Daily Clips

 

TAXES

 

(ICYMI) State economist confirms: Most Oregonians will see save money thanks to federal tax reform


 

Oregonians will save nearly $1.5 billion annually under tax overhaul, state analysis finds

The Oregonian

The tax overhaul President Donald Trump signed last month will save Oregon taxpayers nearly $1.5 billion a year, according to a new state analysis out this week. That works out to $840 per tax filer, substantially more than state forecasters estimated last fall, though savings will vary enormously from taxpayer to taxpayer. And a small percentage of Oregon taxpayers actually face a tax increase under the new tax code, according to the new analysis from the Legislative Revenue Office.

 

TRANSPORTATION & INFRASTRUCTURE

 

State bridges in Clatsop County battle age, wood rot

Daily Astorian

Several aging highway bridges in Clatsop County require significant work to remain viable. The state Department of Transportation rated crossings of U.S. Highway 101 over Ecola Creek, U.S. Highway 26 over Little Humbug Creek and Oregon Highway 104 over the Skipanon River as structurally deficient in the 2017 report on bridge conditions.

 

Buying An Electric Car In Oregon Or Washington? Tax Incentives Are Changing

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Meanwhile, in Oregon, drivers who buy or lease electric cars beginning this month theoretically qualify for cash rebates up to $2,500 on vehicles with an MSRP under $50,000. But the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is warning car shoppers the rebates are delayed and not guaranteed. That’s because the eligibility rules are still being drafted and there’s also a legal challenge that may take away the money for the rebate.

 

Auto theft soars in Portland, more than doubling since 2015

The Oregonian

Between January and November 2017, nearly 7,000 vehicles were stolen in Portland. That’s more than twice as many thefts as in 2015, and the most cars stolen in one year since 1997. Of those vehicles, more than 90 percent have been recovered according to data from Portland Police.

 

HEALTH CARE

 

Opioid epidemic becomes urgent call for Marion County health officials, police

Statesman Journal

Oregon health and law enforcement officials are shifting their focus to opioid treatment following Gov. Brown’s opioid epidemic designation. The state has one of the highest rates of prescription opioid misuse in the nation, with roughly three people dying from prescription opioid overdoses every week.

 

Rep. Marsh holds town hall meeting; discussion of Measure 101

KOBI5

One big issue kept coming up, Measure 101. As a proponent of the measure Rep. Marsh described why it was important to vote yes. “Measure 101 doesn’t solve all of our healthcare problems, it’s a really essential building block in our ability to move forward and build a healthcare system that is accessible and affordable,” she said.

 

ELECTIONS

 

Democratic candidate forum coming to Sunriver

Bend Bulletin

Sunriver will host a candidate forum this month for Democrats considering a run against U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Hood River. The public forum is for Democratic and Independent candidates running for Oregon’s 2nd U.S. House District seat, according to a news release from the Sunriver-based political action group Staying Connected, which will host the event.

 

WOLVES

 

Third kill chalked up to Rogue wolf pack

Mail Tribune

Officials with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife confirmed the Rogue Pack of gray wolves was responsible for two more killings of cow calves on a Butte Falls ranch last week, bringing the total loss for rancher Ted Birdseye to three calves within a week.

 

GUN CONTROL

 

Washington Senate Committee Hears Testimony On Gun Control Bills

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Senate Bill 5992 would prohibit the manufacture, sale, purchase or possession of trigger modification devices, which are defined in the bill as any part or combination of parts designed or intended to accelerate the rate of fire of a firearm.

 

OPINION

 

Editorial: PERS reform by nickel and dime

East Oregonian

Instead of shying from productive reforms, the governor and legislators should embrace them with the knowledge that they dare not count on the PERS savings until the subsequent litigation sends. That would be a more courageous approach than Brown’s modest PERS proposals for the 2018 Legislature.

 

Editorial: Government kills owls to save owls

Bend Bulletin

For now, the public is left to wonder if this is really how the Endangered Species Act was designed to work. Were scientists really expected to pick and choose, in this case between two members of the same bird family? To pick favorites and dispatch the rest? Probably not. But that’s only one of the problems with a law written with good intentions but in need of a reality-based overhaul.

