Issues & Agenda

ACEC Oregon develops a legislative agenda each year to ensure that the immediate concerns of consulting engineers and the public’s well-being are represented before government leaders.

As always, ACEC Oregon will be actively engaged in supporting or opposing a significant number of unanticipated issues during the 2021 legislative session. We look forward to active member involvement to help protect and promote the engineering profession in Oregon.

All things related to the legislature can be found at this website
(committees, hearing schedules, video, contact information and other key information): Oregon State Legislature (

2023 Legislative Summary - July 12, 2023

The 2023 legislative session ended the afternoon of Sunday, June 25. The session will be remembered for new leadership, forty-four new members in the last two elections who experienced their first in-person session after the pandemic, and for the forty-two day walk out by Senate Republicans. The session was controlled by the strong Democratic majorities and set in motion Governor Kotek’s campaign priorities that were nearly all funded and supported with additional new policy. After the Republican senators returned in mid-June, it was an awkward race to finish before the constitutional deadline with hundreds of bills in the queue.

Senator Michael Dembrow, D-Portland, summarized it well in his newsletter: “It has indeed been a strange one. It was mired in controversy, accusations and false accusations, walkouts and returns, power outages and hugely distracting construction noise. It began with fears of budget reductions, program reductions, and layoffs; and it ended with a surprisingly positive revenue forecast for the coming two years. It included new leadership in the Senate and House, an astonishing number of new legislators, and a new Governor with an ambitious agenda, a brand new team, and a new (sometimes rocky) relationship with her former colleagues.”


  • SB 848, duty to defend, did not pass. The ACEC sponsored bill passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on a 5-0 vote and was unnecessarily sent to the Ways and Means Committee with a potential fiscal impact. After further research the Legislative Fiscal Office agreed with us and amended the fiscal impact statement. However, late concerns raised by DAS about the impact of SB 848 on the state’s self-funded insurance pool was enough to delay action on the bill. Since then we have met with DAS risk management staff twice and expect we will reach consensus with them and bring the concept back to the 2024 short session in February.
  • Bridges Funded:
    • The interstate bridge was funded with the first of four $250 million increments to show our commitment to the federal government and to match the commitment made by Washington in 2022. The initial bridge bill contained several policy components that were eliminated and replaced with the clear and concise funding commitment.
    • The Burnside Ready Bridge proposal received $20 million and the Hood River-White Salmon Bridge was appropriated $20 million. The Bridge of the Gods was left off the funding list.
  • Water Right Examiners Changes:
    HB 2010
    is the major water related bill which was amended late to include several water related bills. Sections 17-19 change the requirements to become a certified water rights examiner. The original bill was amended to add seven years of experience along with a sunset clause in 2027 but the bill will allow new entrants that meet the new requirements to join engineers, land surveyors and geologists in doing this work if they pass the test. OSBEELS was neutral on the bill but members of the Board are not happy that staff took that position and will work with the Water Resources Department to ensure a fair, balanced and appropriate implementation. This issue will be a high priority for the incoming President of OSBEELS and he has committed to find a more appropriate outcome.
    HB2010 (

  • Funding Commitments via Capital Construction:
    The following major funding bills were passed late in the session. Please review to determine what opportunities may be in your future:

  • SB 5506, the Christmas Tree bill
  • Full Project List in SB 5506:

  • HB 5005 Bond Authorization:

  • Allocation Description for HB 5505:

  • HB 5030 Lottery Bond Authorization
    HB5030 (

  • Allocations in HB 5030:
    Microsoft Word - Lottery Bond Bill (HB 5030) - LFO Memo - DRAFT (WC & AB Final) (

2021 Legislative Summary for ACEC Oregon - July 2021
(9-page document full of information with hyperlinks to additional info

ACEC Oregon 2021 Legislative Issues 

​Senate Bill 213: Duty to Defend will be a priority for ACEC as we work with AIA Oregon, PLSO, TriMet, OAME and others to pass this important bill to ensure fairness in public contracting. SB 213 will ensure that design professionals will not be required to agree to duty to defend clauses in construction contracts. Duty to defend requirements are especially detrimental to small, emerging, women and minority owned businesses. SB 213 will ensure that each party to a construction contract be responsible for their own negligence or fault.

UPDATE (March 16, 2021): The Senate Committee on Judiciary and Ballot Measure 110 Implementation will hold a public hearing on Monday, March 22, 2021 at 8:00 a.m. via Microsoft Teams. Click here for the -2 amendment (3 pages). 

A Legislative Action Alert was sent March 16 to all ACEC firm reps (the primary contact for each member firm) requesting letters of support be uploaded to the Judiciary Committee website for the March 22 hearing. Please respond in the timeframe indicated on the action alert (by tomorrow, March 18) to ensure the materials get uploaded by Committee staff prior to the Monday, 8:00 a.m. hearing. Click here for sample language you can personalize to your firm’s experience. (One letter per firm, please.)  

