What is the timeline for drafting and passing a Landlord-Tenant Coalition bill?
Many park and marina tenants are surprised that changing legislation takes so long. We can all sympathize with tenants who have urgent issues and need to be resolved within the 30-day window that a notice requires. But the truth is that changing state laws takes a trendendous amount of time and changing state laws does not happen quickly.
OSTA participates in the Manufactured Housing and Marina Landlord-Tenant Coalition (“The Coalition”) as our primary means of changing the law to help protect tenants. We worked for two years – from May 2017 until May 2019 – on what became our Coalition bill – Senate Bill 586. SB 586 was approved by the Oregon Legislature in June 2019, and became law in July 2019 when it was signed by the Governor.
Most of the laws in SB 586 go into effect on January 1, 2020 (marina laws around landlord education and registration, as well as the marina landlord and tenant assessments, do not become effective until January 1, 2022).
A Typical Coalition Bill Timeline
Let’s take a closer look at the timeline and activity highlights of our Coalition meetings in support of Senate Bill 586 to understand what goes into take a bill from an issue to a law.
- May 9: Broad discussion of potential issues to tackle for the 2019 Legislative Session
- June 20: Review of issues up for discussion to potentially tackle 2019 Legislative Session
- Tenants introduced the need for Enforcement of current statutes
- Landlords introduced the need to make changes to the Termination of Tenancy Statute to make for-cause terminations easier
- No meetings in July or August because the work from the previous 2 years had concluded with the June 6th and 14th passings of our 2017 Legislative Session bills and we take a brief break to regroup.
- September 12: In-depth review of the Enforcement issue and making it easier for landlords to Termination of Tenancy for-cause when a tenant is a “bad actor” and early steps in determining potential legislative solutions to both issues
- October 25: Discussion of the potential ideas for solutions to both Enforcement and Termination of Tenancy for bad actor tenants issues, and an introductory discussion of Marina issues
- November 14: Review of possible considerations for the Enforcement and Termination of Tenancy issues, plus the introduction of the Submetering issues
- December 19: In-depth discussion of the Submetering issue, and further discussions on the Enforcement, Termination, and general discussion about Marina Issues
- January 6: Discussion and review of considerations for Dispute Resolution (formerly known as Enforcement) and Termination issues, and an overview of select Marina issues
- February 20: Review of the Termination and Dispute Resolution issues in draft legislative format
- March 20: Review of the revised Termination and Dispute Resolution issues in draft legislative format
- April 17: In depth review of Marina Issues and identified the need to form a Marina Issues Subcommittee
- May 15: Review of the revised Submeter, Termination and Dispute Resolution issues in draft legislative format
- Submetering – 2nd Draft
- Dispute Resolution – 5th Draft
- Termination – 7th Draft
- June 19: In addition to reviewing revised legislative drafts of the current issues, we began discussing a need to extend the legislative sunsets (expirations) for (a) the capital gains exemption for park owners who sell their parks to the residents or a nonprofit or housing authority and (b) the $5k park closure displacement tax credit
- July 17: In depth negations and discussion about the Submetering issue
- August 14: Negations and discussion about the Dispute Resolution issue
- Dispute Resolution – 6th Draft
- September 18: Negations and discussion about the Submetering and Dispute Resolution issues
- Submetering – 5th Draft
- Dispute Resolution – 7th Draft
- October 16: Introduction to an urgent issues that arose regarding the Hazard Tree statute and detailed discussion as we approach final decisions on the Termination and Dispute Resolution issues
- Dispute Resolution – 8th Draft
- Termination – 9th Draft
- November 20: Further detailed discussion as we approach final decisions on the Submetering and Termination Issues, reviewed the work from the Marina Issues Subcommittee
- Marina Issues – 3rd Draft
- Submetering – 6th Draft
- Termination – 10th Draft
- December 18: Reviewed the new Hazardous Tree issue in draft legislative format and made minor changes as we approached final decisions on the Submetering and Dispute Resolution issues, then considered adding a fee solution to the Termination Issue (allowing landlords to charge fees rather than terminate tenants for certain rule violations)
- Hazardous Tree Issue – 1st Draft
- Submetering – 7th Draft
- Dispute Resolution – 9th Draft
- January 15: Further detailed discussion as we approach final decisions on the previous issues, added a fee solution to the Termination issue, and considered an idea for bringing Enforcement back into the discussion in the Dispute Resolution issue
- Hazardous Tree Issue – 2nd Draft – Finalized all decisions about this issue
- Marina Issues – 4th Draft – Finalized all decisions about this issue
- Dispute Resolution – 11th Draft
- Termination/Fees – 11th Draft
- February 6: Reviewed the proposed fees solution in the Termination issue, and the added Enforcement solutions
- Dispute Resolution/Enforcement – 12th Draft
- Termination/Fees – 12th Draft
- February 22: Continued making final decisions on the remaining issues
- Submetering – 8th Draft
- Dispute Resolution/Enforcement – 13th Draft
- Termination/Fees – 13th Draft
- March 3: Final drafts reviewed
- Submetering – 9th Draft
- Termination/Fees – 14th Draft
- Dispute Resolution/Enforcement – 14th Draft
- March 4: Public hearing at the State Capitol in Salem for the Senate Committee of Housing – The Coalition and stakeholders provided testimony in support of the bill
- March 4 – April 1: John VanLandingham, Co-Facilitator of the Coalition and Vice-President of OSTA worked with our assigned Legislative Council to draft our Senate Bill 586 – amendments were required since The Coalition reached agreement so late in the Legislative Session
- April 8: Our SB 586 bill passed unanimously out of the Senate Committee on Housing
- April 17: Our SB 586 bill passed out of the Senate with 33 votes in favor and zero votes against. The bill moves on to the House of Representatives to consider.
- April 18 – 28: Continued amendments drafted for SB 586 to refelct the entirety of what The Coalition agreed to
- April 29: House of Representatives Human Services and Housing Committee hearing on our bill.
- April 30 – May 14: Continued amendments drafted for SB 586 to reflect the entirety of what The Coalition agreed to
- May 16: Final version of our changes to SB 586 is completed.
- May 22: A House work session on the bill and passed unanimously 9 to 0.
- June 10: The Ways and Means (budgetary review) Transportation and Economic Development Committee recommended passage of the bill with an amendment to the full Ways and Means Committee.
- June 14: The Ways and Means Committee passed our bill 18 to 2 in favor.
- June 19: The amendments from the House are incorporated into our bill and the final version is published as SB 586-C Engrossed.
- June 24: SB 586-C, passed the Oregon House of Representatives on a 57 to 1 vote in favor, and must now be sent back to the Senate to re-approve with the amendments.
- June 29: SB 586-C, passed the Oregon Senate on a 25 to 2 vote.
- July 23: Governor Kate Brown signs bill and it becomes law.
- Most of the laws in SB 586 go into effect on January 1, 2020 (marina laws around landlord education and registration, as well as the marina assessments do not become effective until January 1, 2022.
When you consider the tremendous amount of work in between each session bullet-pointed above – organizing, meeting with park and marina tenants, subcommittee meetings required to further unpack single issues, synthesizing notes and drafting potential legislative language based on the terms we agree upon at each meeting, gaining legislative and stakeholder support – it becomes clear how hard everyone must work together to change state laws.
For more information about an issue you are having or about how to participate in the legislative process, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.