Voters pass Measure 101 by wide margin to fund Oregon Health Plan through mid-2019
But state Republicans cautioned that the measure’s passage shouldn’t take focus off financial missteps that have plagued the state’s health agency. “With the passage of Measure 101, we must now shift our focus to improving efficiencies within the Oregon Health Authority and in the administration of the Oregon Health Plan,” House Republican Leader Mike McLane said in a statement. “Our state’s health care programs have suffered from chronic failure for years. This culture of incompetence cannot be excused or forgotten in the wake of this ballot measure. I hope legislators on both sides of the aisle will make it a priority to safeguard and protect the investment in our state government that Oregon taxpayers have affirmed tonight.”
Measure 101 passes with big lead; proponents celebrate
After the measure’s passage, Republican House Leader Mike McLane of Powell Butte, said the state now needs to focus on making the Oregon Health Authority more efficient as well as the administration of the Oregon Health Plan, which is Oregon’s Medicaid program. “Our state’s health care programs have suffered from chronic failure for years,” he said. “This culture of incompetence cannot be excused or forgotten in the wake of this ballot measure.” He also called on lawmakers from both political parties to “safeguard and protect the investment in our state government that Oregon taxpayers have affirmed tonight.”
Oregon voters pass health care tax measure by wide margin
Top lawmakers are already looking forward to the session.
“It may be a win, but we aren’t out of the woods yet,” said Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem. “Our budget focus must now shift to the February forecast and the effects federal tax changes will have on state revenue.”
Voters pass tax on health care
House Minority Leader Mike McLane, R-Powell Butte, who opposed Measure 101, said that it was now up to lawmakers to make sure the money is well spent in light of past problems with the Oregon Health Authority, which handles the Medicaid program in Oregon. “I hope legislators on both sides of the aisle will make it a priority to safeguard and protect the investment in our state government that Oregon taxpayers have affirmed tonight,” McLane said.
Oregon voters approve health care tax measure
House Speaker Tina Kotek, D-Portand, praised voters. “Oregonians were loud and clear tonight: Health care is a right that we will protect,” she said in a statement. “By passing Measure 101, Oregon voters affirmed that everyone has a right to access affordable health care – regardless of where they live or where they work. Thank you, Oregon voters, for keeping the state moving forward.”
Oregon voters pass Measure 101, health care provider taxes
Portland Business Journal
Hayden, reached by phone on Wednesday, said the low voter turnout, at 36 percent, was one factor in the measure’s passage, along with the fact that the “yes” side out-raised the “no” side substantially. “I think that speaks to money talks,” Hayden said. “That side of the campaign had $4 million to get their message out. The sad part about this is it’s an example of why we won’t see any real campaign finance in Oregon. if you have enough money and a special interest, you can sway voters.”
Voters Approve Measure 101, Which Means Nothing Changes With Oregon’s Medicaid Funding
“While Washington DC falls apart, Oregonians are coming together,” Brown said. “This vote sends a clear message that they are sick and tired of partisan efforts to reduce health care access. You should be able to see the doctor when you’re sick and have health care you can afford.”
Oregon voters overwhelmingly pass health care taxes
Oregon’s Medicaid program survived intact Tuesday, after voters approved hundreds of millions of dollars in health care taxes in a special election. Measure 101, which led 61 percent to 39 percent with returns partially tallied, was the only issue on the ballot. It will raise $210 million to $320 million in taxes on Oregon’s largest hospitals and many health insurance policies by 2019.
Oregon Voters Approve Measure 101
Oregon Public Broadcasting
Parrish said she’s undeterred by the defeat. “At the end of the day, we had one big goal to let voters vote and we did that,” Parrish said. “Our goal was to educate voters. I feel like [Rep.] Cedric [Hayden, R-Roseburg,] and I are more like whistleblowers right now than lawmakers. We are out there trying to make people understand there is a problem in our health care system.”
GOVERNMENT & POLITICS
State Policies Could Pit Salmon Against Clean Air
Next month, Democratic lawmakers will introduce ambitious “cap and invest” legislation aimed at taxing carbon emissions in order to reduce them. But Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has another priority: salmon. In a long-running federal lawsuit in Portland, Brown pushed to increase the number of endangered salmon in the Columbia River by spilling more water over the tops of Bonneville Power Association dams. But when water goes over dams, it bypasses power-generating turbines, which can leave public utilities across Oregon short of power. To compensate, the utilities will turn to fossil fuels. That runs counter to the carbon-reduction legislation that is a Democratic priority.
Committee selects lawmaker this week
Ontario Argus Observer
The meeting to appoint a successor to Cliff Bentz, who is now in the state senate, as the House District 60 representative will be held at 1:30 p.m. Thursday in the Weese Building at Treasure Valley Community College, according to a notice from the Malheur County Court.
Reschke to front bill ending late-term abortion
Herald and News
During a Right to Life rally in Klamath Falls Monday, Rep. E. Werner Reschke (R-Klamath Falls) announced his intent to introduce a bill to the state legislature next month ending late-term abortions. House Bill 4057, to be introduced by Reschke when the short session begins Feb. 5, would ban abortions after the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. If passed, the bill would be the first limit on abortions in Oregon based on age of the fetus.
