic voter registration system will require someone who registers to vote using their Social Security number to enter the final four digits of the number and electronically submit an image of their signature.
What’s a benefit year?
SB 1515 – This new law modifies the definition of the “benefit year” as it relates to family medical leave benefits in Oregon. Starting Jan. 1, 2023, the benefit year means a period of 52 consecutive weeks beginning on the Sunday immediately preceding the date when a person begins family leave, medical leave or safe leave.
No OT on short notice
SB 1513 – Employers in Oregon will no longer be able to punish employees in certain manufacturing establishments for refusing to work mandatory overtime shifts at short notice. However, employers will be allowed to take adverse employment actions against workers if they give a worker at least five days’ notice of the overtime shift and the worker refuses.
More cancers considered occupational diseases for firefighters
HB 4113 – More cancers are now listed as occupational diseases firefighters could develop as a result of their job, thanks to HB 4113. The occupational diseases included in the state law must be covered by a city fire department’s death and disability coverage for non-volunteer firefighters who completed five or more years of employment. The new cancers added to the list include bladder cancer and several forms of gynecologic cancers.
New alarm system law
HB 4027 – Local governments are now limited on what regulations they can place on certain non-residential alarm systems and battery-charged fences.
Who counts as a workers’ comp. beneficiary?
HB 4086 – This new bill amends Oregon law to expand beneficiaries who are eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. The new law redefines how a person who cohabitates with an injured worker but is not married to them, is eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits. It also broadens the definition of a dependent to include a worker’s parent’s spouse or domestic partner, a grandparent’s spouse or domestic partner, a grandchild’s spouse or domestic partner, step-siblings, a sibling’s or step-sibling’s spouse or domestic partner, and “any individual related by blood or affinity whose close association with a worker is the equivalent of a family relationship.”