ISSUE 3 2023 ADVOCATING, EDUCATING, AND PROMOTING THE TRUCKING INDUSTRY OREGON TRUCK The Many Faces of Trucking
A publication of the Oregon Trucking Association, Inc. 4005 SE Naef Rd., Portland, OR 97267 503.513.0005 • 888.293.0005 Fax: 503.513.0008 • www.ortrucking.org Jana Jarvis President/CEO email@example.com Christine Logue Vice President of Operations firstname.lastname@example.org Gregg Dal Ponte Director of Regulatory Compliance email@example.com Adam Williamson Director of Training & Development firstname.lastname@example.org Ligia Visan Director of Accounting email@example.com Christa Wendland Communications Consultant firstname.lastname@example.org Jennifer Sitton Communications Consultant email@example.com Mark Gibson Government Relations Policy Advisor firstname.lastname@example.org For information about OTA events and to register online, visit www.ortrucking.org. Published for OTA by LLM Publications PO Box 25120, Portland, OR 97298-0120 503.445.2220 • 800.647.1511 • www.llmpubs.com President Stephen Bloss Design Hope Sudol Advertising Sales Ronnie Jacko For information about advertising in the Oregon Truck Dispatch, please contact Ronnie Jacko at 503.445.2234 or email@example.com. Thank you, advertisers! Your support makes this publication possible. Please support them and tell them you saw them in the OTA Dispatch. 2 OTA Chair’s Message 3 OTA New Members 4 OTA President’s Message 5 Event Calendar Issue 3 2023 CONTENTS Stay Connected With Us @OTAOregon Oregon Trucking Association @ORTrucking @ORTrucking.org Events 6 Fleet Maintenance Graduates Recognized at TMC Maintenance & Education Fair 1 0 Oregon Truck Driving Championships Brings Industry Together to Celebrate Driving Skills, Safety Featured 1 4 2023 Legislative Session Recap 20 Buy a Truck Driver Lunch 2 2 Beyond Advocacy: OTA Supports All Aspects of Members’ Businesses 2 5 What Is the Correct Registration Weight for My Truck Operating with an Annual Extended Weight Permit? 2 6 The Many Faces of Trucking 3 2 Paid Leave Oregon: It’s a Go! What You Need to Know About Legislative Amendments & Key Policy Changes to Implement 3 4 Building a War Chest: OTA TruckPAC Committee Safety 36 The Many Hats of Safety
Oregon Trucking Association, Inc. Oregon Truck Dispatch The theme of this issue of the Oregon Truck Dispatch is “the many faces of trucking,” which feels very appropriate, as every day I observe an industry in the midst of a significant transition. I see it everywhere I look. Women in Trucking just released their latest data showing that women make up nearly 32% of C-suite executives in the transportation industry. But women aren’t just increasing their numbers in the office. The same study also showed that more than 12% of professional CDL drivers are now women. And while that still leaves plenty of room for growth, that number represents a considerable demographic shift from a couple decades ago. I believe much of this change can be accounted for by improvements in technology. In many important ways, trucking is a safer, cleaner, and less physically laborious job than it was a generation ago, making it more inviting to a more diverse workforce. The trend among women in trucking is heading in the same direction for minorities as well. A 2019 ATA report cited that over 40% of truck drivers identified as minorities. I always say that trucking is one of the best economic ladders for social mobility in this country. And the number of immigrants driving trucks is proof that’s still true. Immigrants make up 19% of truck drivers in the U.S. according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Go talk to one of the many Hispanic immigrant drivers in Southern California, or a Punjabi trucker in California’s Central Valley, or an African driver in Seattle like I have, and they will tell you how trucking helped them realize the American Dream. But technology isn’t just changing who sits behind the wheel of a truck. It is also changing the faces of those allied with the industry. With the proliferation of alternative fuel vehicles, the emergence of AI-based autonomous driving technology, tech-based safety equipment, and appbased trucking solutions, trucking is going “tech.” And while much of this technology may not be road ready yet, now more than ever the market is looking for ways to bring tech-based solutions to trucking problems to achieve greater efficiencies. As the global supply chain becomes simultaneously more complex and more visible through technology, more people are paying attention to how they receive their goods. This was highlighted even more through the prevalence of e-commerce and the supply chain crisis during COVID-19. Overnight, we saw mainstream media covering stories about trucking that previously only industry journalists would have noticed. Everyday consumers were suddenly concerned about how and when their goods got from their point of origin to their doorstep. To me, it also helped re-define who is “in trucking.” I believe it raised both the awareness and the profile of a lot of people who do not drive trucks or even work for trucking companies, but who work somewhere along the supply chain of goods that trucking transports everyday. Whether they were a retail shipping manager, a dockworker unloading containers, or a delivery driver dropping off an e-commerce order to someone’s doorstep, I noticed more people professing expertise in transportation with a certain amount of pride in their voice. Those parallel crises reminded people that trucking and the transportation industry is a noble and patriotic profession that is vital to our very wellbeing as a country and as individuals. It reminded them of the simple fact my two-year-old son reminds me of every time we go for a drive: Trucks are cool. And recent tech developments are only adding to that trend. We must capitalize on that momentum. While recent economic uncertainty has kept our margins low, it has also kept the attention on our industry. The more people who care about keeping transportation costs down through inflation, the greater the opposition will be to fight bad legislation that drive those costs up. So, whether it’s an insurance company worried about rising liability, a retailer worried about their rising transportation costs, or a tech company worried about government mandates impacting 2 Evan Oneto OTA Chair I hope they soon have the opportunity to see and celebrate the many different faces of trucking that we do every single day. Celebrating the Many Faces of Trucking