Ms. Ethics, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown Has 52 Lobbyists But State Website Shows $0 Spent On Lobbying
Governor Brown is the only constitutional officer in Oregon with zero dollars spent on lobbying for the last seven quarters on the Oregon Ethic Commission website. Though she eventually produced the records to us showing $165,489 in lobbyist expenditures, after six days, the official website still shows zero dollars spent by the Office of Governor. So much for the self-titled champion of transparency and accountability.
Proposed law would make Trump reveal tax return to be on Oregon’s 2020 ballot
A bill introduced Monday in Salem would require candidates for president and vice president to give a copy of their most recent tax return to the Oregon Secretary of State with written permission that the document can be made public. Alternatively, the candidate could fill out Oregon’s standard income disclosure form for public officials. The requirement would apply to candidates on primary and general election ballots and those wishing to be in the voters’ pamphlet. At least one political bigwig is already on board: Gov. Kate Brown. “Governor Brown supports the principle of a financial disclosure requirement for presidential candidates,” said Bryan Hockaday, a spokesman for the governor.
Murmurs: Roger Stone Gets a Nice Fee to Speak in Oregon
Patrick Sheehan, the Dorchester board member who booked Stone, says his standard speaking fee is $10,000. “Bringing Stone in was an effort to keep the conference going in its original intent,” Sheehan says, “which is to spur debate. We haven’t had that for a long time; we’ve been preaching to the choir. Stone will agitate and make people uncomfortable.”
Another Oregon House Republican Announces He Won’t Seek Re-Election
Kennemer, 71, a retired psychologist, has held various offices for more than 30 years. He previously served on the Clackamas County Commission and the Oregon Senate. He holds one of the few metro-area seats that’s reliably Republican. The GOP holds a 6.4 percentage point registration advantage over Democrats in House District 39.
ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT
Umatilla To Reuse Data Center Water For Agriculture
Oregon Public Broadcasting
The $3 million project would separate Umatilla’s commercial wastewater from its domestic flows, allowing the city to send water from current Amazon data centers at the Port of Umatilla, a planned data center off Lind Road and any future data centers to irrigation canals for agricultural use. Future phases would include an industrial wastewater treatment plant at the port and storage ponds for keeping reuse water during the winter when it is not needed for irrigation.
Washington state panel OKs low carbon fuels standard
Greg Hanon, a lobbyist with Western States Petroleum Association, urged the House environment committee to evaluate the potential costs to consumers and the uncertainty over whether fuel blends exists to supply the market and to determine how much it would cost the state to implement the program.
Why Trump’s tariffs aren’t Oregon solar’s biggest concern
Portland Business Journal
Industry group doesn’t like the tariffs, but a PUC case on the value of solar could have deeper and longer lasting impact.
POLICE & PUBLIC SAFETY
Oregon grants transgender inmate’s request to move to women’s prison
A transgender inmate whose lawsuit forced policy changes at the Oregon Department of Corrections was transferred Monday from a male prison to the state’s lone prison for women. Michalle Wright, 27, who has identified as a woman since 16, had requested a transfer from the Oregon State Correctional Institution in Salem. She’s been moved to Coffee Creek Correctional Institution in Wilsonville, where agency officials said she will be housed in the general population.
DCSO, District Attorney’s office weigh in on weed
With limited resources to manage the recreational and medical facilities in the county, the Deschutes County Commission is looking at changing its approach by hiring extra personnel and becoming more proactive in making sure growers are following the rules. “We’re developing a plan where we are acknowledging to the community that we are serious about the illegal activity that’s occurring,” said Commissioner Tammy Baney.
Tsunami alert a wake-up call for Oregon Coast, officials say
Seaside is taking the risk of a tsunami so seriously that voters approved a $100 million bond measure in the November 2016 election to move three schools out of the inundation zone. A distant earthquake is a risk — a 1964 earthquake off Alaska triggered a tsunami three-stories high that hit Oregon, killing several people. But an earthquake along the nearby Cascadia subduction zone is even more dangerous, expected to generate a much bigger tsunami with people in inundation zones having only minutes — not hours — to get to high ground.
Editorial: House bill would eliminate PERS conflict of interest
The measure’s chief sponsors are Bend Republican Rep. Knute Buehler and Ron Noble, R-McMinnville. Fifteen other legislators, including Gene Whisnant, R-Sunriver, have signed on. Dominated by Republicans, the list includes two Democrats: Rep. Janeen Sollman of Hillsboro and Sen. Betsy Johnson of Scappoose. HB 4115 goes into great detail on how to make the transition and protect the interests of the lawmakers, judges and statewide officials who would be affected. No doubt lobbyists and lawyers will have plenty to say, and adjustments to the fine print may be appropriate. The overarching goal, however, is correct. Solving the problems of PERS requires open and unconflicted minds. It’s also essential to the state’s finances and fairness to its beneficiaries.
Editorial: Bill is not the best way to improve education
If there’s anything education research is clear about, it is that the single best way to improve student performance is improving teacher quality. But instead of a bill aimed at that issue, Clem and Doherty crafted HB 4113 to strengthen the power of the state’s teachers’ unions. Vote it down.