Log in

Stay Current

The Latest PLSO News & Announcements

<< First  < Prev   1   2   3   4   5   ...   Next >  Last >> 
  • 08 Jul 2020 1:05 PM | PLSO Office (Administrator)

    The Oregon Legislature held an Emergency Session last week, ending late on Friday, June 26th. During the three-day marathon, the Capitol was closed to the public and to lobbyists. Nonetheless, I actively advocated on your behalf, testifying remotely, and connecting with lawmakers over the phone and by email.

    The Emergency Session had two purposes: it dealt with COVID-19 related issues, but it was dominated by bills related to policing and the race-related civil unrest gripping our country right now.

    With no industry-specific legislation, most of my advocacy was as part of the Oregon Employer Roundtable. During the Special Session, the Roundtable advocated for a liability shield for businesses who are making a good faith effort to follow through on COVID-19 guidance for employers. Sadly, Democratic leadership kicked the can down the road, creating a work group rather than creating protections for businesses. This was particularly disappointing because there were enough votes in both the Senate and House to pass protections for businesses.

    Trial lawyers and labor groups exerted enough pressure to stop our amendment. More information is detailed below. I am hopeful protection will be adopted during the next Special Session, which will come in late July or early August.

    As the COVID-19 Pandemic continues to evolve, along with the ever-changing responses from Federal, State and Local governments, I also continue to monitor these changes and advocate on your behalf, and on behalf of the business community in general. Below are updates on just some of what has been happening.

    GENERAL GUIDANCE FOR EMPLOYERS

    On June 11, the Oregon Health Authority provided new guidance for businesses. If you haven’t reviewed this document, it should be high on your “to do” list for this week.

    General Guidance for Employers / June 11, 2020

    COUNTY SPECIFIC MASK REQUIREMENTS

    Beginning June 24, Governor Brown required everyone in Clackamas, Hood River, Lincoln, Marion, Multnomah, Polk, and Washington counties to begin wearing masks or face coverings when in indoor public spaces. She has since added Clatsop county beginning July 1. This new requirement will likely impact your members, especially if they have an area of their place of businesses where customers visit and/or if they visit workplaces which are open for business, or occupied homes.

    County Specific Mask Guidance / June 22, 2020

    GET REAL TIME UPDATES FROM OREGON HEALTH AUTHORITY

    You can review the ever-changing guidance from the Oregon Health Authority at their dedicated website, and register to receive their email updates below:

    Oregon Health Authority COVID-19 Website

    COVID-19 Guidance Email Sign Up

    EMERGENCY SESSION FAILS TO PROTECT BUSINESSES

    The threat of lawsuits from employees, or members of the public, related to COVID-19 is both unlimited and very real. And the threat isn’t limited to businesses. The Oregon Employers Roundtable efforts to provide liability protections included a partnership with local governments and nonprofits across the state who are facing the same uncertain future as businesses.

    More than 50 organizations signed on to a letter requesting protections. Rep. David Gomberg (D-Lincoln City) — a small business owner — spearheaded a letter signed by ten Democratic House members asking leadership for our amendment. These ten Democrats, when added to the Republicans, ensured enough votes to pass a liability protection amendment. Rep. Caddy McKeown (D-Coos Bay) drafted the amendment and had it ready for adoption by the Joint Committee. However, the Speaker of the House, Tina Kotek (D-Portland), announced after a break in testimony before the committee that the amendment would not be adopted.

    Speaker Kotek did say a work group would discuss the issue and some kind of liability protection may be considered by a future Emergency Session of the Legislature.

    Below is a link to all of the bills passed by the Emergency Session of the Legislature. You can click on any bill number to read the actual legislation. There are also links to the letter by the ten Democrats and the amendment they drafted, and links to the testimony requesting protection and an earlier letter from Labor groups opposing efforts to protect businesses.

