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Under Senate Bill 608, landlords across the state could raise rent no more than 7 percent per year, plus the annual change in the consumer price index.

BRADLEY W. PARKS/OPB - Oregon state Sen. Shemia Fagan, D-Portland, speaks on the floor of the Senate.
The Oregon Senate voted 17-11 Tuesday to make Oregon the first state in the nation to adopt statewide rent control and make it harder for landlords to evict tenants without a reason.

Democrats have made it clear this bill is a priority and, with a majority in both chambers, its sponsors are moving it at a breakneck speed through the Legislature.

Under Senate Bill 608, landlords across the state could raise rent no more than 7 percent per year, plus the annual change in the consumer price index. The bill carves out an exemption for rental properties that are less than 15 years old. The measure would also prevent a landlord's ability to evict tenants without a reason after they have lived in the building for a year.

Senate Republicans decried the measure.

Sen. Tim Knopp, a Republican who represents the booming Bend area, warned that the measure will have a chilling effect on investors and developers. He said he's already spoke to investors who said they are going to get out of Oregon's market.

"Those rental homes when sold are not going stay in the rental pool," Knopp said.

Oregon Public Broadcasting is a news partner of the Portland Tribune. You can read the rest of their story here.


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