OMA 2023 End of Session Update
After a historic 120 days, the 2023 Legislative Session adjourned, sine die, on Sunday, June 25, 2023. As the first in-person session since 2019, time spent inside the Capital was still complicated by a massive earthquake retrofitting construction project which had most of the building shut down apart from legislator offices and committee rooms off the hallway connecting them. Loud clangs and roaring machinery could be heard and often felt throughout the Capitol.
The OMA supported several pieces of legislation, many of which found their way to the Governor’s desk and those that stalled before getting through the legislature but offered lessons on how to better advance the issues in future. There were also several initiatives that our Government Relations team was able to shape with thoughtful amendments or halt altogether in support of our members. And all of this came despite an unprecedented walkout in the senate and the bumpiness of so many new faces in the legislature and in leadership roles. For 44 days, Republican Senators denied quorum in protest of primarily two controversial bills, HB 2002 and HB 2005, as well as a dispute over whether the senate rules were being properly followed. Negotiations were strained for several weeks but just when many thought a special summer session was inevitable to pass a budget and other crucial initiatives, a compromise was reached with just 10 days left in the session to see how many of the hundreds of bills that had been sitting in wait could get through the log jam.
The 2023 OMA agenda items included:
- HB 2538: Healthcare Interpreter Insurance Coverage
- SB 56: Exemption to Corporate Activities Tax
- HB 2002: Reproductive Health and Gender Affirming Care
- HB 2005: Firearm Safety
- HB 2395: Fentanyl Harm Reduction
Budget Issues on OMA's Agenda included:
- Funding for Healthcare Workforce Incentives
- Funding for Oregon Wellness Program
All in all, this session brought many challenges but also several great conversations and positive movement on issues important to our members and the overall health care community at large. The OMA Government Relations team is working on a full 2023 Legislative Report that will be available to members. We look forward to advocating on these and many more clinician inspired initiatives in sessions to come.
If you have a legislative concept for a future session, please reach out to your Government Relations Team.