April 8, 2018 Daily Clips


Washington County Sheriff pulls out of mutual aid pact with Portland police; other agencies may follow suit


Neighboring police agencies are rethinking helping Portland police except in major emergencies in the wake of a million-dollar judgment against Washington County and Hillsboro awarded after their officers wounded a man while helping Portland police with a search warrant. Washington County Sheriff Pat Garrett has ordered his deputies not to take any enforcement action in Portland unless there’s a direct tie to their casework in Washington County. Clackamas County is thinking of following suit. Washington County’s move came on the advice of its senior assistant counsel, Elmer M. Dickens, who doubles as the attorney for the Oregon State Sheriffs Association.

Lane County residents told to evacuate amid ‘historic’ release of water from reservoir


Authorities have asked residents of two Lane County floodplains to evacuate immediately as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released water from a reservoir amid heavy rains, the Lane County Sheriff’s Office said Sunday. The immediate threat is most acute for people in the Row River floodplain, the sheriff’s office said, with a delayed impact to those on the Coast Fork of the Willamette floodplain. Both areas have been issued a Level 3 evacuation notice, which means that danger to the area is imminent.

School Board member resigns after town hall controversy

Hood River News

Hood River County School District Board Member Benjamin Sheppard submitted a letter of resignation to the Hood River County School District earlier this week. His resignation follows community backlash related to his controversial behavior at Rep. Greg Walden’s town hall last month, which included shouting questions and comments at Rep. Walden from the audience and reportedly wearing a jacket portraying the American flag upside down. The Hood River County School District Board of Directors aims to select a replacement for Sheppard’s vacant Position 2 at an upcoming public school board meeting on April 24.


Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen Leaving Post

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen is leaving her post, President Trump announced Sunday as he continues to focus on restricting border crossings amid a recent surge. Nielsen had recently warned a congressional panel of a “catastrophe” on the Southern border after the number of crossings hit a 10-year high. Trump confirmed the news in a tweet, saying, “I would like to thank her for her service.”

Layoffs at highest level in first quarter since 2009 as recession fears grow: economic report


The beginning of 2019 produced the most layoffs in a first quarter in 10 years, amid rising concerns of an impending recession. “Total announced cuts hit 190,410, a 10.3 percent increase from the fourth quarter and 35.6 percent jump from the same period a year ago,” CNBC reported Friday. The layoff numbers come from an analysis by outplacement company Challenger Gray & Christmas, which says the cuts are a result of “economic uncertainty and fears of an upcoming downturn.” The quarterly jobs cuts are the most since the third quarter of 2015, and the most for a first quarter since 2009.


Opinion: Bill would give auto dealers too much control over customers’ information


Recently California passed a data privacy law to protect consumers. Washington state will likely have a new privacy law in a few weeks. But here in Oregon, our Legislature is heading in a different direction as it considers a bill that should be titled the “Breach Waiting to Happen Act.” As a data protection expert and cybersecurity professional, I hope that our legislators are wise and kill this idea quickly. A lay person might read House Bill 3152 as authorizing standard information-sharing arrangements between auto manufacturers, dealers and the companies that build specialized computer systems for the industry.

April 4, 2019 Daily Clips


Clarno takes ceremonial oath of office

Salem Reporter

Scores of family, friends, lawmakers and journalists packed into the Governor’s ceremonial office to watch Oregon’s newest Secretary of State, Bev Clarno, take the oath of office. The event was largely symbolic. Clarno was officially sworn in Sunday night, and got to work Monday morning. Clarno, an 83-year-old Redmond Republican, was appointed by Gov. Kate Brown to fill the remainder of Dennis Richardson’s term. Richardson died in office in February. Clarno previously served in the legislature as Speaker of the house in the 1990s and Senate Republican Leader in 2003, when there was an even 15-15 split in the chamber.

Oregon reaches female power milestone with new office holder

Albany Democrat Herald

A glass ceiling was broken in Oregon Wednesday when a former lawmaker and hog farmer was sworn in as secretary of state, marking the first time in state history that women have held four of five statewide offices. Bev Clarno is also the oldest person to have ever held the office, according to Kerry Tymchuk, executive director of the Oregon Historical Society. Clarno turned 83 on Friday and was on vacation when Gov. Kate Brown left her a voicemail, saying she was being tapped to serve in the state’s second-highest office.

Oregon leaders want to remove college degree requirement for child welfare workers


Gov. Kate Brown and Oregon child welfare leaders want to remove college degree requirements for caseworkers to increase workforce diversity and the candidate pool for openings the agency has struggled to fill. Under Oregon law, employees who investigate reports of child abuse and make decisions about whether to remove children from their families much have at least a bachelor’s degree.

Lawmakers consider measure that would allow lawsuits over frivolous calls for police


A person who has the police called on them for the “crime” of being a person of color could sue the person who summoned law enforcement, under a bill introduced by three African American state lawmakers. One of the sponsors, Rep. Janelle Bynum, D-Clackamas, experienced such a call when she was canvassing for votes in her suburban Portland district last summer. The summoning of police on a lawmaker “campaigning while black” drew national attention.”

Hasta la vista, greenhouse gas: Arnold Schwarzenegger weighs in on Oregon’s carbon emission reduction bill


In a video shared on Twitter Wednesday, the Terminator voiced his support for HB 2020, which would work to reduce Oregon’s greenhouse gas emissions. Arnold Schwarzenegger isn’t just an action star with an instantly recognizable accent. Don’t forget, he was governor of California from 2003 to 2011. And it is that experience, not his comfort with a catchphrase, that he brought to Wednesday’s video.

