Daily Clips

 

HOUSE REPUBLICAN OFFICE

GOVERNMENT & POLITICS

 

Oregonians will save nearly $1.5 billion annually under tax overhaul, state analysis finds

The Oregonian

The tax overhaul President Donald Trump signed last month will save Oregon taxpayers nearly $1.5 billion a year, according to a new state analysis out this week. That works out to $840 per tax filer, substantially more than state forecasters estimated last fall, though savings will vary enormously from taxpayer to taxpayer. And a small percentage of Oregon taxpayers actually face a tax increase under the new tax code, according to the new analysis from the Legislative Revenue Office.

 

Understanding Oregon’s ‘cap and invest’ climate bills

The Oregonian

Oregon lawmakers this week dove into the most complicated and controversial debate of the upcoming 35-day legislative session: legislation that sets up a market-based, carrot-and-stick approach to reducing greenhouse gas pollution. The two bills will pit environmental advocates determined to see the state do more to combat climate change against business interests who believe the policy is either not ready for primetime or, worse, a job-killing energy sales tax that will deliver little benefit for the planet.

 

Oregon’s plan for more childcare regulators still ‘substandard,’ lawmaker says

The Oregonian

Oregon lawmakers on Friday offered a tepid response to Gov. Kate Brown’s new plan to beef up oversight of day cares, praising the effort while simultaneously questioning if it goes far enough fast enough. Childcare regulators unveiled specific details of the plan during a meeting of a House committee on early childhood development. Among other things, the proposal would increase maximum fines for rule-breaking day cares while closing a licensing loophole that can allow bad providers to escape consequences. But committee members questioned if the state’s bid to create 14 new positions would actually move the needle and help ensure kids are safe.

 

Bridge ban bill, ballot measures on tap for lawmakers

Bend Bulletin

After 37 committee hearings, major announcements by the governor and secretary of state, special election debates and scores of one-on-one chats among lawmakers, lobbyists and constituents, a hyper-busy week at the Capitol has wrapped up.

 

Gov. Kate Brown names new state schools chief for Oregon

The Oregonian

Colt Gill, who served as Oregon’s inaugural “education innovation officer,” was named the permanent head of the Oregon Department of Education Friday. Gov. Kate Brown, who created the job of education innovation officer and put Gill in it, said in a statement that she trusts his leadership and insight to improve Oregon’s low high school graduation rate and improve the quality of education the state’s children receive.

 

New student success committee faces ‘impossible mission’

Statesman Journal

The Legislature’s presiding officers, House Speaker Tina Kotek, D-Portland, and Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem, laid out in no uncertain terms Friday the challenges ahead for members of the new Joint Committee on Student Success. Facing low graduation rates, large class sizes, school inequality, limited funding, prohibitive fees and years of ineffectual policy fixes, this committee is tasked with understanding the challenges that face Oregon K-12 schools and devising innovative ways to solve them, potentially changing significant aspects of the state’s schooling system.

 

Oregon NAACP leaders say state did not fairly allocate funds for black students

Statesman Journal

Oregon NAACP leaders say the Oregon Department of Education unfairly allocated millions of taxpayer dollars meant to help African-American students statewide succeed. The Oregon Legislature passed House Bill 2016 in 2015, earmarking nearly $2.7 million in general funds that ended up being divided between four Portland-based programs serving black students and their families.

 

Gelser and Republicans Push Back on Cuts to Services for Disabled Kids

The Lund Report

Oregon provides all eligible families who apply with caretaker supports and equipment that make it easier for children to live at home with their parents – but funds for that money-saving approach were slated to be cut.

 

State could boost fee by $55

Baker City Herald

A state representative from Portland wants to raise some document recording fees collected by county clerks from $20 to $75. The fee applies to real estate document recordings such as deeds, easements, mortgages, mining location documents and liens. Baker County Clerk Cindy Carpenter said she’s concerned about how the proposal by Democratic Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer would affect local residents.

 

To Scrap Non-Unanimous Jury Verdicts, District Attorneys May Want Something In Return

Willamette Week

The revelation that Oregon’s district attorneys are proposing an end to non-unanimous jury convictions may have obscured the full scope of prosecutors’ intentions on changing the state constitution. The Oregon District Attorneys Association is considering a ballot initiative that would also strip defendants of the right to waive a jury trial and ask for a bench trial, in which a judge, rather than jury, decides guilt or innocence.

 

ELECTIONS

 

Oregon Measure 101 pits hospitals and Medicaid patients against anti-tax Republicans

Register-Guard

Supporters and opponents of Measure 101 agree on one thing: The measure, at its core, is a question of how Oregon pays for growing Medicaid costs. Opponents call the taxes unfair, because insurers could pass the 1.5 percent tax on to group health care plans purchased by small businesses and college students.

 

Ballots Trickling In for Jan. 23 Special Election on Measure 101

Willamette Week

Voters must be too busy shopping January sales or reading “Fire and Fury” to fill out their ballots on Measure 101, the only issue in the Jan. 23 special election.

Turnout in Mutlnomah County so far is 16.42 percent, a little higher than the statewide number of about 13 percent.

 

Local doctors, healthcare experts weigh in on Measure 101

Herald and News

Opponents of Measure 101 say they have concerns about new taxes being imposed on private insurance carriers. But many local doctors and healthcare providers say there could be harsher economic impacts on middle- and low-income Klamath County residents, which could start with hospital fees rising if Measure 101 fails.

