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Urgent Action Item

There is an unbelievable vote that will be taken on the House Floor this morning.  It’s on HB 2060A.

 

It is to increase TAXES on small businesses with under 10 employees by 35%, and it’s RETROACTIVE.  Not only that they say they only need 31 votes to pass this. Oregon’s constitution says a 3/5 majority for tax increases!

This is led by Democrats and the Unions that own them! They don’t get their HUGE tax increase so what do they do? They want to bully the little guy and any new start- up businesses!

 

Fair? Looking out of for the families and children? Not hardly. More than 80% of small businesses will see a increase in their taxes for 2017! Unbelievable!

 

One more agreement made in 2013 “grand bargain”  that is being broken by the Democrats because of their out of control spending.

 

CALL the Speakers office and all the House Democrats if you object to HB2060A  503 986-1200 .

 

Please help us stop this total disregard for families and the shredding of our constitution, Donate to the ORP

 

 

Winning  Oregon  together,

 

Chris Barreto

Vice Chair of the Oregon Republican Party

541 910-5247

[email protected]

House Republican Clips

HOUSE REPUBLICAN OFFICE

JUNE 20, 2017 DAILY CLIPS

STATE GOVERNMENT & POLICY

 

TAXES

 

Corporate taxation bill could test constitutional case law

Portland Tribune

The bill’s passage fails to meet the requirements of the constitution for a measure that raises revenue, said House Minority Leader, Mike McLane, R-Powell Butte. “I swore an oath to uphold the Oregon Constitution, even when it might be inconvenient. I am not willing to risk violating that oath by supporting this bill,” McLane said Monday.

 

Oregon Democrats, desperate for more revenue, propose increasing state corporate income tax

Register-Guard

“What we need is a substantial, game-­changing (tax) to raise enough revenue to fund our public services,” said Rep. Phil Barnhart, a Eugene Democrat and committee co-chairman. “Oregon is on the way to being a Third World country.” “We have to have the courage to take that vote,” Barnhart added.

 

Questions Over Taxes Fly As Oregon Legislature Nears Deadline

Oregon Public Broadcasting

During a terse afternoon meeting, Republican Sen. Herman Baertschiger of Grants Pass complained the newest plan would hurt small business. The panel’s co-chair, Democratic Sen. Mark Hass of Beaverton responded, “I would encourage you, Sen. Baertschiger, to offer up your own amendment. Something that you might have.” Hass promptly ended the meeting without calling for a vote on any of the proposals.

 

Committee considers dumping new tax in favor of raising existing rates

Portland Tribune

Lawmakers have been vetting a Democratic proposal for a new state corporate activities tax based on sales, but the latest proposed amendment to the bill scraps that idea in favor of increases to the existing corporate income tax. But neither change is a sure thing.

 

TRANSPORTATION

 

Regional leaders endorse state transportation funding plan

Portland Tribune

Leaders from throughout the metropolitan region endorsed the transportation funding plan being considered by the 2017 Oregon Legislature in an opinion piece published in the Tuesday issue of the Portland Tribune.

 

ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT

State yields on making pollution records public

The Oregonian

Johnson’s experience is evidence that transparency remains an issue at the Department of Environmental Quality, four months after its new director, Richard Whitman, was hired.

 

Climate change talk, through youthful lens

Portland Tribune

“The impacts of climate change are going to be greater with every decade; your voices are really impactful,” said moderator State Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer, D-Portland, to the young panelists, who ranged in age from 13 to their early 30s. She called it her “therapy” to talk to young people about the future.

 

HOUSING

 

Washington County chairman: Housing is still a priority

Portland Tribune

Board Chairman Andy Duyck says Washington County is exploring alternatives for housing, but a countywide tax measure is no longer an option. “I don’t have any answers for you right now,” he said Monday (June 19) at a Washington County Public Affairs Forum luncheon. “But we cannot go in the direction we were thinking. Housing remains a top priority. We will continue to direct resources where we can to get the housing we need.”

 

JOBS & THE ECONOMY

 

Kroger takes $7B hit as Amazon deal compounds struggles

Bloomberg News

The biggest U.S. supermarket chain lost more than $7 billion in market value combined on Thursday and Friday, the biggest two-day loss for the company since December 1999. The 19 percent plummet on Thursday was thanks to a lousy earnings report. The 9 percent drop the next day was courtesy of Amazon.com Inc.’s announcement about acquiring Whole Foods Market Inc. If Amazon pulls that deal off, the competition will be even more cutthroat in an industry known for razor-thin profit margins.