    Bills Passed During the Emergency Session

    Employers Plead for Liability Relief

    Ten House Democrats Help Employers

    Employer Protection Amendment

    Labor Groups Weigh In

    WORKERS COMPENSATION STILL AN UNRESOLVED ISSUE

    One of labor’s demands during the Emergency Session was a new presumption in Workers Compensation law that all positive COVID-19 cases are covered by Workers Compensation insurance. The business community strongly opposed this demand. To her credit, Governor Kate Brown pushed the issue away from the Emergency Session and to MLAC (the Management-Labor Advisory Committee). The Legislature created MLAC in 1990 to ensure changes to Oregon’s highly successful workers compensation system are deliberate and thoughtful. I applaud Governor Brown for her letter (see link below to read her letter).

    Governor Brown's letter to MLAC June 23, 2020

    If you have any questions about any of the information provided here, please email or call me at 971-388-1786.


  • 07 Jul 2020 1:29 PM | PLSO Office (Administrator)

    The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines membership as follows:

    Membership noun

    mem·ber·ship | \ˈmem-bər-ˌship

    plural memberships

    Definition of membership

    1: the state or status of being a member

    2: the body of members // an organization with a large membership

    Membership is implied to be individuals who have something in common and therefore wish to belong to a group or organization that promotes that commonality. This is not a new concept, as various memberships have existed for centuries. The groups can be formal or informal, business or social, public or private, but the common interest is key to them all. For instance, membership was a status symbol if you and/or your family belonged to a country club, hunting club or equestrian club. Groups have gathered socially in automobile and motorcycle clubs for the past century. Civic clubs, including Kiwanis, Lions Club, and the Jaycees, were created to provide organized assistance to municipalities and neighborhoods. Museums are well known for their membership programs and those donations help keep the institutions thriving. Other membership organizations were established to help people with various causes, including civil liberties, Second Amendment rights, and retiree programs and discounts. All serve a good and dedicated purpose; however, the most important one that will most likely provide the most benefit is the professional membership.

    MEMBERSHIP IN PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS

    Membership in a professional society, especially in times like these, is also important on many levels. For the surveying profession, it provides advocacy and representation for not just the licensed practitioner, but anyone who works in surveying. Some of the benefits of being a member of state and national surveying associations include:

    REGULATION & ADVOCACY

    Part of the association’s role for professional oversight is regulatory advocacy. Professional licensing has come under fire in recent years as deregulation groups seek to eliminate licensing they see as a barrier to entry rather than to protect the integrity of the interests. State and national associations are working together to defend our profession against these efforts and maintain the regulatory requirements of the surveyor.

    Another area of advocacy is political representation at both the federal and state levels. From UAV uses to fighting back against infringing uses of radio signals used by GNSS satellites, the associations work together to represent the surveying profession’s best interest in potentially damaging policies and lack of funding for essential surveying and mapping activities.

    PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS

    Besides advocating for licensing, the associations provide input and guidance for professional standards for technical documents and services. From working with the title examiners group to establish a national land title survey standard to specific guidelines for deliverables, our association groups work together to raise the standard of the profession. They also advocate for a higher ethical standard for all practitioners in surveying so to be seen in a respectable light.

    Various certification programs are available through the national and state associations, including:

    • Certified Survey Technician
    • Certified Hydrographic Surveyor
    • Certified Floodplain Surveyor

    These certifications allow Surveyors to promote their skill set further as one who is specifically trained for a particular task.

    EDUCATION

    The surveying associations provide continuing education (whether statutorily required or not) for all levels and tasks of surveyors, from introductory field and office to advanced technology and legal curriculum. Many also provide material refreshers for those preparing for their licensing exams. Many of these educational opportunities are held during annual conferences and seminars specifically targeted for surveyors, whether members or not.

    Labor shortages are happening in most professions and surveying is no different. Our organizations provide educational outreach for future surveyors through various conduits, including elementary and high school programs and college career days through engineering and mapping-related curriculums. We also promote scholarship opportunities for two- and four-year degree college programs through a variety of channels.

    TECHNOLOGY

    Along with formal surveying education topics and discussions, another substantial portion of an association’s conference or seminar is an exhibitor’s hall showcasing the latest and greatest in surveying technology. It is also a place for vendors to present new data services to augment existing surveying tasks.

    Technology providers often utilize these associations for advertising and marketing so members are exposed to new equipment, software, and processes more directly than simply advertising in trade magazines.

