Laws that affect you go into effect Jan. 1

As the year comes to an end, I wanted to take some time to remind you of some of the new legislation going into effect on January 1, 2020.

Don’t forget to bring your reusable bags to the grocery or department store, unless you want to pay a five-cent fee for every paper bag that is used. (Produce, bulk items, meat, and unwrapped baked goods are excluded.)

With the passage of SB 608, state-wide rent control, your rent could increase at the start of the year up to seven percent plus inflation costs. This year, the rent was capped at a 10 percent increase.

If you want a plastic straw with your beverage at a restaurant or convenience store, you’ll have to ask for one. Otherwise, violators will receive a $25 fine per day with a $300 yearly cap. (Fast food drive-thru orders, hospitals, and nursing homes are excluded.)

Expect to see a cost of living increase (an average of $1,300 per year) due to the Gross Receipts Tax/Student Success Act (HB 3427), increased minimum wage by 50 or 75 cents depending on where you live, and gas increases due to legislation like HB 2007.

Affecting north Marion County in House District 25, HB 3213, is approved for a safety corridor study. Hopefully this legislation will help decrease fatalities on “death road.”

If you didn’t know, the legislature will meet again for a short session in 2020 with a start date of February 3 and a constitutional end date of March 8. In the House of Representatives, each member is able to submit two bills. The Senate allows their members to submit only one bill. Since the purpose of the short session is to focus on adjusting any budget issues, as passed by the voters in 2010 via Measure 71, I usually never submit any policy legislation. However, this session I am proposing some very simple and bi-partisan legislation that is much needed:

Kratom—this bill will regulate and restrict this substance. Currently, any person under 21 can purchase this opioid-like substance.

Land Use—this bill ensures that updated land use laws do not hinder a property owner from selling after a court judgment.

Prior to the 2020 session, the legislature will be meeting in January for Legislative Days and other training opportunities. I look forward to having a discussion about kratom in the House Committee on Agriculture and Land Use, of which I am vice chair. 

Most importantly, I hope you all have a wonderful holiday. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

(Bill Post represents House Dis- trict 25. He can be reached at 503- 986- 1425 or via email at rep.bill- post@ oregonlegislature.gov.)