A Series of Announcements Brings Vaccuum to Legislative Leadership
Please read the articles below. You will see that House Speaker Tina Kotek has resigned from the Oregon legislature altogether as of Jan. 21 to run for Governor. Senate President Peter Courtney is retiring and will not seek re-election. There are many other legislative changes.
Oregonians are guaranteed to have a new governor, House speaker and Senate president by early 2023. By then, the 30-member Senate will have at least seven new lawmakers compared to its current make-up. Many House members have already left or are considering it. This brings uncertainty to leadership positions and to the legislative process in the year ahead.
House Speaker Tina Kotek to step down before February session, as she runs for governor
Senate President Peter Courtney, Oregon’s longest serving lawmaker, will retire after this year
Rating Ban Bill May Impact Many of Your Customers
The next Oregon legislative session begins on February 1, 2022.
It looks like the insurance industry will be facing a credit score ban bill during the 2022 short session. Here’s an article:
Oregon lawmakers to consider farmworker overtime, timber tax in 2022 short session
The article says: “Rep. Paul Holvey, D-Eugene, said he plans to reintroduce a proposal to address what he referred to as “auto rate discrimination” by prohibiting insurers from considering specific information such as credit history, sex or gender, marital status, education and employment status when determining rates. Two bills on the topic died in the 2021 regular session, House Bill 2043and Senate Bill 173.”
When the use of credit scores was banned in Washington State, it resulted in greatly increased premiums for more than a million Washington policyholders. Among the hardest hit have been retired seniors on fixed incomes.
The potential legislation in Oregon is said to prohibit insurers from considering specific information including credit history, sex or gender, marital status, education, and employment status when determining rates. That could have a much broader impact in Oregon than the credit score ban in Washington.
PIA members need to be prepared to help fight this. Many of the insurance industry’s supporters in the Democratic caucus have resigned from the legislature recently for various reasons. We have always counted on their backup in the Senate to counter these types of proposals, but it is no longer there.
PIA members can help by doing something very simple: write an email to legislators when PIA asks you to do so at the appropriate time. PIA will be lobbying legislators directly, but an email from a constituent or someone who works in that district is so much more powerful. Writing an email is not a big effort, but it can have giant results!
The insurance industry relies on its insurance agents as its grassroots arm. PIA has done great work in this way in the past and hopefully with your help will do so in the future.