Oregon Warns Medical Cannabis Growers: Report Or Face Fines

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Oregon is warning medical cannabis growers that if they don’t report their inventories, they could face stiff fines. Since 2016, small scale growers in Oregon have needed to report how much marijuana they produce to the medical marijuana online system. But the state says only about 15% are in compliance. That means only about 300 of the state’s 1,900 registered growers have been telling officials how much cannabis they have on hand. Anthony Taylor with Compassionate Oregon said he thinks mos

Copy. Paste. Legislate: Model bills work their way into Oregon statehouse

Statesman Journal

The bill Oregon lawmakers are considering that supports using the popular vote to determine the outcome of national presidential elections instead of the electoral college is essentially a copycat bill. Senate Bill 870 has model language from the non-profit National Popular Vote, Inc., which backs the popular vote. Fourteen other states and the District of Columbia already have adopted it into law. A USA TODAY-Statesman Journal analysis of legislative language in Oregon found 85 proposals dating back to 2011 with wording that largely matches what’s found in bill models that national groups draft and advance.


Will ‘opportunity zones’ help or hurt low-income neighborhoods? The jury’s out


In Portland, the federal opportunity zone program has made headlines for being applied across much of downtown, the Pearl District and the Central Eastside —already crowded with construction cranes. But areas that have historically suffered from a lack of interest from private developers and investors are hoping they, too, can benefit from a program that’s ostensibly meant for them. Ketch, founder of the nonprofit Rockwood Community Development Corp., is hoping to raise money for community benefit projects. The first project on the docket is an 84-unit apartment complex for moderate-income earners, with some of the units set for low-income households.

Climate change advocacy workshop happening Saturday in Eugene

The Register-Guard

A climate change advocacy workshop is set for Saturday in Eugene. Citizens’ Climate Lobby, a California-based nonprofit advocating for laws to address climate change, will host the event from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Emmaus Lutheran Church, 1250 W. 18th Ave. The group has a Eugene chapter. Cost for the workshop is $25 in advance, $30 the day of the workshop and $10 for students.

Salem apartment rents continue to rise, but Oregon housing crunch shows signs of easing

Statesman Journal

Salem apartment rents climbed slightly in early 2019 but Oregon’s housing crunch showed signs of easing amid a healthy economy and a better balance between the supply of units and renters’ needs. It’s too early to measure the effects of rent control legislation passed in February, but Salem apartment rents edged up 1.3% — or about $14 for a two-bedroom apartment — over the last month, according to rental marketing service Apartment List. Salem’s median rents were $840 for a one-bedroom apartment and $1,100 for a two-bedroom apartment, according to Apartment List. The marketer pegged Salem’s year-over-year rent growth rate at 1.4%, far below this year’s 10.3% cap instituted under the rent control law.

April 2, 2019 Daily Clips


High profile gun control bills dropped in 2019 Oregon legislative session


Friday was a key day in the Oregon legislature, with any bill not scheduled to have a work session now considered to be dead for the session, as the Oregonian first reported. Among them were a mix of gun control bills brought forward by student activists and the faith group Lift Every Voice though an omnibus senate bill may still resurrect some restrictions favored by them. Others gained high public notice through media coverage that advanced into social media interaction with readers and viewers.

Oregon may expand gun-free zones, raise gun buying age


Oregon lawmakers have scheduled about four hours of public hearings on Tuesday to tackle what’s shaping up to be this year’s principal gun legislation. In the morning, the Senate Judiciary Committee will take testimony on a 44-page proposal that would, among other things, penalize some gun owners who fail to lock up their guns and allow gun dealers to refuse to sell guns to people younger than 21. In the afternoon, the House Judiciary Committee will consider a more limited gun safety bill.

New Oregon secretary of state dismisses staff


On Oregon Secretary of State Bev Clarno’s first full day in office Monday, three executives in her department were dismissed. The departures of Deputy Secretary of State Leslie Cummings, chief of staff Deb Royal and governmental and legal affairs director Steve Elzinga came just a day after Clarno, an 83-year-old Republican former lawmaker, was sworn in. “Looking forward to serving Oregon as Secretary of State!” Clarno tweeted.

Former Secretary of State Dennis Richardson’s Top Aides Are Out As New Secretary of State Bev Clarno Takes Over

Willamette Week

At least three top aides to former Secretary of State Dennis Richardson are out of jobs today as Richardson’s successor, Secretary of State Bev Clarno moves to shape her staff for the next two years. Gone are Richardson’s deputy, Leslie Cummings, his chief of staff, Deb Royal and his legal advisor, Steve Elzinga. The Salem Statesman Journal first reported the departures. All three worked in the “front office” of the secretary of state’s office, which means they were political appointees who served at the pleasure of the secretary of state.

Oregon’s death penalty amounts to ‘cruel deception’ on families and public, lawmakers told


Death penalty opponents told a panel of lawmakers on Monday that capital punish is expensive, leads to decades of delays and offers little comfort to victims’ families. The Senate Judiciary Committee heard nearly two hours of testimony, most of it from supporters of Senate Bill 1013, which would limit the death penalty to cases involving acts of terror that kill two or more people. The bill is expected to get a committee vote on April 8.

Oregon Lawmakers Take Up Bill To Sharply Narrow Death Penalty

Oregon Public Broadcasting

A bill that would defang Oregon’s death penalty without a statewide vote got its first hearing before a Senate committee Monday, drawing testimony that was overwhelmingly supportive of the novel approach. Senate Bill 1013 would leave the little-used death penalty in the Oregon Constitution — only voters can take it out. The bill instead would sharply narrow the definition of aggravated murder, the only crime punishable by death in Oregon.

Feminine hygiene products bill gets committee support

Portland Tribune

Oregon students could access free feminine hygiene products at school under a proposal from their peers. A group of students from South Eugene High School brought the idea to state Rep. Julie Fahey, D-Eugene. Fahey is chief sponsor of House Bill 3020, which would require public schools with students in grades 7 to 12 to make free menstrual products available in at least half of the school’s bathrooms.