    AND MUCH MORE!

    Many of these organizations offer member discount programs for insurance, travel, products, and more. They can provide these discounted options simply because of the buying power of more users, so the savings are passed on directly to the Surveyor.

    Associations also often offer career centers for connecting people and open positions. Many also offer resume services to help the job seeker capture their best qualities for inclusion on a job application.

    THE INTANGIBLES

    While the aforementioned are the main examples of the benefits of membership in your state and national surveying association, for many it is simply the opportunity to connect with fellow professionals and technicians. Whether it be for job openings, questions regarding a specific survey or simply engaging another professional in peer review, your membership in these groups helps to pave the way to completing these tasks and more.

    TAKING CARE OF TODAY AND PLANNING FOR TOMORROW

    Although we are living in unprecedented times, maintaining your memberships, both state and national, may become a question of necessity. For most, prioritizing expenses has become more scrutinized and membership is easily seen as non-essential cost. These memberships are an investment in your profession and career, so consider that return when your next renewal form comes in the mail. The money spent now on professional memberships can go a long way in keeping your profession and career acknowledged as an essential service for years to come.


  • 30 Jun 2020 10:54 AM | PLSO Office (Administrator)

    ------
    Governor Kate Brown Extends Face Coverings Requirement Statewide

    Face covering requirements apply to indoor public spaces, take effect on Wednesday, July 1 
     

    (Portland, OR) — Governor Kate Brown announced today that Oregonians statewide will be required to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces, beginning this Wednesday July 1. The guidance applies to businesses and members of the public visiting indoor public spaces. Face covering requirements are already mandated in eight counties.

    “From the beginning of the reopening process, I have said that reopening comes with the risk of seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases beyond our health systems’ capacity to test, trace, and isolate them,” said Governor Kate Brown. “Over the last month, we have seen the disease spread at an alarming rate in both urban and rural counties. The upcoming July 4th holiday weekend is a critical point for Oregon in this pandemic, and we can all make a difference.

    “Modeling from the Oregon Health Authority shows that if we don’t take further action to reduce the spread of the disease, our hospitals could be overwhelmed by new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations within weeks.

    “The choices every single one of us make in the coming days matter.

    “Face coverings that cover your nose and mouth play a critical role in reducing the spread of this disease because droplets from our breath can carry the virus to others without us realizing it. If we all wear face coverings, practice six feet of physical distancing in public, wash our hands regularly, and stay home when we are sick, then we can avoid the worst-case scenarios that are now playing out in other states.

    “I do not want to have to close down businesses again like other states are now doing. If you want your local shops and restaurants to stay open, then wear a face covering when out in public.

    “Please keep your Fourth of July celebrations small and local. We saw a lot of new COVD-19 cases following the Memorial Day holiday. Another spike in cases after the upcoming holiday weekend could put Oregon in a dangerous position.

    “Oregonians have all made incredible sacrifices over the last several months that have saved thousands of lives. The actions we take now can protect our friends, neighbors, loved ones, and fellow Oregonians from this disease, and prevent the need for another statewide shutdown. We are truly all in this together.”

    Oregon Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) will take the lead, along with other state and local agencies, in enforcing face covering requirements for all covered Oregon businesses.


  • 17 Jun 2020 6:25 PM | PLSO Office (Administrator)

    The Northern Region, East-Side Lands and Boundary Management Zone (ESLBZ) for the Beaverhead-Deerlodge, Custer-Gallatin, Helena Lewis & Clark National Forests, and the Dakota Prairie National Grasslands (“East - Side Lands & Boundary Zone”) will soon be advertising to fill one permanent career ladder position – Land Surveyor, GS-1373 5/7/9.  The position is for a Permanent Full Time employee and is geared toward training the incumbent for licensure in the future. This position will be advertised under Merit and Demo authority procedures.

    Duty Station

    The duty station for this position is located in Dickinson, North Dakota, Dakota Prairie Grasslands, Medora Ranger District. 

