During the 2016 legislative session, OCN advocated for the following Priorities for a Healthy Oregon:

Comprehensive Climate Policy: Enacting the Healthy Climate Bill

Oregon has passed several policies and programs that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, we have failed to put in place two necessary components of comprehensive climate policy: a cap on overall emissions and a pricing signal that can both help achieve those goals and allow for increased investment in greenhouse gas reduction strategies. The Healthy Climate Bill makes gives teeth to existing emissions goals established in 2007 – goals that we are not on track to meet – and directs DEQ to create a market-based program to meet those goals. It also ensures that proceeds from this market-based program would go toward economically disadvantaged communities, including rural communities and communities of color.

Affordable Housing Tools for Livable Communities: Lifting the Ban on Inclusionary Housing

Oregon is one of two states, along with Texas, that bans local governments from requiring affordable housing units within new developments. With costs soaring even amid a construction boom, it is evident that this ban is contributing to Oregon’s housing crisis. The result of the status quo is that low-income Oregonians are being priced out of livable communities and instead are forced to the edges of urban centers, without adequate access to transportation choices, shopping, and places of employment. Lifting the ban on inclusionary housing policies will alleviate displacement and create more communities where people of all income levels can live together.

Preserving Pro-Environment Program and Agency Budgets

For the past two biennia, the Governor and legislative leaders worked together to ensure a reinvestment in the state agencies that protect our environment. This session, OCN members will work to ensure that any cuts to the state budget do not disproportionately fall onto those agencies and programs tasked with protecting clean air and water, enforcing existing environmental standards, and moving our state toward meaningful action on climate change. Further, when opportunities arise to support bills or budget shifts that enhance pro-environment efforts, we will work together to support them.