 

ENVIRONMENT & NATURAL RESOURCES

 

Zinke to reconsider drilling off Oregon, according to Governor’s office

Statesman Journal

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke agreed to consider exempting Oregon from the Trump administration’s offshore drilling plan after speaking with Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, her office said Friday. Brown previously criticized Zinke for the plan to resume drilling for oil and gas off the shores of the United States, saying it would endanger Oregon’s coast.

 

In the shadow of marijuana, hemp industry is starting to develop

Bend Bulletin

Marijuana, the psychoactive variant of the cannabis plant, has drawn headlines and controversy since Measure 91 passed in Oregon, with even small Deschutes County marijuana facilities drawing the ire of neighbors. Hemp has seen its own growth in the shadow of its psychoactive cousin, however, in Deschutes County and across the country. And some industry advocates believe this is only the beginning.

 

Federal court approves killing barred owls for spotted owl protection

Daily Astorian

Killing barred owls to help threatened spotted owls isn’t prohibited by an international treaty aimed at protecting migratory birds, according to a federal appeals court. Since 2013, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has shot barred owls as part of an ongoing study to see if their removal will mitigate the decline of spotted owls, which are smaller and more sensitive to habitat disturbances.

 

OPINION

 

Editorial: Yes, ethics matter to Oregonians

The Oregonian Editorial Board

For Oregon, there couldn’t be a better time for such a confirmation of the need for a strong, vibrant local press and increasingly aggressive watchdog agencies such as the Government Ethics Commission. Without those questions and pressure to produce public documents, the first couple likely would have pushed on with their ambitious plans, which called for further expansions of Hayes’ roles and responsibilities. Without this ruling, Kitzhaber and Hayes could have continued on with their misplaced criticisms and disingenuous narrative.

 

Stop complaining about sexual harassment training

Statesman Journal Editorial Board

We believe it was money and time well spent to ensure that every worker feels safe in their workplace. We wish Post had used his air time, even if he did not appreciate the training, to tell his listeners about why such training is so important in today’s social climate. Instead of complaining about having to attend, he could have been the example for those who get it and those who don’t. What a wasted opportunity.

 

Guest: Measure 101: Health care tax unfair, unsustainable

Reps Cedric Hayden and Julie Parrish

We know Oregonians value having health coverage. In fact, we’re grateful to the nearly 90,000 Oregonians who signed a petition — Democrats, Republicans and independents alike — who believe lawmakers failed the everyday citizen without a lobbyist or who cannot afford to write out-sized campaign checks. They deserved to have legislation crafted in the light of day, and not in a backroom deal with only one public hearing before the vote. If Medicaid is a shared obligation, then we all need skin in the game. Join us in voting no on Measure 101, and demand lawmakers pass a Medicaid package that is fair, equitable and sustainable.

 

Guest: Yes vote will bolster preventive care

Anthony Biglan, Oregon Research Institute

For the past couple years I’ve been working with communities and states around the country on how they can identify and implement tested and effective prevention programs. I am proud to say that Oregon is on the cutting edge of developing a health care system that improves the health and well-being of all Oregonians, not simply by providing treatment once people become ill, but by preventing illness from ever happening. It would be a tragedy if the advances Oregon is making were halted by the defeat of Measure 101.

 

Editorial: Kill the new Deschutes footbridge ban

Bend Bulletin

The new bill, in its LC 49 form, is an outright ban on a footbridge in this stretch of river. By passing this bill, legislators would have the dubious distinction of making themselves the great saviors of the riverside views of a few and purge easy access for many in Bend to Central Oregon’s beauty.

 

Editorial: Don’t change rules to ban state school board member

Bend Bulletin

Legislators shouldn’t manipulate the rules to silence voices they don’t like. But that appears to be what’s at work with a proposed bill to change who can sit on the State Board of Education.

 

Our view: Tips and kicks

East Oregonian

As we prepare for the beginning of the Legislature, we tip our hat to one priority that Gov. Kate Brown hopes to accomplish during the short session. That priority is affordable housing. Her proposal to allow the state to temporarily waive fees and education requirements — in favor of on the job training experience — for construction professionals to obtain supervisory licenses makes sense. We especially appreciate the idea of instituting low-cost Business Oregon loans that would allow subcontractors to work on affordable buildings in rural Oregon.

 

Editorial: Drill here but not there? Heck, no

The Daily Astorian

But even if you take those suspicions out of the equation, the Florida exception simply fails to meet the fair play sniff test. That state’s concerns are legitimate — and exactly the same as ours. It is perfectly reasonable that we demand equal treatment. The only bright spot in this controversy is that elements of the negative reaction are likely to cross party lines with equal passion.

 

Column: We who have health coverage will decide Measure 101

Tim Nesbitt

Tax fairness is a legitimate concern. But we should also consider what these taxes buy. In this case, I’m more concerned about what will happen if we who have coverage reject the Legislature’s plan for those who just got it and will otherwise lose it.

 

Guest: Giving every student the opportunity to succeed

Rep. Smith Warner and Sen. Arnie Roblan

Oregon’s future depends on giving every student an equal opportunity at success. If students are a top priority, state funding and local spending should reflect that. We’ve set ambitious goals to meet the needs of Oregon’s current and future students. They are depending on us to meet that challenge. To do that, we must put them first.

 

Editorial: State should crack down on RV dumping

Mail Tribune

State lawmakers, who go into session next month, should consider increasing the seriousness of this offense beyond the level of a traffic ticket. If RV dumpers know they could face jail time, they might think twice before unloading their problem on others.

