January 2021 Update
Story by Emma Kallaway. | Start the discussion
This week marks the start of the 2021 Oregon Legislative session, a new U.S Congress, and the tenure of a new party in charge of the office of President of the United States. Decision-makers change, and PCC works with whomever has the best interest of our students at heart. I am hopeful for what may come this year for our students. Many of Oregon’s newly elected leaders have expressed a passion for helping our students and a breadth of knowledge related to the challenges facing Portland Community College.
As it relates to the Oregon Legislature, here are the 2021 priorities for Portland Community College and the Oregon Community College Association (OCCA):
- Pursue true current service level (CSL) funding at $702 million for all of Oregon’s community colleges, as projected by OCCA. In the 2019 biennium CSL funding was $640 million. The Legislative Fiscal Office for the Oregon Legislature calculates CSL at $673.1 million. We begin negotiations with the Ways and Means Education subcommittee between $640M and $702M. With a persuasive lobbying effort over the next 6 months I hope to land as close to $673.1M as possible.
- Increase the Oregon Opportunity Grant by $22 million, a goal set forth by Governor Brown in her 2021 recommended budget.
- Secure first-time funding, between $4-5 million, to place a benefits navigator on each college campus in Oregon.
- Preserve Corrections Education Funding. The details of the request are still in negotiations between the higher education coordinating commission and the Oregon Department of Corrections.
- Fund the recommendations set forth by Oregon’s Artificial Intelligence Committee.
The policy goals for Portland Community College (bills with no budget impact) are still being developed. Only about half of the policy bills for the session have been made public. Here is our list as of January 2021:
- Textbook Information Reporting – opposed or neutral with amendments
- Common Course Numbering – supportive with amendments
- Student Parent Identification – supportive if there is no fiscal impact
- Mandatory Fee Transparency – opposed or neutral with amendments
- Part-time Faculty Healthcare – pending
- Higher Education Roadshow Framework – supportive
- Liability Protections – passed in the 2020 special session