Governor proposes more money for National Guard facilities in Pendleton

East Oregonian

While much of the local focus on Gov. Kate Brown’s budget has been on her proposals for education, tucked away in the Oregon Military Department budget is millions of dollars allocated for the Oregon National Guard’s facilities in Pendleton. Under Brown’s public safety budget, the department would spend $9.9 million for enhancements at aviation facilities in Pendleton and Salem during the 2019-21 biennium. Roy Swafford, the department’s director of installations, said the money would go toupgrading the aviation facilities to protect them against emergencies, including seismic structure improvements and backup power sources.

Booked And Buried: Northwest  Jails’ Mounting Death Toll

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Since 2008, at least 306 people across the Northwest have died after being taken to a county jail, according to an investigation by OPB, KUOW and the Northwest News Network. Until now, that number was unknown, in part because Oregon and Washington have not comprehensively tracked those deaths in county jails. If they did, they would find a crisis of rising death rates in overburdened jails that have been set up to fail the inmates they are tasked with keeping safe.

Detroit Lake water level 40 feet below normal, in danger of another low summer

Statesman Journal

The popular reservoir’s water level is 40 feet below normal, raising concerns that it won’t reach its “full pool” this summer or even come close. That could impact everything from recreation and tourism to wildlife and irrigation down the Santiam Canyon. The current reservoir level is 1,500 feet above sea level, while it should be closer to 1,540 feet. At present, the reservoir level is similar to the disastrous 2015 and 2001 seasons that saw historic lows.

Salem plastic shopping bag ban gets mixed reviews; paper bags cost at least 5 cents each

Statesman Journal

Don’t expect to hear “paper or plastic” at checkstands anymore. Salem shoppers gave mixed reviews to a ban on plastic shopping bags that took effect Monday, with some praising it and others saying they found household uses for the plastic bags. John Meissner, carrying drinks purchased from a Salem Fred Meyer without a bag, called the ban “a bit of an imposition.”

Astoria finalizes ordinance to curb panhandling

The Daily Astorian

City leaders finalized a new ordinance Monday they say is necessary for traffic safety, but some fear it is an attempt to ban panhandling and believe it will hurt the homeless. The ordinance, modeled off rules enacted by other Oregon cities, would make it a traffic violation to give or take something from a car window while the vehicle is on the roadway. Violations come with a $75 fine.


Editorial: House bill offers gasoline compromise

Albany Democrat-Herald

So this is how Oregon residents get the opportunity to pump their own gas: One crack in the wall at a time. For decades, Oregon and New Jersey have been the only states in the nation that don’t allow gas stations to offer self-service pumps. In Oregon, it’s become one of the odd quirks that we (sometimes) appreciate about the state: To paraphrase the state’s motto, “She Flies on Her Own Wings, But She Lets Others Pump the Gas.” In Oregon’s case, the law banning self-service gasoline has been on the books since 1951, and the law lists 17 separate justifications for the ban. Those justifications include some that likely have occurred to you: For example, the ban creates jobs.

April 1, 2019 Daily Clips


Lawmakers go into second half of session with a full plate

Portland Tribune

Oregon’s legislators are halfway around their political track in Salem and major reforms in taxation, environment and education remain in the works. They now have about 90 days to finish their work and go home. Democrats, who dominate the House and Senate, say key proposals have already been passed and turned into law, including first-of-its kind statewide rent control. About 200 bills have made it through, most with no controversy. They honor influential figures and tidy up technical details in existing laws among other steps. Friday, March 29, was a critical day. Legislative leaders mandated that proposed bills were being actively processed or they would die for lack of progress. That could whittle down legislators’ “to do” list considerably.

Legal problems, increased secrecy under pro-union bill headed to Senate, opponents say


House Democrats passed a bill Wednesday that would make public agencies in Oregon a far friendlier and sheltered spot for union organizing in the wake of a court decision that has threatened their finances. House Bill 2016 would block public access to employee information and unions’ communication with workers, provisions that conflict with the state’s public records law and would apply whether the employee is a union member or not. It would penalize public employers that allow anti-union communications on their email systems. And it would lock all public employers into a slate of requirements that are currently the subject of collective bargaining between individual employers and unions in each contract period.

Why Oregon’s chief medical examiner didn’t autopsy an infant whose day care death is now under investigation


Oregon’s chief medical examiner will step down Monday after a short but tumultuous tenure beset by conflict with several top prosecutors and capped by ongoing finger-pointing over who failed to secure a forensic autopsy in the death of an infant who stopped breathing at a Eugene day care. The dispute between state and county officials exposes continued dysfunction despite a 2017 pledge under Oregon Gov. Kate Brown that all child care deaths must receive comprehensive investigations.

Limit campaign bucks? Let 16-year-olds vote?

Portland Tribune

Two constitutional amendments next year could bring the most dramatic changes in a generation to how Oregon conducts its elections. But first, they have to pass through the Legislature. The pathway for campaign finance reform looked relatively smooth until it hit a bump Wednesday, March 27. The Senate Campaign Finance Committee approved one proposal that would ask voters whether they want to limit campaign contributions in Oregon’s state and local elections. It did so without the support of the committee’s two Republican senators — including the legislation’s co-sponsor, Sen. Tim Knopp of Bend.

Michael Strickland gets lawmaker support as appeal looms

Portland Tribune

An Oregon lawmaker is taking to the barricades in support of a man convicted of pointing a handgun at a crowd during a “Don’t Shoot” downtown Portland protest in July 2016. But a looming court decision could overturn or vindicate that conviction. Wearing a suit and tie, conservative blogger Michael Strickland sat silently at the desk of Sen. Kim Thatcher, R-Keizer, during the short speech inside the statehouse on Thursday, March 21. “He acted in self defense but was treated like a criminal,” Thatcher told her colleagues. “Free speech is free speech. We as a body should honor the Constitution’s explicit protections set aside for that.”

