New Transit App for CET
Riders of Cascades East Transit can now check arrival times and other information through the transportation network's new mobile app. The "Transit App" went live June 1, offering real-time information on the location of buses.
The app includes a trip planner and reminders about when to depart for the bus stop, as well as departure information. CET is also partnering with the ride-sharing app, Uber, which recently launched in Bend and Redmond. The promotion offers people who have downloaded the CET app to receive discounts on Uber rides during First Friday events through September.
Transgender Equality Bill Becomes Oregon Law
Last Wednesday, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signed Oregon's first bill aimed exclusively at supporting transgender Oregonians. According to the governor's office, the transgender equity bill, HB 2673A, makes it a "safer, faster and more private process" for transgender people to update their name and gender on an Oregon birth certificate.
The Oregon Equality Act, passed in 2007, provides comprehensive non-discrimination protections for Oregonians based on their gender identity and sexual orientation—but HB 2673A is the first bill specifically supporting transgender people in Oregon. California is the only other state to offer transgender people this type of option for changing their birth certificates.
The bill becomes law Jan. 1, 2018.
Housing Legislation Moves Forward—with a Big Amendment
The state House bill aimed at providing some relief for Oregon renters has moved out of committee in the state Senate, but with a major change from its original form. The Senate Committee on Human Services voted to move HB 2004A onto the full Senate May 31. In addition to requiring landlords to cover the moving costs of tenants who are evicted through no fault of their own, the original version of the bill would have also opened the door for local governments to allow implementation of rent stabilization measures, something currently prohibited by Oregon law. That rent-control provision was removed from the current version of the bill.
In the wake of the committee vote, the Community Alliance of Tenants, a statewide tenants organization formed in 1996, issued this statement via its Policy and Organizing Director Pam Phan: "Property managers and rent-gouging landlords will continue to be able to increase—or even double—rents," Phan said. "Our coalition is deeply disappointed that lawmakers failed to recognize the needs of their constituents, leaving vulnerable Oregonians who are struggling and unable to pay these increases to be displaced from their communities." According to the Alliance, 40 percent of Oregonians are renters.
The Oregon Association of Realtors put a call to action on its website following the committee vote, saying the bill still contains "a variety of provisions that are problematic for landlords and real estate investors statewide."
HB2004 still needs the approval of the full Senate—and the governor's signature—to become law.