A bill supporters claim will fix Oregon's farm worker overtime law has cleared the state Senate.  But, opponents say the measure doesn’t mitigate the risk to the state’s farming community.


House Bill 4002 cleared the state legislature last year, mandating overtime for ag workers, and creating a host of problems for producers.  The new bill introduced this legislation looks to fix those problems, by making loans available to help farmers pay for additional expenses.  The legislation also sets up eligibility requirements.


"Individual awards are limited to a maximum of $40,000 for each eligible employer," said democratic Senator Aaron Woods, from Wilsonville.  He added the legislation also establishes a timely application and approval process.  However, The Dalles Republican Senator Daniel Bonham said nothing's been done to reduce the risk to farmers who will cut worker hours, reducing paychecks.


"House Bill 4002 had no compromise and House Bill 2058 has no fix," Bonham said.


HB 2058 was amended in the Senate, so it heads back to the House for reconsideration.


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