HOUSE REPUBLICAN OFFICE
STATE GOVERNMENT & POLITICS
“Everybody deserves healthcare. And your health insurance shouldn’t be more than a house payment,” State Senator Alan DeBoer said. Republican State Senator Alan DeBoer and former Democrat State Representative Peter Buckley came together Thursday, to discuss their support for Oregon Measure 101 at the Medford Library. “Measure 101 is a funding package for health care for Oregonians,” Buckley said.
Oregon Public Broadcasting
Gelser said she has asked the department to remove Kruska from two official liaison roles. She wants him removed from his connection to the Employment First Initiative, which focuses on employment opportunities for Oregonians with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She also objects to Kruska representing ODE on the Statewide Suicide Prevention Alliance. Gelser said she made the requests “given the unique vulnerability of those populations.”
Portland Business Journal
The Department of Consumer and Business Services has a new director: Cameron Smith, who comes to the agency from the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs. “Cameron is a strong leader who has spent his career focused on protecting the well-being of others,” Brown said in a written statement. “In his service to our state’s veterans, Cameron brings proven experience in building a team to connect Oregonians with available benefits and resources, which will translate well to DCBS’s mission of protecting Oregon consumers and workers and serving as an advocate for Oregon businesses.”
Oregon Public Broadcasting
The Joint Oregon-Washington Legislative Action Committee met in Olympia for its inaugural meeting Thursday. Even the name of the task force is a nod to the optimism Washington officials have that it will eventually be a bi-state panel. Currently there aren’t any lawmakers from Oregon on the committee. “Oregon, in the past, has been very clear with us in that they need to see a firm commitment from this side of the river to renew effort to replace the I-5 bridge,” Sen. Annette Cleveland, D-Vancouver, said at the meeting.
The Federal Communications Commission voted 3-to-2 Thursday to scrap a rule that prohibited Internet service providers from blocking or charging more for access to one website over another.
“We are again seeing people die decades ahead of their time, of preventable deaths, all around us,” says Israel Bayer, executive director of Street Roots, a homeless advocacy organization, who worked with the county to develop the report. “This is not normal and it is not acceptable.”
The 2017 Legislature created four tax programs to help fund a statewide transportation package: the bicycle excise tax, the vehicle privilege tax, the vehicle use tax, and the statewide transit tax.
Herald and News
State legislators plan to extend a law allowing day-use permits for burials at Eternal Hills Cemetery, though not before the current law expires at the end of December. On Thursday, Rep. E. Werner Reschke, (R-Klamath Falls) said he is working with Rep. Sherrie Sprenger (R-Scio) on a bill extending the permits, which Sprenger will submit during the short session starting Feb. 5, 2018.
He says the Forest Service needs to mitigate fires before they grow. “We know changing conditions are occurring, we need to change the management practices to adapt to the changing conditions in the landscape,” Brock Smith said. But some officials say the game plan varies depending on the fire and conditions. “Different challenges come up at different times depending on the location of the fire and the fuel conditions,” Roland Giller, acting public affairs officer for Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest said.
“I believe I can be an effective leader for District 19 on day one,” Boles, also a Republican, said in her announcement. “I hope I can be an advocate and a catalyst for change here at home and in our state government.” Boles is currently a member of the Marion County Budget Committee and Salem Chamber Government Affairs Committee. Were she to receive the appointment, Boles said she would run for the seat in the 2018 election.
A deep-pocketed California group that dislikes the Electoral College system has spent nearly $100,000 this year going after its nemesis: Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney.
The best thing about the new audit of Oregon’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission is it didn’t find an excess of wasted taxpayer money. However, it did find an absence of controls in place to ensure money was not being wasted.
The controversy appears to pit environmentalists against energy business interests, with the Energy Department in the middle. Lawmakers will make progress only by examining individual cases and decisions to determine how the rules are actually working, rather than just what they say. Rooting out bias on both sides is critical to ensuring the department works for the people of Oregon, not environmentalists or business interests.
More significantly, the state Legislature is dominated by the Democratic party. That has led to a very unhealthy outcome. Some eight years ago in The Daily Astorian’s conference room, the Republican candidate for governor, Dennis Richardson said: “The public employees unions run the statehouse.” Our Democratic state senator, Betsy Johnson, has confirmed Richardson’s diagnosis.
Scott Hayes is a Forest Grove resident and owner of Arbor House Tree Farm
Oregon produces millions of tons of woody ‘waste’ products every year, from logging debris to sawdust to small trees from U.S. Forest Service thinning projects. All of it contains stored solar energy. The cost of harnessing that energy can be competitive with fossil fuels.
Eric Fruits is an Oregon-based economist
Oregon’s land-use laws – as well as regulations regarding design review, historic preservation and inclusionary zoning – have stifled residential development. Demand for housing is outpacing construction, driving up housing prices. The Oregon Office of Economic Analysis estimates that over the past 10 years, the Portland area has underbuilt by 27,000 units.
Steve Swanson is president of the Swanson Group Inc. in Glendale
As we evaluate the merits of various tax regimes, let’s be smart about the true impact of the death tax. Unlike what some would have us believe, the negative impact of this tax is not confined to a small number of wealthy families. It will be felt by many across socio-economic classes, and by the national economy overall.
Oregon Public Broadcasting
Embattled Washington state Rep. Matt Manweller has resigned his leadership position with House Republicans. He’s also been stripped of a key committee role. In a statement, House Republican Leader Dan Kristiansen said Manweller agreed to step down as assistant floor leader. He was also “removed” from his position as the ranking Republican on the House Labor and Workplace Standards Committee.