HOUSE REPUBLICAN OFFICE
JULY 19, 2017 DAILY CLIPS
Oregon Public Broadcasting
The new measure is financed by the Northwest Grocery Association, which launched a website promoting the “Yes! Let’s Keep Our Groceries Tax Free” initiative. Joe Gilliam, the association’s president, said his group wanted to make it clear how far it’s willing to go to avoid a tax on corporate sales.= “We’ve got to shift the Legislature off the discussion that the gross receipts tax is the answer,” said Gilliam. He argued that grocers operate on a low margin and that such a tax would lead to higher prices.
It’s possible that medical care in general may be overrated. Still, Medicaid foes seem unwilling to expand their money-saving ideas to their logical end by letting employer-insured conservative pundits join the lucky poor in being spared the indignity of unhelpful, non-life-prolonging health insurance. Go figure.
The Lund Report
Conyer left voluntarily, the Oregon Health Authority says. Her departure after a year and a half in the job follows heavy criticism of the state’s Medicaid re-enrollment process.
AGRICULTURE & NATURAL RESOURCES
The equivalent of 17 positions must be cut due to the funding gap, but the university doesn’t expect to lay off researchers or extension agents. Rather, positions will be left vacant as people retire or change jobs, said Dan Arp, dean of the OSU College of Agricultural Sciences.
“We will be able to manage this with the normal attrition,” Arp said.
JOBS & ECONOMY
Oregon Public Broadcasting
Oregon saw its largest job gains in June 2017 since February 2016. State employment economist Nick Beleiciks said employers are hiring in a variety of sectors. “Oregon’s adding a lot of jobs really fast,” Beleiciks said. “We added 8,500 jobs in June, and it was seen across a lot of different types of industries.”
But last week Microsoft summoned its Wilsonville employees to an early-morning meeting and announced it will close the factory and lay off 124 employees – nearly everyone at the site – plus dozens of contract workers.
Portland Business Journal
The strategy was partially backed by a $500,000 investment from the Governor’s Strategic Reserve Fund. Cascades also collected $60,000 to renovate its St. Helens plant in 2014. “Oregon is proud to make investments into businesses that show promise to create local jobs, generate sustainable growth, and act as catalysts for future economic development in the region,” said Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, in a release.
For counties, $5 million per year will be moved from the state’s most populous counties to the rest of counties, based on a ratio of road miles to population, Bentz said. “This allocation will result in significant increases in road funds available to Baker, Grant, Harney, Lake and Malheur counties,” he said. “It’s great,” County Commissioner Don Hodge said, of the additional funds. “Our roads are atrocious. We need repairs,” he said. “I’m for the transportation package.”
Gorsek added a $3-million rider to a transportation package that’s worth roughly $5.3 billion. The bill still awaits the signature of Gov. Kate Brown. “We made sure that access to our East County industrial area was made a specific item in the transportation package to stregthen thriving businesses and attract new investment,” Rep. Gorsek said in a text message.
“Changes seem to be occurring on a daily if not an hourly basis on the federal side, and I personally am very concerned that we give as much protection to Oregon citizens to ensure their personal identification information isn’t compromised through some kind of federal subpoena or some other act that a business is not going to have the fortitude or maybe the legal basis that the state would have to fight those type of requests,” said Sen. Floyd Prozanski, D-Eugene, a chief sponsor of Senate Bill 863.
Others who saw among the steepest drops in net approval included Gov. Mary Fallin (R-Okla.), who dropped 9 net points, Gov. Doug Ducey (R-Ariz.) — who has also expressed concerns about the Obamacare repeal effort in Washington — lost 14 net points, and Govs. Kate Brown (D-Ore.), Matt Bevin (R-Ky.) and Greg Abbott (R-Texas) — who each lost 7 net points on their ratings.
The PERS board should adopt an assumed rate of return that is not born of myth. And then state leaders should confront that reality with the PERS reforms suggested by state Sen. Tim Knopp, R-Bend, and others.
Sam Tannahill is chairman of Oregon Business & Industry
By the end of the 2017 session, tensions were high and nerves were frayed. That’s to be expected. Developing effective public policy is difficult, and compromise can be painful. But nothing is as painful as failure. Oregon cannot reach its potential without a healthy business community that generates the jobs and revenue needed to preserve our unique quality of life. And OBI is committed to doing the hard work necessary to get it right.
Rep. Teresa Alonso Leon, D-Woodburn
Finally, I’m proud to say that House Bill 3464, which I co-sponsored with Rep. Diego Hernandez, Governor Kate Brown, Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum and others, passed through both the House and Senate and is on its way to being signed by the governor. This bill will give school districts and state agencies the clarification they need in dealing with federal authorities, particularly on immigration enforcement. This bill will help protect Oregonians’ privacy in the face of overreach by the federal government. It was an honor serving this district through my first legislative session. Your calls, emails and letters throughout the session were invaluable to my decision-making process, and I look forward to continuing to hear from all of you about your priorities.
Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill may be 100 percent correct in concluding that a police accountability measure negotiated by the city last year could jeopardize the ability to prosecute police officers who shoot someone. He may be appropriately cautious in advising that internal-affairs investigators hold off on interviewing officers who use deadly force until criminal investigators and a grand jury weigh possible charges in the shooting first.
Oregon would be particularly hurt by cuts in SNAP funding, for two reasons. First, it is one of 14 states that have a higher level of food insecurity than the national average, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Second, anybody who has followed the state’s budgeting process is painfully aware that Oregon cannot replace the proposed cut in federal spending with its own money.
R.J. Jaffe is co-founder of Protect Your Vote USA
Even the supporters of a national popular vote do not believe this is beneficial to Oregon. If they did they would propose national popular vote legislation without the compact, making this change because it is the best way for Oregon. As supporters of the U.S. Constitution, we believe that if the issue requires further debate it must happen in the form of a proposed constitutional amendment. In doing so, all 50 states would be able to deliberate on the issue in a truly public forum with a fair and binding decision made — as intended by our Founding Fathers.
Noah Greenwald is endangered species program director with the Center for Biological Diversity in Portland.
In short, adoption of the WGA’s proposals would be a deathblow to endangered species. Gov. Kate Brown must stand up for endangered wildlife in Oregon before special-interest groups drive these animals over the edge.