    Supervision

    The incumbent will report to the Supervisory Land Surveyor for the East - Side Lands & Boundary Zone The Supervisory Land Surveyor assigns specific projects and duties to the incumbent based on the approved program of work for the East - Side Lands & Boundary Zone.  A Board of Directors, consisting of the Forest/Grassland Supervisors for the four Units and the Regional Director of Recreation, Minerals, Lands, Heritage, & Wilderness, provide oversight and set the priorities for the program of work and budget for the East - Side Lands & Boundary Zone.

    Position Overview

    This position is part of the Northern Region Eastside Land Adjustment and Boundary Management Zone, serving three national forests and one national grassland in Montana, North Dakota, and northwestern South Dakota.   The successful candidate is expected to fully support and work towards the success of the East – Side Lands & Boundary Zone’s mission and programs.

    Land Surveyor, 1373 GS – 5/7/9: performs duties which are designed to orient the incumbent in the application of academic theories and basic professional land surveying principles to a variety of work situations. Duties include boundary surveys, road and trail right-of-ways and maintenance of property boundary lines. The position provides the opportunity to use the latest GPS technology working in the Public Land Survey System, and is a great job training for licensing needs or advancing your surveying career.

    This position is field going and requires a valid driver’s license.

    Position requires a considerable amount of travel throughout Montana, North Dakota, and northwest South Dakota, with overnight stays.  Government Vehicle and travel expenses will be provided while in travel status.

    For more information

    For more information about the application and recruitment process, please contact the Forest Service Albuquerque Service Center (ASC) Human Resource Management (HRM) Staffing,1-877-372-7248, or fsjobs@fs.fed.us.

    For more information about the East - Side Lands & Boundary Zone, this position, programs of work, roles and responsibilities, and operating plans and procedures, please contact Mark Aughtman, Supervisory Land Surveyor, (701)-227-7835, mark.aughtman@usda.gov, or Kathryn Nash, Supervisory Realty Specialist, (406) 587-6784, kathryn.nash@usda.gov.

    If you are interested in this position and want to receive notice when the Vacancy Announcement will be posted on the USAJOBS website, please contact Mark Aughtman, Supervisory Land Surveyor, mark.aughtman@usda.gov


  • 09 Jun 2020 4:00 PM | PLSO Office (Administrator)

    By Tim Fassbender & Renee Clough, OSBEELS Board of Directors

    Recent concerns and questions raised by the professional community regarding Oregon Administrative Rule (OAR) 820-025-0010, digital seal and signature requirements, have been received by the Oregon State Board of Examiners for Engineering & Land Surveying (OSBEELS) and prompted a discussion about digital signatures and signing final documents. To address these questions and concerns, we have developed this article that will share resources and information to help professional registrants, and the users of their documents, to understand the differences between an electronic signature and a digital signature.

    Relevant rules to this topic include:

    1. OAR 820-025-0001 – defines digital signature and digital certificate.
    2. OAR 820-025-0005(5) – specifies digital signatures as an acceptable alternative to a wet signed signature if specific criteria are met
    3. OAR 820-025-0010 – outlines requirements for digital seal and signature for electronic final documents.

    A digital signature in compliance with OAR 820-025-0010 utilizes a public-private digital key pair provided through the services of a certificate authority. The private key is known only to the signer and is often in the form of a password. The public key is utilized by the certificate authority to validate the document. To verify a digital signature, the verifier must have access to the signer’s public key and have assurance that it corresponds to the signer’s private key. In the case of OAR 820-025-0010 this assurance must be provided by using a certificate authority as a trusted third party to associate an identified signer with a specific public key; essentially the certificate acts like a notary. A self-signed certificate is one that is created by the individual signer without the services of a certificate authority; this is not sufficient for purposes of compliance with OAR 820-025-0010.

    The term “third party” in all the above cited OAR sections requires specific discussion. Some software will allow the user to make their own digital signature certificate which is often referred to as a self-signed certificate. This is often made in the same software being used to create the particular document but could be made in some other software. The upshot though is that anyone seeking to verify the authenticity of the digital signature will be coming back to signer for that authentication. In the case of a non-self-signed certificate, an entity known as a “Certificate Authority”, has made the certificate and verified your identity as part of the process. When the digital signature is applied to the document the local software communicates with that Certificate Authority. Later when someone verifies the signature their local software also communicates with that Certificate Authority. Hence the term “third party”, that certificate authority is not you, it is not the person receiving the document - it is a third party. A “third party” Certificate Authority is equivalent to a notary.