www.ortrucking.org 3 Issue 3 | 2023 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Chair & ATA State VP Evan Oneto (FedEx) Vice Chair Erik Zander (Omega Morgan) Secretary/Treasurer Bart Sherman (Sherman Bros. Trucking) ATA State VP Nick Card (Blackwell Consolidation) Past Chair Andy Owens (A&M Transport) ISI Rep Diane DeAutremont (Lile Int. Co.) Chair Appointee Ron Riddle (Leavitt’s Freight Service) DIRECTORS-AT-LARGE John Barnes (TEC Equipment) Greg Galbraith (Market Express) Scott Hammond (Knife River Corp.) Heather Hayes (Tradewinds Trans.) David Hopkins (TP Trucking) Charles Ireland (Ireland Trucking) Kirk Watkins (Western Heavy Haul) Regional Representatives Central Oregon Ron Cholin (Stinger Transport) Eastern Oregon Roni Shaw (Bowman Trucking) Metro Region Tim Love (Carson Oil Co.) Southern Oregon Ryan Hutchens (F.V. Martin Trucking) Willamette Valley Ron Bowers (Ron Bowers Inc.) COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVES Safety Management Council (SMC) Jennifer King (WHA Insurance) Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) Mike Vallery (Oak Harbor Freight Lines, Inc.) Standing Committee Representatives Allied Trevin Fountain (Cummins) Government Affairs Kristal Fiser (UPS) Highway Policy Erik Zander (Omega Morgan) Image Michael Card (Combined Transport) Membership Nick Card (Combined Transport) OTA in Action Mark Gibson (Siskiyou Transportation) Truck PAC Erik Zander (Omega Morgan) Workforce Billy Dover (Tyree Oil) COMMITTEES Allied Government Affairs Highway Policy Image Membership Oregon TruckPAC OTA in Action Workforce To learn more about the committees or councils listed above, contact OTA at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503.513.0005. 2022/2023 BOARD OF DIRECTORS their business model, the more affiliated industries consider themselves (for better or worse) “in trucking,” the easier our job will be in Salem and elsewhere to get policymakers to listen. Simply put, trucking doesn’t look like it used to, and that’s a good thing. Too many legislators in Portland and Salem and Washington, D.C. think of our industry as the trucking images made famous in the 1980s. I hope they soon have the opportunity to see and celebrate the many different faces of trucking that we do every single day. See you down the road, Evan OTA Welcomes the Following New Members! All members are listed in our online directory via the member portal. A&E Collision & Towing Air-Weigh Bark Boys Clean Energy Driver Reach ISAAC Instruments Michael Stafford Trucking Neste Strong Guys, LLC
4 Oregon Trucking Association, Inc. Oregon Truck Dispatch FROM THE PRESIDENT Jana Jarvis OTA President/CEO WHEN WAS THE last time you looked through the OTA directory and thought about the wide variety of membership that comprises this great organization? Maybe you were looking for a connection to another carrier that might be facing the same challenge as your company—or you were looking for one of our many valued allied members that represents a product your company needs? Hopefully, as you perused the list you thought about how important it is to have an organization that coalesces around issues and challenges that you have or might face in the future. That is exactly the reason that trade associations exist. The opportunity to learn from each other, to set aside competitive challenges, and to present a unified voice to government regulators that work to help this industry thrive is what brought the forefathers of the Oregon Trucking Association together in 1939 when they formed the Oregon Motor Truck Association. And it is exactly the reason that we exist today. The challenges have changed—but the effectiveness of this united voice continues to help our industry thrive. From economic challenges to environmental constraints, our industry is facing monumental issues over the next few years that will require each of you to be prepared in order to survive. We just completed Oregon’s legislative session in June and already policymakers are meeting to plan for our short session next year. You undoubtedly saw the news around the Senate Republican walkout and know that the individuals who participated in that will likely not be allowed to run for that office in the next election. The issues that drove that walkout were not trucking issues—but their absence affected a variety of policy considerations that would have impacted this industry. Over half of the ninety seats that comprise the Oregon legislature were filled by individuals who had never met in public to consider and enact policy. Many were newly elected, a large number had only met virtually in the past couple of sessions. They did not have a history of meeting with constituencies and working toward compromise on their policy objectives—and it showed. Legislative leadership was new. We had a new senate president and speaker of the house after the retirement of the longest serving president and speaker in Oregon’s history. The Oregon Capitol itself is under construction and very little of the building is open, further constraining the opportunity to meet with these new policymakers to work toward solutions for Oregon problems. The result was a show of force that drove the walkout and that will, in itself, affect how the legislature works for years to come. It makes it all the more important for organizations like OTA to depend on their membership to help spread the message about the many issues we face. How will we be able to transition to electric trucks? Will electricity be the energy source for our industry in the future? Can the grid handle the additional 40% energy requirements that a transition to electricity for transportation will require? Oregon has already adopted the standards that the California Air Resources Board (CARB) adopted to date and that will include the NOx regulations affecting your purchases of new equipment in 2024 for those purchasing internal combustion diesel engines. The CARB standards will require that an increasing percentage of new equipment purchases must be zero-emission engines (ZEV) and currently only electric engines meet their criteria. If those electric trucks aren’t purchased, manufacturers won’t be able to sell diesel trucks. I’m already beginning to hear from members that dealers are telling them they cannot sell them a new truck beginning in 2024. What does all of this mean for you—and for the state of Oregon? At the federal level, the EPA is imposing new standards beginning in the year Until, and unless our industry strongly pushes back against this approach, you will find it more and more difficult to run your trucking operation. Membership Diversity Benefits Oregon Trucking
