Policy Update

    Last Update:   June 7, 2023


State Government

Federal Update

Advocacy Corner

State Government 

State economists: "revenues are up sharply": Oregon state economists Josh Lehner and Mark McMullen told lawmakers for the 12th consecutive time that state revenues are up from the previous forecast (given in February). The May economic outlook and revenue forecast is the basis for the Legislature to finalize the state budget for the next two years.

The bottom line:

  • Net General Fund is up $7.3 billion from the close of session estimate (around $1.8 billion more than previous forecast)
  • Lottery resources are up $168 million from the close of session estimate (a slight decrease from previous forecast)
  • Personal Income Tax is up $5 billion from close of session estimate (24%)
  • Personal kicker projection is at $5.5 billion (up roughly $1.6 billion from previous forecast)
  • Corporate tax revenue is up $1.8 billion from close of session estimate (135%)
  • Corporate kicker projection is at $1.8 billion (up roughly $255 million from previous forecast), which is dedicated to K-12 education spending in 2023-25
  • Available resources for the 2021-23 and 2023-25 budget cycles have increased by almost $2 billion from the previous forecast (it is unclear as to whether this is net of the projected kicker or not)

Here are more resources for those that want to dive in:

Governor convenes negotiation talks: About two weeks ago, Governor Tina Kotek held a series of conversations with party caucuses and legislative leadership in an attempt to broker a deal to end the month-long walkout. Last week, Gov. Kotek gave an update on the negotiations, which she characterized as having "reached an impasse." Ultimately, these conversations have broken down over HB 2002, the Reproductive Rights and Gender-Affirming Care Act, which legislative leadership and the majority party caucuses will not set aside or amend to assuage the lawmakers involved in the walkout. Gov. Kotek ended her statement on a barely-optimistic note, stating, "There is still a window for Senate Republicans to return to the table and achieve some of their policy goals for the session and deliver for Oregonians, but it is getting more narrow by the hour."

Following the Governor’s statement, on Thursday last week, Senate President Rob Wagner (D-Lake Oswego) approved a $325 fine for all unexcused absences, starting on Monday, June 5. Why $325? That is the daily pay for legislators during a legislative session.

Continuing resolution serves as a stopgap: In Oregon's budget-writing process, it is common practice to include a continuing resolution (CR) as a buffer between when bills pass and when they are signed into law. HB 5046 is this year's CR. The bill passed through both chambers earlier this year and goes into effect should the legislature not pass a budget by July 1. The stopgap provisions would expire on September 15, and are limited in terms of what funds are provided.

According to Legislative Council, if an agency does not have a legislatively approved budget on July 1, the CR authorizes that agency to operate at the same level they operated at during the last quarter of the biennium. However, it "does not authorize funding for any increased expenses, whether from new programs or increased expenses for existing programs, including increases due to inflation and caseload projections." This is a major concern for some agencies which front-load their budgets to the beginning of the biennium and therefore have very few expenses from the last quarter.

If the Senate is not able to pass these budget bills due to the walkout, it is expected that Gov. Kotek will call for a special session in order to rectify the state budgets.

Federal Update 

Capitol Hill 

Capitol Hill and the White House

Debt Ceiling Bill Passed by Both Chambers: The House and Senate passed the Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA) last week. The House acted on a 314-117 vote on Wednesday night, and the Senate followed suit on Thursday by a 63-36 vote. This bill suspends the debt ceiling until January 1, 2025, which means that the next time Congress will have to vote on this issue is after the next presidential election. The bill also implements several Republican priorities including: 

  • Two years of spending caps for non-defense discretionary funding at FY23 levels 
  • Recission of unallocated COVID-19 pandemic response funds (which is not expected to impact health center operations or programs because most pandemic-era funds for health centers have already been spent or allocated) 
  • End dates for student loan pauses 
  • Work requirements for federal assistance programs 
  • Recession of IRS funding allocated in the Inflation Reduction Act

Bipartisan Agreement to Increase Health Center Funding: The House Energy and Commerce Committee passed a bipartisan bill last week. The agreement includes extensions for the Community Health Center program, the National Health Service Corps (NHSC), and Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education (THC GME) with increased funding levels! 


  • Health centers would receive $4.2 billion each year (from $4 billion) for the next two years
  • NHSC would get $350 million per year (from $310 million) for two years
  • The THC GME extension would be for six years and would ramp up to $275 million per year over time (from $126 million)

Update on 340B Acquisition Cost and Managed Care: NACHC continues to engage with Energy and Commerce Committee leadership staff and is working to preserve 340B access for health centers within Managed Care. Earlier last week, the Committee released updated language that was added to H.R. 3561 (starting at pg. 108) via an amendment that would make significant progress toward protecting health centers.

Unfortunately, the Committee opted to use a definition of a covered entity that does not sufficiently clarify that health centers' contract pharmacies should continue to have access to the higher Managed Care reimbursements. NACHC is concerned that the language is open to interpretation as limiting access to increased managed care reimbursements only to health centers' in-house pharmacies. They are engaging with Congressional Staff to fix this latest issue and hope to have a solution soon.  For the most up-to-date information, please review their latest memo on the issue.

Advocacy Corner

State Budget Advocacy

OPCA is grateful for the strong advocates in our FQHC community, specifically Adapt Integrated Health Care and Siskiyou Community Health Center! Representatives from these health centers submitted public testimony to the Joint Committee on Ways and Means to outline their communities’ priorities for the 2023-2025 state budget. These priorities included the Basic Health Plan, Medicaid redetermination, access to reproductive health care, and investments in behavioral health care. Thank you for raising your voice to make FQHCs heard in Oregon!

If you are interested in submitting testimony on your budget priorities, it is not too late! The final hearing of the Ways and Means roadshow is happening in Salem on May 3rd at 5:00 PM. This hearing will be hybrid, so if you would like to give your comments verbally, there is the opportunity to do so both in person and virtually! You can find more information here. Reach out to Marris Alden, OPCA’s Health Policy Analyst, at if you would like support in developing and submitting your comments!