    The table and discussion below summarize the differences:

    Electronic Signatures Digital Signatures    
    A Functional term A legal term
    Not technically bound to a specific individual or the result of a validation process Tied to a specific individual via a PKI-based digital certificate
    Created via options such as typed names, scanned images, online tools, or a “click wrap” agreement Created using a digital algorithm to bind the document using a certificate, resulting in a unique “fingerprint”
    Legal, but not easily identifiable to one unique user and can be replicated Easily identifiable to a unique individual, auditable, and non-replicable
    Does not meet OAR 820-025-0010 requirements Does meet OAR 820-025-0010 requirements


    Numerous certificate authorities are available with the ability to interface with a variety of software. Consequently, the process of utilizing a digital signature in compliance with OAR 820-025-0010 is too variable to provide a step-by-step description here.

    It should be noted that, with a digital signature, the original is the digitally signed file. Prints of that file, whether to paper or to another digital format (such as pdf), are equivalent to photocopies of a wet signed document. Those prints can be used when a photocopy would be acceptable but not when an original is required. Most software capable of opening a specific file type is also capable of confirming the validity of a digital signature when it necessary to confirm the original has been received. Some software will display this confirmation prominently at the top or side of the screen, others need the user to interact with several layers of menus.

    Lastly, it is important to note that OAR 820-025-0005(e) requires a digitally signed document to have the words “digitally signed” in the location where a wet signature would traditionally be placed.

    In an effort to continue to address questions from the professional community, as well as provide further direction, the Board will be reconvening the Digital Signatures Task Force. Actions taken by the Task Force may cause information within this article to become outdated. To stay up-to-date on the latest information and resources, we recommend visiting the Board website.

    Please refer to the below resources for additional information on the differences between electronic and digital signatures.


  • 30 Apr 2020 7:51 AM | PLSO Office (Administrator)

    Dear Corporate Activity Tax stakeholder:

    The Oregon Department of Revenue is adjusting requirements of businesses making estimated quarterly payments of the Corporate Activity Tax.

    Beginning immediately, Revenue has revised OAR 150-317-1300, dated April 27, 2020, to reflect a change in the threshold for making estimated tax payments from $5,000 of annual tax liability to $10,000 of annual tax liability for the first year of the tax. This means businesses that will owe less than $10,000 are not required to make quarterly estimated tax payments during 2020.

    Revenue also won’t assess penalties for underestimated quarterly payments or for not making a quarterly payment, if businesses don’t have the financial ability to make the estimated payment.

    If businesses know they’ll owe $10,000 or more in annual Corporate Activity Tax in 2020 and can pay, they should make estimated quarterly payments and comply with the law to the fullest extent possible.

    Information and a worksheet for calculating quarterly payments can be found on the CAT page of the agency website under the Beyond the FAQ “When are estimated payments required?” The information has recently been updated to reflect the higher threshold of $10,000 or more.

    The Department of Revenue will honor a business taxpayer’s good-faith efforts to comply and not assess penalties if they document their efforts to comply, including how COVID-19 has impacted their business.

    If businesses have been impacted by COVID-19 and are finding it difficult to calculate or pay an estimated quarterly payment, they should keep documentation showing:

    • Their inability to pay a quarterly payment because of insufficient funds due to COVID-19.
    • Their inability to reasonably calculate a quarterly payment or annual tax liability due to their business being impacted by COVID-19.
    • That the taxpayer is unclear at this time whether the business will owe Corporate Activity Tax in April 2020 due to COVID-19 impacts, after taking into consideration exclusions and subtractions in the law.

    Businesses uncertain about their economic future due to the COVID-19 crisis, or those that have been closed during this crisis and have no ability to determine that they will owe a tax this year, won’t be penalized.

    Stakeholders can direct questions or comments about the CAT via email to cat.help.dor@oregon.gov or call 503-945-8005.

