HOUSE REPUBLICAN OFFICE
AUGUST 10, 2017 DAILY CLIPS
The Associated Press
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has signed legislation that increases the legal age for using and buying tobacco products from 18 to 21. The law takes effect at the start of 2018. The law targets sellers rather than buyers, with stores facing fines if they sell tobacco products to people younger than 21.
The age increase will take effect Jan. 1 and affect sale of traditional tobacco products along with vapes. The law makes Oregon one of five states, along with California, Hawaii, Maine and New Jersey, to raise the tobacco age to 21. Oregon’s new law aims to crack down on tobacco vendors who sell to the underaged, rather than punish the buyers. Fines for store clerks and managers who sell tobacco products to minors start at $50 and $250, but can reach $500 and $1000 after multiple offenses.
Raising the legal age to buy tobacco products “significantly reduces the number of youth who begin using these products and become addicted to them, saving Oregonians billions of tax dollars, and the lives of thousands of loved ones, each year,” said co-sponsor Rep. Rich Vial, R-Scholls, last month.
Esquivel said Brown is using her line-item veto powers to punish him, but is hurting Southern Oregon. “Friends — that is partisan politics at its best — she certainly reigns queen when it comes to singling out one Representative that works for his district and the State of Oregon and doesn’t take his orders from her or the present leadership,” Esquivel said in the email. “I gave them what they asked for — Brown needs to hold up her end of the bargain.”
The U.S. Forest Service plans to close roads and limit access to certain areas in the region for several days leading up to and including Aug. 21, the day of the solar eclipse.
“Some areas are going to have enough coverage. Others are going to be like a 1990s AOL experience,” said Don Gilbreath, systems vice president at Rajant, a Philadelphia-area company that creates private wireless networks. Whether consumers can upload to Instagram with ease or struggle to make voice calls will come down to several factors, Gilbreath said. First is the strength of the existing network, and that depends on the size of the everyday population, he said. It’s reasonable to expect congestion in rural areas swollen with tourists, he said.
No matter where you are, a few things will remain constant. The show will start shortly after 9 a.m. before the moon blots out the sun completely sometime between 10:15 a.m. and 10:20 a.m. depending on where you are in the state. And you’ll want to remember to track down a proper pair of eclipse glasses before you stare at the sun. We looked at U.S. Naval Observatory data for 94 cities and towns and ranked them categorically from shortest period of 100 percent obscuration to longest.
Lighting strikes in the hundreds between Tuesday into Wednesday morning sparked several new fires on ODF lands. Though many have been largely knocked down or contained, crews continue to battle the newly sparked Reuben fire burning five miles north of the Grave Creek Bridge, estimated at 5 acres midday Wednesday. The blaze has drawn more than 30 firefighters and several aircraft to the site, along with several helicopters and tanker aircraft.
AGRICULTURE & NATURAL RESOURCES
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke on Wednesday proposed expanded access for hunters and anglers on 10 wildlife refuges. Two of those public sites – the Baskett Slough and Siletz Bay refuges – are in Oregon.
The Affordable Housing Advisory Committee decided Wednesday to tackle five of the 12 recommendations from a Bend 2030 work group that looked at middle-market housing. The committee should have recommendations to the city council within the next couple months, committee chairman Andy High said. “We have a housing problem in the city of Bend, not just an affordable housing problem,” High said. The tools are:
The hit to Multnomah schools and after-school programs is $1.25 million a year. Multnomah County filed an administrative appeal of the grant termination on Aug. 3. “We’re saying basically this grant has been ended with no explanation, no justification,” Banks said. “And it’s not tied to our performance.”
These health care organizations have forged ahead with capital investments, despite uncertainty about the federal Affordable Care Act, often called Obamacare, and how potential changes to the law might affect people’s insurance and their ability to pay for medical services.
JOBS & THE ECONOMY
Oregon Public Broadcasting
Campbell believes if he’s successful, he’ll prove that high-end tourism is a new way forward for rural Oregon, where communities often struggle with high unemployment and poverty rates. He hopes others will follow his model and open similar resorts across Oregon’s high desert. In addition to opening the resort side of the business, Silvies Valley is also a huge, working cattle ranch. The Campbells raise more than 4,000 cows organically. Combined, the ranch and resort have 93 full-time employees. Campbell expects that number to eventually rise to about 130. For rural Oregon, that’s a lot of jobs.
After 90 minutes of passionate citizen testimony and board discussion, the Centennial School Board voted unanimously to rename Lynch View Elementary School Patrick Lynch Elementary School and to study renaming Lynch Wood and Lynch Meadows elementary schools. The board considered the name changes because of concern over the racial and violent overtones of the word “lynch.”