 

OTHER STORIES

 

Oregon tourism marketing budget doubles

Bend Bulletin

“The new money coming to Central Oregon from the state is providing tremendous opportunity for development,” said Alana Hughson, CEO of the Central Oregon Visitors Association and chairwoman of the Oregon Tourism Commission. The nine-member board, appointed by the governor to oversee Travel Oregon staff and programs, convenes in Bend on Tuesday to discuss, among other matters, its 2017-19 strategic plan and $75.7 million budget.

 

Capitol Round-up: Slow in Salem

Bend Bulletin

Tuesday is the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. At 9:24 p.m., summer will begin everywhere. Except, perhaps, the state Capitol, where a political permafrost lies over the Legislature. The Democrats and Republicans have three weeks to thaw out and pass legislation before the Oregon Constitution shuts them down July 10. With the magic words “suspension of the rules,” action can happen in minutes. It better happen quickly, otherwise circle the autumn equinox of Sept. 20 — a possible time frame for a special session for unfinished business.

 

Judge didn’t violate rules in letting immigrant leave through back door, review finds

The Oregonian

Multnomah County Circuit Court administrators have determined that Pro Tem Judge Monica Herranz didn’t violate any rules of judicial conduct when she allowed an undocumented criminal defendant to leave her courtroom through a back door as immigration agents waited in the hallway.

 

OPINION

 

Editorial: Republicans should force a different Medicaid solution

Bend Bulletin

House Republicans, led by the work of Rep. Cedric Hayden, R-Cottage Grove, have a better alternative. Hayden sought to fund Medicaid through a tobacco tax, some one-time transfers and to send the $50 million into the state’s Medicaid budget. Both bills are in the Senate, having passed the House. Republicans have enough voters to block the bills. They should and force an alternative along the lines of Hayden’s plan.

 

Editorial: What might have been

Register-Guard

A spokesman for Kitzhaber and Hayes calls this “exoneration,” and they are entitled to make that claim. But they can’t say they were vindicated. There’s a difference between being cleared of wrongdoing and being found to have been in the right all along. A combination of hubris and recklessness brought Kitzhaber down, and the U.S. attorney’s decision doesn’t change that. There is tragedy, for Kitzhaber and for Oregon, in such a fall. But the worst possible outcome — a legal and ethical cloud over most of Kitzhaber’s fourth term — was avoided.

 

Editorial: Park district survey found support for footbridges

Bend Bulletin

But a new survey of park district residents, most of whom are Buehler’s constituents, indicates widespread support for trail development and footbridge completion.

 

Guest column: Broken system hurts recreation and logging

Nick Smith is executive director of Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities

Forest management versus recreation is a false choice. Whether it is on the Deschutes or the Rogue River-Siskiyou national forests, responsible management can help reduce threats to some of Oregon’s most incredible natural treasures, most popular destinations, and our at-risk recreational facilities. Those who seek to eliminate logging and thinning in the woods are not only creating extraordinary expense to the taxpayer and obstacles to land managers, they are ultimately reducing recreational opportunities for the rest of us.

 

Guest: A budget for Oregon creating great schools, grows business

Kerry McClenahan is the founder and CEO of McClenahan Bruer (McBru),, the chair emeritus of Social Venture Partners, and former board member of Technology Association of Oregon

It is an approach that offers shared responsibility on all sides in order to get to a goal we all want to get to: game-changing investments in education, the funding of vital programs in senior and disabled services, the reserves we need to sustain our budgets, and a stable revenue system that adds jobs and boosts our economy. We are ready to look at the big picture and meet our generation’s challenge: creating a state of great schools and growing businesses, the kind of state that’s ready for the future.

 

LOCAL NEWS

 

Lawmakers recognize Goodding’s sacrifice

Daily Astorian

“He fulfilled the vital and difficult job of policing with passion, dedication and diligence, and was known for his immense smile and generous nature,” stated state Rep. Deborah Boone said in bringing Senate Concurrent Resolution 6 to the floor in Salem. “His reputation was stellar,” Boone. “Everyone loved him. The kids all loved him. I have a granddaughter at the high school and she knew him. He had everyone’s respect and love. It was emotional at all levels.”

