June 14, 2019 Daily Clips

GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS

Oregon Lawmakers Move To Create An Equity Office To Curb Harassment

Oregon Public Broadcasting

More than a year after allegations of sexual misconduct rocked the Oregon Legislature, lawmakers in the House agreed Thursday to overhaul a rule addressing harassment and discrimination and to create a new equity office tasked with improving the Capitol’s workplace culture. The measures now head to the Senate. An investigation by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries concluded that the state Legislature had not done enough to curb hostile and inappropriate interactions. The discussions about harassment often exposed deep political divides, but both parties in the House on Thursday spoke to the importance of making the state Capitol an institution where harassment is not tolerated.

Once Stalled, A Cigarette Tax Hike Is Moving In Oregon Capitol

Oregon Public Broadcasting

With just weeks left in Oregon’s legislative session, Democratic leaders have put another contentious issue on their to-do list: a tobacco tax hike. In a hearing Thursday, the House Revenue Committee took up House Bill 2270, a long-dormant bill to raise taxes on cigarettes and other products. After making substantial amendments, the committee moved the bill on. The bill’s newfound momentum sets up what could be another divisive fight as the session approaches adjournment. As with all revenue-raising measures, three-fifths of lawmakers will have to approve the bill to pass it.

Paid family leave bill tries to avoid political tug of war

Portland Tribune

Nearly all workers in Oregon would gain the right to take paid leave for family and medical reasons under a proposal advancing through the Legislature, but it likely won’t become available until 2023. Under House Bill 2005, employers would have to let an employee — provided she made $1,000 or more during the current or previous year — take up to 18 weeks’ leave to care for a new child or ill family member; to deal with serious health problems, a difficult pregnancy or childbirth, or abuse; or some combination thereof. For up to 12 weeks, plus two more for a medical condition related to pregnancy or childbirth, a person could receive much or all of their pay while on leave.

Oregon could join California, Washington in universal paid family and medical leave

Statesman Journal

Oregon legislators took another stab at developing a paid family and medical leave policy, a top priority for both Democrats and Republicans who are quickly approaching the end of the session. House Bill 2005 passed out of the House Committee on Rules Thursday and will head next to the Joint Committee on Ways and Means. It has not yet received a floor vote in either chamber.  The policy would allow up to 12 weeks of paid leave for new children, sick family members and victims of domestic violence, a number that was negotiated down from 32 weeks in an earlier bill.

Public defenders mobilize for pay, staffing overhaul

The Bend Bulletin

Facing an ever-mounting caseload, dozens of public defenders in Oregon walked out of courthouses and into the Statehouse this week to lobby for a bill that would fix a staffing shortage and an outdated contract payment system that has some attorneys representing more than 200 clients at once. A national watchdog report deemed Oregon’s fixed-fee contract system for paying its public defenders unconstitutional earlier this year, and the ACLU has threatened to sue. But sweeping legislation that would fix the problem has been stalled in a House committee since April — and two weeks remain before lawmakers go home for the year.

Who’s Following The Forest Practices Act? Oregon Can’t Say For Sure.

Oregon Public Broadcasting

lawmakers during a budget hearing and reported his agency’s sterling compliance rate with the laws that govern private logging. “The audit showed an overall rule level compliance rate of 98%,” Daugherty told them. Others aren’t so sure about that. “We don’t know if it’s 98, 99 or 50,” said Brenda McComb, a retired Oregon State University professor who serves on the board overseeing Daugherty’s agency, the Department of Forestry.

Health care companies furious after Legislature moves toward surprise cut in allowable inflation rate

Oregonlive

In the Oregon Health Authority’s supersized $23.1 billion budget, $25 million is practically pocket change. But some of the companies that provide health care to the state’s poorest citizens were furious Thursday after lawmakers cut their allowable annual inflation rate from 3.4 percent to 3.3 percent. That amounts to about $25 million spread among all 16 of the state’s so-called coordinated care organizations. Yet some of the care organizations felt blindsided. “I walked into the Capitol this morning to the sight of a bunch of very excited health care representatives gathered in the rotunda,” said Paul Phillips, a veteran lobbyist who represents several CCOs. “I had to tell a couple of them to settle down.”

Schrader Calls For BIE Director Replacement Over Chemawa Problems

Oregon Public Broadcasting

A leading critic of how the federal government manages a Salem boarding school for Native American students wants changes at the top of the agency supervising the school. The Chemawa Indian School in Salem has faced mounting scrutiny from Oregon’s congressional delegation Rep. Kurt Schrader, D-Oregon, wants Bureau of Indian Education Director Tony Dearman replaced after a tense and combative congressional hearing last month over the management and oversight of Chemawa Indian School, an off-reservation boarding school for Native American students, in Salem.

State Commission Approves Tuition Increases At 3 Oregon Universities

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Substantial tuition increases at three of Oregon’s public universities have been approved by the Higher Education Coordinating Commission. Barring more state funding, tuition will increase by 10% for students at Southern Oregon University, 6.91% at University of Oregon and 6% at the Oregon Institute of Technology. Staff representatives and students from each institution made their case in front of the state commission Thursday. The tuition increases are much lower than initial proposals. Universities reined them in after legislators amended a budget bill to allocate $100 million to public universities, instead of the $40.5 million in the governor’s proposed budget. The budget is not final.

A life devoted to service shared at Sen. Jackie Winters’ Capitol memorial

Statesman Journal

Hundreds came together in the Oregon Senate chamber Thursday to honor Sen. Jackie Winters — a trailblazing stateswoman, dedicated advocate for the vulnerable and friend to many in the state Capitol and Salem community. With great patience and grace, or with a stern look, a wag of her finger or a setting of her lip, she was said to be able to raise her colleagues to believe more in themselves and in their ability to overcome the challenges they faced. Winters, a Republican, had represented Salem in the state Senate since 2003. She died May 29 at the age of 82 after living with lung cancer for nearly two years. Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem, remembered Winters’ last day in the Senate chamber.

