March 28, 2019 Daily Clips

GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS

Oregon Takes 1st Step Toward Campaign Finance Limits

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Oregon legislators took the first step Wednesday toward asking voters to amend the state constitution to allow donation limits on political campaigns. The Senate Campaign Finance Committee approved a measure for the May 2020 primary ballot. It would undo state Supreme Court rulings that have struck down previous limits as an infringement of free-speech rights. Oregon voters in 2006 didn’t approve a measure that sought to narrow those free-speech protections and place caps on campaign money.

Report: OHA Still Has Work To Do Improving Medicaid Payment Oversight

Oregon Public Broadcasting

A follow-up report released Wednesday by the Oregon secretary of state’s office says the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has addressed some issues related to improper Medicaid payments, but there’s still more work to be done. In a November 2017 audit, the secretary of state’s office made eight recommendations to OHA to improve efforts to detect and prevent improper Medicaid payments. That audit found more than 31,000 questionable payments based on 15 months of data.

Oregon teens push state lawmakers to lower voting age to 16

The Register-Guard

Hundreds of teens spent their spring break pleading with Oregon state lawmakers to consider lowering the voting age to 16, saying young people deserve a say on issues that will directly shape their future including gun control and global climate change. “The decisions our election officials make now will affect us for the rest of our lives, which is why we need a say,” Jeremy Clark, a 14-year-old from Portland, testified on Wednesday. “We are tired of waiting for the adults to take action.”

Sources: Merkley girds for more attacks from big-money PACS

Portland Tribune

Jeff Merkley breezed to victory with 56 percent of the vote in his 2014 re-election campaign against Republican Dr. Monica Wehby. But it wasn’t without a few battle scars. Merkley’s re-election was the target of thousands of outside-funded TV and radio ads blasting him. The Center for Public Integrity reported that about 16,000 political ads flooded Oregon’s airwaves in that year’s Senate race, about half aimed at Merkley. Six years later, Merkley expects to be targeted again by big outside-money Super PACs. He said after a March 20 Yamhill County town hall that he expects big-money groups, some fed by the conservative Koch brothers, to hit him again through front groups in the 2020 race.

LOCAL

Oregon Herbicide Ban Slowed By Chemical Company Appeal

Oregon Public Broadcasting

A conifer tree-killing herbicide would have been banned from Oregon roadsides this month, but the rule has been delayed by a request from chemical giant, Bayer AG. Perhaps best known for aspirin, Bayer also makes agricultural products like Perspective, an herbicide once commonly used to control weeds and reduce fire risk along highways. The active ingredient, ACP, is behind killing about 2,100 ponderosa pines in Deschutes National Forest near Sisters, Oregon.

Corbett unveils gas tax proposals for Pendleton streets

East Oregonian

Pendleton residents could again consider a gas tax to help repair the town’s miles of deteriorating roads. Pendleton City Manager Robb Corbett presented the proposal Tuesday night to the city council during a work session. He said the council tasked him with getting the city’s street budget up to $1.2 million a year and finding a long-term fix for streets. “What I’ve done is brought you a proposal that could realistically do that,” he told the council. The plan has three prongs. First, Corbett wants the city to immediately use $3 million from the Urban Renewal District for road repairs in 2020.

Parliamentarian draws mixed reaction on county commission

Daily Astorian

For the past few Clatsop County Board of Commissioners meetings, there’s been a new feature. Sometimes, Larry Taylor can be found at a small table near the board clerk. Other times, he sits in the audience at the Judge Guy Boyington Building. Wherever he’s placed, Taylor quietly takes notes. He’s documenting each time a county commissioner skirts Robert’s Rules of Order, a set of widely used procedural guidelines for public meetings. He is the commission’s first parliamentarian — an expert on rules and procedure. His role is to help advise Sarah Nebeker, the commission’s chairwoman, on how to run a meeting, a move that some have marked as necessary for order and others have reacted to with confusion.

OPINION

Readers respond: Anti-vaccination is child neglect

Oregonlive

People call Child Protective Services for neglect when they see a child in a car left for five minutes. No one is charging parents with cruelty or child neglect when their children are not vaccinated. They don’t mind the unnecessary suffering children have when they get a preventable disease. Measles, polio, lockjaw, etcetera have so many chances of bad effects. Not only are these parents putting their children at risk of suffering — even dying — they are risking the lives of people with other health problems.

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