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  • 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.


  • 24 Mar 2020 11:06 AM | PLSO Office (Administrator)

    Coronavirus, your business and complying with the Governor’s new Executive Order

    By: Darrell W. Fuller*, PLSO Lobbyist   
    You will find more information and a PDF of this article here: www.plso.org/COVID-19

    On Monday, March 23rd, Governor Kate Brown issued an Executive Order (EO) immediately shutting down many Oregon businesses in an effort to slow the spread of Coronavirus. (To read the order, click here).

    Governor Brown’s Executive Order is unlike the EOs issued by every other Governor. In other states, Governors issued Executive Orders shutting down businesses, except those considered “essential”. Their EOs included detailed lists of which businesses are deemed essential. Some referenced a Department of Homeland Security document issued March 19th. (To read the DHS advisory, click here.)

    Governor Brown flipped this concept on its head and issued an Executive Order specifically listing which businesses are not essential, shutting them down. Businesses not on her list are allowed to continue operating with some new rules. Governor Brown’s Executive Order requires the following businesses to close immediately:

    Closure of Certain Businesses

    (Executive Order 20-12, Page Four)

    2. …Amusement parks; aquariums; arcades; art galleries (to the extent that they are open without appointment); barber shops and hair salons; bowling alleys; cosmetic stores; dance studios; esthetician practices; fraternal organization facilities; furniture stores; gyms and fitness studios (including climbing gyms); hookah bars; indoor and outdoor malls (i.e., all portions of a retail complex containing stores and restaurants in a single area); indoor party places (including jumping gyms and laser tag); jewelry shops and boutiques (unless they provide goods exclusively through pick-up or delivery services); medical spas; facial spas; day spas; and non-medical massage therapy services; museums; nail and tanning salons; non-tribal card rooms; skating rinks; senior activity centers; ski resorts; social and private clubs; tattoo/piercing parlors; tennis clubs; theaters; yoga studios; and youth clubs.

    If your business is not on the Governor’s list above, then good news -- you can stay open (for now). But there are new rules you must follow:

    Required Social Distancing for Other Retail Businesses

    (Executive Order 20-12, Page Five)

    6. …I prohibit the operation of any other retail business not subject to paragraph 2 of this Executive Order, unless the business designates an employee or officer to establish, implement, and enforce social distancing policies, consistent with guidance from the Oregon Health Authority.

    7. Retail businesses that fail to comply with paragraph 6 of this Executive Order will be closed until they demonstrate compliance.

    So, if you are a retail business, which means you sell something -- including services -- and your employees interact with members of the public, you need to:

    (a)        Designate – in writing -- an employee or officer to establish, implement and enforce social distancing policies;

    (b)        Establish, implement and enforce written social distancing policies for all employees and customers, indicating that everyone must maintain six feet of separation from one another while at the business and on any jobsite;

    (c)        Ensure all employees receive a copy of the written policies and acknowledge that they have received it, read it, and will comply with it. An initial or signature is preferable;

    (d)        Make copies of the policies available to all customers, whether they visit your place of business or employees travel to their location;

    (e)        Require your manager of social distancing policies to indicate, in writing, who is responsible for enforcing the social distancing policies during all hours that your business is open, or when an employee is on a jobsite;

    This can be as simple as designating the manager on duty as the responsible person, or designating each field tech as responsible when they are in the field. Businesses need a paper trail showing a good faith effort to comply with establishing, implementing and enforcing social distancing policies;

    (f)         Your written social distancing policies should include explicit instructions to employees that they are not to use company time or vehicles to travel for any nonessential, non-work related purposes, to the maximum extent possible; and

    (g)        Use this link to download specific advice for employers from the Oregon Health Authority on social distancing policies.

    Workspace Restrictions

    (Executive Order 20-12, Page Five)

    9. …Facilitate telework and work-at-home by employees, to the maximum extent possible. Work in offices is prohibited whenever telework and work-at-home options are available, in light of position duties, availability of teleworking equipment, and network adequacy.

    10.  When telework and work-from-home options are not available, businesses and non-profits must designate an employee or officer to establish, implement, and enforce social distancing policies, consistent with guidance from the Oregon Health Authority. Such policies also must address how the business or non-profit will maintain social distancing protocols for business-critical visitors.