Gov. Kate Brown declares June 12 Women Veterans Day

The Register-Guard

For the first time in Oregon history, Governor Kate Brown designated a statewide observance recognizing women veterans — Wednesday was recognized as Women Veterans Day. The date also marks the 71st anniversary of the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act, which acknowledged the great contributions made by women in the military and finally enabled them to serve as regular members of the United States Armed Forces and Reserves.

LOCAL

Innovative Eugene business Bulk Handling Systems develops robotic waste-sorting machines

The Register-Guard

Ever since China stopped accepting U.S. recycled materials at the end of 2017, the future of recycling has been hanging in the balance. But Bulk Handling Systems in Eugene isn’t giving up that easy — in fact, the company is working on new, innovative ways to combat the recycling crisis. “China went away, but there’s still a demand for recycling at a municipal level,” said Peter Raschio, Bulk Handling Systems marketing manager.

$12 million accounting error, soaring pension costs put Beaverton schools in dire straits

Oregonlive

Three hundred and eight. That’s how many faculty and staff positions Beaverton schools officials announced they’d lose over the summer when they rolled out a budget proposal to mitigate a $35 million shortfall. Superintendent Don Grotting’s proposed $500 million budget represented an increase of $11.7 million over this year’s. Community members were incensed, filling school board meetings to demand answers why a district with a steadily increasing budget was making such deep staffing cuts and pulling $9.7 million out of its rainy day fund. At the Capitol, school advocates cited Beaverton’s budgetary straits as evidence the state’s $9 billion school funding plan wasn’t generous enough.

State takes on oversight of developmental disability in Clatsop County

Daily Astorian

Clatsop County will no longer have an oversight role over intellectual and developmental disabilities, as the responsibility for people with autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and epilepsy shifts entirely to the state. The state Department of Human Services will contract with Clatsop Behavioral Healthcare, a private nonprofit, to provide services and work with adult foster homes, group homes and supported living to help about 230 people in need.

OPINION

Readers respond: Send HB 2015 to the voters

Oregonlive

In 1824, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “Men by their constitutions are naturally divided into two parties: 1. Those who fear and distrust the people, and wish to draw all powers from them into the hands of the higher classes. 2. Those who identify themselves with the people, have confidence in them, cherish and consider them as the most honest and safe, although not the most wise depositary of the public interests. “In every country these two parties exist, and in every one where they are free to think, speak, and write, they will declare themselves.”

KEEP AMERICA GREAT

Trump Campaign Considers Oregon for 2020 Election: https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/06/11/trump-campaign-considers-oregon-election/

Biden: “China is going to eat our lunch? Come on, man,” Biden said, pointing out some of China’s systematic problems, like corruption. “I mean, you know, they’re not bad folks, folks. But guess what? They’re not, they’re not competition for us,” Biden said at the time.

TRUMP: “Joe Biden thought China was not a competitor of ours. Joe Biden is a dummy,” Trump told reporters outside the White House Tuesday as he left for his own trip to Iowa. “And China ate our country alive during Obama and Biden. They ate us alive.”

I wonder who China would like to see become POTUS in 2020? https://www.gocomics.com/michaelramirez/2019/05/14

“If the election were held today, Trump would win according to the models — and pretty handily,” Zandi said. “In three or four of them it would be pretty close. He’s got low gas prices, low unemployment and a lot of other political variables at his back”. https://www.breitbart.com/2020-election/2019/06/05/cnn-poll-majority-of-americans-predict-trump-will-win-second-term/

The state of the Democratic primary: https://morningconsult.com/2020-democratic-primary/ HINT – It’s still Old and White and the Nineteen Dwarfs (I think there’s 22 dwarfs now…but who’s counting): https://www.gocomics.com/michaelramirez/2019/05/04

Battle for Iowa: https://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2019/06/11/president-trump-preempts-loser-bidens-big-speech-n2547989

Michigan Republican John James for US Senate in 2020: https://townhall.com/tipsheet/victoriamarshall/2019/06/06/john-james-announces-hes-running-for-senate-in-2020-n2547660

Nobody is that stupid! https://www.gocomics.com/michaelramirez/2019/06/06

Gaffe-machine Joe Biden has been a politician for 47 years and has changed his position on almost every issue at some point in his career (flip-flopper): https://www.gocomics.com/michaelramirez/2019/06/08

“The Democrat Party is definitely going down the path of socialism and government takeover of all of our primary functions”. (RNC Chairwoman McDaniel) https://www.gop.com/chairwoman-mcdaniel-the-case-is-gonna-be-the-economy-economy-economy-period/

TRUMP 2020 – Keep America Great!

Americans for Liberty PAC

Upholding the Constitution in the Tradition of our Founding Fathers

Executive Director Lanny Hildebrandt

1615 4th Street

La Grande, OR  97850

(541) 963-7930

Cap and Trade Bill Takes Constitutionally Allocated Dollars Out Of Oregon Classrooms

SALEM, Oregon — Representative Christine Drazan (R-Canby) released the following statement in reaction to the recent Legislative Council opinion regarding the constitutional implications of the natural gas tax in HB 2020.


“Any revenues from the taxation of natural gas in Oregon must be deposited into the Common School Fund and cannot be used to mitigate climate change. HB 2020 spends millions, but certain natural gas taxes are constitutionally protected. This money belongs in our classrooms.

“Cap and Trade will unconstitutionally divert money away from our children’s education, into the pet projects of unelected bureaucrats. We cannot let that happen,” Rep. Drazan said.


The recently released Legislative Counsel opinion includes a requirement that the tax on natural gas not exceed 6% and that the tax on natural gas must abide by the dormant commerce clause, none of which is included in the language of HB 2020. These additional challenges to the funding and structure of HB 2020, come on the heels of the revelation that cap and trade will harm Oregon’s bond rating and in a matter of years cripple the Highway Trust Fund — effectively reversing recent bipartisan, bicameral legislation adopted to strengthen Oregon’s economy by funding a functional transportation system that efficiently moves people and goods.

“The most recent May 15 legislative opinion makes it clear that Oregon can’t just adopt California’s cap-and-trade scheme. Given what we now know, HB 2020 is not ready for adoption. I encourage my colleagues to take the time necessary to get this right,” Rep. Drazan concluded.


