HOUSE REPUBLICAN OFFICE
SEPTEMBER 18, 2017 DAILY CLIPS
STATE GOVERNMENT & POLITICS
A cap on carbon emissions, a health care scandal and fights over firefighting will pump political adrenaline into the Capitol this week. Most of the 30-plus meetings starting Monday will follow the normal pattern, with reports from state agencies and legislative analysts. Testimony is limited to invited speakers only. But a few of the meetings promise a preview of next year’s drama in the House and Senate.
ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT
The Associated Press
Idaho Power wants to retire two coal-fired power plants it says won’t be able to produce electricity at competitive prices as part of a 20-year plan to provide energy for Idaho and Oregon that has drawn concerns about cost, pollution and energy needs.
EDUCATION AND HIGHER EDUCATION
How McMinnville schools do it is deceptively simple, according to school and district leaders who helped make it happen. The secret sauce? Super-skilled teachers with all the right techniques in their tool kits paying close attention to every child, they say. How do leaders of the small-town Yamhill County district accomplish that? First, they comb research to find “high-leverage” techniques that teachers can use to make the biggest difference. Then, Superintendent Maryalice Russell makes sure every principal and central office honcho gets trained to know those techniques in and out.
“We’re looking at instruction like a diagnostician,” says Kourtney Ferrua, principal of Wascher Elementary, one of six in McMinnville. “What strategy fits that particular student, that particular situation? It’s really teaching with intention all day, every day.”
Oregon Public Broadcasting
Oregon may not seem like it is on the front lines of the battle over immigration policy. But the state appears headed toward a bitter election fight on the issue that could reverberate nationally. Opponents are gearing up to fight the measure and their feelings are also intense.
“Their ultimate goal is to get rid of immigrants because they want white nationalism in this state,” said state Rep. Diego Hernandez, D-Portland. He argued that Oregon’s sanctuary law helps encourage cooperation with local police.
Southern Oregon’s Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument is one of four federally protected areas that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has recommended President Trump scale back in size, according to a copy of a government report obtained by The Washington Post.
The Associated Press
Voters would decide whether to add a 1.5 cents tax per ounce on sugary drinks including soda, energy drinks and sweetened teas. That means an 18-cent tax on each 12-ounce can. Backers say half of the revenue would go toward expanding access of quality preschool programs for thousands of children. The remainder would pay for programs on literacy, physical activity and healthy eating habits for kids.
On Saturday, canvassers began the work of gathering the 18,000 signatures needed to secure a spot on the ballot for a soda tax initiative that would add 1.5 cents per ounce, or about 18 cents to the cost of a 12-ounce can of soda, energy drink or sweet tea. “We are facing an epidemic of sugar-related diseases that put the lives and the futures of our kids at risk,” said Multnomah County Commissioner Sharon Meieran, who is also an emergency room doctor. “Here in Multnomah County we have the opportunity to help kids grow up healthy and strong to reduce the consumption of sugar where it’s having the worst impact on kids, and that is soda and other sugary drinks.”
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions will reportedly be in Portland on Tuesday to discuss immigration policies with local law enforcement officials.
The really distressing thing about all of this is that it’s not that surprising. When Brown took office after the resignation of John Kitzhaber, she made a point of talking about working to rebuild trust in Oregon state government. One big way to do that, she said, would be to increase government transparency. To be fair, she’s taken some small steps in that direction. But the governor too often has been too willing to hold vital discussions behind closed doors. That’s no way to build trust in government.
Gov. Kate Brown last month asked the federal government for more resources to help fight wildfires in Oregon that are burning, in many cases, beyond control. The response she got was less than hoped for, and we believe Oregonians deserve an explanation.
OREGONIANS IN CONGRESS
U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici says she still wants to see comprehensive legislation to deal with the fate of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants who entered the country illegally. “This issue is at the top of my list because it is so important to our community and our country,” she said Saturday (Sept. 16) at a town hall meeting attended by 200 people at Tualatin High School. “What are we saying to these young people, who are members of our community, that they are not welcome? That is unacceptable and heartless.”