5 www.ortrucking.org Issue 3 | 2023 ADVOCATING, EDUCATING, AND PROMOTING THE TRUCKING INDUSTRY EVENTS UPCOMING EVENTS 2027, forcing our industry to move to electricity as our source of power for the future. With the capacity load constraints (ZEV trucks weigh more) and range issues (ZEV trucks only travel between 200–300 miles before requiring a charge), what will this mean for your operation? Currently, 17 states have adopted some, or all of the CARB standards. Manufacturers will build to these standards and consumers (you!) will be limited in what you can purchase in the coming years. No doubt many of you will plan to hold onto your equipment longer than your current business plan calls for. Those of you who purchase used equipment will find it harder to do so. Rather than encourage the industry to move to Clean Diesel, these standards are forcing the transition to electricity, which has the potential to seriously disrupt the trucking industry. The Oregon Trucking Association is actively involved in all of these discussions. Climate concerns drive much of our work around infrastructure investment and Oregon leans to reducing capacity to solve this. Until, and unless our industry strongly pushes back against this approach, you will find it more and more difficult to run your trucking operation. Your membership in OTA helps to fund this fight. But we need your involvement as well. Come to our conferences and conventions to get educated about these issues. Respond to our Calls to Action when legislation or rulemaking is underway. Write a check to TruckPAC and the Legal Fund to help us fight more competitively. Join a policy committee and provide feedback. Simply put…get involved. Your business depends on it!
6 Oregon Trucking Association, Inc. Oregon Truck Dispatch EVENTS Fleet Maintenance Graduates Recognized at TMC Maintenance & Education Fair ON FRIDAY, MAY 19, technicians and fleet managers convened at the Northwest Truck Museum in Salem for OTA’s Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) Maintenance & Education Fair. Attendees heard from industry experts about best practices and innovation in trucking and maintenance. Topics included “Alternative Fuel & Power Options,” “The Future of Maintenance Recruiting,” and “Roadside Breakdowns: Best Practices & Impacts of Changing Technology.” The day-long event also featured a vendor fair with some of OTA’s allied partners offering the products and services that techs depend on. To kick off the fair, the TMC recognized OTA’s 2022–23 graduating class of OTA’s Northwest Fleet Maintenance Certification Program. The seven Fleet Maintenance graduates learned the basics of running a shop and maintaining a topnotch maintenance program, including rules and best practices. 2022–2023 Northwest Fleet Maintenance Graduates ` Jesse Young—Pacific Service Center ` Jeremiah McGuigan—Ram Trucking ` Jonathan Rosentritt—Kool Pak ` Mike Taksdal—Zwald Transportation ` Michael Kelly—Umpqua Dairy ` Shane Mead—Independent Dispatch, Inc. ` Jeremy Lawler—Diamond Line Delivery For more information on OTA’s Fleet Maintenance Certification Program, visit ortrucking.org/nw-fleetsafety/.
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10 Oregon Trucking Association, Inc. Oregon Truck Dispatch THE TRUCKING INDUSTRY turned out in droves to support the more than 70 drivers who competed in the 2023 Oregon Truck Driving Championships on June 10 in Portland. Over 300 family members, friends, colleagues, and supporters attended this year’s competition and celebration of Oregon’s truck drivers’ skills. This annual event is hosted by OTA’s Safety Management Council and highlights the industry’s dedication to keep all drivers safe on the road. Drivers started their day with a written test, after which they received skills course and pre-trip instructions. Of the 70 drivers who competed this year, nearly half were rookie competitors. The crowd of family, friends, colleagues, and other spectators began to arrive around 10:00 AM as the opening ceremonies began, featuring the National Anthem sung by Joy & Grace Ferber, whose dad was competing. As the drivers showed off their skills on the course, attendees cheered on their favorite drivers and participated in the industry celebration, complete with raffle drawings, lunch, a homemade grill built onto a Volvo truck, and a kid-friendly build and race your own vegetable station. Once all the drivers completed the course and the scores were tabulated, winners in each category were announced, along with the 2023 Oregon TDC Grand Champion—Dan Shamrell (FedEx Freight). The 2023 rookie winner is Michael Owings (UPS) and the money stop winner is David Molnar (ABF Freight). Oregon Truck Driving Championships Brings Industry Together to Celebrate Driving Skills, Safety By Jennifer Sitton | OTA Communications Consultant
11 www.ortrucking.org Issue 3 | 2023 First-place winners in each category are: ` 3 Axle—Heladio Fernandez (FedEx Freight) ` 4 Axle—Daniel Shamrell (FedEx Freight) ` 5 Axle—Christopher Outen (FedEx Freight) ` Flatbed—Tom Smith (Albertson’s Companies) ` 5 Axle Sleeper—Tom Crawford (Walmart Transportation) ` Straight Truck—Jonathan Holman (FedEx Freight) ` Tank—Don Pfeiffer (Albertson’s Companies) ` Twins—Ronald Zieser (FedEx Freight) ` Step Van—Ryan Schmutzer (FedEx Ground) First place winners in each category will go on to represent Oregon at the National Truck Driving Championships in Columbus, OH in August. The National Truck Driving Championships dates back to 1937 when it was known as the National Truck Rodeo. These annual competitions inspire tens of thousands of drivers to operate accident-free for the right to compete. OTA & the Safety Management Council would like to congratulate all of our competitors and send a special thank you to the volunteers, sponsors and others who made this event happen! While OTA was excited to bring this annual event back to Portland this year, ongoing safety issues in the city caused unexpected challenges when attendees began to hear gunshots near the entrance to the event site. While no one was injured, and the event continued after being moved farther back from the road, it highlighted just how common an occurrence stray gunfire is for those living and working in Portland. Knowing that so many OTA members and their employees face ongoing safety concerns at their facilities on a regular basis, OTA’s President Jana Jarvis took what could have been a devastating incident and used it to shed light on the ongoing challenges our members face. Jana called on the Mayor’s Office and the Portland Police Bureau to look into the incident and to work to improve safety in the city. OTA looks forward to continuing to engage with the City of Portland to address these ongoing safety issues and the gun violence that continues to threaten so many of our members and their families. TDC Safety Concerns Lead to OTA Leadership in Portland