 

Column: In Oregon, progressivism spills over at the pump

George Will

To be fair, when Oregonians flinch from a rendezvous with an unattended gas pump, progressive government has done its duty, as it understands this. It wants the governed to become used to having things done for them, as by “trained and certified” gas pumpers. Progressives are proud believers in providing experts — usually themselves — to help the rest of us cope with life. The only downside is that, as Alexis de Tocqueville anticipated, such government, by being the “shepherd” of the governed, can “take away from them entirely the trouble of thinking” and keep them “fixed irrevocably in childhood.”

DAILY CLIPS

 

HOUSE REPUBLICAN OFFICE

STATE GOVERNMENT & POLITICS

 

Q&A: How Oregon’s Cap And Trade System Would Work

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Over time, the cap on emissions will come down and there will be fewer pollution permits available. So companies will have to reduce their emissions, spend more on permits or buy credits to offset their emissions.

 

5 Things for Thursday, including Gov. Brown’s coastal outrage and reefer’s reckoning

Portland Business Journal

If you need a little jolt to get going on this dreary Thursday morning, today’s 5 Things should do the trick. Big real estate news? Check. Kate Brown taking on Trump? Check. A cloud over the Oregon cannabis industry? Check that, too.

 

Lawmakers, lobbyists get harassment training

The Associated Press

For the first time, the training was offered to executive branch employees, lobbyists and others who work in the Capitol, said Senate President Peter Courtney, a Democrat. Previously, it was required for legislators and legislative employees.

 

MEASURE 101

 

Oregon hospitals spend big on campaign to pass health care taxes

The Oregonian

Their war chest, bolstered by money from unions and the Providence medical network, has enabled the pro-tax side to reach voters with a slew of TV and Internet ads and colorful mailers.

The “no” side, by contrast, has spent its much tinier publicity budget mostly on yard signs.

 

Leading Candidates for Governor Disagree on Measure 101: Brown’s a “Yes,” Buehler a “No”

Willamette Week

The two leading candidates for governor face very different decisions on Measure 101, the partial repeal of a Medicaid funding measure on the Jan. 23 ballot. Neither incumbent Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, or her probable opponent, state Rep. Knute Buehler (R-Bend), has said a lot about the Measure 101 thus far.

 

Measure 101 Forum: Many ask about impact on school districts

Gazette-Times

Sen. Sara Gelser, D-Corvallis, who is in favor of 101, said the state of Oregon has accounted for the $25 million cost to school districts if the measure passes. Gelser said districts will not have to lay off teachers or cut programs if voters approves the taxes. She also said that school districts benefit when students and their families are healthy. Further, she said, many education associations, such as the Oregon School Boards Association and Oregon School Employees Association, support the measure.

 

If Measure 101 Fails, Cuts Could Range From Health Care To Schools

Oregon Public Broadcasting

If Oregon voters reject new health care taxes on Jan. 23, legislators will have to scramble.

The big issues: Will they figure out ways to get the needed money or do people on Medicaid face big cuts? And could the budget pain even extend to schools?

 

Debate on Measure 101 creates hardball on health care

Bend Bulletin

The hardball politics of the legislative fight and the steamroller of signatures by opponents seemed a preamble to a big-spending, high-volume, take-no-prisoners campaign — a somewhat smaller version of the Measure 97 campaign. That November 2016 campaign around a corporate tax brought out the wallets of major donors on both sides. In the end, the ballot measure lost.

 

VETERANS

 

Roseburg VA Has Highest Opioid Prescription Rates Nationwide

Oregon Public Broadcasting

The data shows opioid prescription rates range from 3 percent at the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center in Ohio to 20 percent at Roseburg  — the highest among VA hospitals in the country. “At today’s meeting with VA officials to provide an update on their investigation, I heard that steps have been taken to improve care for veterans in VA’s Roseburg system,” Wyden said. “I have asked for follow-up on those steps and others that officials told us are forthcoming.”

 

Removal of some top managers and other changes may be in the works for Veterans Affairs health care system in Roseburg

Register-Guard

The Veterans Affairs health care system in Roseburg will remove some senior managers and make other changes, U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio said Thursday after meeting with high-ranking VA officials. Those changes will affect ­operations at the VA clinic in northeast Eugene, part of the VA Roseburg Healthcare System.

 

MARIJUANA

Deschutes County tackles water use for pot farms

Bend Bulletin

As part of a series of public meetings with various stakeholder groups, the commission met with representatives from Central Oregon Irrigation District, Tumalo Irrigation District and Oregon Water Resources Department on Wednesday afternoon, in order to get industry insight into how federal, state and local water laws impact marijuana cultivation.

 

OPINION

 

Guest: U.S. Attorney: A call for transparency and action on marijuana

Billy Williams, Oregon US Attorney

In the coming days, I will send invitations to federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement, public health organizations, Oregon marijuana interests and concerned citizen groups to attend a summit to address and remedy these and other concerns. This summit and the state’s response will inform our federal enforcement strategy. How we move forward will depend in large measure on how the state responds to the gaps we have identified. Until then it would be an inappropriate abdication of my duties to issue any blanket proclamations on our marijuana enforcement strategy in light of federal law.

 

Editorial: A tax should be called a tax

Bend Bulletin

Oregonians are under no obligation to believe it when legislators try to argue this carbon-pricing bill is not a tax. It may not work like most taxes, but it sure works like a tax.

 

Editorial: Avoiding offshore drilling

Register-Guard

Governors of those states who do not want the ban on offshore drilling lifted — and so far that’s just about all of them — should treat Florida’s successful appeal as a template for their own appeals. Zinke has said he based his decision on that appeal. Refusing to keep protections in place for other states, who make exactly the same arguments as Scott, is going to be very difficult for Zinke.

