Expert Government Affairs Counsel for Oregon’s Leading Employers and Organizations

Making the Impossible Happen

The mark of a top-tier lobbying firm is its commitment and ability to get things done for their clients regardless of which party controls the Governor’s office or the Legislature. Our record of accomplishments for all of our clients speaks for itself.

Public Affairs Counsel represents clients of all stripes. As a firm we are committed to the private sector and principles of economic growth and free enterprise, but we are similarly committed to education, housing and other causes that give people an opportunity to succeed.

Here is an example of some of our accomplishments:

2015-2016

  • When the Department of Environmental Quality pulled the plug on a 10-year program to give heavy trucks engaged in research and development a fuel tax and weight mile tax exemption, PAC passed HB 2465, which not only reinstated the program, but put it in statute. Client: Daimler Truck North America.
  • Oregon’s network of rural airports are suffering from accumulated deferred maintenance needs because there is no dedicated funding stream to keep Oregon’s airports in good repair. PAC passed the first major funding bill for Oregon’s rural airports. HB 2075 raised the jet fuel tax by 2 cents, funneling $7.5 million per biennium to rural airports for maintenance and operational needs. The money will also leverage federal money and put Oregon airports in line for federal improvement dollars. Client: Oregon State Chamber of Commerce.
  • In 2005, when the food processing industry faced significant challenges with a drop in employment and plant closures, Public Affairs Counsel went to work to pass legislation that provided a property tax exemption for qualified machinery and equipment. As a result, the food processing industry saw an upward swing in employment by more than 11 percent. In 2015, Public Affairs Counsel secured passive of legislation to expand the ‘machinery and equipment’ personal property tax exemption for new capital equipment for dairies, egg producers, grain millers, and bakeries sectors that were previously excluded. It took nearly every day of the five month session, but PAC passed HB 3125 in the waning hours of the 2015 legislature. Client: Northwest Food Processors Association.
  • Oregon’s last beer tax increase was in 1977. Since that time, Public Affairs Counsel has worked with industry partners to defeat efforts to increase taxes on malt beverages. As a result, Oregon’s beer tax remains among the lowest in the country. Years of success in keeping operating costs low for Oregon brewers have benefited local communities and their economies across the state. Oregon’s local craft brewers have flourished. Oregon has 234 different brewing facilities in 72 different cities across the state and produces 1,641,000 barrels or nearly 51 million gallons of beer a year. It is estimated that the brewing industry contributes $2.83 billion to the state’s economy and employs 30,000 Oregonians. Client: Anheuser Busch.
  • Since 1990, The Oregon Metals Initiative has been a dynamic public/private partnership that allows private industry partners to conduct metals research using academic guidance, equipment and faculty expertise from Oregon State University, Portland State University, and others. Every dollar allocated by the state is matched 1:1 by private industry. Over the years PAC has worked to secure funding for this research. This last session, PAC worked to increase OMI’s funding from $1.38 million (2013-14) to $1.6 million (2015-16) in state resources. PAC secured additional funding, $1.3 million, for the purchase of new metals research equipment and new funds for the universities to hire research faculty to focus on applied metals research. Client: Oregon Metals Initiative.
  • Oregon is one of many states with reasonable safeguards to ensure that insurance premiums don’t spiral out of control for Oregon’s doctors and health care providers. One such safeguard is a limit on non-economic damage awards in the amount of $500,000. PAC worked with our partners to defeat SB 409, which started out as a bill to eliminate non-economic damage caps altogether. Client: The Doctors Company, Physicians Insurance.
  • Public Affairs Counsel first started lobbying for the Oregon Head Start Association in 1994. At the time, the entire budget line of $27 million was removed from the Governor’s budget. Public Affairs Counsel worked to save funding for this critical program. Since that time, Public Affairs Counsel has worked collaboratively with legislative leaders from both parties to grow the budget to $140 million a biennium to help Oregon’s most impoverished families and their children, ages 3-4, to prepare them for their entry into Kindergarten. Client: Oregon Head Start Association.
  • When our clients came to us with a need for more funding for their local Justice Courts, PAC went to work to pass HB 2316, a bill that brought in more than $300,000 to help stem the financial hemorrhaging of local Justice Courts. Client: Deschutes County, Linn County.

2013-2014

  • During the short 35 day session in 2014, Public Affairs Counsel worked to bring different partners together to come and successfully pass legislation that allows individual tenants of manufactured dwelling parks to organize and compete to purchase the park that their home resides in. Legislation was crafted with bi-partisan support and stakeholder involvement to help give residents an opportunity to keep existing mobile parks at their current location. Client: Oregon Housing Alliance.
  • In 2013 legislation was drafted, HB 3309, that would penalize hospitals and others that contract with the newly created Coordinated Care Organization (CCO). The bill would have allowed a local CCO to vote to remove a board member or organization and prevent them from contracting to provide health services with the CCO for a period of 5 years. Legislation would’ve significantly impacted a hospitals ability to be reimbursed for the care of Oregon’s Medicaid and Medicare population. Public Affairs Counsel worked to defeat the bill and preserve a fair contracting playing field for all members of the CCO. Client: Salem Health.
  • In 2013, Public Affairs Counsel worked with legislative leaders to secure $4 million for a new Veteran’s home to serve residents in Lebanon. The new 133,000 square foot facility will serve as home to 154 veterans and their spouses, and generated 250 jobs. Client: Linn County.

Expert Counsel For Oregon’s Leading Employers and Organizations

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