12 Oregon Trucking Association, Inc. Oregon Truck Dispatch What made you want to compete in the Oregon Truck Driving Championships? I initially decided to compete because my young children wanted to see their dad driving a truck. I’m also very competitive by nature. The Truck Driving Championships is a great opportunity to showcase your skills as a driver, and it’s a great way to challenge yourself. The process helps you become Q&A with 2023 Oregon TDC Grand Champion: Dan Shamrell a better and safer driver. These days, my grandchildren love to cheer me on! What is the most challenging part of the competition? The skills course is definitely the most challenging part of the competition. It gives you the opportunity to maneuver the truck through tight areas and stretches your skills to their limits. I also enjoy the pre-trip inspection as it’s a great challenge to find planted defects on a truck in a set amount of time. Why do you think this event is important to the industry? The Truck Driving Championships showcases the best drivers and gives them the opportunity to come together to celebrate and promote safety in the industry. The winners of each state competition class move onto a national competition against the best of each state. This gathering of state champions is aweinspiring when you think of how many safe miles they have driven on America’s roads. What would you tell other drivers interested in competing? Driving safe for a full year should be celebrated. The Truck Driving Championships is a family event that allows you to celebrate safety with your family, friends, and coworkers. Through the process, you can grow both as a driver and a person. Plus, you can meet some of the best people in this country and be very proud of the industry you represent. I always tell drivers to take a chance on the TDC. You won’t regret it, and I bet you’ll love it. What are you most looking forward to at the National Truck Driving Championships (NTDC)? The NTDC is a reunion of our trucking family. It’s a representation of the best from across the country. This will be my 17th national competition. I have met literally hundreds of wonderful people who live across this country and do the same thing I do every day, drive safe on America’s roads. We are all passionate about safety and it brings us together. I am also still very competitive and look forward to the challenge of competing at the highest level. Is there anything else you’d like to add about your experience with TDC? TDC helps drivers to maintain an intense focus on safety. At the end of the day, we all want to come home safe to our families. The Truck Driving Championship is a fantastic tool to help drivers achieve this high level of safety.
14 Oregon Trucking Association, Inc. Oregon Truck Dispatch 2023 Legislative Session Recap By Oxley & Associates WITH NEW SENATE leadership, significant turnover in both chambers, and the longest walkout in the Oregon legislature’s history, the 160-day 2023 Oregon legislative session may be considered one of the strangest and most unique sessions in recent history. Newly elected Governor Tina Kotek prioritized significant investments in housing and semiconductor manufacturing. The special Joint Committee on Semiconductors was tasked with developing a package in the first 60–90 days of session to attract the semiconductor industry and draw down federal dollars from the CHIPS Act. The committee’s final work product included over $200 million to support semiconductor-related capital project investments, investments in education to build a workforce pipeline, expanded childcare infrastructure, and tax credits for research and development, among other provisions. Most controversial of the new policies is the broad authority given to the governor to bypass Oregon’s existing land use laws to designate rural lands for industrial development. The governor’s $200 million housing package passed early in session, following her declaration of emergency shortly after taking office. The package seeks to address homelessness, increase shelter capacity, reduce barriers for construction of housing, and orders state agencies to prioritize reducing homelessness across the state. Despite these two bipartisan achieve- ments, the legislature debated its fair share of partisan policies, which was one of the many reasons for the Senate Republican walkout that overshadowed the session. Oregon voters overwhelmingly passed Ballot Measure 113 in the November election, attempting to prohibit legislators from running for reelection if they had accrued more than 10 unexcused absences. Despite this, on May 3, Senate Republicans denied a quorum on the Senate floor in response to bills related to abortion and gender affirming care and guns. This marked the start of a 43-day walkout, the longest in Oregon’s legislative history. While the two parties ultimately reached agreement to end the walkout on June 15, a mere ten days before Constitutional Sine Die, litigation is expected in response to the ballot measure. Even with the historic walkout, OTA’s team in Salem spent many hours advocating on behalf of Oregon’s trucking industry, ensuring that our members had a voice at the table when decisions were being made impacting trucking. Below you will find summaries of some of the bills from this session that had the greatest potential to impact the trucking industry. I-5 BRIDGE REPLACEMENT The Interstate-5 Bridge connecting Portland and Vancouver is over 100 years old and presents significant safety and traffic problems. The corridor that includes both the bridge and the Rose Quarter freeway exchange is one of the worst bottlenecks in the country, and legislators acknowledge that the time has come to replace the bridge. The last attempt to reach agreement on a bridge replacement fizzled in 2013. This time around, the passage of the federal infrastructure law in 2021 applied pressure to the Oregon and Washington legislatures to agree to replace the bridge. To apply for federal funds, each state must pass legislation outlining how they will finance their $1 billion shares