    Thank you.

     

    Corporate Activity Tax Policy Team

    Oregon Department of Revenue

    cat.help.dor@Oregon.gov

     


  • 24 Apr 2020 11:22 AM | PLSO Office (Administrator)

    First quarter 2020 estimated payments for Oregon’s new Corporate Activity Tax are due by April 30. Taxpayers expecting more than $5,000 of Corporate Activity Tax liability for the calendar year must make estimated payments.

    The department understands that the COVID-19 pandemic may impact commercial activity, up or down, to an extent that makes it difficult for businesses to estimate their first payment. The department will not assess underpayment penalties to taxpayers making a good faith effort to estimate their first quarter payments for the CAT.

    Taxpayers may demonstrate good faith effort by using the best information available to them at the time to estimate their payment. Taxpayers should document and retain the information they used to estimate their commercial activity as well as documentation used to show how they calculated their estimated payments. Taxpayers will not be required to submit this information to the department when they file their return or make estimated payments, but should keep the information in their records.

    Guidance about making CAT quarterly payments can be found on the CAT page of the Department of Revenue website: https://www.oregon.gov/dor/programs/businesses/Pages/corporate-activity-tax.aspx

    Information available by following the Beyond the FAQ link includes answers to the questions:

    • How to calculate CAT liability?
    • When are estimated payments required?
    • How do I pay my estimated taxes?

    The CAT page also includes links to a video of the presentation made by CAT policy staff during the March CAT update tour, which was cut short by concerns about the spread of the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, and a PDF file of the PowerPoint presentation used during the tour. Guidance and examples of how to calculate CAT liability can be found in slides 30–38.

    Additionally, taxpayers can access a PDF of a PowerPoint presentation on “How to make a CAT payment” and links to register and make payments for the CAT through Revenue Online.

    The CAT webpage also includes a link to the administrative rules for the CAT.

    The 2019 Legislature created the CAT to boost funding for public schools. The CAT is imposed on businesses for the privilege of doing business in Oregon, including those located inside and outside of Oregon. It’s measured on a business’s commercial activity—the total amount a business realizes from activity in Oregon.

    Businesses with taxable commercial activity in excess of $1 million must pay the Corporate Activity Tax. The tax is $250 plus 0.57% of gross receipts greater than $1 million after subtractions.

    The CAT applies to all business entity types, such as C and S corporations, partnerships, sole proprietorships, and other entities. Businesses with more than $750,000 in Oregon commercial activity are required to register for the CAT.

    Taxpayers can email questions about the CAT to cat.help.dor@oregon.gov or call 503-945-8005.


    Thank you.

    Corporate Activity Tax Policy Team
    Oregon Department of Revenue
    cat.help.dor@Oregon.gov


  • 09 Apr 2020 1:36 PM | PLSO Office (Administrator)

    Coronavirus, Your Business and Drinking from a Fire Hydrant

    By:       Darrell W. Fuller, PLSO Lobbyist*

    You will find more information on the CARES ACT and other state and federal update summaries (as well as a PDF of this article) here: www.plso.org/COVID-19

    Staying up-to-date on COVID-19 is like drinking from a fire hose. Information changes daily — sometimes hourly. In terms of managing your business, your best resources are your tax adviser, your attorney and your banker.

    This update aggregates some information from reliable sources. I’m here to help if you have any questions, especially with how state government is handling COVID-19. Just send your emails to fuller_darrell@yahoo.com or call 971-388-1786.

    We’re all in this together – six feet apart.

    FEDERAL

    Applications Now Open for Federal Paycheck Protection Program:

    Starting Friday, April 3, businesses can apply through their local lender for the Paycheck Protection loan program that will provide businesses with up to eight weeks of funding to keep employees on the payroll. The Treasury Department released useful information for lenders and borrowers, just click here.

    (As you might expect, early feedback is that banks are understaffed, underinformed and overwhelmed. Don’t expect a quick and simple process. Websites will crash or freeze and phone lines will be busy or hold times will be extraordinarily long. It is also possible some applications will be put on hold as the Federal government runs out of money allocated for this program. It is expected additional funds will be provided soon.)

