Legislative Outlook 2021 | Redmond Economic Development Inc.
0 Articles
0 News
0 Properties
0 Page
0 Blog

Legislative Outlook 2021

Legislative Outlook 2021

The 2021 state legislative session is underway, and Redmond Economic Development Inc. will play its usual role of engaging legislators about bills impacting businesses and future development and advocating for resources which help pull the private sector through the COVID recession.

The 2021 session will be unique. Committee meetings will take place remotely, and floor sessions limited to necessary business. Those looking to testify on specific bills will be doing so virtually.  

State legislators encourage Oregonians to speak up about legislation by email, text, social media channels, and regular mail. Representatives want to hear from constituents, and they are looking to connect with constituents through participation opportunities such as virtual town halls or virtual weeknight coffee meetings.

With more than 3,000 bills already submitted, legislators will be very busy. The breadth of policy issues range from wildfires to rural broadband, housing to infrastructure, and of course, COVID response measures.

Throughout the session, REDI will be working with local businesses and reaching out to officials regarding various issues. The organization will focus on creating economic stabilization in targeted areas, especially in enterprise zones. Enterprise zones bring long-term, sustainable jobs to rural and urban areas. Due to the pandemic, Gov. Kate Brown’s executive orders, and other protective restrictions, employers who receive E-Zone abatements for property taxes face unforeseeable challenges.

Many businesses have released employees or froze hiring because of the current climate, which drops them below the required employment threshold to maintain existing abatements. REDI is working with other economic organizations across the state to seek a legislative fix through an emergency action that allows local governments to waive employment thresholds for companies struggling to meet the requirement.

Despite the pandemic, Redmond remains a sought after location for businesses looking to move, including expansion. The diverse industries and vibrant business culture, E-Zones incentives, and other infrastructure finance tools foster a welcoming environment. Many projects come down to the financial bottom line of whether or not a project pencils or whether they face additional hoops to clear for development. REDI will ensure the area continues to attract businesses benefiting the entire region.

In this session, REDI’s priorities include opportunity zone disconnects, public contracting laws for all tax credits and incentives, state programs supporting infrastructure investments, streamlining land-use processes, as well as bills adversely impacting local businesses. Another focus will be advocating for measures to create additional affordable workforce housing to help retain jobs and a stable workforce.

2021 will stretch lawmakers’ abilities to hear all sides of an issue, and constituents will need to develop new pathways to reach them. REDI is poised to react swiftly and provide valuable insight into shaping and advocating for legislation to encourage business viability and growth.  

Join us on Facebook and LinkedIn.