HOUSE REPUBLICAN OFFICE
NOVEMBER 8, 2017 DAILY CLIPS
STATE GOVERNMENT & POLITICS
In her directive Tuesday, Brown requested that Allen submit a written report on the issue every two weeks and develop a dedicated website on which to publish public records requests and related documents. She commended Allen for being “dogged and transparent” since taking the top job at the health authority in August.
“OHA has been in deep trouble now for years, and this feels like just a continuation of problems that are endemic to the organization,” said Jim Moore, director of the Tom McCall Center for Policy Innovation at Pacific University. The fact that the governor was reportedly not informed of the issue when it arose last year may speak to those problems, Moore said. “There’s clearly an organizational problem,” Moore said. “As soon as this was known by anybody who met regularly with the governor, they needed to tell the governor.”
Portland Business Journal
An array of green groups — Earth Advantage, Climate Solutions, New Buildings Institute, NW Energy Coalition, International Living Future Institute and the Zero Energy Project — cheered the moves, and used the occasion to say they were coming together to form the Oregon Zero Energy Buildings Coalition. The coalition said it will be “providing technical and research support to state, local and school district officials, as well as to private-sector developers, designers and builders, to support the implementation of the standards established in Governor Brown’s executive order.”
Portland Business Journal
“The commitment to use 15 percent of the Volkswagen money on EV charging is a big deal,” the executive director of Forth (formerly Drive Oregon) said. It’s a big deal because EVs had so far been left out of plans for spending the $72.9 million that will come to the state in the carmaker’s diesel-emissions cheating settlement. “The original direction from the Department of Environmental Quality was to use zero for charging infrastructure,” Allen said. “So this is a big course change.”
“NAYA did not expect that fair housing laws would be as constraining and inflexible with regard to implementation as it turns out they are,” he says. “This was coupled with the complexity of Native families with difficult backgrounds who just could not get their applications approved. We found the application and lease-up process frustrating and made even more difficult by the holidays and prolonged extreme winter weather.”
NW News Network
An Oregon lawmaker said she’ll introduce a bill next year to clarify that consensual sex between teenagers does not need to be reported to state authorities. Democratic Sen. Sara Gelser made the announcement in a Facebook post Tuesday.
Former state Rep. Greg Macpherson (D-Lake Oswego) announced today he will seek appointment to the Senate District 19 seat that currently held by Sen. Richard Devlin (D-Tualatin). Macpherson served in the House from 2003 to 2009 and chaired the House Judiciary Committee. A longtime pension benefits lawyer who recently retired from the Stoel Rives firm, Macpherson served as the point man for Gov. Ted Kulongoski’s 2003 cuts to the Public Employees Retirement System.
City voters Tuesday night were overwhelmingly endorsing a property tax increase to pay for police and jail services.Springfield voters were passing Measure 20-273, a five-year extension of the city’s police and jail property tax levy, with 68 percent in favor and 32 percent opposed with most ballots counted at 8 p.m.
Mark Mitsui, PCC’s president, said the bond will mean a lot to students, families and the entire community surrounding the workforce center in Northeast Portland in particular. “This provides the resources we need to help pull families out of poverty in the Cully neighborhood,” he said.
Early results showed that voters in the Lowell district overwhelmingly passed the bond measure 513 yes votes to 217 no votes as of 8 p.m.“I was pleasantly surprised to see those first numbers,” he said. “But it looks like the community came out strong in support of our schools, and that’s encouraging.”
Nearly 86 percent of Jefferson County citizens living in Crooked River Ranch voted against a measure that would have established a law enforcement district. Only 270 votes received were in favor of the measure compared to 1,603 against it, according to unofficial results late Tuesday night on the website for the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office.
Unofficial results as of Tuesday night show voters turning down sales of marijuana for second time in a year.
EDUCATION & HIGHER EDUCATION
Portland State University officials say a growing percentage of its freshmen are now first-time and full-time students since beginning its tuition-free program to eligible high school graduates.
Portland Business Journal
The Portland project being billed as the first new high-rise in the country constructed out of wood has landed $6 million from the Portland Housing Bureau for the building’s 60 affordable housing units.
Oregon Public Broadcasting
Commissioners held a meeting Monday night in Prineville, Oregon, to gather public input on the proposed plan. They plan to vote on it Wednesday. The document lays out the history and economy of Crook County, emphasizing timber, mining, grazing and agriculture as mainstays in the central Oregon community. It also lays out county priorities for how federal public lands in Crook County should be managed.
Brown’s executive orders should worry liberals and conservatives. Oregon’s government is structured so no one individual, no one agency of government, can make important policies unchecked. Brown’s action deserves rebuke.
It’s great that Brown is confident. The public, on the other hand, has witnessed too many meltdowns at the agency, from the never-launched Cover Oregon fiasco to the inclusion of tens of thousands of people who were no longer eligible for Medicaid to feel that confidence. Even with Allen’s solid reputation. Not to mention, Allen and his team oversee a massive operation that won’t allow them the focused attention they need to pin down the whos, whats and whys of the overpayment flub. And as a political appointee, Allen inherently lacks the independence that’s critical for the credibility of any review, particularly of such a politically sensitive issue as this.
Certainly, Buehler’s making political hay with his call for an investigation. But that doesn’t mean he’s wrong. Brown should cut her losses, confront the controversy and appoint an independent investigator.
And here’s a question that voters will be asking themselves when they receive their ballots for Measure 101 in January: How can taxpayers be sure that these tax dollars will be spent in a proper and prudent fashion? Let’s start the debate on this measure with answers to these questions. And it falls to the governor to provide the answers; from what we can see, the new staff at the Health Authority has its work cut out for it in the near future.
All of the alternatives require sacrifice – including from PERS-covered employees who are still in the work force. In many ways, that’s unfair. But the alternative is to divert more and more money away from services and into PERS.
If you’re one of the 100 or so Oregonians who pledged money on the Secretary of State’s Office website to restore this state’s constitution, pat yourself on the back. If you gave when the document was on display a couple of years ago in the state Capitol, do the same thing. Ditto if you’re among the schoolchildren around the state who also raised money for the project.
You got the job done.
Remembering is not enough. We, as a country, need to do more. This is not a Republican issue, nor a Democratic issue. It is an American issue.
The Trump administration’s plans to drastically shrink the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in southern Oregon — and three other national monuments in other states — are disturbing enough. What’s even more disturbing is the secrecy that continues to surround these plans.