    SBA COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan Application SBA is collecting the requested information in order to make a loan under SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program to the qualified entities listed in this application that are impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The information will be used in determining whether the applicant is eligible for an economic injury loan. If you do not submit all the information requested, your loan cannot be fully processed. For the online application click here.

    Members of Congress are already talking about what comes next

    Lawmakers are already publicly floating ideas for a fourth coronovirus relief bill only days after Congress passed a massive $2.2 trillion package. The talks are in their preliminary stages, and any bill is unlikely to come together before both chambers return to DC as soon as April 20…

    The Hill - Five Things Being Discussed For The Next Relief Bill

    STATE

    Oregon COVID-19 Small Business Navigator

    Business Oregon, alongside the Oregon Employment Department, the Oregon Secretary of State, and the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services has compiled information to assist Oregon small businesses dealing with the impacts of COVID-19. Click here or call the Business Navigator hotline

    at 833-604-0880.

    Moratorium on Commercial Evictions

    Governor Brown has issued an Executive Order creating a 90-day moratorium on commercial evictions. For an article on OregonLive, click here. To read Governor Brown’s Executive Order 20-13 click here.

    Complaints against employers flooding in

    Since announcing her Executive Order shuttering specific “non-essential” businesses, but allowing most others to stay open, state regulators have been flooded with employee complaints. And it isn’t surprising considering the Governor tweeted out a request for employees to file a complaint. For a couple of news articles about what YOUR business could face, click here or here.

    OHSA Complaint Form

    If an employee files a complaint against their employer, click here to see the form they will complete.

    Governor Kate Brown’s Coronavirus page

    The Governor has her own dedicated COVID-19 page. You can read all of her several Executive Orders and find links to useful tools here.

    Legislature hot and cold on Special Session for Cornoavirus

    Legislative leadership hastily assembled a joint committee to address COVID-19. It met all day, for several days, forwarding emergency recommendations to the Senate President and Speaker of the House. Everyone was set for an urgent and quick Special Session. Then it just didn’t happen. Click here for a recent story on the legislative soap opera. The latest rumor is leadership wants to hold off until after the next quarterly state revenue forecast, coming in early May, so they can make adjustments to the state budget based on falling taxes. Another hot topic will be whether the Special Session is limited to just COVID-19, or will they take up other issues which died when the Republicans walked out of the February session to stop passage of a Cap and Trade bill. Senator Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose) suggested other items were on the table in an article here.

    NFIB

    The National Federation of Independent Business has created a “Guide to New Federal Lending Options” webpage here. They also have “Small Business Resources in Response to Coronavirus” page here.

    OTHER

    Experts suggest Oregon cases will peak around April 24 or 25 (meaning it’s not even half time yet)

    Oregon’s hospitals aren’t filled to capacity now. The governor’s stay-at-home order and social distancing has helped. According to the latest model, the state is expected to reach its peak of cases around April 24 or 25. To read the entire article on OregonLive, click here.

    The estimated “peak” date changes frequently, however The new forecast from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation shows Oregon’s hospital system is capable of handling coronavirus patients. But it still predicts 171 Oregonians will die by May 27. It projects a peak on April 20, with about five deaths. Because of uncertainties inherent in modeling, the peak could see as many as 10 deaths in a day -- and potentially more. Between 145 and 209 could die. Read the article here.

    Not everyone agrees with the experts

    An anonymous blogger calling himself “Professor Hinkley”, to protect his employment, suggests the surge has already peaked. He writes, “it’s mathematically impossible that the surge happens here in Oregon 16 days from now, and I will lay it out for you…” To read his take, click here. Only time will tell who is correct.

    * Disclaimer: Darrell Fuller is not an attorney or tax advisor and this is not intended to offer legal or financial advice. Contact your attorney or tax advisor.