15 www.ortrucking.org Issue 3 | 2023 of the project. If both states accomplish this and the U.S. Department of Transportation accepts their application, then the remainder of the costs of the project could be covered by the federal government and tolls on the bridge. With the total cost projected to be at least $6 billion, this federal component is key. The Joint Interstate-5 Bridge Committee, which includes Washington and Oregon legislators, met in the 2022 interim, and in 2023, both states’ transportation committees worked to get a package across the finish line. Washington passed their plan before their session concluded in March, but Oregon’s road to success was bumpier. Oregon’s Joint Transportation Committee Co-Chair Susan McLain led the charge on the I-5 Bridge bill, HB 2098. She convened transportation stakeholders and agency officials to craft a bill that stated Oregon’s $1B commitment to the bridge. The bill received opposition from unions who opposed language ensuring non-union contractors would be able to bid on the project, as well as from the “No More Freeways” coalition, which wanted the size and scope of the project to be severely limited. Both proposals in the Joint Transportation Committee failed to move forward. However, at the end of session, when the Senate Republicans returned, the two most essential components of the bill were included in the budget and program change bills, which were passed through both chambers in the final days of session. This strengthens Oregon’s application to the U.S. DOT and will improve Oregon’s chances of securing federal funds. HIGHWAY COST ALLOCATION STUDY For more than 70 years, Oregon has based the financing of its highways on the principle of cost responsibility. Cost responsibility is the principle that those who use the public roads should pay for them and, more specifically, that users should pay in proportion to the road costs for which they are responsible. Every two years, the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) Office of Economic Analysis performs a Highway Cost Allocation Study (HCAS) to determine the proportional responsibility of light duty and heavy-duty vehicles for maintenance, preservation, and modernization costs of the state's highway system. The results of the study are used to set statutory taxes on light and heavy vehicles for the following biennium. Recent HCAS results have shown that trucking has been grossly overpaying for its use of the road, which is not surprising considering the increased use of high efficiency and zero emission vehicles as well as Oregon being the most expensive state in the nation to operate a trucking business. However, the HCAS does not take into account the broader perspective of previous HCAS results, nor does it include prospective considerations. To help remedy this imbalance, the Oregon Trucking Association worked with transportation committee members and leadership to revise the way the HCAS is conducted. The goal of the policy was to include an examination of the most recent study period and of a prospective study period based on projected data. The policy also directs the Department of Administrative Services to submit a report analyzing at least the three most recent iterations of HCAS to evaluate the proportionate share paid by users of each vehicle class.
16 Oregon Trucking Association, Inc. Oregon Truck Dispatch HB 3406, which ultimately included the HCAS policy, passed easily through the process and off both floors. We are hopeful that this change will help create a more accurate understanding of our transportation system so it can be better balanced in the future. TOLLING As shovels go into the ground on several major projects over the next several years, many Oregonians have expressed strong concerns with tolling. When the 2017 transportation package passed, it was understood that the Rose Quarter project would be at least partially funded by a construction-based tolling program. However, more recently, the Oregon Department of Transportation has made it clear that they intend to perpetuate a tolling program for all lanes at all times of day, which inequitably impacts commuters and trucking companies. Legislators, especially those in Clackamas County, pushed back strongly against tolling. Several bills were introduced to express their discontent, including HB 3614, SB 933, SB 1072, HB 3424, HB 3293 and HB 3441. None of these bills even received a hearing, but it did put pressure on leadership to take the tolling outrage seriously. In May, Governor Kotek ordered a pause on tolling until 2026. The change will presumably delay tolling on Interstate 205 by at least a year from the currently planned late 2024 start. House and Senate leadership also agreed to create a Special Subcommittee on Transportation Planning that will oversee ODOT's infrastructure repair and modernization plans, including efforts to mitigate the impact of tolling on vulnerable communities. OREGON TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION A more progressive wing of the Democratic party has called for revisions to some of the state’s environmental and transportation regulatory systems to support climate action and increased diversity. Led by Rep. Khan Pham, HB 2619 would have modified the composition of the Oregon Transportation Committee (OTC) by requiring the OTC to include a member under 25 years old, a member whose primary method of travel is not a car, a member with disabilities, and a member who represents an Oregon tribe. The bill would have also made other changes to the requirements of OTC meetings and appointments. The bill did not have the support of the majority of the Joint Transportation Committee, and it died upon adjournment. LANE SPLITTING For years, motorcyclists have advocated for legislation that would allow for “lane splitting” or “lane filtering,” which allows for motorcyclists to ride between vehicles at speeds under ten miles per hour if surrounding traffic is moving slower than 10 miles per hour. Legislation passed the House and Senate in 2021, but it was vetoed by then-Governor Kate Brown. With a new governor, SB 422, an identical bill to the one in 2021, was expected to have a better chance of passage. It moved out of the Senate Judiciary Committee and passed off the floor 27-2. The bill was referred to the Joint Transportation Committee. The makeup of this committee was such that it did not have the votes to pass. After one public hearing in the joint committee, it died upon adjournment. RENEWABLE DIESEL MANDATE Renewable diesel is a burgeoning technology in the transportation sector. Unlike biodiesel, which is made through a different production process, renewable diesel has demonstrated better performance in a variety of conditions while still producing far fewer carbon and sulfur emissions than conventional diesel. Unfortunately, the market for renewable diesel remains limited in many states, including Oregon. In December 2022, the City of Portland passed an ordinance to phase out conventional diesel. SB 803 was introduced in the 2023 legislative session that expanded this concept to prohibit conventional diesel sales across the state. As introduced, it would have begun in the Portland metropolitan area in 2026, expanded to western Oregon in 2028, and applied statewide in 2030. Exceptions would have been made if the Oregon Department of Agriculture determined that the price of renewable diesel was ten percent higher than conventional diesel for 14 consecutive days, or if the supply 2023 Legislative Session Recap, cont. The 160-day 2023 Oregon legislative session may be considered one of the strangest and most unique sessions in recent history.