 

Small Business Optimism Update

Economists Credit Trump for U.S. Growth, Hiring and Stocks: https://www.wsj.com/articles/economists-credit-trump-as-tailwind-for-u-s-growth-hiring-and-stocks-1515682893

America’s Small Business Optimism Hit Record High in 2017: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/01/09/americas-small-business-optimism-hit-record-high-2017/

Poll: View of Economy Is at Record High: https://townhall.com/tipsheet/leahbarkoukis/2018/01/11/poll-voters-perception-of-economy-at-record-high-n2433061

Dow spikes 205 points to record close: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/11/us-stocks-earnings-season-delta-walmart.html

Alabama Lands $1.6 Billion Toyota-Mazda Plant: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/01/10/alabama-lands-1-6-billion-toyota-mazda-plant/

Number of Americans Receiving Unemployment Benefits Falls to 44-Year Low: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/01/11/number-americans-unemployment-benefits-falls-44-year-low/

Winning: Walmart Raises Wages, Gives Bonuses to Over One Million Employees Thanks to Tax Reform: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/01/11/walmart-will-raise-wages-give-bonuses-thanks-tax-cuts-jobs-act/

GOP Tax Cut Bill Here: http://www.gocomics.com/michaelramirez/2017/12/26 and here: http://www.gocomics.com/michaelramirez/2017/12/05

“We will make America strong again. We will make America proud again. We will make America safe again. And we will make America great again”. Donald Trump

Lanny Hildebrandt MBA CPA

DAILY CLIPS

 

HOUSE REPUBLICAN OFFICE

STATE GOVERNMENT & POLITICS

 

Lawmakers unveil ‘cap and invest’ carbon pricing bills

The Oregonian

That’s the bare-bones concept. In practice, such a program would be far more complicated, involving carve-outs and free allowances for various industry sectors, possible linkage with allowance markets in California and Canada, and a complex prescription for the use of the auction proceeds.  In fact, opponents contend the legislation is so complicated that it can’t possibly be adequately vetted in a 35-day session and should wait for next year’s regular legislative session.

 

Interest groups respond to ‘cap and invest’ bill

Portland Tribune

Mark Johnson, OBI president and CEO, said the program would drive up prices on consumers and drive away businesses from the state. “Unfortunately, the legislation introduced (Monday) is an example of misplaced priorities,” Johnson said. “Greenhouse gas emissions are decreasing, while Oregon’s fiscal crisis is worsening. Rather than pushing a complex, costly program to address an issue that businesses already are making progress on, legislators need to focus on a problem only they can fix — Oregon’s fiscal instability.”

 

Oregon business groups blast cap-and-trade bills

Portland Business Journal

In their critiques, the Oregon Farm Bureau and Northwest Food Processors Association focused on cost. Here’s the full text of all three groups’ statements:

 

Legislation reducing Oregon carbon emissions set for 2018 session

Statesman Journal

Sen. Michael Dembrow, D-Portland, and Rep. Ken Helm, D-Beaverton, have worked for more than a year to develop the legislation, convening work groups that met last fall to refine a bill introduced during the last week of the 2017 session. “The administration in Washington, D.C., has made no secret of a purposeful shift in policy to prop up fossil fuels and abdicate America’s leadership in a 21st Century economy,” Dembrow said in a statement. “That’s the wrong approach. In Oregon, we see the huge opportunity before us, both economically and in a leadership role. We’re going to take it.”

 

Guns, PERS among Brown’s legislative priorities

East Oregonian

Gov. Kate Brown’s priorities for the 2018 legislative session include efforts to pay down the state’s public pension liability and tighten restrictions on gun ownership. Brown, who is running for reelection in November, released five proposals Wednesday, ahead of the short session that begins Feb. 5 and will last up to 35 days. Here are the governor’s proposals:

 

State appoints public records law panelists

Register-Guard

Carrying out a new state law, Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum has appointed a statewide committee to review and make recommendations on Oregon’s public records laws. HB 2101 requires committee members to represent a variety of sectors or interest groups. The members, appointed this month, are:

 

Ethics Commissioner on Oregon’s Disgraced First Couple: “A Case Study in What You Are Not Supposed to Do in Public Office”

Willamette Week

Commissioners voted to move forward with fining Hayes for 22 of the 23 violations Scheffers cited in her report. (They decided an allegation that she’d misused the Oregon State Police security detail fell into a gray area.) It remains to be seen whether Hayes will contest the proposed fines of up to $110,000 and the possible forfeiture of her contract earnings, and how a pending ethics commission complaint against Kitzhaber will be resolved in February.

 

As minimum wage increases, farmers look to adapt

Capitol Press

Farmers are adapting to rising minimum wages around the Northwest through new technology and more efficient cropping systems, according to industry groups and economists.

 

MEASURE 101

 

State Rep. Julie Parrish Is Oregon’s Most Potent Populist. But Measure 101 Threatens the People She Claims to Represent

Willamette Week

Parrish claims she’s fighting for the little guy, who she says would pay a disproportionate share of the new Medicaid taxes. Measure 101 demonstrates how effective her outsider appeal can be. Yet observers are puzzled this is the fight Parrish chose. The issue is confusing and could backfire on her. A loss won’t burnish her brand. And if Parrish wins, she creates a budget crisis and deprives tens of thousands of the people she professes to cherish of their health insurance.

“Either way,” says Kevin Mannix, the state’s longtime conservative ballot-measure king, “it’s a big risk.”

 

Answers To Your Questions About Measure 101—Including How You Should Vote

Willamette Week

On Jan. 23, Oregonians will decide the outcome of a rare, single-issue ballot. Let’s walk through the key questions surrounding your vote.

 

Oregon Measure 101: How Did We Get Here?