    11. Businesses and non-profits that fail to comply with paragraph 9 and 10 of this Executive Order will be closed until they demonstrate compliance.

    So, if you plan to keep your business open, you need to:

    (a)        Comply with everything listed above; and

    (b)        Create written protocols facilitating, to the maximum extent possible, which employees, if any, can telework or work-at-home. Document in writing specific reasons why employees (especially office employees) cannot telework or work-at-home. If nothing else, allow office employees to work from home for part of the day or part of the week, if at all possible.

    Everything about Coronavirus and Executive Order 20-12 is new. The paint just isn’t dry, yet. That being said, I hope this information is helpful as you try to understand and comply with the new rules. If you have any questions, please let me know. I cannot guarantee a quick answer or an answer at all, but I will do my best. (I am volunteering at the Office of Emergency Management’s Emergency Coordination Center in Salem representing the Red Cross.) You can reach me at fuller_darrell@yahoo.com, or my mobile number is 971-388-1786.

    *  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.


  • 19 Mar 2020 10:24 AM | PLSO Office (Administrator)

    The Oregon State Board of Examiners for Engineering & Land Surveying (OSBEELS) would like to provide our registrants and stakeholders with an update as a result of the recent news and uncertainty surrounding COVID-19. We are actively monitoring the situation around COVID-19 and how it may affect the status of our agency and it processes. As of March 18, the agency and staff are maintaining normal business operations and will continue to adhere to the direction provided by the State of Oregon Governor’s office. Please review the below sections for information pertaining to specific Board services and meetings. [Continue Reading]


  • 16 Mar 2020 5:17 PM | PLSO Office (Administrator)

    American Council of Engineering Comanies' advocacy team has assembled information below on recent federal actions in response to the coronavirus as they may impact firms.  Throughout the week ACEC will be posting new information through their various communication portals to provide you with the latest information. PLSO will do the best it can at sharing them.

    Small Business Assistance

    As part of the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2020, cleared by Congress the first week of March, SBA can offer qualifying small businesses loans of up to $2 million to pay fixed debts, payroll, and other bills that cannot be paid because of the disaster’s impact. According to the agency, the interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%. SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.  Click here for more information.

    Family/Sick Leave and Assistance to Employers

    On March 14, 2020, the House passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201) by a vote of 363-40.  The House is working on technical corrections that it intends to pass by voice vote as they are not in session this week.  Once the House approves the technical fixes, the Senate will consider the legislation this week.  There are some concerns among Senators that H.R. 6021 requires employers to provide paid leave up front and then apply for tax credits, which could cause cash flow problems.  ACEC is coordinating with other business association stakeholders to look for solutions as lawmakers move forward with this latest legislative response to COVID-19.

    Employer-related provisions in the House-passed bill include:

    • Testing: Insurers would be required to cover testing for COVID-19 without cost-sharing or prior authorization requirements.
    • Emergency paid leave: Private sector employers with fewer than 500 employees and government entities would have to provide 12 weeks of job-protected leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to employees who have to quarantine, care for a family member in quarantine, or care for a child under 18 whose school or day care has closed.
      • The first 14 days of leave could be unpaid, although employees could use accrued PTO during this period.
      • Following the first 14 days, employees must be paid at least two-thirds of their normal pay.
      • DOL would be authorized to exempt businesses with fewer than 50 employees from the paid leave provisions.
    • Emergency sick leave: Private sector employers with fewer than 500 employees and government entities would have to provide paid sick leave to self-quarantine, get a diagnosis for COVID-19, or provide care for a family member in quarantine or a child whose school has closed.
      • 80 hours of paid sick leave for full-time employees.
      • Paid sick leave for part-time employees based on their work hours over a two-week period.
      • The emergency sick leave is on top of any other paid leave provided by the employer.
    • Employer tax credits: The bill would provide payroll tax credits to employers to cover wages paid while employees are using the emergency paid leave and sick leave established by the legislation.
      • Sick leave credit of as much as $511 per day if the employee is caring for themselves, and as much as $200 per day if the employee is caring for a family member.
      • Family leave credit of as much as $200 per day, or an aggregate of $10,000.
      • Employers could receive the tax credit even if the credit exceeds the amount the employer owes in payroll tax.
    More detailed information can be found here and here.  Also, please note that we expect additional congressional assistance packages in the coming days and weeks to respond to specific challenges, and we will keep you posted as these new initiatives develop.