 

NATIONAL NEWS

 

Judge delays lawsuit over expansion of monument

The Associated Press

Judge Mark Clarke ruled that all pending deadlines are stayed while Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke “conducts his review of the designation for the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument,” according to the court records.

 

Merkley joins federal lawsuit against Trump

Portland Tribune

Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon, held a rally Friday at the Hatfield Federal Courthouse to explain to Oregonians why he is joining nearly 200 colleagues in suing President Trump over a 49-word clause in the Constitution that is so obscure that it has never been decisively litigated at the Supreme Court.

 

 

Democrats advance tax increase on simple majority vote, setting up potential legal battle


OREGON HOUSE REPUBLICAN OFFICE  

 

Democrats advance tax increase on simple majority vote, setting up potential legal battle

 

Salem, Ore. – House Democrats today advanced a Senate Bill that will raise over $28 million dollars of new revenue on a simple majority vote. Republicans argued the bill represented an end-run on the Oregon Constitution because it did not receive the supermajority vote required for revenue raising bills and did not originate in the House, which is also a requirement for revenue raising bills.

 

In opposing the bill, House Republicans pointed to Article IV Section 18 of the Oregon Constitution, which states:

 

“Bills may originate in either house, but may be amended, or rejected in the other; except that bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives.

 

Republicans also cited Article IV Section 25 of the Oregon Constitution, which reads:

 

(2) Three-fifths of all members elected to each House shall be necessary to pass bills for raising revenue.

 

“When I read the language of the Oregon Constitution, it seems pretty clear. If lawmakers want to raise revenue, the bill must originate in the House and must be passed by a supermajority in both chambers of the Legislature. SB 28 fails to meet both of those requirements. I swore an oath to uphold the Oregon Constitution, even when it might be inconvenient. I am not willing to risk violating that oath by supporting this bill,” said House Republican Leader Mike McLane (R-Powell Butte).

 

According a revenue impact statement issued by the Legislative Revenue Office, SB 28 will raise $5.5 million in the 2017-19 biennium, $11.1 million in 2019-21 and 11.7 million in 2021-23.

 

SB 28 passed the Senate on a 17-13 vote, one shy of what is needed for a supermajority. The bill passed the House by a vote of 34-23, two short of the needed requirement. The circumstances surrounding the bill’s passage could result in a potentially precedent setting legal battle.

 

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Burgess Owens to Speak on Portland’s Liberal “Whiners, Weenies, and Wimps”

 
Author & Athlete Will Headline Oregon GOP Fundraiser on June 24th in Clackamas

Wilsonville, OR – The Oregon Republican Party is announcing their upcoming fundraising dinner on the evening of June 24th in Clackamas featuring author and inspirational conservative speaker Burgess Owens.

Owens’ presentation “The Dream, The Struggle & The Prize” will share his life experiences and lessons that lead him to victory as part of the 1980 Oakland Raiders Super Bowl Championship team and, later, to his crusade for conservative principles.

 

Owens grew up in the deep South when the barriers of segregation were being torn down.  He will share his insights into how decades of liberal legislation have suppressed the black community and how the underlying principles of freedom, faith, and family make our American system unique, precious and valuable.

 

“We are looking forward to hearing Burgess Owens’ perspective on what Liberalism has done to minority communities and to younger generations of Americans,” stated Oregon GOP Chairman Bill Currier. “He tells it like it is, backs it up with his life experiences, and lays out his prescription for how we can engage Americans of all ages on conservative principles.  This is exactly what we need to hear in an age of Antifa and Indivisible.”

 

Owens will also be signing copies of his eye-opening book, “Liberalism or How to Turn Good Men into Whiners, Weenies and Wimps” which contains his observations and advice for Americans who have bought into the myths of Liberalism.

 

“I’m thrilled to be coming to the Portland area to share my message and my life experiences in a place that really needs to hear it,” said Burgess Owens, featured speaker for the June 24th fundraiser.  “Like the rest of America, I’ve watched on TV as Portland’s liberal ‘Whiners‘ have rioted, while Oregon’s ‘Weenies‘ and ‘Wimps‘ in elected office have let it happen and let Oregonians down.”

