VOTE: NO – Signed into Law by Gov Brown on 07/19/2021
Status (overview) of bill: https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2021R1/Measures/Overview/HB2927
This bill renames the Office of Emergency Management and Office of State Fire Marshal, and establishes each as an independent state agency. The measure also creates the Emergency Preparedness Advisory Council and the Local Government Emergency Management Advisory Council.
Total restructure for 2021-23 is $5,581,206 and increase for ongoing biennium’s $7,529,338 General Funds. OMD estimates the fiscal impact of restructuring and providing additional services required by the bill at $3,793,128 General Fund, 10 new positions for the 2021-23 biennium; and $3,958,208 General Fund, 16 new positions for the 2023-25 biennium. OSP estimates the fiscal impact of restructuring and providing additional services required by the bill at $1,550,917 General Fund, 15 new positions for the 2021-23 biennium; and $4,803,187 Total Funds [$3,333,969 General Fund + $1,469,218 Other Funds], 15 positions for the 2023-25 biennium. The Office of the Governor estimates cost of supporting the Oregon Homeland Security Council and the Emergency Preparedness Advisory Council to be $237,161 General Fund for 1 position.
This reorganized department may look good on an organization chart, but it lacks reorganizing personnel duties for efficiency instead of just adding a lot of new staff. All this new staff doesn’t guarantee a quicker disasters response, but it does guarantee more chief to go through to get a response. This new Independent Agency organizationally may give more response resources via more office personnel, but where is the action? Planning for eventuality is a mindset that is meant to maximize efficiency and minimize impact. The centralization and organization in one place are beneficial to all Oregonians and its first responders.