2023 Oregon State Legislative Session – Bills We’re Supporting

The urgency of the climate crisis requires bold and meaningful action at every level of government. Right now, we have an opportunity to create important change across all of Oregon in the 2023 Legislative Session, which runs from January to June. 350PDX enters the new state legislative session on the lookout for bills that nurture the type of systemic changes we need for a more climate-stable future.

At the beginning of this six-month session, there are over 1,000 proposed bills to sift through. With that in mind, we wanted to share a list of bills we will be working hard to get passed, although this list may grow longer as we near the start of session. 350PDX’s Legislative Priorities for 2023 include many different facets of state policy — from housing and land use to financial transparency and climate resilience — but all share a core value of furthering climate justice. 

Addressing the climate crisis will take nothing less than a radical cultural and economic shift; all of us, at every level making choices and changing systems to value life over profit, justice over comfort. In this context, engaging in the state legislative system can sometimes feel frustratingly incremental. But, if we don’t engage in the state legislative system, we lose out on an opportunity to achieve the changes we deserve!

Treasury Investment and Climate Protection Act (HB 2601)


Introduced by Reps. Khanh Pham, Mark Gamba, Jeff Golden

Bill summary: “Requires State Treasurer to exit from certain carbon-intensive investments, subject to fiduciary duties. Requires State Treasurer to develop a plan to protect state investments from risks related to climate change. Requires State Treasurer to issue periodic reports on actual and planned progress towards completion of duties imposed under Act” – learn more about the bill here

Why we’re supporting this bill:  The Oregon Treasury has a fiduciary responsibility to protect all of Oregon’s investments for the long term, including those in public employee retirement funds such as PERS. Current Treasury investment strategy leaves investments critically vulnerable to fossil fuel related climate risks. This bill is supported by Divest Oregon, a coalition of 90+ groups across Oregon of which 350PDX is a co-founding member.

Unfortunately, HB 2601 will not be voted out of committee. While this is a disappointment, the Divest Oregon coalition accomplished many things by introducing this bill. Here are just two:

  • education of lawmakers, unions, the press, and the public about what’s happening (or not happening) at the Treasury
  • broadening coalition membership

Learn more about the ongoing Divest Oregon movement here! The fight for divestment goes on!

Community Resilience Hubs (HB 2990)

Introduced by Reps. Khanh Pham and Pam Marsh

Bill summary: “Directs Oregon Health Authority to develop and implement a grant program to support resilience hubs and networks in Oregon.” This bill would facilitate the creation of: Resilient buildings, new or retrofitted with heating and cooling, air filtration, and emergency supplies; Collaboration in energy systems and community- based renewable energy programs like electric heat pumps and solar panels with battery backup; and Community-based communication networks, resource navigation systems, and services across districts – learn more about the bill here.

Why we’re supporting this bill: Community Resilience Hubs are trusted places and networks designed by and for communities to cultivate physical, social, and ecological well- being with a sense of belonging and safety. We are stronger together. When our communities are threatened by wildfires, extreme heat, and other disasters, we look out for our neighbors. If we invest in building our communities, we will create the resources and connections needed to make it easier on Oregonians the next time a disaster strikes. Resilient communities can make the difference between surviving and thriving.

Building Resilience Policy Package: Clean, Efficient, Healthy, and Affordable Homes & Buildings

350PDX is a proud member of the Building Resilience coalition, a a growing, statewide coalition of climate justice and public health, business and labor, faith and frontline communities, environmental, family, and youth organizations, and thousands of individual Oregonians advocating for legislative action to promote healthy, affordable, resilient homes and buildings that run on clean energy. This legislation session, the Building Resilience Coalition is working to pass four priority bills:

– SB 868 – Healthy Heating and Cooling for All: Aligns energy efficiency programs with state climate goals, sets a heat pump target for the state, supports workforce development, and improves navigation of federal and state incentives for energy efficiency and retrofits of homes and businesses. Learn more here.