“I’m coming to encourage conservative grassroots supporters to take my challenge to actively contribute time and money to the Oregon Republican Party as they stand up to these liberals and offer a great Conservative alternative,” added Owens.  “Let’s inspire a new generation to leave behind the failed ideas of Liberalism.  Join me June 24th as we get started!”

 

Tickets include dinner and can be purchased online at the link below or by calling 503-595-8881:

https://oregon.gop/burgess-owens-orp-dinner-2017-06-24

The Oregon Republican Party is the state’s arm of the Republican National Committee. It’s Chairman and officers are dedicated to promoting Republican principles within the state of Oregon and to improving the lives and livelihoods of Oregon’s working families through economic freedom and equal protection under the law.

###

House Republican Clips

 

HOUSE REPUBLICAN OFFICE

JUNE 16, 2017 DAILY CLIPS

STATE GOVERNMENT & POLICY

 

Oregon House passes new taxes on health care providers, mostly to fund Medicaid

Register-Guard

House Republicans said they supported both maintaining the Medicaid expansion and the bulk of majority Democrats’ plan. But they proposed an alternative version that would have eliminated the 1.5 percent tax on certain commercial insurance plans. That tax would hit 12,000 college students, some small businesses and public agencies, they pointed out. The Democrats’ plan “intends to do the right thing, but fails to do so,” said Rep. Julie Parrish, a West Linn Republican.

 

Single GOP ‘yes’ wins tax vote

Bend Bulletin

Rep. Knute Buehler, R-Bend, who is an orthopedic surgeon, said he wanted to ensure everyone in Oregon had access to quality health care. But he opposed the bill as giving legislative approval to the Oregon Health Authority’s flawed handling of the program. “We have had success with the Affordable Care Act in Oregon,” said Buehler, adding, “the exchange continues to struggle. We are going to see nearly a 60 percent increase in premiums in the next few years. Now we are adding taxes?” Buehler suggested the Legislature fund the program for one year instead of two and come back during the short session of the Legislature in 2018 with a longer-term fix.

“I urge you — send this bill to defeat,” Buehler said. “Let’s roll up our sleeves, quit playing politics.”

 

Oregon House advances $670M health care provider tax

The Associated Press

“The inclusion of a tax on insurance premiums will result in higher health care costs for small businesses, college students and everyone in between,” said Republican Rep. Cedric Hayden, who played a key role in negotiating the provider tax package. “It’s disappointing that bipartisan alternatives were not given the consideration they deserved by the majority party.”

 

Health care provider tax narrowly passes House

Portland Tribune

State Rep. Knute Buehler, R-Bend, as well as Rep. Cedric Hayden, R-Fall Creek, and Rep. Julie Parrish, R-Tualatin/West Linn, spoke out against the bill. Buehler said that the legislation failed to hold the Oregon Health Authority to account. About 12,000 students enrolled in health plans through public universities would be subject to a 1.5 percent premium tax.

 

HEALTH CARE

 

OHA may sever contract with hospital association subsidiary under proposed budget

Portland Business Journal

“The contract between Oregon Healthcare Enterprise and OHA is no longer necessary and its elimination gives us the ability to provide (health care) to more Oregonians,” said Rep. Dan Rayfield, a Salem Democrat and co-chair of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Services. The savings would be reallocated to the Oregon Health Plan, or the state’s Medicaid program, said Courtney Crowell, an OHA communications officer. “OHA is working on the best way to proceed with a no cost contract or agreement to take its place,” Crowell said.

 

House OKs bill to help veterans navigate health care

KTVZ

“Too many of our veterans are facing obstacles accessing the health care available to them,” Meek said. “While there has been recent movement within the industry to provide individuals with help navigating health care, those individuals do not exist within the Veterans Affairs system. This legislation will build on the work ODVA is currently doing in this area.”

 

PAID SICK LEAVE

Oregon lawmakers resolve sick pay confusion

Portland Tribune

Farmers can pay the minimum wage to piece-rate employees who miss work due to illness under a bill Oregon lawmakers passed Thursday.

 

EDUCATION & HIGHER EDUCATION

 

Mid-Valley Head Start program to slash staff over summer

Statesman Journal

Changes to federal standards in the Head Start program, and a desire to run a financially tight ship, are pushing the Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency to cut costs and reorganize. “These business decisions affect good people, and we do everything we can to minimize the impact,” Executive Director Jon Reeves said.