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Measure 101 has its roots back in the era of former Gov. John Kitzhaber, the emergency room doctor who wanted to remake the way Oregon handles health care. Kitzhaber’s main legacy, beyond the scandal that ended his tenure as governor, is the expansion of health insurance for poor Oregonians in the form of the Oregon Health Plan, the state’s version of Medicaid.

 

EDUCATION

 

Audit: Portland schools accounting in disarray, millions not properly tracked

The Oregonian

Financial staffers at Portland Public Schools could not manage to keep accurate tabs on tens of millions the district had on hand and millions more it owed, a new audit has found. As a result, the Portland school board Tuesday unanimously approved new training and procedures designed to correct the big flaws in its money monitoring system.

 

OTHER NEWS

 

Portland Council Calls On Oregon’s Top Prosecutor To Defend Cannabis

Oregon Public Broadcasting

“We strongly oppose any action from the Justice Department on cannabis enforcement that would subvert the will of voters in Oregon and other states,” Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and the other city commissioners wrote in their letter to Williams. They argued that “cannabis prohibition has failed” and should be left in the past. “It has especially failed communities of color disproportionately targeted and prosecuted for low-level drug offenses,” the council wrote.

 

OPINION

 

Editorial: Legislators should not hide their connection to bills

Bend Bulletin

Twice in the last two years, the Legislature’s Republicans have sought to end the use of committee bills, with limited success. In 2016 the House approved a rule change that bans anonymous committee amendments, but efforts last year to end the secrecy altogether stalled.

Oregonians deserve better.

 

Editorial: Climate change bill is not ready

Bend Bulletin

We might be considered old-fashioned, but before the Legislature passes a climate change bill, it should be clear which businesses will have to pay up and which get a pass. The major climate change bill scheduled for the February session doesn’t do that. It doesn’t matter if you believe climate change is happening or not. It doesn’t matter if you believe this bill will affect the climate or not. The bill is not ready.

 

Editorial: Carbon bill isn’t a good fit for short session

Democrat-herald

If the Legislature really wants to sink its teeth into some tough issues this session, allow us to suggest a couple of alternatives: Perhaps legislators could make some headway at easing the problems posed by the unfunded liability in the state’s public pension system. Any progress at all on that issue — even a small step or two — would be welcome. And if voters reject Measure 101 in a couple of weeks, legislators may find their time occupied with efforts to fill a $300 million hole in the state’s Medicaid budget. Overall, legislators would do well to remember the promises made to voters in Ballot Measure 71 and keep these short sessions as quick and to-the-point as possible.

 

Editorial: Measure 101 vote should be based on facts, not fear and speculation

The Oregonian

There are plenty of reasons to vote “no” on Measure 101, the referendum on new taxes to fund Oregon’s Medicaid program. The sheer inequity of asking college students, K-12 school districts and small businesses to shoulder the cost of an essential program while exempting others is one of the biggest reasons The Oregonian/OregonLive Editorial Board recommended that Oregonians vote “no” and demand that the Legislature deliver a better solution. (Readers can find our full editorial at www.oregonlive.com/opinion).

 

Editorial: Audit should help DEQ

Register-Guard

The Legislature must address this problem with increased funding — and it shouldn’t wait until the main budget-writing session in 2019 to get started. The DEQ should be given added support in the short legislative session that convenes next month, particularly if the department is expected to implement the Cleaner Air Oregon program later this year. Leaving air quality rules unenforced is not much different than having no rules at all.

 

President Trump First Year Accomplishments

  1. Led Congress to pass tax reform bill providing $5.5 billion in cuts and repealed oppressive Obamacare mandate.
  2. Fuel economic growth moving GDP above 3 percent.
  3. Boosted economic confidence, causing the Dow Jones index to grow to record highs and at a record pace.
  4. Signed an Executive Order demanding that two regulations be killed for every new one, boosting economic growth.
  5. Withdrew from the Obama-era Paris Climate Agreement, ending one-sided environmental regulations.
  6. Withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership which had terms unfavorable to the US.
  7. Began renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement for the same reason.
  8. Convinced companies like Toyota, Mazda, Broadcom Limited, and Foxconn announced plans to open new plants in the U.S.
  9. Ended Obama’s job-killing Clean Power Plan.
  10. Allowed military professionals freedom needed to win the war on terror, as a result, kicking ISIS butts.
  11. Normalized good relationships with Saudi Arabia that Barack Obama damaged by ignoring the red line he set.
  12. Started treating Israel like an ally, as opposed to treating it like an empire like Barack Obama did.
  13. Publicly admonished the Palestinians for inciting terrorism and paying “blood money” to terrorists.
  14. Ended the Obama-era “catch and release” of illegal immigrants.
  15. Significantly reduced the number of illegal aliens slipping through the southern border.
  16. Appointed and got Senate confirmation for twelve federal appeals court judges an all-time record for a first-year president.
  17. Nominated and received confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.
  18. Went to the Middle East and convinced some Muslim nations to join in fighting terrorism.
  19. Reinstated the “Mexico City Policy” killed by Obama which blocks foreign aid being used for abortions.
  20. Pressured North Korea to end its nuclear program, got UN to increase sanctions against the N Korean regime, living rent-free inside Kim Jung Un’s head, moving the despot to reopen talks with the south.
  21. Pressuring China to help get Kim Jung Un to behave.
  22. Ordered new sanctions on the despotic dictatorship in Venezuela.
  23. Pressured NATO partners to increase their military budgets to the level they had previously agreed to.
  24. Ordered the bombing of Syria for using chemical warfare against its own people, enforcing a red line Obama set and ignored.
  25. Used his personal relationship with China’s president to secure the release of three UCLA students arrested for shoplifting a pair of sunglasses.
  26. Kept his promise to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and began the process of moving US embassy to Israel’s capital city.
  27. Directed the Pentagon to upgrade and modernize America’s nuclear arsenal.