– SB 869 – Build Smart from the Start: ensures new buildings in Oregon are constructed energy efficiently and are more resilient to climate impacts. Learn more here.

– SB 870 – Building Performance Standards: establishes a Building Performance Standard for large commercial buildings to reduce their energy use and climate emissions over time. Learn more here.

– SB 871 – Smart State Buildings : removes barriers to accelerate energy retrofits and upgrades in state buildings. Learn more here.

Why we’re supporting these bills: No matter who we are or where we live, Oregonians deserve homes and buildings that are healthy, affordable, and safe against the effects of extreme weather. But right now, too many of our homes and workplaces don’t protect us enough from climate change harms, like extreme heat and wildfire smoke. The way we heat and cook with fossil fuels is making things worse and more expensive, especially for lower-income and frontline communities. We’re urging lawmakers to take action so new construction is built smart from the start to be healthy and resilient, while cutting energy waste and lowering bills. We’re also working to make it easier and more affordable to update current homes and buildings to protect us from climate harms and transition to clean, efficient electricity.

Use this tool to send a message to your legislators urging them to support all of the important bills in this policy package.

Natural Climate Solutions (SB 530)

Introduced in the Senate by Sen. Michael Dembrow & Jeff Golden, companion house bill by Rep. Mark Gamba

Bill summaryLearn more here

Why we’re supporting this billBased on the Oregon Global Warming Commission’s Natural and Working Lands proposal, this bill is to authorize funding for natural climate change solution projects as well as establishing a process to inventory carbon sequestration and storage on natural and working lands. These funds will be dispersed through Oregon Dept. of Energy and will be used to provide incentives to landowners to adopt land management practices that increase carbon storage. While this bill proposes creating a fund, it does not appropriate money as Oregon is in a budget shortfall. But, with such a fund created, the state could disperse federal funds and future state funds.

More to come on this bill, and how you can take action

Community Green Infrastructure Grant Program (HB 3016)

Introduced by Rep. Khanh Pham.

Bill summary:  This bill creates a Community Green Infrastructure Grant Program administered by the Department of Land Conservation and Development for the purpose of offsetting the cost of planning and developing community green infrastructure projects; and providing direct social, environmental and economic benefits to communities across this state.

Why we’re supporting this bill: “Green infrastructure” means a measure that uses plant or soil systems, permeable pavement or other permeable surfaces or substrates, stormwater harvest and reuse or landscaping. This provides environmental, economic and social benefits, including resilience to climate change, stormwater management, air temperature regulation, air quality benefits, noise abatement, energy savings and economic development opportunities. The bill also directs the Oregon Dept. of Forestry to acquire and maintain a statewide urban tree canopy assessment tool.

More to come on this bill, and how you can take action

Right to Refuse Dangerous Work

Bill summaryThis bill would strengthen a worker’s right to refuse hazardous work, such as if it is too hot outside to work, unsafe work equipment, etc. The bill would also protect workers from retaliation for exercising these rights and secure a healthy working environment for all workers in Oregon.

Why we’re supporting this bill:  Outdoor and other frontline workers in Oregon often experience the worst of climate impacts, such as extreme heat and wildfire smoke. These extreme conditions can have serious health impacts or even be deadly

More to come on this bill, and how you can take action

Clean and Healthy Buildings (HB 2713)

Introduced by Rep. Mark Gamba, Sen. Campos

Bill summary: “Provides that the Legislative Assembly finds and declares that home rule cities and counties have constitutional authority to prohibit or limit use of fossil fuels in new buildings or installation of fossil fuel infrastructure. Permits cities and counties, whether home rule or not, to prohibit or limit use of fossil fuels in new buildings or installation of fossil fuel infrastructure. Declares emergency, effective on passage.” — learn more here

Why we’re supporting this bill: This bill would open up doors for Multnomah County to more effectively transition buildings to 100% electricity, and take more action to support a just transition to clean energy across multiple sectors.

More to come on this bill, and how you can take action

Check back on this page for more updates leading up to this spring’s Oregon State Legislative Session