HOUSE REPUBLICAN OFFICE
STATE GOVERNMENT & POLITICS
Big changes are coming to the Oregon Senate, and Washington County lawmakers will be in the midst of it for 2018.
A spokesman for the Oregon Republican Party on Monday said Sen. Jeff Kruse should remain in office while an independent investigator looks into multiple accusations of unwanted touching by the senator. If the claims are substantiated “then perhaps there might be a reason to call for his resignation,” said party spokesman Kevin Hoar.
Gov. Kate Brown and Rep. Knute Buehler, R-Bend, have together raised $5.3 million in the 2018 race for governor, putting them on pace to blow past the most expensive governor’s race in state history.
The association gives the annual awards to state or federal elected officials or to key government agency personnel who are “solution-oriented, who consider the nursery and greenhouse point of view and who act as a partner, regardless of party affiliation,” executive director Jeff Stone said in a prepared statement.
Hoping to jump-start the recruitment, OHA officials now say they will increase their maximum starting salary for a successful candidate, but they declined to specify how much they are willing to offer. The initial superintendent job posting offered a maximum starting salary of $182,000 a year. Members of the hospital’s advisory board say they’ve been disappointed with the overall quality of the candidates they’ve been asked to interview during the two-year job search.
AGRICULTURE & NATURAL RESOURCES
After eight months and more than 500 comments from Oregonians, the U.S. Forest Service is closing in on a proposal that could protect Central Oregon’s most scenic areas from overuse.
Backers of the initiative raised more than $900,000 but have less than $85,000 left after collecting almost 30,000 signatures. Because those were on documents approved for the May election, the signature drive will have to start over to get a proposed initiative before voters next November, said Multnomah County elections spokesman Eric Sample. Steenbergen said she and other campaign leaders decided to postpone their drive because they believe the higher voter turnout expected in November improves their chance of passing the measure.
Today, James Buchal, a Portland lawyer and the chairman of the Multnomah County Republican Party, wrote to Trump, complaining about the process for filling a vacancy on the bench for the U.S. District Court of Oregon and for another on the Ninth District Court of Appeals that is typically given to an Oregonian. “Something is very seriously wrong with your appointment process for federal officials establishing federal policy in the State of Oregon,” Buchal wrote, noting that the “gatekeeper” for the appointment process is an aide to U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and that the six-member judicial selection committee responsible for vetting candidates contains only one registered Republican.
Northwest News Network
Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib, a Democrat who serves as the president of the Senate, issued that order Monday, extending a previous order banning openly-carried guns in the Senate galleries. “I don’t want us to be implementing this type of order the day after some type of tragedy,” Habib said in a phone interview with the Northwest News Network and the Associated Press. “I want us to be doing it preemptively and in a way that’s respectful.”
Given the efficiency with which Congress has acted this year, and not just on CHIP, Brown is taking a gamble in telling the OHA to keep the program afloat after the money runs out. CHIP is a program worthy of saving, but to simply assume federal funding will arrive to allow OHA to recoup its expenditures is a gamble she shouldn’t take.
In Oregon, state officials believe that some 40,000 of the covered children would have to move to Medicaid, known here as the Oregon Health Plan. But the state would have to pay to keep coverage for the remaining 79,000 children. Brown said she wanted the state to take action now, so that affected families would have some certainty that their coverage would continue. It’s the right move for Oregon and for these vulnerable families, but it’s just a stopgap. Congress should go for the easy win and renew the program.
Amy Tykeson and Jane E. Teater are co-chairs of NOW4 OSU-Cascades, a community outreach group focused on campus expansion.
OSU-Cascades is a game-changer for our region. Please join us in support of the campus expansion by writing to your state representatives, the governor and legislative leadership and urging them to follow through with the state’s commitment to higher education in Central Oregon.
John Scott directs The Pew Charitable Trusts’ retirement savings project
Since 2012, lawmakers in 40 states have introduced measures to create or study state-sponsored retirement savings plans for employees who otherwise wouldn’t have them. Legislation has passed in California, Connecticut, Illinois and Maryland.Oregon is in the vanguard, and OregonSaves could be a model for a viable and sustainable savings solution.
John Scott directs The Pew Charitable Trusts