 

HOUSING

 

High rents push people out of East Multnomah County

Portland Tribune

At stake is House Bill 2004, the legislative vehicle for a variety of tenant protections, including a ban on no-cause evictions. Rent increases would be limited to once per year, and landlords with more than five tenants would be required to fork more than one month’s rent if an eviction is prompted by renovation, demolition or other new building uses. The bill has roused strong arguments from both sides. But Sen. Laurie Monnes Anderson, D-Gresham, said the current housing situation is broken. She glommed onto the bill early and is one of its chief sponsors. “People are paying more than half — and over half — of their income on housing. That’s tough,” she argues. “It’s people like you and me that are being displaced, and they’re good people.”

 

ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT

Tom Kelly’s building a business group to back climate action

Portland Business Journal

A new business group is launching in Oregon with a specific and unique focus: It wants the state to get real about its carbon-reduction goals. “Oregon is probably not going to meet its legislatively mandated goals if we don’t do something we’re not already doing,” said Tom Kelly, owner of Neil Kelly Co. and chair of the Oregon Business Alliance for Climate, which will hold a news conference next week to outline its agenda and introduce founding members.

 

JOBS & THE ECONOMY

 

Beaverton-based Nike to slash 1,400 jobs, cut sneaker styles in shakeup

The Associated Press

Nike Inc., which is based in Beaverton, said the layoffs represent about 2 percent of its 70,000 employees around the world. It declined to provide additional details about the cuts. The Susquehana analysts said they believed the jobs cuts are likely eliminating redundant back-office positions as a result of a consolidation of reporting segments.

 

Amazon to buy Whole Foods Market for $13.7 billion

USA Today

Amazon said Friday it has agreed to buy Whole Foods Market for $13.7 billion, a stunning move to boost its grocery business even as the brick-and-mortar retail sector continues to sink under the weight of e-commerce.

 

Amazon buys Whole Foods for $13.7 billion

The Washington Post

“This partnership presents an opportunity to maximize value for Whole Foods Market’s shareholders, while at the same time extending our mission and bringing the highest quality, experience, convenience and innovation to our customers,” Mackey said in a statement. The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2017, pending shareholder and regulatory approvals.

 

PUBLIC SAFETY

 

Wheeler takes troubled 911 center from Fritz

Portland Tribune

Mayor Ted Wheeler took the Bureau of Emergency Communictions from Commissioner Amanda Fritz when he reassigned agencies to the members of the City Council on Friday.

 

Mayor Ted Wheeler Takes 911 System Away from Commissioner Amanda Fritz

Willamette Week

The mayor’s spokesman, Michael Cox, said the mayor’s office was in the best position to coordinate between other bureaus as the work of improving BOEC’s management is under way.

“Commissioner Fritz and our office have enjoyed a collegial and cooperative working relationship and we expect that to continue,” says Cox. “Assigning BOEC to ourselves is by and large a product of our proactive agenda for the bureau.” Fritz’s office issued an immediate statement, saying she was “disappointed” not to see through changes the bureau.

 

NONBINARY DRIVERS LICENSE

 

Oregon becomes first state to allow nonbinary on drivers license

The Oregonian

Transgender and intersex Oregonians say the change validates their identities and makes them safer as they hand over their licenses at restaurants, health clinics and airports. Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles officials say they received little opposition to the change, which they first announced plans to carry out last summer.

 

Oregon DMV To Offer 3rd Gender Identity On ID Cards

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Starting next month, the Oregon DMV will offer identity cards with a third gender marker. It’s the first time a U.S. state has recognized non-binary identities.

 

LOCAL NEWS

Prosper Portland awards $300,000 in grants to eight Interstate projects

Portland Tribune

Prosper Portland (formerly the Portland Development Commission) awarded eight Interstate-area projects with $300,000 total in community livability grants, the latest round offered to a series of districts, including Lents, Chinatown and the Central Eastside. “Community Livability Grants are one of our most valuable tools to help organizations fulfill neighborhood action plans and better serve diverse populations throughout the city,” said Kimberly Branam, executive director of Prosper Portland. “We believe these successful proposals will support our goals to enhance partnerships and support thriving, vibrant neighborhoods in the North/Northeast community.”