 

Editorial: Unanimous jury ballot measure has merit

Albany Democrat-Herald

The Oregon District Attorneys Association last week announced plans to lead a ballot campaign to abolish the state’s unusual practice of allowing nonunanimous juries to decide some felony cases. The move is long overdue, and the association’s action is welcome. And, on a day when we celebrate the life and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., it’s worth remembering that Oregon’s embrace of nonunanimous juries has a historical precedent that’s based in racist and anti-Semitic beliefs.

 

Editorial: Oregon should get the same drilling deal as Florida

Mail Tribune

Gov. Kate Brown’s office says Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has agreed to consider exempting Oregon from Trump administration plans to resume offshore drilling in U.S. coastal waters. Zinke should not only consider an exemption, he should grant it — and do the same for the governors of other coastal states who request it.

 

Editorial: Measure 101 perfectly illustrates the failure of America’s health care system

Rick Meis, resident of Halfway

Measure 101 is proof that we need to look at, for example, the 34 other countries of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development all of which have health care systems that cost less than our country, provide health care to all their citizens and have far better health outcomes than our country. All these countries, like ours, are “committed to democracy and the market economy.”

 

Guest: Feds should recognize marijuana program’s successes and potential to improve

Amy Margolis, Oregon Cannabis Association

The voters of Oregon spoke clearly when they voted for cannabis legalization that they not only wanted to see marijuana taxed and regulated, they wanted to see the drug war end. Oregon has much more serious problems for law enforcement to spend their resources on than a reignition of cannabis arrests and prosecutions.

 

Guest: Cap-and-trade won’t help environment

John Charles Jr., Cascade Policy Institute

Housing supply is lagging demand because we’ve created so many barriers to housing construction. Removing those barriers should be a top priority for the state Legislature when it convenes in February. Global warming legislation does not even deserve a hearing.

 

NATIONAL NEWS

 

As Shutdown Talk Rises, Trump’s Immigration Words Pose Risks for Both Parties

The New York Times

President Trump’s incendiary words about immigration have dampened the prospects that a broad spending and immigration deal can be reached by the end of the week, raising the possibility of a government shutdown with unknown political consequences for lawmakers in both parties.

 

How Charlie Baker ditched Trump to become America’s most popular governor

POLITICO

Baker’s unique talent has been his ability to get as much distance as possible from Trump without thoroughly disowning him and alienating his own party. He works with Trump when necessary, but more frequently speaks out against his policies.

Daily Clips

 

HOUSE REPUBLICAN OFFICE

GOVERNMENT & POLITICS

 

Oregonians will save nearly $1.5 billion annually under tax overhaul, state analysis finds

The Oregonian

The tax overhaul President Donald Trump signed last month will save Oregon taxpayers nearly $1.5 billion a year, according to a new state analysis out this week. That works out to $840 per tax filer, substantially more than state forecasters estimated last fall, though savings will vary enormously from taxpayer to taxpayer. And a small percentage of Oregon taxpayers actually face a tax increase under the new tax code, according to the new analysis from the Legislative Revenue Office.

 

Understanding Oregon’s ‘cap and invest’ climate bills

The Oregonian

Oregon lawmakers this week dove into the most complicated and controversial debate of the upcoming 35-day legislative session: legislation that sets up a market-based, carrot-and-stick approach to reducing greenhouse gas pollution. The two bills will pit environmental advocates determined to see the state do more to combat climate change against business interests who believe the policy is either not ready for primetime or, worse, a job-killing energy sales tax that will deliver little benefit for the planet.

 

Oregon’s plan for more childcare regulators still ‘substandard,’ lawmaker says

The Oregonian

Oregon lawmakers on Friday offered a tepid response to Gov. Kate Brown’s new plan to beef up oversight of day cares, praising the effort while simultaneously questioning if it goes far enough fast enough. Childcare regulators unveiled specific details of the plan during a meeting of a House committee on early childhood development. Among other things, the proposal would increase maximum fines for rule-breaking day cares while closing a licensing loophole that can allow bad providers to escape consequences. But committee members questioned if the state’s bid to create 14 new positions would actually move the needle and help ensure kids are safe.

 

Bridge ban bill, ballot measures on tap for lawmakers

Bend Bulletin

After 37 committee hearings, major announcements by the governor and secretary of state, special election debates and scores of one-on-one chats among lawmakers, lobbyists and constituents, a hyper-busy week at the Capitol has wrapped up.