But Brown over-reached in her attempt to align herself with members of the military.
“I was born on a military base when my dad served in the Air Force in the midst of the Vietnam War,” Brown wrote. In fact, the governor was born in June 1960, when records show the U.S. had fewer than 1,000 military advisers in Vietnam. Two state representatives—one a Democrat and one a Republican—who are Vietnam vets, say they found the language in Brown’s email concerning.
As of Wednesday, the list of applicants included Lake Oswego City Councilors Theresa Kohlhoff and Joe Buck; political consultants Andrea Salinas, Moses Ross and Neil H. Simon; restaurateur Daniel Nguyen; and Alex Josephy, secretary of the Democratic Party of Oregon.
Teressa Raiford says police singled her out for arrest during the rally even though she only stepped into the street to avoid a crowded sidewalk.
In the lawsuit, first reported by Willamette Week, Raiford says police targeted her for arrest because she is a well-known activist against police brutality. Officers forced her into a police car. One told her that, in her experience, “90 percent of black people are killed by other black people,” Raiford says in the lawsuit.
Bandon Western World
“I’m honored to have the opportunity to represent the south coast as part of this task force,” said Brock Smith. “I want to thank legislative leadership for helping me shepherd this needed bill through the Legislature and for allowing me to continue working on this important effort. I am hopeful for what this task force could mean for our communities.”
The OEA’s best option at this point would be to work with legislators and business people in a joint effort to raise funds for education, a goal they all share. Union representatives have said in the past that businesses aren’t willing to work with them. Business groups have said unions won’t give them the time of day and are particularly hostile toward suggestions for cost containment, which businesses see as essential. It’s time to forget all that, bring the parties together and do some serious work on tax reform and government spending controls. Going through endless repetitions of the Measure 97 fiasco do nothing but waste more money and time — both of which could better be spent working together to improve Oregon’s schools.
Quite apart from the cost, a referendum is a blunt tool for complex tax policy. And if voters do say no, legislators are left with a mess to resolve. Far better to give fair and full consideration to a range of alternatives in a special session devoted specifically to this challenging issue.
The power to veto bills allows governors to block ill-considered legislation — and with lawmakers approving 800 or 900 bills in every regular session, the public benefits from having a diligent shortstop. The public benefit is absent, however, when the veto is used to rap legislators’ knuckles. Now that the veto has been used for that purpose once, Oregonians can expect to see it used that way again.
Brown did not respond to the Portland Tribune story last Thursday when it appeared or on Friday. The governor issued a statement late Tuesday praising Saxton’s tenure in the job while announcing her resignation: “Today, after discussion with Lynne Saxton, we have agreed that her resignation is in the best interests of the agency,” Brown said. “Lynne has led the Oregon Health Authority through its most challenging times and helped me ensure that every Oregonian has access to the care they need. She is known as a fighter for Oregon’s values and I am proud of how she brought that level of commitment to the staff of OHA.” If the plan described in the emails reflects “Oregon’s values” or the commitment of the OHA staff, Saxton is not the only one who should be looking for a new job.
In fact, it’s hard to imagine any senator taking on the duties of Senate president and making a dramatic break from the Courtney style. And that’s fine. Although it can be frustrating for partisans to watch bills stall, it’s important to have two legislative chambers that serve, to some extent, as checks on the other. Courtney may choose to retire before his term ends in 2019, but that doesn’t mean the tenor of the Senate will be changing dramatically.
As predictable as summer’s heat, another president tries to appropriate the Pacific Northwest’s largest built asset. As The New York Times reported some two weeks ago, the Trump administration aims to sell the transmission lines of the Bonneville Power Administration to the private sector. That would assuredly raise energy bills throughout Oregon, Washington state, Idaho and western Montana. An excellent longterm solution would be for Bonneville to buy itself, using bonds. Then it could become truly a regional agency.
Oregon Public Broadcasting
The Portland City Council unanimously passed an ordinance Wednesday that makes clear they won’t follow the legal advice of the Multnomah County district attorney and the Oregon Department of Justice when it comes to investigating police officers’ use of force. “We are not picking a fight with the district attorney,” Commissioner Nick Fish said. “Reasonable people can disagree on this question.”
OREGONIANS IN CONGRESS
U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden credits vocal opposition by the public as the key factor in turning back Republican attempts to repeal or weaken expanded health care under the 2010 law championed by Democratic President Barack Obama. “It sent a message to me and I hope everybody in America that people power — even when you count it out and you say you cannot beat the powerful — still shows that in America, power comes from the bottom up,” he said.
Tribune Washington Bureau
The Trump administration, thwarted in several attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, notably shifted tone Wednesday, opening the door for a bipartisan plan to “fix” the law.