Daily Clips

HOUSE REPUBLICAN OFFICE

STATE GOVERNMENT & POLITICS

 

Gresham baker discriminated against gay couple by refusing to make wedding cake, Oregon Appeals Court rules

Register-Guard

“The Kleins seek an exemption based on their sincere religious opposition to same-sex marriage,” Judge Chris Garrett wrote in the opinion. “But those with sincere religious objections to marriage between people of different races, ethnicities, or faiths could just as readily demand the same exemption.”

 

Court says Sweet Cakes must pay fine for refusing to bake wedding cake

Portland Tribune

Oregon’s Court of Appeals has upheld a decision to require the owners of a Gresham bakery to pay a lesbian couple $135,000 in damages for refusing to make them a wedding cake.

 

Oregon voters now have 6 languages available for registration

The Associated Press

Reflecting increasing diversity in Oregon, voter registration forms have been expanded to six languages, including Somali, a language from one of the nations targeted by the Trump administration’s travel ban. The Elections Division made the announcement on Twitter, using letters and characters from the six languages: English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Somali and Russian.

 

Bottle bill expanding to include kombucha, tea, sports drinks and more

Portland Business Journal

The expansion is the result of a 2011 amendment to the first-in-the-nation bottle bill that Oregon passed in 1971. It puts the law “in line with the kinds of products that are out there today,” Jules Bailey, chief stewardship officer for the Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative, which manages logistics for the bottle bill, said in a news release.

 

HOUSING

Despite new programs and money, county homeless tide still growing

Portland Tribune

But as winter approached, officials called attention to the lack of emergency shelter space and pushed to open new shelters, sometimes in the face of public opposition. The drive for more shelters reflects what Oregon Gov. Kate Brown described as an “unprecedented increase” in demand for such services in a Dec. 4 letter to the Oregon Legislature seeking more than $2.5 million for additional homeless family assistance in Multnomah County.  “Due to these unprecedented numbers, the family shelter system is at a breaking point,” Brown wrote to the co-chairs of the Legislature’s Interim Ways & Means Committee.

 

HEALTH CARE

 

Supporters, opponents of Oregon Measure 101 sharpen their pitches a month before health care taxes go up for vote

Register-Guard

With Voters’ Pamphlets arriving in homes this week before the Jan. 23 special election, backers of the taxes are scrambling to convince voters they’re necessary to keep vulnerable Oregonians insured.

 

Oregon ABLE Program Enrolls More than 1,000 People with Disabilities

The Lund Report

Modeled on the popular 529 college savings accounts, the program allows people with disabilities and their families to save money and receive a debit card without losing their benefits.

 

ELECTIONS

 

Richardson, county lawyers disagree on campaign filings

Portland Tribune

Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson has contradicted an opinion by the Multnomah County counsel, which commissioners Jules Bailey and Loretta Smith relied on to run for another office without resigning from their county seats.

 

Bend Democrat eyeing Greg Walden challenge

Portland Tribune

Jennifer ‘Jenni’ Neahring, a Bend resident who works as a physician in Salem and Portland, would be one of two women in the pool of several Democrats lining up to try to unseat the 10-term U.S. representative.

 

OPINION

 

Editorial: Sex harassment dialogue overdue

Portland Tribune

It’s now clear that for men who work in the public eye, a credible allegation of sexual harassment, backed up by solid reporting, is now enough to derail a career.

 

Editorial: A more crowded state

Register-Guard

But unless growth is managed and prepared for, it degrades all that draws new residents to Oregon in the first place, including functioning public services, an accessible and clean natural environment and a strong sense of community. Oregonians have long been divided on the question of whether growth is desirable, with one faction preferring to keep things as they are and another seeing growth as an essential alternative to economic and social stagnation. Both groups’ interests are best served by public policies that seek to accommodate new residents without sacrificing the attributes that make Oregon a desirable place to live.

 

 

Daily Clips

GOVERNMENT & POLITICS

 

12 new laws to keep in mind for the new year

East Oregonian

You can pump your own gas 24 hours a day in Boardman starting in January — due to a law that will change with the new year. Thanks to one of more than 850 laws passed during the 2017 Oregon Legislature, fuel stations in counties east of Portland with fewer than 40,000 residents (including all of the counties surrounding Umatilla County but not Umatilla County itself) can allow self-service fueling 24 hours a day. A few other interesting laws to keep in mind as Jan. 1 rolls around:

 

Four laws that made an impact in 2017

Portland Tribune

Many of the hundreds of laws Oregon legislators pass each year may go largely unnoticed by the public. Several laws, however, left a palpable mark on the lives of Oregonians in 2017. The Pamplin/EO Capital Bureau has highlighted four recent laws that made an impact in the past year.

 

Oregon Democrats outline 2018 carbon pricing plan

The Oregonian

Oregon lawmakers this week released an overview of a carbon cap and pricing plan they want the Legislature to pass during the six-week session that starts in February. It’s based on a bill that Democrats introduced the day before wrapping up a longer session earlier this year. Sen. Michael Dembrow of Portland and Rep. Ken Helm of Beaverton oversaw work groups that refined the concept in recent months. The two Democrats outlined features that they say are in two drafts of the bill, one to be introduced in the House and one in the Senate. They expect to make the bills public on Jan. 8.