 

Gov. Kate Brown names new state schools chief for Oregon

The Oregonian

Colt Gill, who served as Oregon’s inaugural “education innovation officer,” was named the permanent head of the Oregon Department of Education Friday. Gov. Kate Brown, who created the job of education innovation officer and put Gill in it, said in a statement that she trusts his leadership and insight to improve Oregon’s low high school graduation rate and improve the quality of education the state’s children receive.

 

New student success committee faces ‘impossible mission’

Statesman Journal

The Legislature’s presiding officers, House Speaker Tina Kotek, D-Portland, and Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem, laid out in no uncertain terms Friday the challenges ahead for members of the new Joint Committee on Student Success. Facing low graduation rates, large class sizes, school inequality, limited funding, prohibitive fees and years of ineffectual policy fixes, this committee is tasked with understanding the challenges that face Oregon K-12 schools and devising innovative ways to solve them, potentially changing significant aspects of the state’s schooling system.

 

Oregon NAACP leaders say state did not fairly allocate funds for black students

Statesman Journal

Oregon NAACP leaders say the Oregon Department of Education unfairly allocated millions of taxpayer dollars meant to help African-American students statewide succeed. The Oregon Legislature passed House Bill 2016 in 2015, earmarking nearly $2.7 million in general funds that ended up being divided between four Portland-based programs serving black students and their families.

 

Gelser and Republicans Push Back on Cuts to Services for Disabled Kids

The Lund Report

Oregon provides all eligible families who apply with caretaker supports and equipment that make it easier for children to live at home with their parents – but funds for that money-saving approach were slated to be cut.

 

State could boost fee by $55

Baker City Herald

A state representative from Portland wants to raise some document recording fees collected by county clerks from $20 to $75. The fee applies to real estate document recordings such as deeds, easements, mortgages, mining location documents and liens. Baker County Clerk Cindy Carpenter said she’s concerned about how the proposal by Democratic Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer would affect local residents.

 

To Scrap Non-Unanimous Jury Verdicts, District Attorneys May Want Something In Return

Willamette Week

The revelation that Oregon’s district attorneys are proposing an end to non-unanimous jury convictions may have obscured the full scope of prosecutors’ intentions on changing the state constitution. The Oregon District Attorneys Association is considering a ballot initiative that would also strip defendants of the right to waive a jury trial and ask for a bench trial, in which a judge, rather than jury, decides guilt or innocence.

 

ELECTIONS

 

Oregon Measure 101 pits hospitals and Medicaid patients against anti-tax Republicans

Register-Guard

Supporters and opponents of Measure 101 agree on one thing: The measure, at its core, is a question of how Oregon pays for growing Medicaid costs. Opponents call the taxes unfair, because insurers could pass the 1.5 percent tax on to group health care plans purchased by small businesses and college students.

 

Ballots Trickling In for Jan. 23 Special Election on Measure 101

Willamette Week

Voters must be too busy shopping January sales or reading “Fire and Fury” to fill out their ballots on Measure 101, the only issue in the Jan. 23 special election.

Turnout in Mutlnomah County so far is 16.42 percent, a little higher than the statewide number of about 13 percent.

 

Local doctors, healthcare experts weigh in on Measure 101

Herald and News

Opponents of Measure 101 say they have concerns about new taxes being imposed on private insurance carriers. But many local doctors and healthcare providers say there could be harsher economic impacts on middle- and low-income Klamath County residents, which could start with hospital fees rising if Measure 101 fails.

 

ENVIRONMENT & NATURAL RESOURCES

 

Zinke to reconsider drilling off Oregon, according to Governor’s office

Statesman Journal

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke agreed to consider exempting Oregon from the Trump administration’s offshore drilling plan after speaking with Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, her office said Friday. Brown previously criticized Zinke for the plan to resume drilling for oil and gas off the shores of the United States, saying it would endanger Oregon’s coast.

 

In the shadow of marijuana, hemp industry is starting to develop

Bend Bulletin

Marijuana, the psychoactive variant of the cannabis plant, has drawn headlines and controversy since Measure 91 passed in Oregon, with even small Deschutes County marijuana facilities drawing the ire of neighbors. Hemp has seen its own growth in the shadow of its psychoactive cousin, however, in Deschutes County and across the country. And some industry advocates believe this is only the beginning.

 

Federal court approves killing barred owls for spotted owl protection

Daily Astorian

Killing barred owls to help threatened spotted owls isn’t prohibited by an international treaty aimed at protecting migratory birds, according to a federal appeals court. Since 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has shot barred owls as part of an ongoing study to see if their removal will mitigate the decline of spotted owls, which are smaller and more sensitive to habitat disturbances.