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Weekend Clips June 9, 2019

GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS

Behind Portland’s blockbuster marijuana deal: a Russian billionaire, cannabis consolidation

Oregonlive

A billion dollars for a Portland marijuana company. It’s an astonishing figure. Last month’s deal for Cura Cannabis was the biggest acquisition in the history of legalized marijuana in the United States. It’s a sign of just how quickly the market is emerging. And that’s just the beginning of the story. Curaleaf, the Massachusetts company buying Cura’s recreational marijuana business, is backed by a Russian billionaire whose fortune helped fuel its rise. Investors value the startup at nearly $4 billion and project its value to rise by 20 percent when the all-stock deal for Cura closes. That would make Curaleaf more valuable than all but three public companies in Oregon, were it based here, despite reporting less than $80 million in revenue last year along with a $56 million loss.

Governor, environmental groups rip Oregon’s new wolf plan

Oregonlive

On Friday, the commissioners for Oregon’s Department of Fish and Wildlife voted to adopt the latest iteration of the state’s wolf plan. Within hours, numerous environmental groups issued statements rebuking the plan. And so did Gov. Kate Brown, who oversees the commission. “Governor Brown was clear in her expectations to the agency and the commission: ODFW has a conservation-focused mission,” Kate Kondayen, a spokeswoman for the governor, said in an email. “Efforts in the wolf plan to evaluate depredations and prevent them fail to meet the Governor’s expectations for ensuring the health of the wolf population while also meeting the needs of the ranching community.”

Health Authority Outlines Plan To Reduce Delays At Oregon Psychiatric Hospital

Oregon Public Broadcasting

The Oregon Health Authority released a proposal Friday for how it will deal with the backlog of jail inmates trying to get mental health treatment at the Oregon State Hospital. Right now, there are 44 people who judges around the state have deemed in need of mental health treatment before they can aid in their own criminal defense. They’re waiting inside jails until they can get admitted to the state’s psychiatric hospital. In a two-page memo to staff, OHA Director Patrick Allen said they’re taking steps to reduce the time people are waiting to be admitted and speed up the discharge process for those who no longer need hospital level care. He also stressed the need for funding from state lawmakers for community based mental health services.

Democrat Supermajority in State House Votes to Throw Away Oregon’s Presidential Vote

Oregon GOP Condemns the “Outrageous Betrayal” of the Voters of Our State

Salem, OR –  Today, the Oregon Republican Party released the following statement reacting to the passage of Senate Bill 870 (deceptively promoted as the “National Popular Vote”) by the Democrat supermajority in the Oregon State House:

“Today, the power-drunk Democrat legislators in the House told the voters of Oregon that their votes for President are worthless and that our state’s electoral votes will be decided by larger states,” said Oregon Republican Party Communications Director Kevin Hoar.  “This is an outrageous betrayal of the citizens of smaller states like Oregon, and will discourage candidates from seeking their support.”

“By ramming through Senate Bill 870 Oregon’s elite ruling party is saying that the voters of their own state should have less of a voice in deciding who is elected President.  This is what the Democrat Party of Oregon has become in 2019, and it is pathetic.”


Link to Online Posting:

https://oregon.gop/orp-opposes-sb870-oregon-betrayal-2019-06-05

The Oregon Republican Party is the state’s arm of the Republican National Committee. Its Chairman and officers are dedicated to promoting Republican principles within the state of Oregon and to improving the lives and livelihoods of Oregon’s working families through economic freedom and equal protection under the law.

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June 4, 2019 Daily Clips

GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS

Oregon House speaker: Republicans just wanted to be heard

Oregonlive

Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek said on Monday that she was able to bring an end to Republican delay tactics primarily by improving communication with members of the minority caucus who were “not feeling that they were heard.” The Portland Democrat also said some House Republicans were growing weary of the long hours and looming threat of six-day workweeks necessary to catch up, after they insisted for the last month that bills be read in their entirety before receiving floor votes. They got back to business as usual last week, waiving the bill reading requirement in the Oregon Constitution in order to proceed more quickly. At the time, House Republican Leader Carl Wilson, of Grants Pass, avoided answering questions from reporters for The Oregonian/OregonLive regarding his agreement with Kotek.

Oregon lawmakers want to exempt farmers from new business tax

Oregonlive

Two weeks after Gov. Kate Brown signed a multibillion-dollar business tax and education spending bill into law, a bipartisan group of state lawmakers on Monday proposed broadly exempting agricultural businesses from the tax. Democrats who pushed the new tax through the Legislature on party-line votes wanted to keep the 0.57 percent tax as simple as possible, with few exemptions or special rates for particular industries or businesses. However, the law already contains exemptions for groceries, gas, hospitals and long-term care businesses. The new agricultural carveout introduced on Monday is an example of the pressure lawmakers face going forward to create more industry-specific breaks. House Speaker Tina Kotek on Monday expressed skepticism about the proposal.

Oregon bill aims to crack down on racially motivated 911 calls

Oregonlive

Oregon moved to crack down on racially motivated 911 calls on Monday, responding to a series of publicized incidents across the country where predominantly white civilians called the police on black people going about everyday activities like napping or barbecuing. Victims of those police calls would be able to sue the caller for up to $250, under a measure overwhelmingly approved by state Senate on Monday. It passed the state House in April. The move is a joint effort by three black lawmakers and is meant to “shine a spotlight on an issue African Americans have known for far too long,” according to sponsoring Rep. Janelle Bynum.

Bill To Stop Racially Motivated 911 Calls Passes Oregon Senate

Oregon Public Broadcasting

A measure to prevent racially motivated calls to 911 passed the Oregon Senate on Monday. One of the bill’s chief sponsors, Rep. Janelle Bynum, D-Clackamas, was canvassing for reelection in a Portland suburb last summer when someone called the police on her. It was one of many stories of cops being called on black people who were participating in their normal, everyday activities — from making a call from a hotel lobby to napping in a college dorm common area to barbecuing or mowing the lawn.

