Ore. Passes Producer Licensing Bill

June 4, 2001

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber has signed into law SB 268, a bill designed to streamline the insurance producer licensing process which also satisfies the reciprocity requirements of the federal Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA).

According to the National Association of Independent Insurers (NAII), with the passage of SB 268, the substance of the Division’s current rule will have to be repromulgated with a new statutory reference. Division Administrator Joel Ario has assured the NAII that the new rule will continue Oregon’s current practices.

The Insurance Division’s privacy bill, SB 269, is designed to update Oregon’s privacy statutes based on the 1982 NAIC model. Last week the Senate concurred in the House’s amendments to the bill and repassed it.The governor is expected to sign the bill soon.

The Oregon legislature also took action on several other insurance-related bills, including:

• HB 2380, a red light camera bill, has passed both chambers and is headed to the governor’s desk. The bill authorizes any city with a population over 30,000, as well as the city of Newberg, to install red light cameras at certain intersections.

• SB 609, which creates a self-evaluative privilege for insurance company audits, passed both chambers and is expected to be signed into law.

• HB 3980, the State Accident Insurance Fund (SAIF) oversight and accountability measure, has passed the House with bipartisan support after SAIF and an industry coalition agreed to compromise language. The bill requires the Oregon Secretary of State to conduct an annual audit of SAIF using a team of qualified and independent actuaries.

• SB 485, a comprehensive workers’ compensation reform bill, was thrown into limbo by the recent Oregon Supreme Court ruling in Smothers v . Gresham Transfer that found the workers’ comp exclusive remedy provisions violated the state’s remedy clause. The House Speaker has moved the bill out of the House Business, Labor and Commerce Committee without a recommendation for passage and parked it in the House Rules Committee. Options that would salvage SB 485 and help soften the blow of the mothers decision are being explored. But given the benefits labor representatives expect from the court’s decision, reaching a new consensus by late June when the legislature is expected to adjourn might prove difficult.

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