 

OPINION

 

Editorial: Yes, ethics matter to Oregonians

The Oregonian Editorial Board

For Oregon, there couldn’t be a better time for such a confirmation of the need for a strong, vibrant local press and increasingly aggressive watchdog agencies such as the Government Ethics Commission. Without those questions and pressure to produce public documents, the first couple likely would have pushed on with their ambitious plans, which called for further expansions of Hayes’ roles and responsibilities. Without this ruling, Kitzhaber and Hayes could have continued on with their misplaced criticisms and disingenuous narrative.

 

Stop complaining about sexual harassment training

Statesman Journal Editorial Board

We believe it was money and time well spent to ensure that every worker feels safe in their workplace. We wish Post had used his air time, even if he did not appreciate the training, to tell his listeners about why such training is so important in today’s social climate. Instead of complaining about having to attend, he could have been the example for those who get it and those who don’t. What a wasted opportunity.

 

Guest: Measure 101: Health care tax unfair, unsustainable

Reps Cedric Hayden and Julie Parrish

We know Oregonians value having health coverage. In fact, we’re grateful to the nearly 90,000 Oregonians who signed a petition — Democrats, Republicans and independents alike — who believe lawmakers failed the everyday citizen without a lobbyist or who cannot afford to write out-sized campaign checks. They deserved to have legislation crafted in the light of day, and not in a backroom deal with only one public hearing before the vote. If Medicaid is a shared obligation, then we all need skin in the game. Join us in voting no on Measure 101, and demand lawmakers pass a Medicaid package that is fair, equitable and sustainable.

 

Guest: Yes vote will bolster preventive care

Anthony Biglan, Oregon Research Institute

For the past couple years I’ve been working with communities and states around the country on how they can identify and implement tested and effective prevention programs. I am proud to say that Oregon is on the cutting edge of developing a health care system that improves the health and well-being of all Oregonians, not simply by providing treatment once people become ill, but by preventing illness from ever happening. It would be a tragedy if the advances Oregon is making were halted by the defeat of Measure 101.

 

Editorial: Kill the new Deschutes footbridge ban

Bend Bulletin

The new bill, in its LC 49 form, is an outright ban on a footbridge in this stretch of river. By passing this bill, legislators would have the dubious distinction of making themselves the great saviors of the riverside views of a few and purge easy access for many in Bend to Central Oregon’s beauty.

 

Editorial: Don’t change rules to ban state school board member

Bend Bulletin

Legislators shouldn’t manipulate the rules to silence voices they don’t like. But that appears to be what’s at work with a proposed bill to change who can sit on the State Board of Education.

 

Our view: Tips and kicks

East Oregonian

As we prepare for the beginning of the Legislature, we tip our hat to one priority that Gov. Kate Brown hopes to accomplish during the short session. That priority is affordable housing. Her proposal to allow the state to temporarily waive fees and education requirements — in favor of on the job training experience — for construction professionals to obtain supervisory licenses makes sense. We especially appreciate the idea of instituting low-cost Business Oregon loans that would allow subcontractors to work on affordable buildings in rural Oregon.

 

Editorial: Drill here but not there? Heck, no

The Daily Astorian

But even if you take those suspicions out of the equation, the Florida exception simply fails to meet the fair play sniff test. That state’s concerns are legitimate — and exactly the same as ours. It is perfectly reasonable that we demand equal treatment. The only bright spot in this controversy is that elements of the negative reaction are likely to cross party lines with equal passion.

 

Column: We who have health coverage will decide Measure 101

Tim Nesbitt

Tax fairness is a legitimate concern. But we should also consider what these taxes buy. In this case, I’m more concerned about what will happen if we who have coverage reject the Legislature’s plan for those who just got it and will otherwise lose it.

 

Guest: Giving every student the opportunity to succeed

Rep. Smith Warner and Sen. Arnie Roblan

Oregon’s future depends on giving every student an equal opportunity at success. If students are a top priority, state funding and local spending should reflect that. We’ve set ambitious goals to meet the needs of Oregon’s current and future students. They are depending on us to meet that challenge. To do that, we must put them first.

 

Editorial: State should crack down on RV dumping

Mail Tribune

State lawmakers, who go into session next month, should consider increasing the seriousness of this offense beyond the level of a traffic ticket. If RV dumpers know they could face jail time, they might think twice before unloading their problem on others.