    FHWA/State DOT Coordination

    ACEC staff participated in a call last week with U.S. DOT representatives and officials from the modal administrations, e.g. FHWA, FTA, FRA.  They made clear they are focused on unified federal government response actions to protect at-risk populations, in conjunction with CDC and HHS; state and local transportation agencies should follow guidance from local public health authorities on specific operational guidelines for mitigating the spread of the virus.  The modal administrations are tracking the economic impact of the disruptions and providing guidance to their grantees and partners on federal funding eligibility and flexibilities for emergency response costs, operating expenses, etc.  Of interest to some ACEC member firms, FHWA is reviewing NEPA regulations to determine whether virtual public meetings can satisfy the existing legal requirements for public engagement.


  • 25 Feb 2020 9:09 AM | PLSO Office (Administrator)

    The FEMA Elevation Certificate has been updated. You may find the updated form and instructions here


  • 07 Feb 2020 11:33 AM | PLSO Office (Administrator)

    SALEM - The Oregon Department of Revenue will host a series of meetings across the state in March to provide information to business taxpayers and tax professionals about the administrative rules for Oregon's new Corporate Activity Tax.

    Department representatives used input collected from stakeholders during a 12-stop tour in fall 2019 in prioritizing and writing the rules. March's meetings will include a presentation and discussion of the initial temporary rules - the last of which will be filed with the Secretary of State on March 1. To see the tour schedule, click here.

    "Our CAT team will personally engage our taxpaying communities in March to provide important compliance information. We consistently strive to help taxpayers comply with the law. The CAT team will also solicit feedback on the temporary rules completed to date," said Nia Ray, director of the Oregon Department of Revenue.

    The 13-city tour kicks off in Bend on March 2 on the campus of Central Oregon Community College. Meetings on the east side of the state are set for March 3 in Ontario at Treasure Valley Community College and March 4 in La Grande at Zabel Hall on the campus of Eastern Oregon University. The La Grande meeting is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

    Additional meetings are planned in The Dalles, Klamath Falls, Ashland, Eugene, Gresham, Coos Bay, Lincoln City, Seaside, Beaverton and Keizer.

    House Bill 3427 created Oregon's Corporate Activity Tax and granted DOR the responsibility of writing rules to implement it.

    All of the rules will be filed as temporary rules with the permanent rule process scheduled to begin April 1. The timing will allow business taxpayers and tax professionals to provide comment on the temporary rules during the upcoming meetings in March, as well as during the public comment period.

    The Corporate Activity Tax imposes a 0.57% tax on gross receipts greater than $1 million after subtractions plus $250, beginning Jan. 1. It is expected to generate $1 billion a year to boost funding for public schools.

    Those who are unable to attend but want to provide input may email questions or comments to cat.help.dor@oregon.gov. The department is planning a series of conference call meetings for out-of-state taxpayers and Oregon stakeholders who are unable to attend the in-state meetings. Those meetings will be scheduled once the in-state tour is complete.

  • 06 Feb 2020 11:14 AM | PLSO Office (Administrator)

    New Survey: Consumers Concerned About Rush to Eliminate Professional Licensing

    • Clear Support for Rigorous Professional Licensing to Protect the Public Exists
    • Findings Come as State Legislatures Weigh Weakening or Eliminating Licensing

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Alliance for Responsible Professional Licensing (ARPL) today announced the results of a national survey that indicated widespread public support for maintaining rigorous professional licensing standards for professions that have a clear impact on public health, safety and welfare. These findings were announced as many state legislatures are considering broad proposals to overhaul or eliminate state licensing requirements in the current legislative session. Legislation weakening state professional licensing requirements was introduced in the West Virginia legislature earlier this month. Similar legislation is expected to be introduced in other states in the coming weeks and months.

    Eliminating licensing has become a top priority of groups such as the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity, with model legislative proposals that include the complete elimination of all professional and occupational licensing.

    The survey was conducted by Benenson Strategy Group and yielded these key findings:

    ▪ 75% of voters believe that it is important to ensure qualifications for professionals in certain industries. A majority of voters believe that current professional licensing requirements protect the public and should not be reformed.

