“In their haste to pass SB 1528 earlier this year, Gov. Brown and legislative Democrats apparently failed to recognize that by requiring small business to pay $245 million more in state income taxes, their actions could trigger the income tax kicker,” said House Republican Leader Mike McLane, of Powell Butte. “If current projections hold, Oregonians are in line to receive $555 million of their money back from their state government,” he said. “The irony escapes no one.”
State economists delivered the prognosis on Wednesday during a quarterly forecast presented to lawmakers in Salem. The kicker is not official until the August 2019 forecast, after the end of the current budget cycle.
The Bend Bulletin
The House and the Senate passed House Bill 4301 during Monday’s one-day special session. In a Legislature where voting on most bills ends up falling along party lines, the business tax bill that was under consideration in the special session brought about unusual voting coalitions.
GOVERNMENT & POLITICS
“Sadly, hate-motivated crimes are a growing phenomenon throughout Oregon. Our task force will review current laws and make proposals to strengthen our ability to support victims and bring perpetrators of these vile acts to account. Nobody should feel unsafe, or unwelcome, anywhere in our state,” Rosenblum said.
Ben Cannon, executive director of Oregon’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission, acknowledged the shortcoming. “Despite state investments in recent years, at the current funding level, we still fall far short of meeting student financial need, and we are significantly behind the efforts of other states,” he said Tuesday. “We need to do better for Oregonians.”
Oregon Public Broadcasting
As Bend continues to grow, the challenge for the branch campus is how to mirror that without losing what’s working. Freshman Lauryn Gomez likes OSU-Cascades’ current size, a comparatively small 1,200 students. “One thing my family always says is I’m paying for a public education while I’m receiving a private education,” she said. Gomez is among the first students to live in the new campus residence hall, one of just three buildings on the equivalent of a few city blocks.
Oregon Public Broadcasting
Advocates say the bill would make it easier for patients to get access to experimental drugs that have completed the first phase of clinical trials and are in the midst of additional testing. It eliminates the role of the Food and Drug Administration in the approval process and reduces the threshold for patients to receive the medicines. Critics say that removing the FDA from the process could raise the risks for patients.
BUSINESS & TAXES
The Associated Press
But a survey of 603 owners taken in early April by Wells Fargo and Gallup showed many owners were still in the dark. Thirty-nine percent said they don’t know how the law will affect their companies. A third said it had already helped their companies or would do so, and 27 percent didn’t expect it to benefit their businesses.
The deal on new taxes is wrapped up in a longstanding negotiation with the short-term rental companies to allow easier online registration for at least some people renting out their homes through Airbnb and Home Away, city officials said. In exchange, the city is expected to get data from the companies that will make enforcement of the rules and of the taxes possible.
The state had projected Oregon’s love of cycling would bring in around $1 million annually from a bike tax, but the early returns show the tax is falling flat. The tax is $15 on the sale of every new adult-sized bike statewide. Oregon’s Department of Revenue says the tax has brought in $77,000 through mid-May. The administrative costs have run $47,000 in just the first three months.
CAP & TRADE
“We are here to develop a program that can help us reduce our greenhouse gases and to work on also growing economic opportunity across the state, and I’m really looking forward to working with each and every one of you to do that,” said Kotek, the committee’s co-chairperson. State legislative leaders have committed to recommending a carbon-pricing policy during next year’s 160-day legislative session.
The Associated Press
The American Civil Liberties Union and other privacy advocates on Tuesday asked Amazon to stop marketing Rekognition to government agencies, saying they could use the technology to “easily build a system to automate the identification and tracking of anyone.”
“It expands the possibility of support, and that’s what highly partisan operations are concerned about,” Buehler says. “They understand that a fiscally conservative, socially accepting Republican is a big problem for them. That’s why the attacks are coming.”
Portland Business Journal
Brown’s donors over the last nine months include an outsized number of out-of-state donors, with many of them political action committees that are looking to push Democrats after the 2016 presidential campaign.
There’s a fundamental disagreement over what new development does in this city. The consensus among city planners and economists is that adding more supply can help stabilize the city’s housing prices. They hope adding new kinds of construction will create more affordable options in some pricey, close-in neighborhoods. But many homeowners see creating any new options as increasing the incentive for their neighbors to sell their properties to developers, who will tear down existing homes and replace them with expensive, gaudy new houses.
Oregon Public Broadcasting
For the first time, Portland’s utility bureaus will help out families in apartments at risk of eviction by providing what amounts to a rebate on their utility bills. The Water Bureau and the Bureau of Environmental Services have proposed funneling $640,000 into Home Forward’s short-term rent assistance program.
Family Promise Executive Director T.J. Putman said families are turned away from the shelter program because of the “lack of capacity.” “We don’t have the space in the different congregations to house the families, or the staff to meet that need,” Putman said recently in a church gym before the night’s guests received a spaghetti dinner.
Officials say the goal of the program, which is scheduled for Tuesday, May 29, is to arm members of the community with the vocabulary and strategies they need to interrupt instances of racism and discrimination when they see them.
So we teach students how to work hard, be creative, think critically, play fair, and apply academic skills to mastering a variety of subjects. But we often fail to show connections between learning in school and success in adulthood. To help remedy this disconnect between school and the rest of life, City Club of Eugene, the Lane Educational Service District, the Lane Workforce Partnership and the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce cosponsor a free course for teachers: “Oh, the Places You Can Go: Careers in Lane County.”
The Pacific Northwest fresh, sweet cherry forecast is down 22.7 percent from last year’s record crop due to poor blossom pollination in the spring. It should mean higher prices. The industry is also hoping for a turnaround on Chinese tariffs.
Herald and News
“We’re doing the very best we can, and unfortunately there’s not enough water to go around,” Williams said. “But we also must obey the court injunction and we must do the very best we can to meet the requirements of the 2013 biological opinion, and we’ve been doing the very best we can to get extra water to irrigators. I don’t know what else we can do.”
Curry Coastal Pilot
State Rep. David Brock Smith is excited about development possibilities that may come out of Gov. Kate Brown’s naming a census tract from Humbug Mountain to the Coos County border and southeast to Agness as an “opportunity zone.” “The potential for investment there is fantastic,” Smith said. “It’s also one of the reasons I advocated for the Brookings tract: Borax (housing development north of town), the airport. Add the opportunity zones to the enterprise zones passed by the county, and it’ll be great.”
The governor said she wanted to push this tax cut through as a matter of fairness for a group of business owners who had been left out of the original existing tax cut, which legislators passed in 2013. She also denied charges that her proposal was motivated by the looming general election. Well, voters can be the judge of that. It’s still not clear why this matter was so urgent that it required a special session.
The Oregonian Editorial Board
Thankfully, though, Sheriff Mike Reese and other county leaders listened. In a follow-up report released May 10, the Portland-based advocacy group found numerous improvements. More jail and clinical staff was brought on and now, officials better track cell time to be sure inmates are out between 14 to 28 hours a week. And Reese lived up to his promise to provide better employee training with the aim to reduce their use of force and restraints.