Watch the hearing: Click under the “Meetings” heading on the right-hand side of the page on the camera icon at 8:00 a.m. on March 22 here: Judiciary and Ballot Measure 110 Implementation Senate 2021 Regular Session - Oregon Legislative Information System (

House Bill 2310: Pipe Preferences
for water projects returns for further discussion. A similar bill failed last session under the strong opposition of ACEC, local governments, AGC, OCAPA and others concerned about giving plastic pipe advantages in the design process.
2017 Transportation Package:
ACEC Oregon will continue to stay intimately involved with enactment of the package. We look forward to working with legislators, state and local transportation leaders and Oregon Transportation Commission to implement the major projects that were mandated in the bill from the 2017 session.
Qualifications-Based Selection (QBS):
ACEC Oregon is attempting to work closely with local governments to implement the new QBS law from the 2019 session. Ongoing educational events will be key in 2021 to help ensure that local government procurement staff are aware of the benefits and are comfortable with the QBS process.
Two Transportation Committees:
Both the Joint Transportation Committee and the Joint Committee on the Interstate Bridge will be meeting this session. ACEC will participate with both committees to assist in helping to find a path forward on key policy issues. 

ACEC Oregon's 2019 Legislative Session Report 
(15-page document full of information with hyperlinks to additional info)

UPDATE! July 6, 2017
News Release - Office of the Senate President
Senate Sends $5.3 Billion Transportation Improvement Plan to Governor

(SALEM) – The Oregon Senate gave final approval today to a $5.3 billion statewide transportation improvement plan.

House Bill 2017, which passed on a bipartisan 22-7 vote, will raise $5.3 billion for infrastructure over the next 10 years. It will modernize and improve Oregon’s transportation infrastructure by addressing five of the priorities heard most consistently around the state: reducing congestion, increasing alternate transportation options, investing in maintenance and preservation, improving safety of existing infrastructure and ensuring accountability in how taxpayer dollars are spent.

It is the result of more than a year of work by a 14-member joint committee, appointed by Senate President Peter Courtney (D-Salem/Gervais/Woodburn) and House Speaker Tina Kotek (D-North Portland).

“Transportation is essential to the quality of Oregonian’s lives and the vitality of Oregon’s economy,” said Co-Chair Senator Lee Beyer (D-Springfield), who led the joint committee with House Co-Chair Rep. Caddy McKeown (D-Coos Bay), and Vice Co-Chairs Senator Brian Boquist (R-Dallas) and Rep. Cliff Bentz (R-Ontario). “For too long our system has been falling in to disrepair. The investments in HB 2017 will move freight more efficiently, reduce congestion in our cities, make our roads and bridges safer and expand mass transit options from border to border.”

“Oregon’s rural transportation system is crumbling and outdated while cities are clogged with congestion.  This plan takes a smart, responsible approach to preserving our existing infrastructure and investing in a system for the next two decades,” Boquist said. “It’s not just enough to simply raise funds blindly. The accountability measures in HB 2017 seek to ensure that Oregonians get known infrastructure improvements and congestion relief for their investment.”

Beginning in May 2016, the Joint Committee on Transportation Preservation and Modernization met with community members and transportation stakeholders across the state, and held numerous public hearings throughout Oregon in 2016 and in the Capitol throughout the 2017 session. The committee incorporated that public input into the final transportation package.

Click HERE to view an easy-to-follow graphic explaining the components of the plan.

Click here for the Portland Business Journal's guest opinion,
"Legislature needs to fill the transportation funding pothole." 


  • Work with other interest groups to pass infrastructure investment packages.

  • Work through the Legislative Committee to identify priority legislation and to create legislative relationships that will help us be successful when the legislature is in session. 

  • Help educate legislators and others as to why potential legislation is bad for design professionals and for the public. As we know, very few legislators in Oregon or across the country have an engineering degree or understand and appreciate the nuances of our profession. It is our job to help them understand.

  • When necessary, oppose legislation that would be detrimental to ACEC members. 

  • Work to protect current QBS (Qualfications Based Selection) law and expand QBS to more projects in Oregon.

Governor Kate Brown connected with ACEC Oregon members at a breakfast meeting. Future transportation and infrastructure funding and resiliency planning were topics of conversation. The group also discussed the importance of the QBS law.

Governor Brown encouraged members to introduce themselves to their legislators and to offer to be a resource for transportation issues.

Pictured above, from left are: Executive Director Alison Davis; Secretary/ Treasurer Mike Reed, GRI; Past-President and National Director Troy Bowers, Murray, Smith & Associates; Governor Kate Brown; President Jay Lyman, David Evans and Associates; and Past-President Erik Peterson, Peterson Structural Engineers, Inc. (January 28, 2016)

ACEC encourages government procurement policies that support the use of the private sector.

Oregon’s engineering companies play an essential role in helping public agencies deliver and upgrade critical infrastructure—to reduce congestion on roads and bridges, provide clean drinking water to consumers, develop energy-efficient and sustainable buildings, and enhance the security and safety of the public.

Local and state agencies that contract with engineering firms are able to acquire unique capabilities, adapt quickly to economic conditions and fluctuating workloads, ramp up their programs when funds are available, and ramp down when funding cycles demand savings.