 

Column: In Oregon, progressivism spills over at the pump

George Will

To be fair, when Oregonians flinch from a rendezvous with an unattended gas pump, progressive government has done its duty, as it understands this. It wants the governed to become used to having things done for them, as by “trained and certified” gas pumpers. Progressives are proud believers in providing experts — usually themselves — to help the rest of us cope with life. The only downside is that, as Alexis de Tocqueville anticipated, such government, by being the “shepherd” of the governed, can “take away from them entirely the trouble of thinking” and keep them “fixed irrevocably in childhood.”

DAILY CLIPS

 

HOUSE REPUBLICAN OFFICE

STATE GOVERNMENT & POLITICS

 

Q&A: How Oregon’s Cap And Trade System Would Work

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Over time, the cap on emissions will come down and there will be fewer pollution permits available. So companies will have to reduce their emissions, spend more on permits or buy credits to offset their emissions.

 

5 Things for Thursday, including Gov. Brown’s coastal outrage and reefer’s reckoning

Portland Business Journal

If you need a little jolt to get going on this dreary Thursday morning, today’s 5 Things should do the trick. Big real estate news? Check. Kate Brown taking on Trump? Check. A cloud over the Oregon cannabis industry? Check that, too.

 

Lawmakers, lobbyists get harassment training

The Associated Press

For the first time, the training was offered to executive branch employees, lobbyists and others who work in the Capitol, said Senate President Peter Courtney, a Democrat. Previously, it was required for legislators and legislative employees.

 

MEASURE 101

 

Oregon hospitals spend big on campaign to pass health care taxes

The Oregonian

Their war chest, bolstered by money from unions and the Providence medical network, has enabled the pro-tax side to reach voters with a slew of TV and Internet ads and colorful mailers.

The “no” side, by contrast, has spent its much tinier publicity budget mostly on yard signs.

 

Leading Candidates for Governor Disagree on Measure 101: Brown’s a “Yes,” Buehler a “No”

Willamette Week

The two leading candidates for governor face very different decisions on Measure 101, the partial repeal of a Medicaid funding measure on the Jan. 23 ballot. Neither incumbent Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, or her probable opponent, state Rep. Knute Buehler (R-Bend), has said a lot about the Measure 101 thus far.

 

Measure 101 Forum: Many ask about impact on school districts

Gazette-Times

Sen. Sara Gelser, D-Corvallis, who is in favor of 101, said the state of Oregon has accounted for the $25 million cost to school districts if the measure passes. Gelser said districts will not have to lay off teachers or cut programs if voters approves the taxes. She also said that school districts benefit when students and their families are healthy. Further, she said, many education associations, such as the Oregon School Boards Association and Oregon School Employees Association, support the measure.

 

If Measure 101 Fails, Cuts Could Range From Health Care To Schools

Oregon Public Broadcasting

If Oregon voters reject new health care taxes on Jan. 23, legislators will have to scramble.

The big issues: Will they figure out ways to get the needed money or do people on Medicaid face big cuts? And could the budget pain even extend to schools?

 

Debate on Measure 101 creates hardball on health care

Bend Bulletin

The hardball politics of the legislative fight and the steamroller of signatures by opponents seemed a preamble to a big-spending, high-volume, take-no-prisoners campaign — a somewhat smaller version of the Measure 97 campaign. That November 2016 campaign around a corporate tax brought out the wallets of major donors on both sides. In the end, the ballot measure lost.

 

VETERANS

 

Roseburg VA Has Highest Opioid Prescription Rates Nationwide

Oregon Public Broadcasting

The data shows opioid prescription rates range from 3 percent at the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center in Ohio to 20 percent at Roseburg  — the highest among VA hospitals in the country. “At today’s meeting with VA officials to provide an update on their investigation, I heard that steps have been taken to improve care for veterans in VA’s Roseburg system,” Wyden said. “I have asked for follow-up on those steps and others that officials told us are forthcoming.”

 

Removal of some top managers and other changes may be in the works for Veterans Affairs health care system in Roseburg

Register-Guard

The Veterans Affairs health care system in Roseburg will remove some senior managers and make other changes, U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio said Thursday after meeting with high-ranking VA officials. Those changes will affect ­operations at the VA clinic in northeast Eugene, part of the VA Roseburg Healthcare System.