Legislature bans landlords from using prior marijuana convictions to reject renters

Oregonlive

The Oregon Legislature has approved a bill that would bar landlords from holding minor marijuana convictions or medical marijuana use against prospective tenants. The bulk of Senate Bill 970 prohibits the owners of manufactured home parks or marinas from interfering with a resident’s choice of real estate agent or subletting the unit while it’s up for sale in certain cases. But the marijuana provisions apply to all rentals across the state. The bill passed with little discussion in either chamber. After winning approval in the House last week, it next heads to Gov. Kate Brown’s desk for signing.

Oregon’s Carbon-Reduction Plan Might Include Hefty Fuel Rebates

Oregon Public Broadcasting

If lawmakers pass a sweeping carbon-reduction proposal this year, nearly a quarter of the money raised under the program could flow back to motorists, farmers and loggers — not to helping the state lower its emissions. Under a bill that passed legislative committee after a single hearing Friday, agricultural and forestry operations could apply for refunds that would compensate them for an expected increase in fuel prices under the cap and trade plan. Much more money might go to lower-income drivers, who could apply for tax credits that ease prices at the pump. The concepts housed in Senate Bill 1051 are designed to help settle Oregonians into a carbon-reduction system that’s central to the state’s plans for battling climate change, but which could raise gasoline prices by more than 16 cents a gallon if it takes effect in 2021.

Oregon Governor Plans To Announce June 7 As Gun Violence Awareness Day

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown will sign a proclamation June 7, declaring it gun violence awareness day. She will be joined by legislators and members of the Oregon chapter of Moms Demand Action, a national gun safety organization that campaigned for Brown in the 2018 election. Hilary Uhlig, the legislative lead for the Oregon chapter, said they were disappointed that the governor sacrificed her promised gun legislation earlier this month to end a Republican walkout and pass a large school funding bill.

Oregon Legislature Passes Bill Banning the Texting of Sexually Explicit Images Without Consent

Willamette Week

Texting a sexually explicit image of another person without their permission is about to be illegal in Oregon. House Bill 2393, which today passed the Senate unanimously by a 28-0 vote, closes a loophole in prior legislation to make spreading intimate images on any medium unlawful. Currently, only sexually explicit images shared on internet websites are considered illegal. This bill extends the law to all mediums—meaning if a person texted an explicit video or photo of a sexual partner to friends, without that partner’s permission, it would be a crime.

LAWMAKERS CONSIDER AMENDMENT TO FUND LEABURG FISH HATCHERY

KEZI

Oregon lawmakers are mulling over an amendment that would fund the Leaburg Fish Hatchery for another two years, but as of now, the hatchery is still set to close on June 30. The move to review the amendment came during a work session for the Joint Subcommittee on Natural Resources for Ways and Means on Senate Bill 5510. The bill funds part of the Oregon Department of Wildlife’s budget through the general fund. During the meeting, Republican Rep. Cedric Hayden of Roseburg and Republican Sen. Fred Girod of Stayton both said they could not vote in favor of the bill without it funding the Leaburg Fish Hatchery. Committee co-chair Democrat Sen. Kathleen Taylor then moved to table the vote until Tuesday as they review the amendment that would send $1.7 million dollars to the hatchery over two years. Hayden told KEZI 9 News keeping the hatchery open would not only help keep trout in area lakes and streams but could also be used to provide a food source to orcas.

Selma Pierce announces interest in Salem Senate seat after Jackie Winters’ death

Statesman Journal

Selma Pierce, a former candidate for the Oregon House of Representatives and retired dentist, announced Monday her interest in replacing the late Sen. Jackie Winters representing District 10 in the state Senate. Winters died Wednesday at the age of 82 after living with lung cancer for nearly two years. Pierce, a Republican, has worked as an aide in Winters’ office during the 2019 legislative session and was considered her heir apparent by some in the Capitol.

LOCAL

Oregon’s New Sex Ed Curriculum Has More Than Just Birds And Bees

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Schools across Oregon are changing their sex education curriculum in response to a state law aimed at preventing child sex abuse.  Oregon passed a version of “Erin’s Law” in 2015, as part of a national movement involving new laws in 36 states. In addition to Erin’s law, Oregon adopted new state standards requiring schools to teach students about consent, gender expression and sexually transmitted diseases starting in kindergarten. But the lessons aren’t the same at 5 as they are at 15.

Ethics Commission launches preliminary review of former PSU President Shoureshi

Oregonlive

The Oregon Government Ethics Commission has launched a preliminary review of Rahmat Shoureshi, the former Portland State University president who resigned under pressure last month. A majority of Portland State’s Board of Trustees pushed for Shoureshi’s departure this spring over concerns that he lied to them, that he had used university resources to benefit himself and that he had mistreated co-workers and members of his staff. A preliminary review is the first step toward a full-blown investigation. The ethics commission will consider the evidence and decide on July 12 whether to proceed with an investigation.

Jury awards $250,000 to former Multnomah County sergeant who claimed retaliation by ex-sheriff

Oregonlive

A Portland jury awarded $250,000 to a former Multnomah County sheriff’s sergeant who claimed now-retired Sheriff Dan Staton retaliated against him for reporting statistics that showed jail staff disproportionately used force against black inmates. After a four-day trial, jurors on Friday found Staton violated Oregon’s whistleblower protection law, after Sgt. Brent Ritchie contended Staton ostracized him in 2015. Multnomah County was listed as the sole defendant and must pay the verdict.

State OKs barbed hooks for salmon, steelhead, trout on Columbia River

East Oregonian

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife adopted temporary rules to allow anglers to use barbed hooks when fishing for salmon, steelhead and trout on the Columbia River. The change went into effect Saturday. The regulatory agency reported it adopted the rule so Oregon’s fishing regulations will remain concurrent with Washington in the jointly managed Columbia River. The rule will remain in effect until further notice, according to the announcement from ODFW, or until it expires in late November. The rule can become permanent only if the state’s Fish and Wildlife Commission approves a rule change, which it plans to consider in the future.

