Oregon House Daily Clips





PERS board to vote on downgrading public pension investment assumptions

The Associated Press

“If they’re trying to cover someone politically, stop it,” said Jim Green, deputy executive director of the Oregon School Boards Association. “The system needs to be looked at and reformed, and keeping the assumed rate high, or using rate collars is just allowing policymakers at the state level to say, ‘It’s really not that bad.’ ”



Oregon’s controversial Clean Fuels Program revs its engine

Portland Business Journal

“We have a conversion efficiency of something like 96 percent,” said Ian Hill, who co-founded SeQuential in 2004. “When we started off, we were in the high 80s. What doesn’t become biodiesel is byproducts. There’s virtually no waste. This team at the plant, they’re at the leading edge of what can be done turning low-value waste-stream feedstock materials into biodiesel.”

As SeQuential sees it, this is what Oregon’s Clean Fuels Program — probably known by most Oregonians as a perennial political football — is all about.


Exclusive: Why big oil may support cap and trade in Oregon

Portland Business Journal

Could WSPA end up endorsing cap and trade in Oregon? “I think that will depend on the details of the program,” Reheis-Boyd said. “You can have a well-designed cap-and-trade program and a not well-designed cap-and trade-program — just like with a low-carbon fuel standard.”




New model could lower housing costs

Portland Tribune

The modular co-housing model is “exactly the kind of innovative thinking” about how to lower the cost of housing that Meyer Memorial Trust is seeking to promote, Parkhurst says. But it will only prove itself replicable “if it becomes accepted, and it really works, and is really as inexpensive as they hope.”


AFFORDABLE HOUSING: Assistance on the way, but more must be done

The News Guard

Lincoln City and Lincoln County continue to face an affordable housing challenge.

“We have a sustainable housing issue,” State Rep. David Gomberg (D) said. “People are working here but they can’t afford to live here and we have to find a way to turn that around.”




Numerous Oregon wildfires threatening homes, buildings

The Oregonian

The Bowden Fire was reported Monday about 20 miles outside of Rome. By Wednesday morning, the fire had grown to 17,773 acres. It was contained but threatened residences and other structures, according to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center, which tracks wildfires in the region. The fire’s cause is under investigat


Lightning fades, but fire threat remains high

Mail Tribune

The Oregon Department of Forestry’s Southwest District continues to patrol areas where lightning touched down in Jackson County, a majority of which was in the northeastern portion of the county in the Butte Falls and Prospect areas, according ODF public information officer Melissa Cano. Three strikes also touched down near Ashland.


‘Suspicious’ 10,600-acre fire NE of Madras 30 pct. contained


“We have a containment line around it at this point (utilizing) dozer lines and roads, and the firefighters are working vigilantly today to make sure it stays within the boundaries,” Stacy Lacey, a fire prevention specialist for the Ochoco National Forest, said Wednesday.   By midday Wednesday, the fire was reported to be 40 percent contained.




Portland’s largest law firm lays off 17 administrative workers

Portland Business Journal

“This number (of layoffs) represents just 2.1 percent of our workforce, but it nonetheless was a decision we made with great care,” James Torgerson, the firm’s managing partner, said in the release. “Those jobs have been held by our friends and colleagues.” Stoel Rives, which is headquartered in Portland, has 10 locations in several states and Washington, D.C. The firm employs nearly 800 people in all.




How Farming Inside Wildlife Refuges Is Transforming Klamath Basin Agriculture

Oregon Public Broadcasting

This is the final story in a three-part series on the wildlife refuges of the Klamath Basin and water in the arid West. Read part one and part two.




Meet Kate Brown, governor of one of the most anti-Trump states in the union

The Washington Post

But there are still some areas of the nation where the political left can maneuver virtually untouched. Oregon is one of them, and The Fix sat down with the state’s Democratic governor, Kate Brown, to talk about how she approaches policy in the Trump era and why Oregon seems to have gone out of its way to make itself one of the most anti-Trump states in the union. You can see the interview in the video above.