‘Support medical freedom’: Dozens oppose house bill requiring vaccinations at Salem rally

Statesman Journal

More than 50 adults, and about 20 children, ngathered across from the Oregon State Capitol Saturday to “support medical freedom.” Salem’s rally was one of five around Oregon, others taking place in Bend, Medford, Eugene and Portland. The rallies were in opposition of House Bill 3063, which, if passed, would remove a parent’s ability to exempt their children from required vaccinations for reasons other than a medical diagnosis.  Melissa Conner, of McMinnville, said she opposes the bill because it would remove personal and religious exemptions for vaccinations.


Bullying bills at state Legislature could help local schools

Albany Democrat Herald

House Bill 2604 and Senate Bill 180 outline the same terms and conditions for $6 million in grant funding for school districts that create programs aimed at stemming bullying and increasing student empowerment. To earn funding, programs would need community partners and include four components: classroom presentations, empowerment groups, school staff training and parent education. Priority, according to the bills, would be given to schools based on geographic equity and to programs that targeted middle school students.

Salem-Keizer teachers file labor complaint over involuntary transfer, restricted visits

Statesman Journal

The Salem Keizer Education Association has filed an unfair labor practice complaint against Salem-Keizer Public Schools for allegedly discriminating against and unfairly transferring an elementary school teacher, and restricting the union’s access to its members. The complaint was filed with the Oregon Employment Relations Board in early March, but Lillian Govus, director of communications for the school district, said they have not been served and, as a result, have not issued a formal response. Once served, district officials have 10 days to respond to the complaint.

Controversial Southern Oregon Energy Project Clears Big Hurdle

Oregon Public Broadcasting

A federal environmental review has given a preliminary green light to a fiercely contested proposal to build a natural gas pipeline and export terminal in southern Oregon. A draft environmental impact statement released Friday lists more than 130 conditions the Jordan Cove Energy Project would have to meet to minimize its negative effects. As long as those conditions are observed, the report says, the project would not have significant environmental impact.

Lawmaker wants to take fare checks away from Transit Police

Portland Tribune

The purview of transit police could shrink, if a Portland lawmaker concerned about discrimination against low-income TriMet riders has his way. State Rep. Diego Hernandez, a Democrat who represents parts of outer east Portland, testified Monday on a group of bills he has introduced in response to a high-profile arrest — which a Multnomah County judge later ruled to have violated constitutional rights — at a MAX station last year. One of those bills, House Bill 3337, would prohibit police officers from enforcing public transit fares. One of Hernandez’s constituents, Ana del Rocio, was arrested last March after being stopped by a TriMet fare inspector in downtown Portland. A transit police officer at the station questioned del Rocio and asked for her identification.

Hillsboro unveils 1 gigabit internet service HiLight

Portland Tribune

On a sunny Friday morning, crews in bright orange vests and hard hats run flexible pipe into the ground outside W. Verne McKinney Elementary School. A few traffic cones divert traffic as men with shovels dig and a large industrial boring machine thunders just off the street. It’s the kind of construction work you’d expect in any residential neighborhood on a warm spring day, but the construction site marks the first tangible evidence of the city of Hillsboro’s new fiber optic internet utility, expected to launch in early 2020.

Union Pacific layoffs at Hinkle yard in Hermiston draw safety concerns

East Oregonian

Union Pacific is asking Hermiston employees to do more with less after recent layoffs, and some have expressed concern about safety. The railroad company declined to release specific numbers relating to its workforce reduction at the Hinkle rail yard near Hermiston. But two current employees who spoke to the East Oregonian off the record, due to concerns about how speaking to the media might affect their employment, estimate about 80 employees have been let go since October.

Fighting wildfire with youth

Mail Tribune

Where a group of teens looked to restore a section of Ashland park land closer to its natural state, an Oregon legislator sees a way to reduce wildfire risks across the state. Making his announcement as he neared a team of seven youth forestry workers gathering branches into burn piles Saturday afternoon at Strawberry Park, State Sen. Jeff Golden announced plans for a statewide youth forestry corps.

Manure is big business at Oregon’s largest dairy with conversion to natural gas

Statesman Journal

As milk prices plummet, Oregon’s largest dairy hopes to cash in on another kind of commodity produced by its cows: Manure. Boardman’s Threemile Canyon Farms is partnering with a Portland investment fund in a $55 million project to convert methane from the waste produced by its 70,000 cows into natural gas, which will be sold to power buses and garbage trucks in Southern California. Because it’s designated renewable energy, the manure-produced biogas sells for 10 times more than fossil fuel natural gas, Threemile general manager Marty Myers told a state Department of Treasury panel last summer, as the company sought tax-exempt state bonds to help pay for the project.


Climate crisis needs stronger solution

The Register-Guard

The Legislature’s Democrats might pass a carbon cap-and-trade program that would increase the cost of pretty much everything in Oregon. It’s been on environmentalists’ wish list for years, but in its current form the plan isn’t ready. If lawmakers pass House Bill 2020, Oregon would become the second state — after California — to set up a (mostly) economy-wide cap-and-trade system. Although a straight carbon tax is preferable for several reasons, cap-and-trade systems are a decent alternative. The state would set limits on total carbon emissions. Companies that emit more than a set threshold (25,000 metric tons in this case) would buy allowances. Over time, the state lowers the number of allowances, and that drives up the cost. Companies could trade allowances or, better, install technology to reduce emissions.