May 30, 2019 Daily Clips

BREAKING NEWS

Jackie Winters, first African-American Republican elected to Oregon legislature, dies at 82

Oregonlive

Jackie Winters, a well-regarded Oregon state senator and the only African-American Republican ever elected to the Legislature, died on Wednesday at 82. Winters was elected to the Oregon House of Representatives in 1999 and the state Senate in 2003. Her legislative district included south Salem, Monmouth and rural portions of Marion County. Winters rose through the Senate ranks to become vice chairwoman of the powerful appropriation committee and in 2017 was named the Republican Caucus leader – the first black person to hold that post.

State Sen. Jackie Winters, Self-Described ‘Fiscal Conservative With A Heart,’ Dies

Oregon Public Broadcasting

State Sen. Jackie Winters, a decades long lawmaker who passionately advocated changes to Oregon’s criminal justice system, passed away Wednesday. Senate President Peter Courtney sent an email shortly after 2:30 p.m., informing lawmakers the 82-year-old Winters had died at Salem Hospital. House Speaker Tina Kotek announced the news during the afternoon House floor session. Winters had spent more than a month away from the Capitol, due to what she’d characterized in April as side effects from “proactive treatment” to keep away lung cancer. She’d been diagnosed with the disease in 2017.

Salem Sen. Jackie Winters succumbs to lung cancer

Portland Tribune

State Sen. Jackie Winters has died. The solemn news was delivered on the House floor by Speaker Tina Kotek, D-Portland, shortly after 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 29, as lawmakers began to get an email announcing her death. Several House members, including Rep. Denyc Boles, R-Salem, and Rep. Theresa Alonso Leon, D-Woodburn, broke into tears. The body stood for a moment of silence to remember Winters, a Salem Republican who was a force in the building known for her progressive work on criminal justice reform as well as a uniter in the Senate Republican caucus.

GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS

Logjam in Oregon House eases, for at least one day

Oregonlive

he reading clerk in the Oregon House got a chance to rest her vocal chords Wednesday. That’s because for the first time in weeks, lawmakers agreed to waive a requirement that all bills be read aloud in their entirety before a vote can be taken. The provision is part of the Oregon Constitution, as is the routine motion typically employed by lawmakers to waive it. Up until a few weeks ago, House Republicans made that motion each day. But when Democrats pushed forward a controversial $2 billion tax and education bill in early May, the GOP stopped agreeing to waive the requirement.

2 Conservative Lawmakers Join Democrats To End Delay In House

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Two of the more conservative members of the Oregon House defected from their party on Wednesday and sided with Democrats to end the reliance of an arcane procedural rule that dramatically slowed the pace of the legislative session. In doing so, the right-leaning lawmakers might have also torpedoed their party’s ability to effectively negotiate with the Democratic supermajority. For nearly a month now, Republicans have relied on a provision in the Constitution requiring that all bills be read in their entirety before final passage. The move has caused the session to slow to an excruciating pace.

Oregon House back on track after 2 Republicans break rank

KTVZ

A GOP stalling tactic to delay progress on Oregon House Democrats’ platform came to an end after two Republicans broke party lines. Reps. Bill Post and Mike Nearman joined House Democrats Wednesday in voting to suspend the requirement that all legislation be read in full. That gave the chamber, overwhelmingly controlled by Democrats, the votes needed to end a month-long stalling tactic that required that hundreds of pages of legislation be read aloud. In a statement, Post says that slowing down House business isn’t productive, given there’s only a month left this legislative session. Democrats have already implemented their main priorities, including a $1 billion school funding package paid for through a new tax on business.

Dozens of lawmakers sign letter supporting delisting of wolves as poll finds public opposition

Oregonlive

Nearly three dozen members of the U.S. House of Representatives, including numerous Pacific Northwest lawmakers, have signed a letter of support for the Trump administration’s plan to strip gray wolves of Endangered Species Act protections. The letter, first reported by the Associated Press, was signed by a group of 35 bipartisan legislators, including Reps. Greg Walden of Oregon, Mike Simpson and Russ Fulcher of Idaho, Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington and Greg Gianforte of Montana.

Pop In Your Headphones, Oregon Lawmakers Have Discovered Podcasting

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Over the years, Oregon’s legislature has seemed vaccinated against the podcast bug. As offerings for downloadable, listen-when-you-want shows have exploded elsewhere, much of Oregon’s political chatter has still been reserved to the Capitol’s hallways and back offices. It’s a building where history is often made, but the future can be slow to catch on. This year, that’s changing. Since February, three lawmakers have begun weekly political podcasts detailing life in the Capitol. Rookie Sens. Shemia Fagan, D-Portland, and Jeff Golden, D-Ashland, have teamed up for a show. State. Rep. Daniel Bonham, R-The Dalles, has a solo effort.

LOCAL

Portland school board approves $694 million budget: 5 things to know

Oregonlive

The Portland school board on Tuesday approved the district’s 2019-20 budget, which includes a $694 million general fund and a few key tweaks to Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero’s original proposal. Chief Financial Officer Cynthia Le told the board an increase in projected state funding and the closure of a charter school, among other things, bolstered the general fund from the $687 million originally proposed. The budget resolution passed 6-1, with board member Paul Anthony the lone vote against it. His contention was that the final budget lacked literacy supports for struggling students.

Depression played part in Parkrose High School student bringing shotgun to class, lawyer says

Oregonlive

Depression played a role in a Parkrose High School student’s decision to bring a shotgun to his class, the teenager’s lawyer said Wednesday. Defense attorney Adam Thayne also cited unspecified mental health issues that led Angel Granados-Diaz to, according to witnesses, pull out the gun from underneath a trench coat after walking into his fourth-period government class before lunch.

A ‘most glaring’ case of pay inequity at University of Oregon

Oregonlive

Jennifer Freyd, professor of psychology at the University of Oregon, has spent years studying the concept of institutional betrayal, including when institutions don’t help right the wrongs committed within them. Now Freyd is battling her own institution in court. She alleges that Oregon failed to properly respond to what her own department chair called a “glaring” pay gap between Freyd and the men she works with — $18,000 less than that of her male peer closest in rank. The case was just dismissed by a federal judge who said that the pay difference was more about the kind of work the men in her department do and the retention raises they’d secured over the years. But research suggests that even these explanations are rooted in issues of gender. Freyd has already filed a notice of intent to appeal.