 

OPINION

 

Editorial: College students, K-12 schools shouldn’t bear burden of Medicaid tax

The Oregonian

It makes considerably less sense, however, that legislators would look to squeeze money out of college students, nonprofit organizations, K-12 school districts and small businesses who have no distinct responsibility for or connection to Medicaid. Unfortunately, House Bill 2391 falls down with a strangely punitive 1.5 percent tax on premiums collected by commercial insurers, a tax that backers acknowledge would simply be passed on to customers. Democrats in the Oregon House, who are pushing to vote on it as soon as Thursday afternoon, should rethink the bill and give consideration to a competing proposal that removes the tax.

 

Editorial: Legislature should ban anonymous legislation

Bend Bulletin

House Republican Leader Mike McLane, R-Powell Butte, understands the problems anonymity creates. He tried earlier this year to correct the problem by changing the rules in the House. Though there was a public hearing on the issue, the effort went nowhere. In addition, Senate Joint Resolution 42 would have asked voters to amend the state constitution to bar the practice. It also failed to gain traction.

 

Editorial: Millions of dollars for Elliott, but none for the children

Bend Bulletin

Federal and state government own more than 60 percent of the land in Oregon, but still no price is too high for those who believe the Elliott State Forest must stay in government hands.

 

Editorial: Finally, a win for open records

Democrat-herald

Two other pending bills also could help the cause of open government: Rep. John Huffman of The Dalles has a bill to end certain public records exemptions and place sunsets on future exemptions. And a bill introduced by Brown would create a public records advocate. The 2017 legislative session could be the best one in 40 years for proponents of open government. We are grateful, but it seems a shame that we’ve had to wait this long.

 

Editorial: A clue on monuments

Register-Guard

Whether the Trump administration can reduce the size of monuments designated under the Antiquities Act of 1906, or rescind them altogether, is far from clear. In more than a century, no president has sought the wholesale alteration or abolition of national monuments. Any changes will be litigated. But when Zinke offers his recommendations for other monuments in the coming months, Cascade-Siskiyou should be excluded from the list. Indeed, it should never have been included on the list in the first place.

 

Editorial: Sessions’ marijuana stance wrong-headed

Mail Tribune

Oregon has had legal medical marijuana for two decades. While some supporters fear the new administration will seek to enforce federal law here, medical marijuana has support in Congress, and President Trump isn’t likely to push for a punitive policy that would be deeply unpopular with the public.

 

NATIONAL NEWS

Trump Confirms He’s Under Investigation

The Associated Press

“I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt,” the president wrote in his tweet.

 

Pennsylvania’s Lesson for Illinois

The Wall Street Journal

The law also can’t erase government liabilities, and pension woes won’t be fixed until governments are honest about what they owe and how to pay for it. But the Pennsylvania improvements are at least a start. Are you paying attention, Illinois and Connecticut?

 

US Expands Review Of Cyanide Predator Traps After Boy Hurt

The Associated Press

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Thursday the review should be finished this fall and workers, meanwhile, will follow interim guidelines issued in a 13-page directive intended to make sure anyone near a device is alerted.

 

 

House Republican Clips

OREGON HOUSE REPUBLICAN OFFICE

Joint Ways and Means Committee votes to tax school districts, college students and small business health plans – large corporations exempt

Another bill kicks $50 million “windfall” to insurance companies

 

SALEM, OR. — A two-bill package architected by Democratic Ways and Means leaders increases healthcare taxes on an estimated 275,000 Oregon health insurance ratepayers. House Bill 2391 creates two new healthcare taxes. The first is a .7% tax on hospitals which will generate $120 million. These dollars will be incurred by patients who are likely to see increased costs of hospital healthcare in order to pay for the tax. The second tax, a 1.5% insurance premium increase that is estimated to generate $145 million, will be borne by school districts, local governments, small businesses, 217,000 insurance buyers in the marketplace, and 11,681 college students.

The second bill in their package takes money from an expiring reinsurance program and redirects it to insurance companies. House Bill 3398 was originally a bill to allocate money to a Hunger Task Force before it was gut and stuffed with a kickback to insurance companies.

