UO outlines priorities for 2017 Oregon legislative session

During the 2017 legislative session, UO leaders are proposing and/or monitoring a variety of topics and bills introduced that have budgetary or policy implications for the institution. State Affairs staff study all bills introduced during the session, confer with faculty and staff with content knowledge about the effects of proposed legislation, and work in coalition with university and other partners to share implications with decision makers and ensure the mission and strategic of the institution is advanced..

Priorities for the UO during the 2017 legislative session include the following:

  • Secure least an additional $100 million more for the Public University Support Fund (PUSF) for all seven public universities over the $667 million proposed in the Governor’s Recommended Budget (GRB). The proposed budget from the Governor does not account for rising university costs, and without further investment could result in significant tuition increases and cuts at UO.
  • Restore the $8.2 million to the Sports Lottery Fund that supports student athletes and graduate scholarships. UO receives just over $1 million of those funds.
  • Secure the funding allocated in the GRB for public university state programs such as the Labor Education and Research Center, the National Center for Advance Wood Products Manufacturing and Design, the Appropriate Dispute Resolution Center, and Clinical Legal Education.
  • Secure $44 million in Article XI-G and XI-Q bonds for the UO classroom and faculty office building included in the university capital construction line item in the GRB. This building will ensure UO’s space capacity catches up with its enrollment growth over the last decade so students can take the courses they need to graduate on time.
  • Secure $100 million in Article XI-G bonds for the Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact, which will educate a new generation of scientists, reimagine the Franklin Boulevard corridor in Eugene, and spur economic development statewide.
  • Support passage of Senate Bill (SB) 201, which creates an alternative retirement program for post-doctoral scholars to ensure federal research dollars are being used effectively and increase UO’s research capacity. 
  • Support passage of House Bill (HB) 2582, which establishes a renewable ‘fighting fund’ that provide matching funds for universities competing for federal innovation funds. This fund will help UO be more competitive for grants.
  • Support a technical change to Ballot Measure 100 (2016), the Wildlife Trafficking Prevention Act, to provide flexibility for university educators and researchers utilizing covered animal species parts or products for education and research purposes.
  • Support the implementation of the Governor’s Campus Safety Work Group (OCSWG) recommendations, led by Andre Le Duc, UO chief resilience officer.
  • Support SB 214, which makes a statutory amendment to the Oregon Public Service Retirement Plan (OPRSP) to correct an implementation error that would retroactively include out-of-state university employees’ compensation that is not taxable in Oregon from 2003 to 2016.
  • Support HB 2565, which authorizes a registration system that ensures continuing qualified students can register for courses before students with the same classification.
  • Support HB 2399, which codifies the UO Museum of Natural and Cultural History as the official repository for archeological artifacts.
  • Support SB 486, which provides an amendment to exempt public universities from statute, allowing PERS police retirees to work full-time on university police forces to utilize expertise and fill skillset gaps.
  • Support SB 5, which updates Oregon’s athlete-agent statutes to reflect changes from the Uniform Law Commission and better protect athletes from predatory practices.