Newly arrived Portland startup Twistlock sells for $410 million

Oregonlive

Twistlock, an online security startup that moved its headquarters to Portland just last summer, sold Wednesday for $410 million in cash. It’s among the biggest deals ever for a young Portland tech company. Founded in 2015 and previously based in San Francisco, Twistlock’s software is designed to provide online security in cloud computing. The buyer is cybersecurity company Palo Alto Networks.

Anonymous robocalls from landlord group seek to defeat Portland ordinance to ease renter screening

Oregonlive

A industry group for landlords and property managers launched a robocall campaign aimed at drumming up opposition to a proposal that would ease criminal background checks and other screening practices for renters in Portland. The calls didn’t identify their source or provide a return phone number, an apparent violation of Federal Communications Commission regulations. But Multifamily NW, the industry group, acknowledged it had paid a contractor to make the calls.

May 29, 2019 Daily Clips

GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS

What’s The Minority Party To Do? Oregon Republicans Find Ways To Delay

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Republicans in the Oregon state Legislature are outnumbered. Democrats enjoy supermajorities in the House and Senate. They have a governor (who isn’t seeking re-election) in Mahonia Hall. From the start, Democrats made it clear they saw this legislative session as an opportunity to pass a progressive agenda, from raising $2 billion in taxes to fund schools to ushering through a cap-and-trade program aimed at curbing carbon. “The big issue with us [is] we went a number of months without being consulted on any of the major policies being debated here,” said House Minority Leader Carl Wilson, R-Grants Pass. “And only after we went to bill reading did we get someone coming to us and say, ‘OK, this is getting bothersome, what will it take to make you stop this?’”

Never-ending reading: Oregon GOP tries to tie up Legislature

KGW

Republicans have forced a clerk in the Oregon Legislature to read aloud every word in nearly every piece of legislation, giving granular details about farm loans, motor vehicle taxes and other government minutiae as the minority party uses the stalling tactic to try to gain leverage. Democrats have supermajorities in both the state Senate and House, and Republicans are using the strategy to push their own initiatives and weaken Democratic ones. Lawmakers in statehouses and in Congress have a history of turning to delay tactics — sometimes imaginative ones — to stall or kill legislation.

As Oregon House slowdown continues, lawmakers prepare bill to avoid government shutdown

Oregonlive

Legislative budget writers are preparing a backup plan in case lawmakers and the governor don’t finish up their work by the end of June. While that plan, known as a continuing resolution, is a routine part of the legislative process, it comes as Republicans in the Oregon House continue to slow the pace of work by requiring bills to be read in their entirety. With a new budget cycle starting July 1, any state agency without an approved budget would have to close its doors. House Bill 5048 would allow those agencies to continue operating at the spending level approved in the just-expired budget. The money they spend would effectively be borrowed from the new budget, once approved.

Teachers rally at Oregon Capitol against PERS reform bill

KGW

About a dozen teachers convened Tuesday morning at the Oregon Capitol to oppose a piece of legislation they say will siphon money from their retirement accounts. State lawmakers are considering Senate Bill 1049, which would divert retirement contributions from the accounts of public employees to help pay down the public employee retirement system’s $27 billion debt. If the bill is signed into law, most public workers would see a 1-2% reduction in their overall retirement benefits, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting. The bill passed the Senate on May 23 in a narrow 16-12 vote, with three Republicans joining 13 Democrats in voting for the bill. Tuesday was the first reading in the House, and a floor vote is expected sometime this week. Teachers, union officials and others who oppose the bill say it unfairly targets public employees. They’ve also expressed concern that if the bill passes, it would pave the way for future lawmakers to make similar benefit cuts.

Kate Brown signs lower caseworker degree requirements into law

Oregonlive

Gov. Kate Brown on Tuesday signed a bill into law that lowers the degree requirement for child welfare caseworkers. Under House Bill 2033, Oregon can now hire as caseworkers people who hold associate’s degrees and have completed “additional training or additional certification in human services or a field related to human services.” State law previously required workers who investigate reports of child abuse and make decisions about whether to remove children from their families to have earned at least a bachelor’s degree.

Another day, another $40 million request at Oregon’s state capitol

Oregonlive

It’s one entry in a Department of Human Services’ budget document that’s hundreds of pages long. Written in bureaucratic shorthand, it is virtually incomprehensible. That may be no accident. “CW — Backfill TANF over 15 percent admin cap (pkg 107) — $40 million (maintains 2,240 positions”) The translation? The agency needs $40 million from the general fund after determining that it had spent federal money on staffing and administrative costs – money that was supposed to go to the poorest of Oregon’s poor.

Oregon schools will be required to teach about the Holocaust

Oregonlive

Oregon will require public schools to teach about the Holocaust under a measure sent to the governor. Lawmakers unanimously voted Tuesday to add Holocaust instruction to the school curriculum starting in the 2019-2020 school year. Ten other states require some level of genocide education in schools. A recent poll found that one in five American millennials surveyed were unfamiliar with the Holocaust.

Lawmakers discuss bill to drop Oregon’s drinking limit to .05

Oregonlive

Sen. President Peter Courtney didn’t expect to pass a bill to lower Oregon’s legal drinking limit to .05 blood-alcohol content this legislative session, but the Salem leader wanted to start the conversation. On Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee did just that. Courtney, the Salem Democrat, got his wish for an informational hearing on his proposal to lower Oregon’s legal drunken driving limit from .08 to .05. “This bill is about changing the culture we live in,” Courtney told the committee. He likened it to the culture shift undertaken in the early 1980s to lower the legal drinking limit from .10 to .08. Courtney introduced the bill in February but started discussing the idea last year. Oregon wouldn’t be alone if it lowered the legal blood alcohol content level; Utah already lowered its limit to .05, a proposal pushed by the National Transportation Safety Board and other organizations.