Oregon’s Transgender Population Reacts To Trump’s Military Ban

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Basic Rights Oregon calls the move disgraceful.  “Thousands of patriotic transgender Americans already serve in our military and are putting their lives on the line to keep us safe and defend our American values,” Executive Director Nancy Haque said. “There is no place for discrimination in our military,” she said.  “Discharging talented service members simply because of their gender identity is wrong.”


TriMet considers lifetime bans for violent offenders

Portland Tribune

TriMet is poised to increase penalties for people who commit serious acts of violence on the transit system, up to a lifetime ban on its buses, trains and property. The agency’s Board of Directors held its first hearing on an ordinance with the increases on Wednesday. It can be approved at the next meeting, scheduled for Aug. 9, and take effect 30 days after that. “This is a good move to help ensure the safety of our operators, riders and members of the general public,” TriMet Board President Bruce Warner said during the hearing.


Arnie Roblan is the new president of PNW economic region

The World Link

“PNWER has proven itself to be an ideal vehicle for identifying shared regional problems and crafting solutions that serve the people we represent,” Roblan said in a prepared statement. He was inducted Tuesday at the 27th PNWER annual summit.




Editorial: Recreation Not Red-Tape


The act would make it easier for individuals, families and outdoor recreation businesses to get required federal permits; make federal agencies that may not have thought of themselves as being involved in outdoor recreation — such as the Army Corps of Engineers — responsible for it on land and water they oversee; and generally promote outdoor recreation. The RNR Act is a refreshingly civilized, bipartisan attempt to make life easier for Oregonians in a practical way, without spending huge sums of federal money. Others in Congress could learn from this.


Editorial: Regulators toss curve at air rules


The Cleaner Air Oregon proposal appears to have some substantial speed bumps. But that shouldn’t prevent Lebanon residents from being able to access current and accurate information about the air they breathe.



Bonamici: Banning transgender military members is ‘discriminatory and unacceptable’

Portland Tribune

Bonamici referenced Oregonians she had met, including members of the transgender community, who had served in the military. In her statement, Bonamici asked the Defense Department to continue accepting transgender servicemembers. “The President’s decision to deny them the opportunity to serve goes against the values that our military fights to protect,” she said. “Turning our backs on these transgender individuals is discriminatory and unacceptable. We overturned Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell more than five years ago, and military experts have reported no negative effects.”


Sen. Jeff Merkley Will Propose 120 Amendments to Hinder Obamacare Repeal

Willamette Week

Merkley has prepared 120 amendments to the bill being debated in the Senate now, and he plans to propose each of them during the so-called vote-a-rama, when senators are free to propose as many amendments as they want. “The number of people who would be harmed by the dismantling of health care is so long that it would be impossible to list them all—but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try,” Merkley said. “If the GOP is intent on ramming their destructive bill through, they should have to face head-on the disastrous effects it will have for America’s veterans, children, cancer patients, and the peace of mind for every family across this country,” Merkley added.




Multnomah County Likely To Pursue Lawsuit Against Opioid Makers

Oregon Public Broadcasting

By declaring opioids a “public nuisance” Multnomah County is taking the first step in a legal battle to recoup some of those costs from manufacturers. Speaking to OPB on Wednesday, County Chair Deborah Kafoury compared opioid manufactures to Big Tobacco. “They pushed a product on consumers that they knew was harmful, that they knew was destructive, and that they knew could damage people’s lives,” Kafoury said. “And they weren’t open at all about it.”


Council continues discussion of new fees, taxes to improve park system


The council is considering both a construction bond and an operating levy, which require voter approval because they raise property taxes. Other ideas to raise money include a monthly service fee that could be charged on a resident’s utility bill or a restaurant tax.

The earliest councilors could put any tax measure on the ballot would be May.


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