 

A Deeper Dive Into Oregon’s Landmark Pay Equity Law

JD Supra

Oregon’s Equal Pay Act of 2017 is arguably the most all-encompassing, and, strangely, most quietly passed employment law in the United States in 2017. It makes every other equal pay law, at the state or federal level, pale in comparison. Let’s take a closer look at how life will change for Oregon employers given this new statute.

 

Brown to ask Oregon Legislature for $5 million more to shelter homeless families

Portland Tribune

Governor Kate Brown announced Thursday she will ask the legislature to approve $5 million in new state funding to provide shelter for homeless families. The governor’s request comes on top of a record $40 million in funding for homeless services approved by the legislature in 2017.

 

Kate Brown asks for extra $5 million to shelter homeless families

The Oregonian

Gov. Kate Brown requested $5 million from the Oregon Legislature for homeless families ahead of the February short session. She announced her desire to help Multnomah County and other hard-hit areas get through the winter Thursday during a visit to the overflowing Human Solutions shelter in Southeast Portland.

 

State extends deadline for comment on proposed Cleaner Air Oregon rules

Register-Guard

Oregon air regulators have extended the deadline for public comment on proposed stricter air pollution rules. The state Department of Environmental Quality ­announced this week that it will take comment on its Cleaner Air Oregon plan ­until Jan. 22, a month past the original deadline.

 

Oregon’s Greg Walden Gains Power While Dodging Trump Criticism

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Walden has long been known as smart, even-tempered — and cautious. He is well-liked among colleagues of both parties. Now 60, he’s spent nearly three decades in the Oregon Legislature and then Congress. His father was a legislator and he’s been around politics literally since he was a kid.

 

HEALTH CARE

 

Lawmakers call for emergency special session to keep FamilyCare in business

Portland Business Journal

Oregon state Reps. Julie Parrish and Cedric Hayden are calling for an emergency special session of the legislature before the end of the year to keep FamilyCare Health in business and end its long-running dispute with the Oregon Health Authority.

 

FamilyCare: Will stay extra month in low-income Oregon Health Plan

Portland Tribune

FamilyCare, the nonprofit care organization for 115,000 Portland-area low-income Oregon Health Plan members, says it is ready to extend its contract with the state to the end of January to minimize harmful disruptions to patient care.

 

Voters to decide Medicare fate

Curry Pilot

Voters will be asked to approve a measure next month that could slightly increase their health insurance costs but keep Medicaid dollars available for a quarter of the state’s population. Voters are urged to register or ensure their voter information is updated before the Jan. 2 registration deadline so they can cast ballots in the Jan. 23 special election.

 

Gov. Brown’s new health policy adviser was key in securing $2B federal windfall

Portland Business Journal

Gov. Kate Brown appointed Tina Edlund, an Oregon health policy veteran, as senior policy adviser, the governor announced Friday. Edlund led Oregon’s negotiations with the federal government that led to $1.9 billion in grants that paved the way for the creation of the state’s coordinated care organizations to deliver Medicaid services. She also helped create the metrics by which the CCOs are measured in terms of quality and financial performance.

 

LAND MANAGEMENT

 

Here Are All The Times The Feds Have Tried And Failed To Convict The Bundys

The Daily Caller

U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro declared a mistrial Wednesday in case against Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, marking the fourth time in the past two years the federal government has failed to convict a member of the Bundy family or their compatriots.

 

OPINION

Editorial: We know too little about governor’s tax, spending plans

Daily Astorian

In contrast, the 2018 Legislature is only weeks away and Oregonians know little about the governor’s and legislative leaders’ plans for genuine tax and spending reforms. We are not filled with hope.

 

Editorial: Oregonians need time to evaluate cap and invest bill

Bend Bulletin

Oregon Business & Industry, with 1,700 members around the state, noted it continues to support efforts to reduce carbon emissions. But, it said, this bill makes such a big change that it should be handled, as all major measures are supposed to be, in the next full session of the Legislature, in 2019. The group is right.

 

Editorial: A higher standard for Oregon’s police

The Oregonian Editorial Board

So far, such leadership does not seem to be coming from Gov. Kate Brown, who failed to respond to repeated requests from Brosseau and Woolington about the agency’s troubling record. Considering that the governor appoints the director and board, Brown is in prime position to insist on greater accountability by the agency — if she chooses.

 

Guest: Homeless shelter plan ignores neighborhood concerns

Addy Rutter, SE Portland resident

As a neighborhood and as a city, we deserve more from our elected officials and those in positions of power. We deserve communication. We deserve decision-makers who go beyond cheap rent and the local bus schedule to research their choices. We deserve to be involved in decisions that will directly affect us. We deserve to walk out of a meeting knowing that we have been heard rather than asking ourselves “Is this even legal?”

First Year Trump Administration Accomplishments

Jobs and the economy

  • Passage of the tax reform bill providing $5.5 billion in cuts and repealing the Obamacare mandate.
  • Increase of the GDP above 3 percent.
  • Creation of 1.7 million new jobs, cutting unemployment to 4.1 percent.
  • Saw the Dow Jones reach record highs.
  • A rebound in economic confidence to a 17-year high.
  • A new executive order to boost apprenticeships.
  • A move to boost computer sciences in Education Department programs.
  • Prioritizing women-owned businesses for some $500 million in SBA loans.

Killing job-stifling regulations

  • Signed an Executive Order demanding that two regulations be killed for every new one creates. He beat that big and cut 16 rules and regulations for every one created, saving $8.1 billion.
  • Signed 15 congressional regulatory cuts.
  • Withdrew from the Obama-era Paris Climate Agreement, ending the threat of environmental regulations.
  • Signed an Executive Order cutting the time for infrastructure permit approvals.
  • Eliminated an Obama rule on streams that Trump felt unfairly targeted the coal industry.