Rep. Greg Smith Is a Member of the Select Group That Doles Out State Dollars. He Also Makes a Tidy Living From Public Contracts. It’s Perfectly Legal.

Willamette Week

State Rep. Greg Smith (R-Heppner) may be the best compensated lawmaker in Salem. The high-energy, perennially sunny economic development specialist is the longest-serving member in the state House. The descendant of an Oregon pioneer family, he grew up near Portland, where he became an Eagle Scout and graduated from Barlow High School. Despite his urban beginnings, Smith, 50, long ago adopted the trappings of Eastern Oregon. A sign above the door to his office in the Capitol reads, “My cow died so I don’t need your bull.” Inside the office: a vintage saddle. Smith’s district includes Umatilla, Morrow, Gilliam, Sherman and Wasco counties, and covers great swaths of north Central Oregon: water-starved high desert, rolling wheat fields and, these days, nearly as many wind turbines as people.

LOCAL

Portland-area home prices edge higher; West Coast leads national housing slowdown

Oregonlive

Home prices are merely inching higher in the West Coast metros, including Portland, where they once soared. The West has become the vanguard of a nationwide slowdown, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller home price index. Three California metros, Seattle and Portland all lagged the national average for year-over-year growth in March, and national price growth slowed to 3.7% annually, the slowest in six and a half years.

Myrtle Creek Officials Declare City Water OK To Drink

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Officials in the city of Myrtle Creek, Oregon, are giving the “all clear” to water that was likely compromised by a nearby fuel spill. Investigators have completed two rounds of testing after evidence that automobile fuel had infiltrated one of the city’s water treatment plants. They concluded Tuesday night that the water is now safe to use and consume. “Although taste and odor effects may linger in the system, the water is safe to use for all purposes,” read a statement from the city’s website posted Tuesday evening.

Eugene company helps teen refugees from Myanmar get credit for native language skills

Oregonlive

Students with native or learned ability in languages like Spanish, French, Chinese or Korean could already take foreign-language tests for credit. So with a growing number of Chin students populating Lewisville schools, teachers prodded the district to develop a similar test for those kids to capitalize on an expertise they already possessed. “This is the group, when you look at the percentage of student population that we have, where there were disparities,” said Annie Rivera, Lewisville ISD’s world language administrator. “They had no opportunity to show their skills.” Last fall, the district began working with Avant Assessment, a Eugene, Oregon-based company that develops tests in languages ranging from Vietnamese and Tamil to Amharic and Urdu, to develop proficiency testing for Hakha.

Salem Amazon shipping warehouse opens in August; hiring begins in June

Statesman Journal

Amazon’s packing and shipping center in southeast Salem should open in August, with about 1,000 jobs that are expected to pay at least $15 an hour. Hiring for the 1-million-square-foot building at 4775 Depot Court SE kicks off in June, Amazon spokeswoman Shevaun Brown said Tuesday. Jobs will range from line workers to management positions. The company in January also was advertising management jobs. Amazon is building the crew “from the ground up,” Brown said. The exact headcount is to be determined, but company officials are still tracking toward the 1,000-worker number, she said.

Rights to water stored by Willamette dams up for grabs; cities, farmers, fish compete

Statesman Journal

Billions of gallons of water have been hidden behind the Willamette River Basin’s 13 dams since they were constructed starting in the 1930s. For 30 years, powerful interests including cities, farmers and industry have been slugging it out for access to that water, which has yet to be designated for a use. Fisheries and environmental groups also want a say in how the water is distributed from the dams, operated by the Army Corps of Engineers. We’re talking about stored water — not what flows freely down the Willamette and its tributaries. Who has a right to it, and when, mostly has never been decided. That’s about to change.

Portland failed to meet some of its promises on 10-cent gas tax, audit says

Oregonlive

Portland has fallen behind in delivering dozens of transportation projects described in a 2016 voter-approved gas tax, failed to provide annual audits or updates to City Council and provided “incomplete, inconsistent, and outdated” to a citizen group tasked with monitoring the projects. That’s according to a report from Portland’s Audit Services division released Wednesday. Auditors examined whether the Portland Bureau of Transportation is living up to commitments made before voters approved a 10-cent-per-gallon gas tax in 2016. According to the report, thus far the results are a mixed bag.

Baseball supporters extend talks over Terminal 2 site

Portland Tribune

The group working to bring a Major League Baseball team to Portland announced Tuesday that it has extended its contract with the Port of Portland to study its Terminal 2 site for six more months. The Portland Diamond Project released a statement on May 28 that said it will pay the port $37,500 for each month of the additional due diligence period, beginning on June 1. The statement said the underused terminal is still its preferred site to build a stadium for the team it hopes to acquire.

Liberal Election Forecasts Predict TRUMP 2020 Victory

Nancy Pelosi said last week (in a sarcastic tone) that she is praying for President Donald TRUMP.  The Reverend Franklin Graham is now asking all Christians that we join her in that prayer: https://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article230871584.html

TRUMP tweets a video of Pelosi tripping over her words: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/another-attack-trump-tweets-video-pelosi-tripping-over-words-n1009551

Actor Jon Voight says “President TRUMP is the greatest president since Abraham Lincoln” : https://townhall.com/tipsheet/alexnitzberg/2019/05/25/actor-jon-voight-president-trump-is-the-greatest-president-since-abraham-lincoln-n2546891

Voters credit TRUMP for their optimism on the US job market: https://townhall.com/tipsheet/guybenson/2019/05/23/gallup-voters-views-of-us-job-market-soars-to-new-high-n2546743

Democrats are concerned that their frontrunner (Sleepy Joe Biden) can’t draw a bigger crowd…they have started making excuses for him: https://www.politico.com/story/2019/05/28/biden-energy-crisis-1345359 AND Biden is still the (old white) man to beat: https://www.gocomics.com/michaelramirez/2019/05/04https://www.gocomics.com/michaelramirez/2019/05/04

