“House District 51 deserves a voice in the Legislature. I am committed to the people of House District 51 and to our state, and that’s why I am standing up and accepting the challenge. I was asked to step up, shown there is a pathway to victory and to help give House District 51 the voice we deserve, that we do not have right now under Representative Bynum’s failed leadership.
“I am running to take my record of standing up for our community, our values and our hopes, to the Statehouse, where left-wing special interests dictate policies through bought politicians like Representative Janelle Bynum. We need people in the Legislature who will stand up to the status quo, not perpetuate it for personal gain. Our state is among the worst in the nation for education, mental health, fiscal security in our pension system, the list goes on. It doesn’t have to be that way. Unfortunately, under the governor and one-party rule, the system has become broken.
“I believe in the Oregon Way. We have so many different cultures and perspectives in Oregon and I’m running to advocate for a more equitable, fairer, inclusive system. I am running to end the status quo and fight for a better future for all Oregonians.”
Oregon parents won’t get a state tax break on money they save to pay for K-12 private schooling, lawmakers have decided. That’s despite a federal tax break approved in December as part of a congressional tax overhaul. Traditional college savings plans – known as 529 accounts – have offered an incentive for families to save for college. Parents and students invest in 529s and, if the accounts increase in value, they can withdraw that increase – tax free – to pay for college expenses.
“We are encouraged that both the House and the Senate supported the bill,” parent Dionne Miller said. “We’re confident that it’s really just the beginning of what inevitably will be a huge reform in how K-12 looks to handle circumstances like ours.” Under the bill, when students make sexual misconduct claims, school districts would be required to notify the students, and their parents, when the investigation is concluded; whether a violation occurred; and what measures the district is making to prevent the misconduct from happening in the future.
AGRICULTURE & NATURAL RESOURCES
The controversial Boardman-area mega-dairy that drew thousands of opponents as it prepared to open last April may be forced to close in the wake of state fines, enforcement actions and now a lawsuit. The Oregon Department of Agriculture asked a Multnomah County judge late last month to temporarily stop the dairy’s ability to create or discharge wastewater after eight months of non-stop permit violations.
Herald and News
A group of Klamath Basin water users Wednesday filed a motion in federal court in San Francisco pushing for at least a delay in the court-ordered injunction to keep 50,000 acre feet held in reserve in Upper Klamath Lake. The water is to be used to flush out the Klamath River in the spring to mitigate the impact of disease on coho salmon.
Touting Oregon’s efforts to combat the opioid crisis, Gov. Kate Brown told a U.S. Senate committee Thursday that states need the federal government to step up its efforts by providing more money and moving beyond punishment of drug users to prevention. “Right now, the federal government recognizes the problem but is focused on punishment,” Brown said. “That leaves us — the states — to right the wrongs of a war on drugs.”
COURTS & PUBLIC SAFETY
The Oregon Court of Appeals on Wednesday threw out the conviction of a Wilsonville methamphetamine dealer because his defense attorney didn’t tell him that he faced mandatory deportation. Javier Garcia-Navarro, 48, had lived many years in the U.S. as a permanent legal resident when he was caught in 2012 selling methamphetamine to an informant and had two small baggies in his car while returning from a trip visiting family in Mexico, investigators said.
Even if you are a surrealism fan, it would be astonishing for a governor who has declared so forthrightly that she wants to give small businesses tools to expand to aim to take $1 billion away from small businesses.
The fact that Oregon was the first state in the nation to adopt legislation regarding advance directives speaks well of this state’s leadership in end-of-life issues. But there’s obviously still a lot of work ahead, work to dispel rumors, work to explain the huge difference that an advance directive can make — not just for better deaths but for better lives as well.
It’s more difficult to extend that argument to much of the land east of the Cascades, however. Over here on the high, dry side of the state, much highly profitable agriculture is limited to areas near the Columbia River and to those with elevations substantially below Bend’s 3,623 feet. Moreover, in counties like Deschutes, with 80 percent or more of land in public ownership, urban sprawl is unlikely. Oregonians must recognize and tell their lawmakers: If more land were available for homes in Bend, Medford, Portland — you name it — it would ease pressure on prices to rise.
Anthony Effinger, Portland resident
In a bizarre news conference on Jan. 29, you claimed that this year’s 35-day legislative session – that ended with a climate-ignoring whimper on March 3 — was too short to consider complex cap-and-trade climate bills like the one that your own Democratic caucus supports. I say bizarre because you kept calling the system “cap and gown.” Was that supposed to be funny? Like, the 10 years of work that scientists and lawmakers have put into these bills is something to be mocked? What does a gown have to do with climate change? The Democrats who pushed for action did so because the legislature already took up the Clean Energy Jobs bills in the long, luxurious 160-day session last year. Nothing happened then, so why should I believe that you’ll do something in 2019?
Cindy and Mike Reese
Finally, if we are serious about reducing gun violence in our schools, we need legislation to limit high-capacity magazines, assault style weapons and the age allowed to purchase firearms. There is no single solution to the problem of gun violence in our schools, but there are steps we can take to make a positive difference. Arming teachers is not one of them.
Tim Nesbitt, public policy consultant and former president of the Oregon AFL-CIO
Campaign rhetoric is no substitute for smart governance. That was proven with the wrangle over Obamacare, where more sensible politics averted real damage to our health care system. But rhetoric appears to be ascendant over reality on the trade front now. And, at some point, this febrile governing-by-tweet-and-taunt will unleash a cascade of consequences for our jobs and our economy that even the fixers can’t fix.