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TOP STORIES

 

The Redacted Transparency Promise of Oregon Governor Kate Brown

Forbes

The governor is flaunting Oregon open records laws and blurring the line between the taxpayer-funded agency resources and her campaign activities. Furthermore, Brown used public funds for private purposes – during her time as secretary of state and as governor. Oregon taxpayers should demand answers.

 

Shooting at Le Bistro Montage in SE Portland injures one, police say

Oregonian/OregonLive

A shooting at a late-night spot beneath the Morrison Bridge known for its Cajun fare and cocktails injured one person and sent patrons scrambling into a locked room early Thursday morning, police said.

 

SPECIAL SESSION

 

Oregon Governor’s Tax Proposal Faces Criticism From All Sides

Oregon Public Broadcasting

House Democrats so dislike the tax policy that they voted to severely curtail it last year, though the bill died in the Senate. That vote led House Minority Leader Mike McLane to press Brown on her proposal. “Do you have concerns about House Democrats repealing what you propose here today, simply in the next session?” he asked. Brown replied: “In terms of repealing, I’d want to see further analysis. At this point in time, what we want to do and what we should do is provide tax fairness.”

 

Buehler wants teacher oversight bill in special session

Portland Tribune

About 12 hours after winning the GOP nomination for governor, Rep. Knute Buehler called on lawmakers to consider emergency legislation to boost oversight of teacher misconduct as part of their special session later this month.

 

Hearing exposes lawmakers’ divergent goals for special session tax bill

Statesman Journal

Republicans see it as an openly political move by Brown to appeal to small business owners in an election year. “The political optics appear to be more important than the bill itself,” Sen. Herman Baertschiger, R-Grants Pass, said during his testimony.

 

Uncertainty looms as Oregon legislators prep for special session

Oregonian/OregonLive

“I trust when you have the gavel some level of protocol deemed appropriate in the Senate will be followed, and extended to House members,” wrote Boquist, who is the vice chair of the Finance and Revenue committee and a member of the joint committee working on Brown’s plan. “If not, then we can begin the meltdown now.”

 

ELECTIONS

 

Secretary of state reacts to low primary voter turnout

News Channel 21

“The elections turnout was a little disappointing in the primary election,” Richardson said. “But what we find is if there is controversy in major issues, major primaries that are of major concern, then we will have a better turnout.”

 

Central Oregon voter turnout higher than state average

The Bend Bulletin

Voter turnout in Central Oregon for Tuesday’s primary election was higher than the statewide average. But statewide voter turnout was the lowest it’s been in 30 years for a primary election, according to the to the Secretary of State’s Office.

 

Robert Schwartz of Springfield apparent victor in GOP race for Senate District 6 nomination

The Register-Guard

“We’ll just wait and see what the final numbers are,” said Schwartz, who had collected 50.8 percent of the 8,000 votes counted in the race as of Wednesday morning. Ruck had 48.6 percent of the vote. She and Schwartz were separated by 174 votes, according to results released by the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office. It typically takes several weeks for state officials to certify election results.

 

GOP primary for 53rd House District may be headed for a recount

The Bend Bulletin

Under state law, any race that is decided by a margin of .05 percent of all ballots cast automatically goes to a recount. Currently, that threshold in the GOP primary for the 53rd House District would be 14 votes. If the race remains that tight after the additional votes are counted, a recount will be done automatically.

 

Lake County results leave one commissioner seat undecided

Herald and News

Preliminary results from the Lake County Clerk’s office posted Wednesday morning showed a flip in the results for Lake County Commissioner Position 2, which the state initially reported as Bruce Webbon carrying the majority vote by less than one percent Tuesday evening.

 

HOUSING

 

New law could pave path for more ADUs

Portland Tribune

By July 1, a 2017 state law requires most cities and counties to permit one accessory dwelling unit or ADU inside or alongside each single-family home, subject to “reasonable” design and siting regulations. ADUs can fill a vital niche given the growing housing affordability crisis, changing nature of families, and regional planning that encourages more walkable neighborhoods.

 

MISCONDUCT

 

Martin Shain pleads guilty to tax evasion in Oregon tax credit case

Oregonian/OregonLive

A Seattle-based energy consultant pleaded guilty Wednesday to evading income taxes on the $1.3 million in commissions he collected from brokering tax credits with the help of a former manager at the Oregon Department of Energy.

 

Portland commissioner Fritz won’t explain six-figure severance payout

KGW

What would happen if you went in to your boss and quit your job? Would your boss suddenly hand you $100,000? Most likely, the answer is no. But it happens at Portland City Hall. In fact, 10 times since 2015 city employees have received severance payouts of more than $100,000. And at times, a KGW investigation found there was no contractual or legal obligation to pay anything.

 

FOOD SAFETY

 

Thousands of Oregon food safety inspections still past due

Statesman Journal

Oregon’s Food Safety Program remains in disarray, a year and a half after a state audit found it was so far behind on inspections of grocery stores, food processors and other licensees that public health could be at risk.

 

HEALTHCARE

 

PEBB Makes $9.4 Million in Cuts to Keep Under Budget Cap

The Lund Report

The Public Employee Benefit Board voted to hold off on increased deductibles and other unpopular cuts to healthcare benefits for state workers while still trimming $9.4 million from 2019 expenses to keep spending under the inflation cap set by the Legislature.

 

NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENT

 

Suit claims Medford treatment plant polluting Rogue

Mail Tribune

The Northwest Environmental Advocates claims three studies — including one funded by the city — since 2013 show nutrient levels cause unnatural algae and aquatic weed growth, damage underwater insects and at times create a sudsy, smelly plume on the river.

 

Judge to issue written ruling on restitution for teen who ignited Eagle Creek fire

Oregonian/OregonLive

Eleven requests for restitution, totaling $36, 631,687.10, were submitted to the court – an amount the 15-year-old defendant’s lawyer called “absurd,” and “silly.” His lawyer Jack Morris challenged the constitutionality of juvenile restitution on state, federal and policy grounds. He urged the court to impose a “reasonable and rational” amount.

 

POACHING

 

‘A demented social club’: Dozens more charges filed in probe of Pacific Northwest wildlife poaching ring

The Seattle Times

Prosecutors in Oregon have filed more than a hundred charges in an investigation of wildlife poaching that has spanned state lines and allegedly left dozens of animals shot illegally and often left to rot.

 

OPINION

 

Our Opinion: Track ADU law for effectiveness

Portland Tribune

Before the Legislature approved Senate Bill 1051A, for example, the city of Tigard outright banned detached ADUs, sometimes known as backyard cottages. Now, a city task force is recommending that every single-family home be allowed up to two ADUs — one inside the primary dwelling and one in the backyard.

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