Daily Clips

November 12, 2017 Daily Clips

GOVERNMENT

The veterans who serve in Oregon’s Legislature

Bend Bulletin

House Minority Leader Mike McLane, R-Powell Butte, said that while they play very different roles in American society, there are parallels of purpose between the military and the Legislature. “It’s a focus on mission,” said McLane, a lieutenant colonel in the Oregon Air National Guard. “The military ingrains into you the focus on mission, both for the small units and broader force. You learn to focus despite distractions.”

 

Whistleblowers, audits critical of ODOT division, lawmakers mostly unaware

Statesman Journal

Exactly how much money was wasted was never determined, but the overall cost to taxpayers certainly exceeded several hundred thousand dollars. The whistleblowers claimed the figure was closer to $1 million.  The investigations culminated as the Oregon Legislature was debating a $5.3 billion transportation infrastructure funding bill — and ODOT’s ability to manage it. Yet key lawmakers in that discussion told the Statesman Journal they either didn’t know about the investigations at the trucking division or were told by ODOT Director Matt Garrett that they involved only a personnel issue.

 

Carbon bill highlight of next week’s Oregon legislative days

Statesman Journal

Oregon legislators return to Salem for three days of committee meetings next week as they gear up for the 2018 session. The topics, including Medicaid overpayments and oil train safety, are a good preview of the session’s hot issues. Perhaps hottest of all: An attempt to curb Oregon’s carbon emissions by creating a “cap and invest” program.

 

Kate Brown travels to Germany to support climate agreement

The Oregonian

The governor’s office won’t know the total cost until after the trip, but the state also is not footing the entire bill, Hockaday wrote. Private groups are covering part of the cost for a “delegation of U.S. states” including Oregon to attend, according to the governor’s office.

 

West Coast Democrats Behind ‘Great Blue Wall’ Push Progressive Climate Agenda

OPB

Oregon is a small state,” Brown said. “We’re only four million people, and our ability to work with states like Washington and California — and frankly the (Canadian) province of British Columbia — enables us to move further and faster.” Brown said the three states and Canadian province can work with each other to “replicate best practices” along the West Coast.

 

Privatizing Oregon’s Largest Universities? Intriguing But Unlikely

OPB

Gov. Kate Brown isn’t too keen on the idea. She more or less dismissed it outright in the press release announcing the task force report, saying she has “serious concerns” about the concept. Thanks to the task force, anyone who brings it up in the future will have some sense of the enormous challenges involved with it.

 

Portland’s Bureau of Development Services building $800,000 communications team

The Oregonian

The Portland bureau charged with issuing building permits and enforcing city codes is on track to hire a nine-member communications team at a cost of as much as $800,000. The Oregonian/OregonLive asked Eudaly Thursday afternoon how the development service bureau’s communications plan fit into her strategy for her two bureaus. She called the new communications team “vital.” She declined to elaborate further, saying she was “extremely busy.” She dismissed the need to explain the big boost in hiring, suggesting it was obvious.

 

POLITICS & ELECTIONS

 

Less Than Two Weeks After His Hire, Jefferson Smith Resigns From Oregon Center for Public Policy

Willamette Week

Jefferson Smith, the newly named executive director of the Oregon Center for Public Policy, has resigned, according to two people with direct knowledge of his decision. Smith was unavailable for comment. OCPP board chair Will Neuhauser attributed the decision to the ill-health of Smith’s parents and an in-law, however there were also clearly other factors at work. The stunning news comes just a day after the board of the left-leaning think tank received a letter signed by 20 people—15 women and five men—that was highly critical of Smith’s hiring, which OCPP announced last month.

 

Ballot measure would apply term limits retroactively, Oregon Supreme Court says

The Oregonian

A proposed ballot measure would impose term limits on Oregon legislators and those limits would apply retroactively in most cases. If voters were to send that measure to the ballot and then approve the limits, it would spell a major change for the Legislature. About two-thirds of senators would be prevented from running again, including Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem. In the House, more than quarter of members would be affected, among them Speaker Tina Kotek, D-Portland.