Editorial: Transformative $2 billion schools investment also requires pension reforms (Editorial Agenda 2019)


When it comes to advocating for their children’s schools, Oregon families are a force of nature. They organize bake sales, car washes and auctions for a fundraising cycle that never ends. They give up national holidays to rally at the state Capitol for more education dollars. And from local school board meetings to legislative hearings, they testify about overcrowded classrooms, understaffed libraries and bottom-tier graduation rates that show just how poorly Oregon is serving its students.


Gov. Brown names Bev Clarno, 83, as new secretary of state


Bev Clarno, 83, an influential state legislator in the 1990s, has been appointed Oregon’s new secretary of state. Gov. Kate Brown made the appointment after a search that lasted nearly a month. Brown said she wanted someone who would focus on the office’s day-to-day operations — not on running for office in 2020. Brown made the announcement Friday afternoon. Clarno, of Redmond, served as Speaker of the House and Senate Republican Leader in the Oregon Legislature. She was also appointed by President George W. Bush as Director for Region 10 of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Bev Clarno, Former House Speaker, Will Be Oregon’s Next Secretary Of State

Oregon Public Broadcasting

A former Central Oregon lawmaker who rose to the pinnacles of power in both the state House and Senate has been tapped as Oregon’s new secretary of state. Gov. Kate Brown announced Friday afternoon that she’s appointing Bev Clarno, a Republican from Redmond, as a replacement to Secretary of State Dennis Richardson, who died in February.

Skirting the Supreme Court’s Janus decision March 27 floor speech

*** Below is the text of Rep Barretos courageous house speech on HB 2016 addressing the inequities and illegalities of the bill. He is defending free speech but note how he is harassed and critiqued by his thin skinned opponents who try to suppress what he is saying. Below is the text of the speech and also a link to the video of the speech. ***


Representative Greg Barreto defends free speech in regards to the inequities and illegality of HB 2016

Dear Friends,

On Wednesday, the House of Representatives voted on HB 2016 which would skirt the Supreme Court’s Janus decision. Sorry to report that this bill did pass out of the House Chamber on a partisan vote. I would like to share my floor speech with you and have also included a link to watch the speech.

Thank you Madam Speaker. March 27, 2019

To the Bill:


House Bill 2016 gives unlimited paid time off for unions to engage in union business. These are jobs paid by the taxpayer. The state has offered no estimate on how much this could cost taxpayers.

This bill would set in statute a number of issues that are currently the subject of collective bargaining. Cities and school districts currently bargain with unions over allowable shop steward time, with contracts specifying the number of allowable work hours that are spent on union business. HB 2016 would require public employers to grant “reasonable paid time” to designated union representatives to conduct union business, an open-ended commitment that public employers say will remove any limits on the costs they’d have to cover.

What is “reasonable time off and who will determine this?”

Let’s consider if this bill is:

Open? Transparent? Fair? Equitable?

How is it open, transparent, fair and equitable when the bill provides unions with virtually unlimited access to employees’ personal information, including home and cell phone numbers, emails and addresses, while restricting access to that same information to other private entities? This information must be provided every 120 days and within 15 days of a new hire. Including employees’ membership status with the union and email correspondence between the union and employees within a represented bargaining unit.

And it allows unions to use work email systems to conduct union business while prohibiting any other entity or individual from using the same systems to educate on the other options.

I hope these kinds of manipulative tactics, when the state employee truly understands them will build a disdain for these practices of the public unions that attempt to control them and inhibit their free speech and decisions.

Sometimes in the legislature we are accused of nepotism.

So what is the definition of nepotism?

“The practice among those with power or influence of favoring relatives or friends, especially by giving them jobs.” Urban Dictionary

Well, this bill isn’t too far from doing the same thing. It’s certainly no secret that the unions use their numbers, dollars, and influence to elect political party members that put forth a bill such as this in order to curry favor, build their political army and win elections.

This was one of the arguments of free speech that brought about the Janus decision. Because there are a lot of public employees that pay dues that have been spent on a political party that they don’t align with.

HB 2016 also protects the Unions from being liable for unrightfully deducting dues. If the union unrightfully deducts dues from a public employee, the union can only pay damages that do not exceed the amount taken from the employee. No penalties for unethical practices? What are we promoting?

HB 2016 declares the following as an “unfair labor practice”:

Attempting to influence an employee to resign their union membership or abstain from joining the union. (Yet provides union representatives the “right” to meet “one on one” with new employees regarding joining the union)

How is this Fair and Equal treatment?

Open and transparent?

Not allowing both sides to be presented to employees, and now we want to make this law?? Allowing both sides to be heard is basic!

Isn’t this what is done in the court room to bring about justice? Isn’t that what is done in committee to get both sides of a bill we are considering?

You have to ask is this freedom of speech or controlled speech?

What is the threat in allowing an employee to hearing the options?

Does HB 2016 fit with the recent narrative of changing a hostile environment in the work place and the trainings we have all received?

This bill changes the rules on how a union member can “opt-in” by now using telephonic dues deduction authorization. It also allows the unions to determine how an employee may revoke dues payments including the possibility of making them hand deliver their opt-out form.

Is this an intimidation tactic? Is this bullying? Is this the way any of you would like to be treated? Isn’t this the kind of treatment that is so deplorable in large corporations, or any private sector job? And yet it is OK when it comes to public unions???

Not allowing public employees information on all their options regarding their constitutional rights under the Janus decision by the Supreme Court is a threat to their personal liberties and freedoms.

As I said during the committee hearings: “In my opinion this is just an obvious maneuver by the majority party that gives unions a power grab to access employee information unavailable to anyone else”.

And for what? For political advantage and power.

This bill reminds me of the coach that’s winning 50 to 0 at halftime and then comes back in the game and puts the first string back in because he wants to crush the other team so he can show off their dominance.

But in this case, HB 2016 goes further, it eliminates free speech in the work place, allows for protection of possible abuses of improper due collections and gives previously protected information to the union representatives ONLY.