“TRUMP’s Formidable 2020 Tailwind” – NYT (New York Slime’s) commentary: https://www.axios.com/trump-2020-presidential-election-forecast-models-b9a95aca-7f25-4c6a-af91-720b7828afa5.html AND here: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/27/opinion/trumps-formidable-2020-tailwind.html

Is it time for a divorce? https://thefederalist.com/2018/04/10/time-united-states-divorce-things-get-dangerous/

Kurt Schlichter – It’s Time for America to Break Up With Liberals: https://townhall.com/columnists/kurtschlichter/2019/02/18/its-time-for-america-to-break-up-with-liberals-n2541622

Americans for Liberty PAC

Upholding the Constitution in the Tradition of our Founding Fathers

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1615 4th Street

La Grande, OR  97850

(541) 963-7930

May 28, 2019 Daily Clips

GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS

Lawmaker casts sole vote against bill that would give more time for rape survivors to sue

KATU

State Rep. Janelle Bynum, D-Clackamas, cast the sole vote in Oregon’s House of Representatives against a bill that several rape survivors passionately support. “It’s not popular to protect the accused but it is our job,” Bynum told her fellow lawmakers last month. The bill would extend the statute of limitations for survivors to file civil suits in sexual assault cases. Right now adult victims of sex crimes have just two years to file a lawsuit. It’s the same amount of time you have in Oregon to file a civil suit over damages from a car crash. “Adult victims deserve options other than praying that the police do the right thing.” Caitlin Speck explained to the Senate Judiciary Committee Monday, telling them she’s a rape survivor. “The criminal justice system failed me in every possible way.”

As Oregon Tries To Fix Public Defense, Potential Lawsuit Looms

Oregon Public Broadcasting

earlier this month, Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Dailey took the bench in her seventh floor courtroom in downtown Portland. “Make sure you talk with your lawyer,” Dailey said. “There are only a couple lawyers helping all of you. They can only do one case at a time, so this process does take patience.” Dailey was overseeing treatment court, a program for nonviolent offenders with drug related arrests. The idea is to keep these defendants out of jail and use the threat of criminal charges to make sure they go through treatment.

Lawmakers consider plan to make some bucks off the Oregon state seal

Oregonlive

The seal of the state of Oregon adorns mugs, t-shirts, key chains and all sorts of doodads and knickknacks that are for sale in gift shops in many corners of the state. Somebody is making money selling all that stuff, and now Oregon lawmakers want a piece of the action. A legislative budget committee is set to vote Thursday on Senate Bill 803, which would prohibit the commercial use of the state seal without a licensing agreement from the Oregon Secretary of State. Companies would have to pay a licensing fee and royalties from the sale of the products.

Oregon’s gigabit tax break went badly wrong, then proved hard to undo

Oregonlive

In 2015, every single lawmaker in the Oregon Legislature voted for a tax break for internet providers. This month the Legislature was nearly unanimous in voting to repeal it. In between were four years of a tax break that cost taxpayers millions of dollars and never did what lawmakers hoped it would. And they found it was unexpectedly hard to kill. Oregon’s gigabit tax break was the centerpiece of a failed effort to lure Google Fiber to Portland. Google never came and other companies swooped in to lock in the savings for themselves. The tax break, whose repeal is now on Gov. Kate Brown’s desk, stands as a cautionary tale. It’s a bipartisan failing that shows what can happen when legislators wade into the complexities of tax policies and technology without fully understanding the implications.

To Re-Dissolve Damascus, Clackamas County Looks To Salem

Clackamas County leaders want Oregon lawmakers to intervene and settle confusion over the status of the city of Damascus once and for all. Lawmakers are looking to find a quick solution that would pass legal muster, and have necessary political support, in the waning weeks of a busy legislative session. It’s a tall order, considering that charting Damascus’ future has been a challenge for city, county, regional and state officials since the turn of the century.

LOCAL

Portland high school students walk out, say they’re fed up with lackluster responses to racist incident

Oregonlive

Synceire Bivens just wanted the world to know what happened. In late April, a girl at Wilson High School yelled the n-word at a group of black boys, and video of the incident began circulating on Snapchat. The footage started fights, eventually putting the school on lockdown as police heard another brawl may be brewing. Administrators issued a statement, saying the lockout was a “precautionary measure” made necessary by a “potential threat by a student.” “They didn’t say anything about the n-word,” Bivens, a sophomore and president of the school’s Black Student Union, said. “Instead, a lot of parents only learned about it when they read it in The Oregonian.”

Tourism leaders look at impacts on natural resources

The Daily Astorian

Staff with the Haystack Rock Awareness Program know one side of Cannon Beach’s popular landmark is not like the other. The tide pools that are open for the public to walk near and poke their fingers into have a wealth of creatures, but even more life abounds in the areas closed off to people, said Alan Quimby, an environmental interpreter for the outreach and educational organization, during a busy April morning at low tide. That morning, he was splitting his time between pointing out puffins and reminding people to stay out of the protected marine garden around Haystack Rock. They kept coming anyway, seemingly deaf to the instructions Quimby gave prior groups and oblivious to signs that told them to stay out

Hemp poised to become major crop

The Register Guard

As a cannabis activist for 50 years and an industrial hemp activist for 25, Dave Seber truly believes hemp is the 800-pound gorilla sitting at the back of the room. “It has 25,000 to 50,000 different uses, and we’re hardly exploiting any of them,” Seber said. “If we don’t develop this crop, I don’t see a future for the human species. It is the only thing that might help mediate a bunch of damage we’ve done in other areas.” Seber is owner of Hemp Shield in Eugene, which produces a hemp seed oil wood finisher and sealant. The oil is smaller than other coatings and can permeate the wood better for that reason; not to mention that it is one of the greenest options in the marketplace, he said.

Umatilla County board readies to hear charter proposals

East Oregonian

The Umatilla County Board of Commissioners hears first-hand Wednesday for the first time from the committee making recommendations to change county government. The county board more than a year ago formed the Charter Review Committee to analyze and suggest changes to the charter, the founding document for the structure and function of Umatilla County’s government. The nine-member group decided at the end of April to recommend major reforms, starting with an overhaul of the board of commissioners.