HB 2426 VOTE: YES
Authorizes self-service dispensing of Class 1 flammable liquids at retail dispensary.
Bipartisan House Bill 2426, sponsored by both Republican and Democrat lawmakers, would authorize self-serve gasoline statewide all the time, not just when the state Fire Marshal’s Office makes temporary exceptions to current law. Oregon and New Jersey are the only two states in the nation that prohibit self-service at the pumps. The state has made temporary exceptions to the rule in recent years because of COVID-19, extreme heat and staffing shortages.
Elected Republican Response as reported in the media:
“This legislation will provide relief for gas stations struggling to remain open during labor shortages, for station attendants racing to serve waiting customers, and for drivers stuck in line at the pump,” said Rep. Shelly Boshart Davis, R-Albany, one of the bill’s chief sponsors. “It’s a win for every Oregonian.”
“It gives Oregonians a choice on how they fuel their cars, it speeds up gas lines and eases staffing shortages,” said Republican Rep. Shelly Boshart during a hearing about the benefits of the bill last month.
In 2015, the law was amended to allow stations in rural areas to offer self-service gas between the hours of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. This allowed gas stations in sparsely populated areas to remain open 24-hours without providing overnight attendants. Gas stations in counties that have populations of less than 40,000 can offer self-service gas to customers any time thanks to the 2015 law. There is no substantive reason why Josephine County with 88,000 folks should not have the same flexibility, nor why this shouldn’t be an option 24/7 if the station is staffed. The bill requires stations to ensure at least half of their pumps to remain attendant-service and the cost of gas at attendant-service pumps cannot be more than that of self-service. This bill increases liberty both for station owners and drivers by providing options for self-service while ensuring older folks, the disabled, and even those who just don’t want to risk gas smell on their hands or clothes to keep with attendant pumping at no extra cost.
Link to bill on Oregon OLIS:
The bill has passed the House and is moving on to the Senate. It should be noted that while the bill “declares an emergency”, this language is necessary because the previous 2015 bill, which this bill amends, is also an emergency authorization.