17 www.ortrucking.org Issue 3 | 2023 of renewable diesel was determined to be insufficient to meet demand. This bill was extremely similar to a bill that failed to pass in 2022. And just as before, a coalition of fuel distributors, producers, and users, including the trucking, agriculture, construction, and recreation industries, mounted a strong opposition to the bill. The bill was ultimately turned into a study by the Department of Environmental Quality on phasing out of fossil diesel fuels with high carbon intensity value as transportation fuels in Oregon. This amended bill then moved to the Ways and Means Committee, where it died without funding. CLEAN TRANSPORTATION LEGISLATION Two other clean transportation bills from past sessions were resurrected in 2023. Rep. Maxine Dexter introduced HB 2396, which would have created a new indirect source review program at the Department of Environmental Quality. The proposed program would have applied broadly to indirect sources of carbon emissions throughout the state, including retail stores, offices, government buildings, schools, hospitals, ports, and development projects, among others. When a similar bill was introduced in the 2021 session, there were more than a dozen DEQ programs focused on reducing mobile sources of air emissions. Two years later, at least a half dozen more new regulatory programs have been adopted that will reduce air emissions such as the Climate Protection Program, Clean Fuels Expansion, Clean Trucks rule, Clean Cars rule and Portland’s Renewable Fuel Standard. Additionally, Oregon has long regulated indirect sources and DEQ has evaluated more than 400 sources under its indirect source program. None has ever been found to cause a violation of air quality standards. A large coalition that included the Oregon Trucking Association, the Associated General Contractors, Oregon Business & Industry, and others expressed strong opposition to the bill. A public hearing was held in mid-February, but the only amendment introduced would only have made the program more prescriptive and onerous for businesses and DEQ. The bill died in committee. In addition to the renewable diesel mandate, Rep. Nosse introduced HB 3158, which would have imposed several new taxes, including: an excise tax on the retail sale of tires, a privilege tax on nonroad diesel equipment, a tax on the use in Oregon of nonroad diesel equipment purchased out of state, a heavy equipment rental tax on rentals of nonroad diesel equipment, a privilege tax on heavy-duty vehicles, and a license tax on dyed diesel for transfer to the Clean Diesel Engine Fund. These new taxes would have required the bill to pass with three-fifths majority in both chambers. Environmental advocates argued that the money from the taxes could have helped trucking operations transition to lower carbon alternatives, but the arguments did not land, and the bill died in committee after one hearing. One policy moved forward at the very end of session that could help move the needle on helping transition to cleaner trucking operations. Similar to how the state already incentivizes zero emission passenger vehicles, the legislature, as part of HB 3409, created a rebate program at the Department of Environmental Quality for the purchase or lease of zero-emission medium and heavy-duty trucks. DEQ will determine the rebate amounts and establish different rates for different vehicles based on their emissions. Rebate recipients must maintain records of miles driven or hours of use and provide an annual report to DEQ showing that more than 50% of vehicle use occurred in Oregon. Only $3 million was appropriated for the program with disbursements beginning in the 2025–2027 biennium. While this is not a significant amount for an industry as expensive as trucking, hopefully, the establishment of the program may provide a carrot for the transition to lower emitting transportation options. HIRING AND RETENTION BONUSES In 2017, Oregon passed a landmark pay equity law that requires every worker receive equal pay for equal work regardless of gender, race, age, or other protected characteristics. This includes wages, benefits, bonuses, and more. In 2021, when workforce shortages began to affect nearly every industry, state lawmakers temporarily amended Oregon’s Equal Pay Act and exempted hiring and retention bonuses from pay equity considerations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Those changes
18 Oregon Trucking Association, Inc. Oregon Truck Dispatch 2023 Legislative Session Recap, cont. expired on Sept. 28, 2022. Since that has lapsed, Oregon is now the only state in the country that includes bonuses in its equal pay calculations. As a result, an enormous coalition of public, private, and non-profit employers pushed to pass HB 3205, which would have permanently exempted hiring and retention bonuses from pay equity considerations. Despite the strong coalition of support, in the bill’s first public hearing one labor group and one advocacy non-profit claimed that it would create a loophole in the pay equity law that could allow for both unconscious bias and overt acts of pay discrimination. In response to the opposition, the coalition worked with legislators and opponents to amend the bill, to clarify that retention bonuses could be offered after the first thirty days as long as they were not done in any discriminatory manner. The amended bill passed out of committee and passed the House floor unanimously. However, once it reached the Senate Labor and Business Committee, Chair Taylor worked to kill the bill, amending it to simply direct the Bureau of Labor and Industries to conduct a study. The gutted bill passed out of committee and later died in the Ways and Means Committee. While this was a significant disappointment for employers, the coalition intends to double down on efforts in the 2024 short session. RIGHT TO REFUSE A bill that concerned many in the business community was SB 907, also referred to as “right to refuse.” The bill aimed to provide employees with the right to refuse to perform tasks assigned by their employer under certain circumstances. The bill, pushed by PCUN, the farm workers’ union, would have allowed employees to use sick leave to cover periods when the employee was not working after exercising this right. Federal and state law already allow employees to refuse work when they believe it will put them in imminent danger under specified circumstances. Oregon also already has some of the strongest workplace protections in the country, and Oregon OSHA has taken significant steps over the last several years to protect workers from occupational risks ranging from COVID-19 to excessive heat. SB 907, as introduced, would have removed the clear requirements already found in Oregon law and adopted a standard based on whether an employee has “reasonable apprehension” for their safety in the workplace. Business and