I hope the public union members that understand the abuse of power they are subject to in this bill in order to game the political system, will see the inequity that is being proposed.

Colleagues I recommend a NO vote on HB 2016.

Thank you Madam Speaker

Representative Greg Barreto

House District 58

State Representative for Oregon House District 58

March 29, 2019 Daily Clips


Oregon GOP lawmakers propose tax cuts, credits, deductions


A coalition of Oregon House and Senate Republicans announced Thursday they have introduced “a package of tax-savings bills to help middle class and working families in Oregon,” including a tax-cut proposal for low-income families sponsored by Rep. Tim Knopp, R-Bend. Here’s the Republicans’ news release on the proposals: Entitled the “Keeping Oregon Affordable for Middle Class Families” package, the six bills attempt to put more money back in the pockets of families, seniors, and small businesses who disproportionately are paying for the skyrocketing costs of government. “In the face of record revenues, it’s become clear that the cost of government is being borne by working families, seniors, and those small businesses who are being mandated to do more by the legislature, but still have a higher effective tax rate than the largest corporations in the state,” said Rep. Cedric Hayden (R-Fall Creek). “We believe this package will help Oregonians keep more of their hard-earned money to pay for the most pressing budget items Oregon families face each month.”

Commercial, labor taxes ideas to raise money for schools

Albany Democrat-herald

Lawmakers are moving forward with discussions on three potential tax options that would create hundreds of millions of dollars in additional revenue specifically for Oregon’s schools. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown wants to raise nearly $2 billion for education in the 2019-21 biennium and she’s tasked the Joint Committee on Student Success with making it happen.

Republican lawmaker loses in lawsuit over Oregon Democrats’ 2018 tax law


The Oregon Tax Court sided with Democratic lawmakers on a lawsuit filed last year by a Republican state senator hoping to overturn a controversial tax law. If Sen. Brian Boquist, R-Dallas, had prevailed, the state could have been left with a quarter-billion dollars less in tax revenue in the current two-year budget of $22.5 billion. But the court backed the state in a March 21 ruling, finding that the law that denies an additional tax break for certain business owners complies with the Oregon Constitution. Boquist said on Thursday that he does not plan to appeal.

Audit questions how Oregon spent some of the $11.6 billion received for federal programs in 2018


The Oregon Secretary of State’s annual financial audit of state agencies that receive federal dollars uncovered a number of concerning issues, including questionable costs and data errors within foster care and other welfare programs. Instead of the usual deep dive on a specific issue or agency, the audit takes a sweeping look at federally funded programs and in some cases, examines small sample sets in order to determine potential patterns. Among the findings, audit officials said Thursday that the review of the 2018 fiscal year found Department of Human Services officials had not properly tracked payments to welfare recipients under the federal Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program. That problem led to overpayment in some cases, according to the audit. The review also found inaccuracies in identifying who is eligible for assistance, a recurring problem that the state has faced since 2010.

Report: Oregon Health Authority falls short on fixing Medicaid payment problems

Statesman Journal

The Oregon Health Authority still needs to strengthen its efforts to detect and avoid improper Medicaid payments, the Oregon Secretary of State’s office said Wednesday. The office’s audit division released a follow-up report to a 2017 audit that found widespread problems in the Health Authority’s payment system for Medicaid. The report on Wednesday found that two of the eight recommendations in the audit have been put in place and six recommendations have been partially implemented. OHA officials agreed with all the recommendations.

Oregon Lawmakers Considering New Leniency For Juvenile Inmates

Oregon Public Broadcasting

A package of bills aimed at reducing young inmates’ contact with the state’s adult prison system got its first hearing Thursday, with a weighty contingent of justice officials testifying in support. The proposed changes, worked up over the course of months by a legislative work group, seek to ensure offenders who commit serious crimes as adolescents are given a better chance at rehabilitation. That’s a chance that many testified is sharply reduced once juvenile prisoners in custody of the state’s Oregon Youth Authority are transferred at age 25 to the Oregon Department of Corrections.

Oregon foster kids removed from county juvenile jail that limited tampon access


Oregon child welfare officials are removing foster children from a Klamath Falls residential program located in a county juvenile jail, after lawyers and state lawmakers raised concerns that the girls did not have free access to tampons. Girls recently were given access to three free tampons at a time, but only if they turned over their used hygiene products to staff. Four girls in foster care were assigned to the program as of this week, and the state is moving all of them to other locations by April 1, a Department of Human Services spokesman said.

Senate resolution seeks to heal Modoc War wounds

Portland Tribune

Nearly 150 years ago, the nation’s attention was fixed on a remote area near the Oregon-California border, where about 50 Modoc Indian soldiers were fending off a thousand U.S. Army soldiers from within a fortress of lava beds. The Modoc War was a “David and Goliath war,” in the words of writer and historian Doug Foster. The six-month standoff that ended in 1873 was then the costliest American-Indian conflict in lives lost and money spent. But state Sen. Fred Girod, R-Stayton, says broader awareness of the conflict — and subsequent execution of four Modoc Indians by the federal government — is needed.\


Oregon OxyContin lawsuit remains on track amid massive settlement

Portland Tribune

Oklahoma has settled a lawsuit against Purdue Pharma over the OxyContin manufacturer’s role in the over-prescribing of opioids leading to a national spike in overdoses. The lawsuit mirrors one Oregon has against Purdue, alleging the company targeted the elderly with misleading marketing ploys. Oklahoma, one of about two-dozen states suing the makers of OxyContin, will get $270 million from Purdue after the settlement announced Tuesday, March 26. Kristina Edmunson, spokeswoman for the Oregon Department of Justice, declined to comment on whether the recent settlement could have an impact on Oregon’s case.

