On April 6, Tonkon Torp partner Rocky Dallum was a featured speaker at Bio on the Rocks, a networking and educational event hosted by the Oregon Bioscience Association. Rocky provided a legislative overview of the 2022 Oregon legislative session, and shared outcomes from Oregon Bio’s advocacy work specific to the biotech sector.
Rocky summarized biotech wins from this session, including the passage of HB 4034, which included the re-establishment of Oregon’s biosimilar notification statute following its expiration at the beginning of the year. Oregon Bio also worked with both revenue committees to extend Gain Share by a year. Gain Share is a program that allows local governments to share income tax revenue for recruiting significant new investment in the state; Washington County is the largest participant in the program and has leveraged it to attract major manufacturing, including biotech investment. Oregon Bio worked with legislators, including Senator Janeen Sollman, to secure the extension. Several bills of interest to Oregon Bio members died, including a minor change to Oregon’s newborn screening panel (HB 4109) and data broker bill drafted by the Attorney General (HB 4017).
Before introducing the panel moderator, Rocky wrapped up his update with a look at the newly passed “Future Ready Oregon” workforce development package, which will invest $200 million in a range of workforce initiatives from apprenticeships to higher education. Oregon Bio is hopeful that the BioCatalyst program, which trains and re-trains people for local biotech jobs, is included in the new package.
Rocky is a partner in Tonkon Torp’s Government Relations & Public Policy Practice Group. He provides strategic counsel to businesses, nonprofits, and trade associations on public policy issues and advocates on their behalf within the state executive and legislative branches.