agriculture groups laid out strong arguments in committee and with legislators about the confusion this bill would have created for employers. The committee eventually amended the bill to replace the introduced language with language that aligned with federal law that makes it unlawful to discharge or discriminate against an employee who refused to expose themselves to hazardous conditions at work. With all sides agreeing to the amended bill, SB 907 quickly passed through both cham- bers and was signed into law by the end of May. WAREHOUSE REGULATION HB 3568 was introduced in early March to study issues related to the working conditions of warehouse workers. Rep. Ruiz (D-Gresham) later introduced a gutand-stuff amendment that would have required employers to give employees information upon hire about quotas, any adverse actions that could be taken for not meeting quotas, and any incentives for meeting quotas. Further, the bill would have required quotas to factor in time for rest and meal breaks, time to use the restroom, and time to access tools and safety equipment needed to perform the job. Similar legislation has passed in New York, California, and Washington, but this would have been the farthest reaching of these policies. Although it was aimed at Amazon distribution centers, nearly any company with warehouse operations in Oregon could be held to the reporting standards of the bill, even if they do not utilize quotas. Employers would be asked to provide information to which they might not even have access because the reporting requirements include employees in warehouses where there are third-party employers, temporary services, and staffing agencies. A coordinated coalition effort of impacted industries pushed back against the policy, particularly given its late introduction, lack of discussion, and overreaching impact to such a huge portion of Oregon’s economy. One public hearing was held, but the Chair of the Rules Committee decided to not move the bill forward. ALCOHOL DELIVERY During the pandemic, the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission legalized the home delivery of alcoholic beverages. But when Oregon legalized home delivery of alcohol in 2020, it didn’t require licensure for delivery companies, nor did it require training or much oversight. HB 3308 proposed that retailers, such as liquor stores, convenience stores, and grocery chains supplying alcoholic beverages be licensed and subject to penalties along with delivery companies. The original bill was very broad and included common carrier trucking operations
19 www.ortrucking.org Issue 3 | 2023 who deliver wine directly to consumers. The common carriers were clear that if they were included in the regulatory scheme considered in the bill, they would no longer deliver wine in Oregon. OTA’s lobby team worked to ensure that common carriers were exempted from the bill, since they have a fundamentally different business model than the thirdparty delivery services the bill seeks to regulate. Additionally, a coalition of grocers, distillers, breweries, wineries, delivery companies, and restaurants, pushed for amendments that narrowed the bill to put the onus entirely on the delivery companies to make sure drivers are licensed and insured and, most importantly, that they screen customers. The amended bill passed easily out of committees and out of both chambers and was sent to the governor for her signature. AGE DISCRIMINATION AARP introduced HB 2800 early in the session, which sought to eliminate age-based employment discrimination. More than 35 legislators sponsored the bill, which would have made it illegal for an employer to seek the age of applicant prior to completing an initial interview or making a conditional offer of employment. Further, any language that could have suggested a preference for an age range, such as asking for certain types and levels of experience or advanced degrees, could be subject to liability, and litigation could be brought under the bill’s private right-of-action. Especially with continued workforce shortages, adding higher risk and more difficulty to the hiring process was completely unworkable. In addition to the risk for businesses, the bill could also have put older and younger workers at risk of discrimination by not allowing for questions of experience on applications. The bill received one public hearing, but because of the outpouring of opposition and the infeasibility of the policy, the bill died at the first chamber deadline. PAYSTUB LANGUAGE AND OVERPAYMENT In 2022, the St. Charles Health System requested repayment after their payroll system overpaid employees over $2 million. Two nurses unions petitioned against the demand for reimbursement. Other unions aligned themselves with the effort, including the grocery workers union. This coalition brought HB 2556, which would have disallowed employers from recouping overpayments six months after the overpayment. It would have also added a requirement that an explanation, “stated in plain language,” be provided for every deduction on an employee’s pay stub. With no guidance from the state or clear definition of “plain language,” the bill’s ambiguity would have put employers at risk of liability for any perceived lack of clarity on a paystub. It is possible that even adding too much description of the deductions could have been an infraction. Additionally, the employee would have the option under the bill to choose not to agree to reimbursing for the overpayment. A business coalition presented these concerns, asking for a yearlong window for notice of overpayment, an example of an acceptable pay stub explanation, and clarification for recourse if an employee refuses to sign the agreement. Though these requests were not all met, the “plain language” requirement was amended out of the bill. The bill passed out of the committee and off the floor, largely along party lines. However, when it reached the Senate, once it became evident that this would have impacts on government workers, the committee decided not to move the bill forward. There has been no indication that this policy will be revived next session, but pay stub transparency as an issue may come back in the future. PAY RANGE DISCLOSUSURE SB 925 was introduced this year with the intention of creating more transparency in job applications. The bill would have made it an unlawful practice to advertise a job, promotion, or transfer opportunity without disclosing the pay range and employment benefits. The bill would have led to significant free speech issues and high risk of litigation with a private rightof-action. One public hearing was held, but the bill died upon the first chamber deadline.. Even with the historic walkout, OTA’s team in Salem spent many hours advocating on behalf of Oregon’s trucking industry, ensuring that our members had a voice at the table when decisions were being made impacting trucking.