Sturgeon fishing to open on lower Columbia River

The Daily Astorian

Fishermen will get a brief shot at landing white sturgeon on the lower Columbia River beginning in May. Oregon and Washington state fishery managers announced Thursday that the river will be open for retention fishing of white sturgeon on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays from May 13 through June 5.


Readers respond: ‘Polluted by money’ kudos


The recent “Polluted By Money” series included some of the best reporting The Oregonian/OregonLive team has done. The series shows Oregon needs a constitutional change to limit the size of donations wealthy individuals and organizations — such as corporations — can contribute to our elected leaders.We should also pay our state legislators a salary that reflects the value of their work to reduce their need to supplement their incomes with campaign cash. The current low salaries create a culture where hiring relatives and using donor cash to pay for dry cleaning is seen as normal, because it does not violate a law.Until we change Oregon’s constitution, we will have to accept the fact we have the best legislature money can buy.

March 28, 2019 Daily Clips


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.


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.


Readers respond: Anti-vaccination is child neglect


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.

Oregon Democrats seek billions of dollars by stacking new tax upon tax

Oregon Democrats seek billions of dollars by stacking new tax upon tax

Majority party pushing new consumption, fuel, payroll and corporate taxes through legislature

SALEM, Oregon – It’s tax season. While Oregonians rush to file their returns by April 15, Democrats are feverishly pushing an array of tax bills that will burden the state’s working families with billions more in taxes – some that won’t even show up on your tax forms.

Already the Democrats are flexing their super-majority muscle by stacking not one, not two, but four new taxes to grab more of Oregonian’s income. Democrats bring you:

  • A statewide consumption tax on business sales;
  • A carbon reduction regulations program;
  • A payroll tax on every employer to fund a new Paid Family Leave program;
  • An increase in the state’s corporate income tax rate.

Oregonians have resoundingly rejected sales tax proposals at the ballot box nine times.  Most recently, nearly 60% of the voters said No to Measure 97. Democrats aren’t risking voter rejection this time. The majority party is poised to pass a hidden sales tax on businesses that will raise the cost of everything you buy. It won’t show up on your grocery or hardware store receipts, but you will be paying for the added cost of living imposed by the Democrats.

The so-called Green Jobs Bill is nothing more than a ruse to foist a powerful new bureaucracy under the governor’s control. Oregonians will see an additional 16-cent per gallon tax at the pump on top of the 12-cent tax Democrats added two years ago. Every time hard-working Oregonians and their families drive to their jobs, to shop, to school, to church, to hunt and fish, they will be paying more. The immediate hike in natural gas prices will also increase the cost of heating Oregonian’s homes.

HB 2146 will raise Oregon’s S Corporation – small business – filing fees nearly 600% to $1,000 annually. It’s a tax that can’t be recovered by any means other than passing it along to customers.

All of this comes while Oregon is taking in record revenue. Why do Democrats insist on more taxes rather than adopting fiscal responsibility?

March 26, Daily Clips


Oregon Cap And Trade Bill Sees Big Changes

Oregon Public Broadcasting

The “Intel exemption” is out, low-income drivers are in and a mess of freebies are on the table for some of Oregon’s largest polluters. Those are a few key takeaways from a massive set of amendments state lawmakers unveiled Monday, as they work to adopt a cap-and-trade system to curb Oregon’s greenhouse gas emissions. Long awaited by interested parties on both sides of the debate over cap and trade, the 130-page amendment package would largely replace a first draft of House Bill 2020 released in January. Since that release, lawmakers have toured the state, sitting through hours of testimony from people who alternately pleaded with them to urgently address climate change and begged them to hold off on the hefty regulatory scheme.

Lawmakers offer first round of compromises on climate change legislation


It’s let’s-make-a-deal time on Oregon’s controversial and potentially far-reaching climate change legislation. After weeks of public hearings and lobbying by individuals and companies that would be affected by the legislation, the co-chairs of the Joint Committee on Carbon Reduction on Monday unveiled the first round of amendments and compromises they are willing to make to pass a cap and trade program. Sen Michael Dembrow, D-Portland, and Rep. Karin Power, D-Milwaukie, co-chairs of the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Carbon Reduction, offered up a substantially revamped version of the legislation on Monday, 125-plus pages of new language and tweaks to the program to make it more attractive to various special interests.

Oregon House approves bill to remove cap on noneconomic injury damages


Oregon would no longer cap damages awarded for so-called “pain and suffering” resulting from bodily injury under a bill approved in Salem Monday. The Oregon House voted 36-22 to advance House Bill 2014 to the Senate. The measure would remove a $500,000 limit on noneconomic damages that was put in place by a 2016 Oregon Supreme Court ruling. Noneconomic damages are defined in the bill as “subjective, nonmonetary losses” and could include emotional distress, humiliation and injury to a person’s reputation.

Oregon Might Finally Join Popular-Vote Movement For Presidential Elections

Oregon Public Broadcasting

For advocates pushing Oregon to join a list of states honoring the national popular vote in presidential elections, it appears the eighth time will be the charm. A dozen years after a proposal to join the National Popular Vote Compact first died in the Legislature, the concept appears poised to pass this year. The reason: The powerful figure who cut down past efforts has changed his approach. Senate President Peter Courtney’s office says he’ll allow a vote on the concept on the floor of the Senate.

Oregon Campaign Finance Reformers Focus On ‘Dark Money’

Oregon Public Broadcasting

A group called Priority Oregon ran more than a million dollars in TV ads criticizing Gov. Kate Brown last year, all while keeping its donors secret. The most controversial ad featured a woman reading young kids a book titled “Kate Brown’s Oregon.” As she reads, she says there are “homeless camps everywhere, foster care children don’t get enough to eat


seniors are abused in nursing homes.” Brown’s campaign unsuccessfully sought to get the ad off the air and the governor recently said that “people were horrified by those ads. I think Oregonians deserve better and they need to know who is funding those campaigns.”