 

MARIJUANA

Deschutes County tackles water use for pot farms

Bend Bulletin

As part of a series of public meetings with various stakeholder groups, the commission met with representatives from Central Oregon Irrigation District, Tumalo Irrigation District and Oregon Water Resources Department on Wednesday afternoon, in order to get industry insight into how federal, state and local water laws impact marijuana cultivation.

 

OPINION

 

Guest: U.S. Attorney: A call for transparency and action on marijuana

Billy Williams, Oregon US Attorney

In the coming days, I will send invitations to federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement, public health organizations, Oregon marijuana interests and concerned citizen groups to attend a summit to address and remedy these and other concerns. This summit and the state’s response will inform our federal enforcement strategy. How we move forward will depend in large measure on how the state responds to the gaps we have identified. Until then it would be an inappropriate abdication of my duties to issue any blanket proclamations on our marijuana enforcement strategy in light of federal law.

 

Editorial: A tax should be called a tax

Bend Bulletin

Oregonians are under no obligation to believe it when legislators try to argue this carbon-pricing bill is not a tax. It may not work like most taxes, but it sure works like a tax.

 

Editorial: Avoiding offshore drilling

Register-Guard

Governors of those states who do not want the ban on offshore drilling lifted — and so far that’s just about all of them — should treat Florida’s successful appeal as a template for their own appeals. Zinke has said he based his decision on that appeal. Refusing to keep protections in place for other states, who make exactly the same arguments as Scott, is going to be very difficult for Zinke.

 

Small Business Optimism Update

Economists Credit Trump for U.S. Growth, Hiring and Stocks: https://www.wsj.com/articles/economists-credit-trump-as-tailwind-for-u-s-growth-hiring-and-stocks-1515682893

America’s Small Business Optimism Hit Record High in 2017: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/01/09/americas-small-business-optimism-hit-record-high-2017/

Poll: View of Economy Is at Record High: https://townhall.com/tipsheet/leahbarkoukis/2018/01/11/poll-voters-perception-of-economy-at-record-high-n2433061

Dow spikes 205 points to record close: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/11/us-stocks-earnings-season-delta-walmart.html

Alabama Lands $1.6 Billion Toyota-Mazda Plant: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/01/10/alabama-lands-1-6-billion-toyota-mazda-plant/

Number of Americans Receiving Unemployment Benefits Falls to 44-Year Low: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/01/11/number-americans-unemployment-benefits-falls-44-year-low/

Winning: Walmart Raises Wages, Gives Bonuses to Over One Million Employees Thanks to Tax Reform: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/01/11/walmart-will-raise-wages-give-bonuses-thanks-tax-cuts-jobs-act/

GOP Tax Cut Bill Here: http://www.gocomics.com/michaelramirez/2017/12/26 and here: http://www.gocomics.com/michaelramirez/2017/12/05

“We will make America strong again. We will make America proud again. We will make America safe again. And we will make America great again”. Donald Trump

Lanny Hildebrandt MBA CPA

DAILY CLIPS

 

HOUSE REPUBLICAN OFFICE

STATE GOVERNMENT & POLITICS

 

Lawmakers unveil ‘cap and invest’ carbon pricing bills

The Oregonian

That’s the bare-bones concept. In practice, such a program would be far more complicated, involving carve-outs and free allowances for various industry sectors, possible linkage with allowance markets in California and Canada, and a complex prescription for the use of the auction proceeds.  In fact, opponents contend the legislation is so complicated that it can’t possibly be adequately vetted in a 35-day session and should wait for next year’s regular legislative session.

 

Interest groups respond to ‘cap and invest’ bill

Portland Tribune

Mark Johnson, OBI president and CEO, said the program would drive up prices on consumers and drive away businesses from the state. “Unfortunately, the legislation introduced (Monday) is an example of misplaced priorities,” Johnson said. “Greenhouse gas emissions are decreasing, while Oregon’s fiscal crisis is worsening. Rather than pushing a complex, costly program to address an issue that businesses already are making progress on, legislators need to focus on a problem only they can fix — Oregon’s fiscal instability.”