20 Oregon Trucking Association, Inc. Oregon Truck Dispatch DONATE: WE NEED YOUR HELP TO FUND THIS ANNUAL CELEBRATION OF OUR TRUCK DRIVERS!
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22 Oregon Trucking Association, Inc. Oregon Truck Dispatch Beyond Advocacy: OTA Supports All Aspects of Members’ Businesses By Jennifer Sitton | OTA Communications Consultant LIKE MOST TRADE associations, the Oregon Trucking Association was founded to advocate for our members and the trucking industry as a whole. And while legislative and regulatory advocacy is instrumental for our industry, OTA also offers significant value to our members outside of the work we do in Salem. Trainings OTA is proud to offer one of most indepth training programs of a statewide trucking association in the country. From the Northwest Fleet Safety and Fleet Maintenance Certification Programs to ongoing carrier education and onsite audit and safety consultation services, OTA provides significant value to our members when it comes to training their workforce. Our programs are so strong that we are beginning to offer some of our training outside of Oregon to other state trucking associations. Events for Every Aspect of Your Business OTA gives every department in your business an opportunity to get involved, network with their peers, and learn about the latest best practices through our annual events. The Spring Safety Conferences give safety professionals an opportunity to learn about the latest practices in safety, including training sessions. The TMC Maintenance & Education Fair offers your fleet managers and service technicians a chance to learn from their peers through workshops and presentations from top industry suppliers, manufacturers and others. The Oregon Truck Driving Championships allows your drivers to show off their skills and put their knowledge and talent to the test. The Annual OTA Leadership Convention & Exhibition brings association and industry leaders together to hear about the latest developments in the industry and network with others in management. And the Southern Oregon mixer offers an opportunity for all industry members to come together and kick off the new year and discuss what’s to come that year. Hub of the Industry When our members have a question about safety, permits, regulations, or their business operations in general and don’t know who to call, OTA can help! OTA has liaisons at ODOT and other state agencies to help you with your business needs, including tax problems, over dimensional permitting questions, and other regulatory challenges. OTA members also receive our regular newsletter and updates including the weekly express, which serves as a one stop shop for all trucking, legislative, regulatory, and OTA updates. OTA is proud to offer one of most in-depth training programs of a statewide trucking association in the country.
23 www.ortrucking.org Issue 3 | 2023 Facilities and Siting Issues OTA’s team knows how to move the needle with local governments. Whether you’re having challenges with siting a new facility, getting approval on a facility expansion, or need support working with the City of Portland to ensure your employees’ safety, OTA can help you get through to decisionmakers to move your business forward. Networking Opportunities For decades, trucking industry professionals have come to OTA to network and develop relationships with their peers. Whether they’re discussing the latest trends at the Spring Safety Conference, discussing new regulatory challenges at a Government Affairs Committee meeting, or catching up with old friends at the Annual Leadership Convention, OTA’s members consistently say that the opportunities to get to know their peers is one of the greatest benefits of their OTA membership. Connections to Allied Members OTA is proud to be supported by approximately 120 allied members. These allied members can be critical partners for all aspects of your business from securing parts, to legal and insurance, to purchasing new trucks—a relationship that will be even more important in the coming years with new carbon regulations being implemented. OTA encourages our carrier members to connect with our allied members to better support their business operations. Workforce Development As the trucking workforce ages, OTA is committed to helping build the next generation of industry professionals, including drivers. OTA’s Workforce Committee focuses on improving labor issues for the industry, including looking for opportunities to promote CDL and diesel technician careers, promoting additional career opportunities, and looking for creative solutions to improve workforce issues. Discount Programs All OTA members also have access to our member discount programs, including insurance services, compliance services, employer benefits, truck tax solutions, shipping discounts, and more. OTA members are also invited to participate in OTA’s SAIF workers’ compensation program, a benefit that will be even more financially beneficial to members as new workers’ compensation rates are released in October! If you’re not already taking advantage of all the ways OTA can help support your business, we encourage you to get involved! You can learn more about OTA’s many ongoing activities at an upcoming event or by reaching out to our team at email@example.com..ortrucking.org