Oregon graduation rate for foster children just 35 percent


Oregon teenagers who spent time in foster care were less than half as likely as their classmates in the class of 2017 to graduate on time. The graduation rate for teenagers who spent any amount of their high school years in foster care was 35 percent, according to figures quietly reported by the Oregon Department of Education at the end of last year. The Oregonian/OregonLive is the first news organization in Oregon to report the abysmally low rate.

Oregon Senate Passes Bill Clarifying Use Of Student Restraint

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Next year, teachers may have a better understanding of what is and isn’t OK when it comes to restraining students. Legislators passed Senate Bill 963 on Monday, a revision on a 2011 bill. The 2011 legislation limited the use of physical restraint and seclusion for Oregon students. But SB963 sponsor Sen. Sara Gelser, D-Corvallis, said she’s heard from families who said the current law allows inappropriate use – a teacher putting their hands around a student’s neck, for example. At the same time, the law could be too restrictive when a student might be in danger.


Oregon state employees once again unable to email the public


For the third time in a year, state of Oregon employees are unable to send emails to many people they would otherwise correspond with for work. The problem originated when an employee’s email account was “compromised,” according to a memorandum sent by the state’s Chief Information Officer Terrence Woods on Thursday.

The Uncertain Fate Of The Canby Ferry

Oregon Public Broadcasting

The Canby Ferry will celebrate its 105th anniversary in July, but it may not celebrate many more as the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners struggles to decide how to keep it afloat with lacking revenue. The ferry, which runs across the Willamette River from Canby to Wilsonville, is one of the last three ferries in the state. It sees an average of 50,000 riders a year, but that hasn’t been enough to weigh its profits from losses.“It varies greatly how much the revenues from tolls fall short of costs. Roughly the average is from $300,000 to $400,000 a year,” said Mike Bezner, Clackamas County’s assistant director of transportation.

Portland tees up $75 million for affordable housing projects

Portland Tribune

Bond-funded affordable housing projects are moving forward as the region struggles with a homeless crisis fueled by a shortage of all kinds of homes. The Portland Housing Bureau announced Wednesday, March 20, that it will make up to $75 million available for projects matched by private funds in April. The city’s funds will come from the $258 million affordable housing bond approved by Portland voters at the November 2016 general election. Project proposals will be due in June with award announcements anticipated by early September.

LTD to launch electronic fare collection in August

The Register-Guard

Starting Aug. 1, Lane Transit District will offer a new way to pay fares when riders board the bus. The transit agency is moving to an electronic fare system where riders will wave a “smart” pass or smartphone app in front of a electronic validator when boarding the bus. LTD will continue to accept cash for fares. Riders can refill the pass with an online account or buy a prepaid pass if they’d don’t want to maintain an account.

BMCC taps into FFA convention to recruit students

East Oregonian

With so many high schoolers gathered in one place at the same time, the Oregon FFA State Convention is a veritable gold mine for college recruiters. “This is our opportunity to get to meet these kids from all over the state,” said Nick Nelson, agriculture instructor at Blue Mountain Community College in Pendleton. “We figure, of all the spots we can recruit, this is number one.”

County tax measures approved for May ballot

Hood River News

Hood River County’s two tax measures — a 5 percent Prepared Food and Beverage Tax and a $0.89 Public Health and Safety Local Option Levy — will be on the May 21 ballot, the county commission decided Monday after a short public hearing. Anticipating a large crowd, the commission moved its regular monthly meeting to the Wy’east Middle School Performing Arts Center, amidst set pieces and props for the ongoing “Mamma Mia!” production. Overall, approximately 40 attended, and eight people gave public testimony.

Hunsinger faces challenger for Port Commission Special district elections held in May

The Daily Astorian

Port of Astoria Commissioner Bill Hunsinger has drawn a challenge in the May special district election from Scott McClaine, a former Port security guard and owner of Clatsop Coin. Hunsinger has served on the Port Commission for the past 12 years. He has emerged as a consistent critic of Jim Knight, the Port’s executive director, and as a watchdog of the agency’s spending.

New Crook County jail close to completion

Bend Bulletin

The difference between the old, aging Crook County jail currently in use and the new one, taking shape next door, could not be more stark. “There is no comparison,” said Crook County Sheriff John Gautney.  The old, 16-bed jail is dark, crowded, escapable and dangerous, with anachronistic touches like actual jail bars and large keys to lock and unlock doors. The new 76-bed facility — about two months shy of a ribbon-cutting — is entirely modern with new features intended to improve safety and security.


Editorial: Bill is bad news for public

Bend Bulletin

Though the measure hasn’t been scheduled for a hearing, if House Bill 2448 were to become law, it would be bad for Oregonians. It should be defeated.  The bill, sponsored by Rep. Mitch Greenlick, D-Portland, would give some chiropractors the right to have their disciplinary records swept under a rug. The state Board of Chiropractic Examiners would have to remove those records from its website, from electronic publications and from print publications accessible to the public. They presumably would remain available on request, but no longer could a person simply check the board’s website to see if a chiropractor had run afoul of the norms of his profession.

Let voters decide on the death penalty

Mail Tribune

Oregonians have been of two minds about the death penalty over the years. That’s why it is especially important to let voters, not the Legislature, have the last say on whether this state should effectively outlaw execution as punishment for the state’s worst crimes. House Bill 3268 would ignore that crucial step. Instead, the measure, sponsored by state Rep. Mitch Greenlick, D-Portland, would simply change the definition of “aggravated murder” to eliminate everyone now on Oregon’s death row. Execution would be available only when two or more were killed in an act of terrorism.