    ▪ More than 70% of voters believe that regulating professionals in accounting, engineering, architecture, landscape architecture, and related fields with high impact on public safety and welfare is important.

    ▪ 71% of voters believe professional licensing should be required unless it can be proven that eliminating licensing will not have a negative impact on public health and safety. The public is wary of the alternative approach: requiring licensing only when it is proven necessary for health and safety.

    ▪ 67% of voters believe that consumers are best protected by a system that regulates education, examination and experience standards—all of which are overseen by a professional licensing board. 

    “An overwhelming, bipartisan majority of the American people understand that professional licensing is rigorous for good reason and they want to keep it that way,” said Skip Braziel, a member of the ARPL, who also serves as Vice President for State Regulatory and Legislative Affairs at the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA). “Consumers want to know that the professionals they hire are qualified and as this survey makes clear, voters want to see responsible licensing protected.”

    “The public recognizes the critical role that licensing and licensing boards play in protecting the public,” said Marta Zaniewski, an ARPL member who also serves as the Assistant Vice President of External Engagement for the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). “This is why consumers are understandably wary of the anti-licensing proposals being floated in their state capitals. Licensing boards not only establish qualifications for a profession, but act on the public’s behalf to uphold the highest standards for our profession and take action against bad practitioners. This indispensable public protection role will be lost if licensing is eliminated.”

    You can read the survey summary here.

  • 04 Nov 2019 11:36 AM | PLSO Office (Administrator)

    2020 Conference at Sheraton Portland Airport Hotel

    Save money when you register early for the 2020 PLSO Conference - Your Place for Continuing Education and Professional Networking! Held at the Sheraton Portland Airport Hotel, January 22-24, 2020, you an opportunity to have opportunity to:

    Don't miss out! Register to at plso.org/conference.

                                         ----------

    Thank you to the following companies that have come on board to support the 2020 PLSO Conference so far!

  • 23 Oct 2019 12:10 PM | PLSO Office (Administrator)

    STOLEN PROPERTY ALERT

    A Trimble S7, serial number 37310406, with case was stolen October 8th on Highway 197 just north of Dufur, Oregon. Please contact Ben Beseda with Tenneson Engineering at 541-296-9177 with any information.

  • 23 Oct 2019 10:10 AM | PLSO Office (Administrator)

    2019 BLUE MOUNTAIN CHAPTER WORKSHOP

    NOVEMBER 16, 2019, 8:30 AM (Pacific)

    Blue Mtn. Community College, 2411 N.W. Carden Ave., Pendleton OR

    Cost: $50 7.0 +/- PDH’s, plus meal ($25 guest meal)

    Contact Remi Fritz to Attend

    Agenda | Speaker Presentations & Bios

    9:00 am – 10:00 am

    ODOT: Online resources

    Speaker: Bret Elithorp, PLS


    This session Bret will go over ODOT's online resources. How to access and find ODOT surveys and maps. What types of information is available online and what additional information that may be requested from ODOT's offices.

    10:30 am – 12:00 pm

    DLCD: Building in the Flood Plain

    Celinda Adair, CFM; Katherine Daniel, CFM, AICP

    This session will provide updates regarding the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) as relevant to Oregon, including the status of the FEMA Elevation Certificate (EC) update, and how a new way of rating flood insurance policies may impact the demand for ECs. Information will also be provided regarding best practices for completing ECs and Letters of Map Amendments (LOMAs). Finally, this presentation will cover state specialty code requirements for Elevation Certificates when structures are being built or substantially improved.

    12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

    Catered Lunch Break and discussion time

    1:00 pm -2:30 pm

    BLM: Case Studies in the Public Land Survey System

    Mary J.M. Hartel

    This session will provide a Case Study into the Public Land system and the history behind it.

    3:00 pm – 4:30 pm

    NGS 2022, an Overview - “Grid to Ground” Modifications Explained

    Bob Green, PLS

    This session will discuss the last NGS adjustment schedule for 2022 and Grid to Ground modifications.

    4:30 pm – 5:00 pm

    Blue Mountain Chapter meeting to discuss presentations and vote on earned PDH’s


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