Rep. Cate: Review of bills passed in Legislature

By Oregon State Representative Jami Cate,




SB 1520/HB 4007 – Wildfire Tax Relief: Passed!

If you’ve been reading our newsletters this session, you probably recall our efforts to protect the settlements of wildfire lawsuits from being taxed at rates of up to 70%, thus helping keep those dollars in our impacted communities to directly help recovery efforts. HB 4007 simply ran out of time to make it through the legislative process this year, but SB 1520 was amended to make it identical, meaning whichever one could make it through both the House and Senate Chambers first would be victorious, and we’re happy to report that SB 1520 made it in time! Here is a link to watch me carry HB 4007 on the House Floor. It is such a relief to know the State will not being taxing more in taxes from victims than they would have if the fire hadn’t happened!

HJM 201 – Solidarity with Israel: Died in House Rules Committee

My other priority bill this session was actually a memorial, HJM 201, and would have urged Congress to continue to support Israel in their war against Hamas. Despite bipartisan interest, HJM 201 sadly was not even granted a hearing in the House Committee on Rules and died.




SB 1545 – Property tax relief for wildfire victims

This bill allows counties to gradually increase tax bills based on the pre-fire valuations of properties before homes were lost, and avoid the devastating sticker shock victims have when they receive their adjusted tax bill after a rebuild. This bill happily cleared both chambers and is headed to the Governor’s desk! Senator Girod (R-Stayton) introduced this legislation again this year, and I was proud to carry it on the House Floor.

HB 4024 – Campaign finance reform that creates an uneven playing field for elections

After many failed attempts since 2020, the Legislature finally passed HB 4024 as a last-ditch effort to avoid two different competing ballot measures that were offering their own plans for campaign finance reform. Neither party is overly fond of the “compromise”, but it avoids worse plans offered up by the ballot measures. My main concern is the more regulations we place on donations, the more it drives “dark money” with zero transparency of who is actually funding our candidates.

SB 1537 – Governor’s Housing production bill with one-time UGB expansions 

After dying in the Senate last session, Governor Kotek’s housing production bill easily passed both chambers this time around. This bill allows a one-time expansion of urban growth boundaries, and cuts red tape for many communities who have available land but have thus far been unable to utilize it.

SB 1553 – Elevated crime for using drugs on public transit 

One victory this session was the passage of SB 1553, which made the use of illicit drugs on public transit a Class A misdemeanor. With more and more people feeling unsafe in cities all over the state, this seemed like a no-brainer, and I was thrilled to see to see it sail through the Legislature with flying colors.

SB 1576 – Fixes “Recreational Immunity” for towns 

This bill is a prime example of the kind legislation “short” sessions were intended for. SB 1576 is a simple fix that redefines “recreation” to protect local governments from lawsuits when they open public land to recreation—re-establishing recreational immunity.

SB 1596 – Consumer’s “Right to Repair” Act

One of the hottest topics this session was right to repair, and we received countless emails from constituents urging our support. SB 1596 requires manufacturing companies to make the diagnostic tools, information, and replacement parts and tools available to consumers and third party
repair shops, so Oregonians can more easily and affordably repair their gadgets.

SCR 211 – Resolution in memory of long-time Linn County Clerk, Steve Druckenmiller

I was proud to honor the life of Linn County’s longtime Clerk, Steve Druckenmiller by carrying SCR 211 on the House Floor last week. Please—if you have a few minutes—listen to my own hopefully humorous but poignant story about Steve which highlights his immense dedication to public service.



HB 4079 – Removing cap to fund all Special Education students

A bill near and dear to me was HB 4079, which would have eliminated the cap on state funds for our special education students and also would’ve added a homeless weight into the existing inequitable school funding formula. While this bill did not line up with the Legislature’s current funding priorities this time around, we are cautiously optimistic that it will have a real chance of becoming a reality in 2025.

SB 1548 – Eliminating Time Change with “Ditch the Switch”

Another hot topic this session was the “Dith the Switch” bill, which would have kept Oregon on daylight saving time year-round. It was amended late in the session to require passage of similar bills in California and Washington for the time change to go into effect, but simply ran out of time in the final week and ultimately died in a Senate committee.

SB 1583 – Limits School Board authority to remove inappropriate course materials

A major victory this session was the death of one of the worst bills introduced, SB 1583, which aimed at eliminating schoolboards’ ability to remove inappropriate course materials and books from their classrooms and libraries. This bill was delayed in the final week due to a minority report being filed, and ultimately ran out of time before we adjourned Thursday night. It is worth noting that if leadership truly prioritized this bill, they could have brought us back three more days to ensure it passed through the House Chamber.

SB 1577 – Expands “motor-voter” to students’ college applications

This bill would have expanded motor-voter registration to students applying for college, but died in committee. It is already incredibly easy to vote in Oregon, and we should not continue to give concerned Oregonians reasons to cast doubt on our electoral process by automatically registering college applicants.

SB 1588 – Full Repeal of Measure 110

In addition to the Measure 110 “fix” bills introduced this session (HB 4002 and HB 4036), there was also a straightforward repeal bill that I sponsored, which would have reassigned M110’s treatment dollars to our counties to manage treatment options directly. Sadly, this bill was not even given a hearing and died in committee. Rep. cate

SB 1593 – Creates a severance tax on gross timber sales

This bill would have added a crushing new tax on our already burdended timber industry. Happily, it received a hearing but died in a Senate Committee this session.