HOUSE REPUBLICAN OFFICE
NOVEMBER 15, 2017 DAILY CLIPS
STATE GOVERNMENT & POLITICS
“We are doing something no other state is doing — taking on Oregon’s retirement crisis,” Read said. “I want to help every Oregonian achieve financial security.”
Oregon has the weakest oil train regulation among West Coast states. Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem, has vowed to change that. He plans to introduce a bill in the 2018 session to bring the state up to par with its neighbors. “Washington is way ahead of us in the area of protecting the public and the environment, as well as first responders,” Courtney said.
Oregon Public Broadcasting
The agency’s deputy director, Dave Stuckey, told members of the Oregon Legislature’s Ways and Means Committee that the bulk of money paid Oregon National Guard soldiers called into active duty. “We activated 155 soldiers and Air Guard personnel,” he said. The costs also included the use of military equipment. “Forty-eight Humvees, two Blackhawk helicopters, two Lakota helicopters,” Stuckey said. “We wanted to be able to respond and help just in case.”
Rep. Duane Stark, R-Grants Pass, has been elected by his peers to serve as the Republican caucus whip, according to a release from the Oregon House Republican Office. Stark said in the release that he looks forward to forging “bipartisan cooperation with our colleagues on the other side of the aisle.” “There is a lot at stake in the 2018 legislative session, and I am excited to get to work,” he said.
A former Capitol staffer who filed what is so far Oregon’s only formal sexual harassment complaint lodged with legislative officials says she was unsatisfied with the way her complaint was handled and upset that her harasser was subsequently hired by another legislator.
Oregon Public Broadcasting
The Oregon Capitol, like others, has a process in place for reporting harassment. And lawmakers receive regular training in how to avoid inappropriate behavior. But the accounts of Gelser and other women in Salem suggest the current structure isn’t working.
JOBS & THE ECONOMY
Oregon Public Broadcasting
“Businesses in these areas had sales drop by 30 to 60 percent in their peak time,” said Jason Lewis-Berry, the jobs and economic policy advisor to Gov. Kate Brown. Lewis-Berry cited an analysis from the Oregon Employment Department that found at least 600 seasonal jobs ended “much earlier than usual” in communities affected by wildfires.
Shipping, lodging, major outdoor events and small businesses tied to tourism were all hurt by wildfires this year, continuing a damaging trend the state needs to address, Oregon business advocates and lawmakers said Tuesday. “This wasn’t the first season that we’ve had fires, it won’t be the last,” said Jason Lewis-Berry, director of the governor’s Regional Solutions program. “We really need to think about economic resilience in communities that could be affected by fires in the future.”
The Associated Press
Oregon employment rebounded from a sluggish late summer by adding 11,600 jobs last month.
The state Employment Department said Tuesday that October’s gain was the largest monthly increase since February.
Oregon added about 11,600 jobs in October as unemployment held steady at about 4.3 percent, from 4.2 percent in September. State employment officials said October’s job gains were the largest monthly increase since 14,100 jobs were added in February. The state’s professional and business services (up 5,300 jobs) and leisure and hospitality (up 3,800 jobs), led the way.
Dugan said late tax payments may still come in, but likely not enough to lift the month out of its record-ending slump. Board member Erick Trachsel, director of sales and marketing at the Riverhouse on the Deschutes hotel and convention center, said business there softened slightly even into October before picking back up.
EDUCATION & HIGHER EDUCATION
A coalition of politicians, educators, business people and students made the case for the 4-year campus in Bend during a hearing of the Senate Interim Committee on Education at the state Capitol. Their message: A wave of K-12 students is building in Central Oregon. They need a university. Businesses are locating and growing in the Bend area. They need qualified workers and future business partners.
The new, yet-to-be named elementary school will be built on 10 to 12 acres the district still needs to purchase for about $1 million to $1.2 million, paid for with bond money approved earlier this year.
The Dalles Chronicle
Daniel Bonham, owner of Maupin’s Stoves & Spas in The Dalles, is excited to be one of three finalists to replace John Huffman as the representative for House District 59. “I’ve always wanted to do this, and I think the timing is right with my family,” said Bonham, 40, about filling Huffman’s unexpired term, which ends in November 2018.
No Oregon politician has a target on his back like Monroe does. Advocates say he has been a crucial vote blocking housing reforms in the Senate. And he’s also a landlord, owning the 51 units of Red Rose Manor along Northeast Glisan Street at the eastern edge of Portland.
Metro announced Tuesday that it will start talking with local elected leaders and others about placing a regional affordable housing measure on the ballot as early as November 2018. The announcement followed the release of a poll conducted in October that found a majority of voters in the region believe more affordable housing needs to be built and are willing to support a $500 million bond measure.
Instead voters should look at the long list of commitments they have already made before jumping on the bandwagon of the latest good cause. They should sharply examine measures to see if they address a specific need or are sprawling requests designed to score popularity points. And they should weigh whether the agency seeking the measure is the right steward for such money. Funding every good cause only leaves us less able to fund the ones we absolutely need to.
Proposals to drill for the oil that may lie beneath the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge are hardy perennials in Congress. These proposals have generally been debated and defeated on their merits. But the Arctic refuge is now in danger of becoming a ricochet casualty of congressional Republicans’ drive to cut taxes, mainly for corporations and the wealthiest Americans. Only through bad procedure could such a bad policy pass into law.
George Wuerthner is an ecologist who has published 38 books
Wildfire in your neighborhood is a bad thing that can be reduced or prevented with reasonable building codes and mandatory fire-wise regulations. Wildfire in the forest provides the dead snags and down wood critical to healthy forest ecosystems.