 

Oregon business groups blast cap-and-trade bills

Portland Business Journal

In their critiques, the Oregon Farm Bureau and Northwest Food Processors Association focused on cost. Here’s the full text of all three groups’ statements:

 

Legislation reducing Oregon carbon emissions set for 2018 session

Statesman Journal

Sen. Michael Dembrow, D-Portland, and Rep. Ken Helm, D-Beaverton, have worked for more than a year to develop the legislation, convening work groups that met last fall to refine a bill introduced during the last week of the 2017 session. “The administration in Washington, D.C., has made no secret of a purposeful shift in policy to prop up fossil fuels and abdicate America’s leadership in a 21st Century economy,” Dembrow said in a statement. “That’s the wrong approach. In Oregon, we see the huge opportunity before us, both economically and in a leadership role. We’re going to take it.”

 

Guns, PERS among Brown’s legislative priorities

East Oregonian

Gov. Kate Brown’s priorities for the 2018 legislative session include efforts to pay down the state’s public pension liability and tighten restrictions on gun ownership. Brown, who is running for reelection in November, released five proposals Wednesday, ahead of the short session that begins Feb. 5 and will last up to 35 days. Here are the governor’s proposals:

 

State appoints public records law panelists

Register-Guard

Carrying out a new state law, Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum has appointed a statewide committee to review and make recommendations on Oregon’s public records laws. HB 2101 requires committee members to represent a variety of sectors or interest groups. The members, appointed this month, are:

 

Ethics Commissioner on Oregon’s Disgraced First Couple: “A Case Study in What You Are Not Supposed to Do in Public Office”

Willamette Week

Commissioners voted to move forward with fining Hayes for 22 of the 23 violations Scheffers cited in her report. (They decided an allegation that she’d misused the Oregon State Police security detail fell into a gray area.) It remains to be seen whether Hayes will contest the proposed fines of up to $110,000 and the possible forfeiture of her contract earnings, and how a pending ethics commission complaint against Kitzhaber will be resolved in February.

 

As minimum wage increases, farmers look to adapt

Capitol Press

Farmers are adapting to rising minimum wages around the Northwest through new technology and more efficient cropping systems, according to industry groups and economists.

 

MEASURE 101

 

State Rep. Julie Parrish Is Oregon’s Most Potent Populist. But Measure 101 Threatens the People She Claims to Represent

Willamette Week

Parrish claims she’s fighting for the little guy, who she says would pay a disproportionate share of the new Medicaid taxes. Measure 101 demonstrates how effective her outsider appeal can be. Yet observers are puzzled this is the fight Parrish chose. The issue is confusing and could backfire on her. A loss won’t burnish her brand. And if Parrish wins, she creates a budget crisis and deprives tens of thousands of the people she professes to cherish of their health insurance.

“Either way,” says Kevin Mannix, the state’s longtime conservative ballot-measure king, “it’s a big risk.”

 

Answers To Your Questions About Measure 101—Including How You Should Vote

Willamette Week

On Jan. 23, Oregonians will decide the outcome of a rare, single-issue ballot. Let’s walk through the key questions surrounding your vote.

 

Oregon Measure 101: How Did We Get Here?

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Measure 101 has its roots back in the era of former Gov. John Kitzhaber, the emergency room doctor who wanted to remake the way Oregon handles health care. Kitzhaber’s main legacy, beyond the scandal that ended his tenure as governor, is the expansion of health insurance for poor Oregonians in the form of the Oregon Health Plan, the state’s version of Medicaid.

 

EDUCATION

 

Audit: Portland schools accounting in disarray, millions not properly tracked

The Oregonian

Financial staffers at Portland Public Schools could not manage to keep accurate tabs on tens of millions the district had on hand and millions more it owed, a new audit has found. As a result, the Portland school board Tuesday unanimously approved new training and procedures designed to correct the big flaws in its money monitoring system.

 

OTHER NEWS

 

Portland Council Calls On Oregon’s Top Prosecutor To Defend Cannabis

Oregon Public Broadcasting

“We strongly oppose any action from the Justice Department on cannabis enforcement that would subvert the will of voters in Oregon and other states,” Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and the other city commissioners wrote in their letter to Williams. They argued that “cannabis prohibition has failed” and should be left in the past. “It has especially failed communities of color disproportionately targeted and prosecuted for low-level drug offenses,” the council wrote.

 

OPINION

 

Editorial: Legislators should not hide their connection to bills

Bend Bulletin

Twice in the last two years, the Legislature’s Republicans have sought to end the use of committee bills, with limited success. In 2016 the House approved a rule change that bans anonymous committee amendments, but efforts last year to end the secrecy altogether stalled.

Oregonians deserve better.