 

“It’s unfortunate that the Medicaid package devolved into giveaway for insurance companies and a quarter-billion dollar cost shift to the people who are already struggling to pay for their own insurance coverage,” said Representative Cedric Hayden (R-Cottage Grove).  “I believe we should fully fund health coverage for those who need our help. We presented a solid alternative to these tax increases, and it was blatantly ignored.”

 

Alternative bills offered by Representative Hayden were gaining bipartisan traction. House Bill 3467 would have prioritized full funding for the current service level of Oregon’s health plan to cover Medicaid patients using a combination of available one-time funds and a nominal increase in tobacco taxes. House Bill 3468 would have addressed how the legislature should reallocate a $50 million dollar overage from the Oregon Reinsurance Program, sending it directly to the Medicaid budget.

 

“As a member of the Ways and Means Education Subcommittee, the conversation has been about how will we increase money for K-12 and higher education since those budgets currently fall short,” said Representative Julie Parrish (R-Tualatin/West Linn). “There is wide disconnect between the rhetoric on education funding from my Democratic colleagues and House Bill 2391, which they voted on today in Ways and Means. HB 2391 includes a $21 million dollar hit to K-12 education budgets with an insurance tax on the Oregon Educators Benefit Board. It also includes a tax on PEBB plans that will be felt by college students as part of their tuition increases. And it will include a direct hit to nearly 12,000 college students who buy student health insurance plans. All the while, large self-insured corporate special interests, including hospitals and insurance companies themselves, will not be subject to these very same taxes.”

 

Hayden and Parrish noted that numbers from the Department of Consumer and Business Services indicate that 15,500 small group employers employing 50 people or less will be hardest hit by this tax increase. “These are the smallest of Oregon’s small businesses,” said Representative Hayden. “They’re already facing a steep minimum wage increase next month, and other employer mandates that keep driving their employment costs. At some point, these small business will be forced to either lay off workers or cut benefits to their employees.”

 

The bills now move on to the House Floor for a full vote. House Bill 2391 will require a 3/5 tax increase vote.

 

“I’m hopeful that some of the thoughtful, moderate Democrats in the House will look at these two bills for what they are and push their leadership to come back to the bargaining table. We can fully fund Medicaid, without the burden on a small group of citizens who are now being asked to foot the entire bill,” Parrish said.

 

# # #

 

APPALLING: Trained dogs or legislators?

 
 

Linthicum slams Speaker of the House for derogatory comments

 

SALEM, Ore.-According to the Statesman Journal, Portland Democrat Speaker of the House Tina Kotek said that Republicans will support a resurrection of Measure 97 because of “statesmanship,” and the Statesman Journal says Gov. Kate Brown was the lobbyist-in-chief for the tax hike.

 

Senate Republican Whip Dennis Linthicum, of Klamath Falls, derided the Speaker’s comments as derogatory saying that it puts Republicans in a position that if they do not support the resurrection of Measure 97 then they’re somehow not statesmen. Linthicum says the governor seems disingenuous for on one hand lobbying for the tax hike, but on the other hand doing interviews making it seem like she’s focused on other priorities.

 

Linthicum released the following statement:

“We are not trained dogs, we are legislators. The Speaker of the House is holding hostage every legislator and in effect every Oregonian for a resurrection of Measure 97. It is beyond an outrage for the Speaker of the House Tina Kotek to deride her fellow lawmakers for not supporting her failed crusade for the largest tax hike in Oregon history. Oregonians just told everyone in this building they do not want a gross receipts tax. It is beyond insulting and every Oregonian should be disturbed to see what’s going on in this building. Kotek is jeopardizing a transportation package, a balanced budget and the credibility of the Legislature. And the governor seems to be taking two positions, which may be explained by the fact she’s more concerned with her re-election efforts than governing the state of Oregon. Oregon elected a governor, but they didn’t get one. We have one major duty in this building and it is to balance the budget. Democrats are endangering the state by playing politics and what you’ve got is the elites exploiting Oregonians to support the lifestyles of the Rich and Well-Connected.”

 

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You Won’t Hear This in the Fake News!