  • 27 Mar 2020 2:47 PM | PLSO Office (Administrator)

    Federal and State Coronavirus Update

    By:       Darrell W. Fuller, PLSO Lobbyist*

    You will find more information on the CARES ACT and other state and federal update summaries (as well as a PDF of this article) here: www.plso.org/COVID-19

    FEDERAL UPDATE

    Congress has passed, and the President will sign (or has signed), the Federal Stimulus package. Many benefits from the package will likely not be available for 2-3 months. In the meantime, I will try to find the best links and resources to explain benefits, requirements and processes once they are available. Stay tuned.

    __________

    The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) is an outstanding resource for information. NFIB has scheduled a webinar open to nonmembers. It is scheduled for 9:00 AM on Monday, March 30. To learn more and register for the NFIB webinar, click here.

    If you are not a member of NFIB, this would be a good time join. They will be able to provide you with crucial information and access during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    __________

    Getting updated and accurate information may be difficult. So, going straight to the source of Federal legislation may be helpful.

    • For links on information and benefits through the White House, click here.
    • For links on information and benefits through Senator Ron Wyden’s office, click here.
    • For links on information and benefits through Congressman Kurt Schrader, click here.
    • For links and information and benefits through Congressman Greg Walden, click here.

    STATE UPDATE

    On Monday, March 23, Governor Brown issued Executive Order 20-12 and launched the "Stay Home. Stay Safe" informational campaign to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

    An Oregonian article explains Executive Order 20-12 and how citizens and businesses are affected by the directive.

    On Friday, March 27, Governor Brown issued a news release to clarify certain points of Executive Order 20-12. To read this guidance, click here.

    Executive Order 20-12 is not the Governor’s first EO related to COVID-19. EOs 20-03 through 20-12 are all COVID-19 related. To read the other COVID-19 EOs, just click here.

    Helpful information from the Corporation Division is found here.

    Other Resources /Stay informed about COVID-19:

    Oregon response: The Oregon Health Authority and Oregon Office of Emergency Management lead the state response.

    United States response: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention leads the U.S. response.

    Global response: The World Health Organization guides the global response.

    General Resources

    211info connects people with health and social service organizations. At our heart is our core Community Information Center, supported by Resource Database team. We’ve expanded to include enhanced information & referral and assistance programs that target specific services.  Call 211 or 1-866-698-6155

    Employment

    For information about unemployment benefits & COVID-19, please visit

    Bureau of Labor and Industries website for Additional Information 

    Business Assistance - Federal guidance for small businesses, including information on the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. 

    Oregon Work-share Program - Work Share provides an alternative for employers and workers who may be facing the prospect of a lay off situation. With Work Share, instead of reducing staff, an employer reduces the hours of work for a group of workers. Partial Unemployment Insurance benefits are then paid to supplement workers' reduced wages.  


    Business Organizations links for assistance and information

    Rental, Mortgage or Housing Assistance

    The Federal government announced yesterday that HUD has authorized the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to implement an immediate foreclosure and eviction moratorium for single family homeowners with FHA-insured mortgages for the next 60 days.

    211.org and Community Action may be able to direct you to resources for payment assistance.

    Food Assistance

    Insurance

    If Oregonians have questions or concerns about their insurance company or agent, they can contact the department’s advocacy team at 888-877-4894 (toll free) or visit dfr.oregon.gov for more information or to file a complaint.

    For insurance and financial services information related to COVID-19, visit the department’s website:  https://dfr.oregon.gov/insure/health/understand/Pages/coronavirus.aspx.

    General Health Information

    How to protect yourself:
    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/prevention.html
    https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public

    What to do if you're sick:
    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html

    Mental Health Resources

    *  Disclaimer: Darrell Fuller is not an attorney and this memorandum does not offer legal advice. Contact an attorney for legal advice.  Darrell Fuller is a lobbyist with more than 30 years of experience at the Capitol in Salem, Oregon. But no one living in Oregon has experience in advising businesses on surviving a pandemic.


<< First  < Prev   1   2   3   4   5   ...   Next >  Last >> 
Copyright © 2019 Professional Land Surveyors of Oregon   Privacy Policy Anti-Harassment & Discrimination Policy
PO Box 230548 Tigard, OR 97281  Phone: 503-303-1472  Toll-free: 844-284-5496  Fax: 503-303-1472  Email: office@plso.org
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software