 

Editorial: Climate change bill is not ready

Bend Bulletin

We might be considered old-fashioned, but before the Legislature passes a climate change bill, it should be clear which businesses will have to pay up and which get a pass. The major climate change bill scheduled for the February session doesn’t do that. It doesn’t matter if you believe climate change is happening or not. It doesn’t matter if you believe this bill will affect the climate or not. The bill is not ready.

 

Editorial: Carbon bill isn’t a good fit for short session

Democrat-herald

If the Legislature really wants to sink its teeth into some tough issues this session, allow us to suggest a couple of alternatives: Perhaps legislators could make some headway at easing the problems posed by the unfunded liability in the state’s public pension system. Any progress at all on that issue — even a small step or two — would be welcome. And if voters reject Measure 101 in a couple of weeks, legislators may find their time occupied with efforts to fill a $300 million hole in the state’s Medicaid budget. Overall, legislators would do well to remember the promises made to voters in Ballot Measure 71 and keep these short sessions as quick and to-the-point as possible.

 

Editorial: Measure 101 vote should be based on facts, not fear and speculation

The Oregonian

There are plenty of reasons to vote “no” on Measure 101, the referendum on new taxes to fund Oregon’s Medicaid program. The sheer inequity of asking college students, K-12 school districts and small businesses to shoulder the cost of an essential program while exempting others is one of the biggest reasons The Oregonian/OregonLive Editorial Board recommended that Oregonians vote “no” and demand that the Legislature deliver a better solution. (Readers can find our full editorial at www.oregonlive.com/opinion).

 

Editorial: Audit should help DEQ

Register-Guard

The Legislature must address this problem with increased funding — and it shouldn’t wait until the main budget-writing session in 2019 to get started. The DEQ should be given added support in the short legislative session that convenes next month, particularly if the department is expected to implement the Cleaner Air Oregon program later this year. Leaving air quality rules unenforced is not much different than having no rules at all.

 

President Trump First Year Accomplishments

  1. Led Congress to pass tax reform bill providing $5.5 billion in cuts and repealed oppressive Obamacare mandate.
  2. Fuel economic growth moving GDP above 3 percent.
  3. Boosted economic confidence, causing the Dow Jones index to grow to record highs and at a record pace.
  4. Signed an Executive Order demanding that two regulations be killed for every new one, boosting economic growth.
  5. Withdrew from the Obama-era Paris Climate Agreement, ending one-sided environmental regulations.
  6. Withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership which had terms unfavorable to the US.
  7. Began renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement for the same reason.
  8. Convinced companies like Toyota, Mazda, Broadcom Limited, and Foxconn announced plans to open new plants in the U.S.
  9. Ended Obama’s job-killing Clean Power Plan.
  10. Allowed military professionals freedom needed to win the war on terror, as a result, kicking ISIS butts.
  11. Normalized good relationships with Saudi Arabia that Barack Obama damaged by ignoring the red line he set.
  12. Started treating Israel like an ally, as opposed to treating it like an empire like Barack Obama did.
  13. Publicly admonished the Palestinians for inciting terrorism and paying “blood money” to terrorists.
  14. Ended the Obama-era “catch and release” of illegal immigrants.
  15. Significantly reduced the number of illegal aliens slipping through the southern border.
  16. Appointed and got Senate confirmation for twelve federal appeals court judges an all-time record for a first-year president.
  17. Nominated and received confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.
  18. Went to the Middle East and convinced some Muslim nations to join in fighting terrorism.
  19. Reinstated the “Mexico City Policy” killed by Obama which blocks foreign aid being used for abortions.
  20. Pressured North Korea to end its nuclear program, got UN to increase sanctions against the N Korean regime, living rent-free inside Kim Jung Un’s head, moving the despot to reopen talks with the south.
  21. Pressuring China to help get Kim Jung Un to behave.
  22. Ordered new sanctions on the despotic dictatorship in Venezuela.
  23. Pressured NATO partners to increase their military budgets to the level they had previously agreed to.
  24. Ordered the bombing of Syria for using chemical warfare against its own people, enforcing a red line Obama set and ignored.
  25. Used his personal relationship with China’s president to secure the release of three UCLA students arrested for shoplifting a pair of sunglasses.
  26. Kept his promise to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and began the process of moving US embassy to Israel’s capital city.
  27. Directed the Pentagon to upgrade and modernize America’s nuclear arsenal.