Fair trade

  • Made good on his campaign promise to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
  • Opened up the North American Free Trade Agreement for talks to better the deal for the U.S.
  • Worked to bring companies back to the U.S., and companies like Toyota, Mazda, Broadcom Limited, and Foxconn announced plans to open U.S. plants.
  • Worked to promote the sale of U.S products abroad.
  • Made enforcement of U.S. trade laws, especially those that involve national security, a priority.
  • Ended Obama’s deal with Cuba.

Boosting U.S. energy dominance

  • The Department of Interior, which has led the way in cutting regulations, opened plans to lease 77 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico for oil and gas drilling.
  • Trump traveled the world to promote the sale and use of U.S. energy.
  • Expanded energy infrastructure projects like the Keystone XL Pipeline snubbed by Obama.
  • Ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to kill Obama’s Clean Power Plan.
  • EPA is reconsidering Obama rules on methane emissions.

Protecting the U.S. homeland

  • Laid out new principles for reforming immigration and announced plan to end “chain migration,” which lets one legal immigrant to bring in dozens of family members.
  • Made progress to build the border wall with Mexico.
  • Ended the Obama-era “catch and release” of illegal immigrants.
  • Boosted the arrests of illegals inside the U.S.
  • Doubled the number of counties participating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement charged with deporting illegals.
  • Removed 36 percent more criminal gang members than in fiscal 2016.
  • Started the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program.
  • Ditto for other amnesty programs like Deferred Action for Parents of Americans.
  • Cracking down on some 300 sanctuary cities that defy ICE but still get federal dollars.
  • Added some 100 new immigration judges.

Protecting communities

  • Justice announced grants of $98 million to fund 802 new cops.
  • Justice worked with Central American nations to arrest and charge 4,000 MS-13 members.
  • Homeland rounded up nearly 800 MS-13 members, an 83 percent one-year increase.
  • Signed three executive orders aimed at cracking down on international criminal organizations.
  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions created new National Public Safety Partnership, a cooperative initiative with cities to reduce violent crimes.

Accountability

  • Trump has nominated 73 federal judges and won his nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.
  • Ordered ethical standards including a lobbying ban.
  • Called for a comprehensive plan to reorganize the executive branch.
  • Ordered an overhaul to modernize the digital government.
  • Called for a full audit of the Pentagon and its spending.

Combatting opioids

  • First, the president declared a Nationwide Public Health Emergency on opioids.
  • His Council of Economic Advisors played a role in determining that overdoses are underreported by as much as 24 percent.
  • The Department of Health and Human Services laid out a new five-point strategy to fight the crisis.
  • Justice announced it was scheduling fentanyl substances as a drug class under the Controlled Substances Act.
  • Justice started a fraud crackdown, arresting more than 400.
  • The administration added $500 million to fight the crisis.
  • On National Drug Take Back Day, the Drug Enforcement Agency collected 456 tons.

Protecting life

  • In his first week, Trump reinstated and expanded the Mexico City Policy that blocks some $9 billion in foreign aid being used for abortions.
  • Worked with Congress on a bill overturning an Obama regulation that blocked states from defunding abortion providers.
  • Published guidance to block Obamacare money from supporting abortion.

Helping veterans

  • Signed the Veterans Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act to allow senior officials in the Department of Veterans Affairs to fire failing employees and establish safeguards to protect whistleblowers.
  • Signed the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act.
  • Signed the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act, to provide support.
  • Signed the VA Choice and Quality Employment Act of 2017 to authorize $2.1 billion in additional funds for the Veterans Choice Program.
  • Created a VA hotline.
  • Had the VA launch an online “Access and Quality Tool,” providing veterans with a way to access wait time and quality of care data.
  • With VA Secretary Dr. David Shulkin, announced three initiatives to expand access to healthcare for veterans using telehealth technology.

Promoting peace through strength

  • Directed the rebuilding of the military and ordered a new national strategy and nuclear posture review.
  • Worked to increase defense spending.
  • Empowered military leaders to “seize the initiative and win,” reducing the need for a White House sign off on every mission.
  • Directed the revival of the National Space Council to develop space war strategies.
  • Elevated U.S. Cyber Command into a major warfighting command.
  • Withdrew from the U.N. Global Compact on Migration, which Trump saw as a threat to borders.
  • Imposed a travel ban on nations that lack border and anti-terrorism security.
  • Saw ISIS lose virtually all of its territory.
  • Pushed for strong action against global outlaw North Korea and its development of nuclear weapons.
  • Announced a new Afghanistan strategy that strengthens support for U.S. forces at war with terrorism.
  • NATO increased support for the war in Afghanistan.
  • Approved a new Iran strategy plan focused on neutralizing the country’s influence in the region.
  • Ordered missile strikes against a Syrian airbase used in a chemical weapons attack.
  • Prevented subsequent chemical attacks by announcing a plan to detect them better and warned of future strikes if they were used.
  • Ordered new sanctions on the dictatorship in Venezuela.

Restoring confidence in and respect for America

  • Trump won the release of Americans held abroad, often using his personal relationships with world leaders.
  • Made good on a campaign promise to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
  • Conducted a historic 12-day trip through Asia, winning new cooperative deals. On the trip, he attended three regional summits to promote American interests.
  • He traveled to the Middle East and Europe to build new relationships with leaders.
  • Traveled to Poland and on to German for the G-20 meeting where he pushed again for funding of women entrepreneurs.