 

State senator Chuck Riley to open Hillsboro office Nov. 17

Portland Tribune

Hillsboro’s state senator has plans to open a legislative office in downtown Hillsboro later this month. Chuck Riley, a Democrat representing District 15, announced on Tuesday that he will open an office at 122 E. Main St., on Nov. 17.

 

HEALTH CARE

 

Medicaid repayment could have impact on Umpqua Health Alliance

Roseburg News-Review

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced this week that she has decided to seek repayment of $64 million that was misspent by the Oregon Health Authority on patients that were not eligible to receive Oregon Health Plan benefits. The decision will have an impact on the Umpqua Health Alliance, Douglas County’s only Coordinated Care Organization that caters to about 26,000 Oregon Health Plan members in the county, said Umpqua Health’s Director of Marketing and Communications Mark Tsuchiya.

 

Proven treatment for opioid addiction underused

Bend Bulletin

But as opioids themselves, these medications remain tainted by the stigma of addiction. Many in the recovery community consider their use as trading one addiction for another, and tell those taking the medications they aren’t really clean. Most doctors remain unwilling to prescribe them in fear of filling their waiting rooms with addicts or facing the scrutiny of federal law enforcement officials. And when doctors do choose to offer the treatment, they face significant regulatory and insurance barriers. As a result, there are nearly a million fewer treatment slots than there are individuals with opioid addictions.

 

WOLVES

 

Conservation groups ask governor  to reopen wolf killing investigation

Register-Guard

The letter claims that police misinterpreted the evidence. The groups say a public records request revealed photographic evidence that contradicts the official report done by police about the incident.

 

VETERANS

 

Feds accuse Northwest Trustee of illegally foreclosing on veterans

The Oregonian

The U.S. Justice Department has sued the largest foreclosure trustee in the Pacific Northwest, claiming it illegally foreclosed on at least 28 military members or veterans in the past six years. The lawsuit filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Seattle was prompted by the case of Jacob McGreevey, a longtime Marine who lost his Vancouver home to foreclosure between his third and fourth tours of duty in the Middle East.

 

OPINION

 

Editorial: ODOT Motor Carrier safety issues, contract handling speak to state’s lack of transparency

Statesman Journal Editorial Board

Is this Gov. Kate Brown’s idea of government transparency? This week, Statesman Journal senior reporter Tracy Loew reported that leaders of the Motor Carrier division of the Oregon Department of Transportation refuse to answer to the public, are ignoring their own employees’ complaints about unsafe work conditions and practices, and yet, they still have their jobs.

 

Editorial: Oregon lawmakers shouldn’t promote their favorite causes

Bend Bulletin

But if it’s OK for the Legislature to dictate the OLCC taking a stand for a worthy cause, where does it end? Shouldn’t equal treatment be given to the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, which continues to fight against the evils of demon rum? Or those who want to protect the Second Amendment? Oregon lawmakers should not be using state government to publicize their pet causes, no matter how deserving.

 

Guest: Oregon keeps a promise to veterans and military families

Rep. Paul Evans

During this past Legislative session, Measure 96 provided an opportunity for an historic increase in funding for the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs and critical programs for military families. The result is a budget demonstrating the commitment of Gov. Kate Brown, both chambers of the Oregon Legislature, and the people of Oregon to keeping faith with the men and women we ask so much of.

 

Column: “Extreme risk” laws earn support on both sides of gun control debate

Tim Nesbitt

Focusing on “extreme risk,” as Washington and Oregon have done, can help to counter the extremism that has plagued our politics on this issue. Advocates of this approach have proven that they can overcome the opposition of the National Rifle Association, which opposed both the Washington and Oregon laws.

 

NATIONAL NEWS

 

McAuliffe, top Democrats dismiss impeachment talk

POLITICO

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, who also attended the breakfast, said she has no position on impeachment, which she said is “something that Congress is going to deal with.” California Gov. Jerry Brown was also dismissive.

 

Why politicians got away with sexual misconduct for so long

The Washington Post

But Sen. Bob Packwood of Oregon was a textbook case of “everyone knew” when I served as press secretary for his 1992 challenger, Les AuCoin. I watched with dismay as our campaign and the press corps covering the race grappled with the knowledge of Packwood’s sexual misconduct — well beyond the adulterous realm of Gary Hart — without knowing what to do about it.

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