The Fake Media is caught with their hands in the cookie jar: http://www.gocomics.com/michaelramirez/2017/06/10

 

They’re Called Democrats, HiLIARy! http://www.gocomics.com/michaelramirez/2017/06/05

 

TRUMP ends unconstitutional Obama war against Catholic nuns: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/06/07/penny-nance-trump-set-end-ridiculous-war-nuns/

 

AG Jeff Sessions ends Obama DOJ handouts (hundreds of millions of dollars) to left-wing groups: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/06/07/sessions-ends-doj-handouts-leftist-groups/

 

TRUMP nominates Conservative judges to the courts: https://townhall.com/tipsheet/guybenson/2017/06/07/good-news-trump-nominates-11-more-judges-to-fill-federal-court-vacancies-n2337965

 

Coal Mining jobs are making a comeback:  http://www.breitbart.com/economics/2017/06/13/u-s-mining-industry-sees-resurgence-citing-first-profitable-quarter-two-years/

 

New coal mine opens in Pennsylvania: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/06/12/winning-trump-touts-opening-new-coal-mine-pennsylvania/

 

U.S. mining industry starting to become profitable again: http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/terence-p-jeffrey/us-mining-industry-posts-first-profitable-quarter-2-years

 

ICE continues its crackdown on criminal illegal aliens: https://townhall.com/tipsheet/annatimmis/2017/06/12/detroit-arrest-of-chaldean-undocumented-n2340076

 

TRUMP apprenticeship program provides the skills to fill available jobs: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/06/12/trump-apprenticeship-plan-aimed-at-filling-six-million-job-vacancies/

 

Failing Obamacare continues to implode: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/06/12/two-million-americans-drop-out-of-obamacare-since-signing-up-in-january/

 

TRUMP supporters protest at fake-news network CNN: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/06/12/trump-supporters-plan-protest-at-cnn-headquarters-in-atlanta-to-decry-fake-news/

 

Pro-TRUMP candidate takes the lead in VA governor race: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/06/11/shock-poll-pro-trump-corey-stewart-takes-lead-in-va-governor-gop-primary/

 

Make America Great Again!

 

Americans for Liberty PAC

A Political Action Committee for Conservatives who uphold the US Constitution in the tradition of the Founding Fathers

Lanny Hildebrandt MBA CPA

1615 4th Street

La Grande OR  97850

(541) 963-7930

Fax (541) 963-7750

Email [email protected]

 

Update from Greg Walden

We owe our profound respect to the men and women who’ve served our country. On Friday, 25 World War II veterans arrived in Washington, D.C. to see their memorial on the National Mall. They came from across Oregon, representing every branch of our country’s military. We can never truly repay the debt of gratitude owed to these heroes. It was a privilege to fly American flags over the Capitol in their honor and pay tribute to each of them and their service in the Congressional Record. Thank you to the trip organizers, families, friends, and loved ones for making this Honor Flight possible. Thank you, most of all, to the veterans for making this day so special and for your service to our country.

On Friday, 25 World War II veterans from across Oregon visited their memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Please continue reading to learn more about recent legislation we’ve passed to improve the care for Oregon veterans, and meetings I held with Oregonians who were visiting Washington, D.C.

Increasing access to quality, timely care for Oregon veterans

Click here or on the image above to view my remarks on recent legislation to support our veterans

Improving the care Oregon veterans receive at the VA is certainly a priority of mine and I know that it is for all Oregonians. The House recently passed seven pieces of legislation to take on some of the biggest issues facing our veterans and improve their access to timely care. Legislation the House passed will help the VA move through the backlog of appeals and increase flexibility in the appeals process. This will answer many of the concerns I’ve heard from veterans in the district — some of whom have waited two years just to get through the first step in the appeals process.

We also took concrete steps to improve the mental health care our veterans receive and to tackle the opioid epidemic — which has affected veterans and non-veterans alike across our country. The bills we passed will create a pilot program to explore new, innovative treatment options for veterans suffering from PTSD, traumatic brain injury, chronic pain, and allow for better monitoring of VA prescription drug use.

There is still much work to be done to get veterans access to the care they have earned and deserve in a timely manner. We won’t give up until that is done. These bills are an important first step in making progress on that front. To read more about these bills, please click here.

Meeting with Oregonians in Washington, D.C.

Congratulations to Alison Moss of Bend, Oregon on being commissioned into the United States Navy. It was a privilege to present her with a flag flown over the Capitol and spend a few minutes with her proud mother and grandmother.  

Marisa Remington of Oregon Network of Child Abuse Intervention Centers and Kim McDonald of the Mt. Emily Safe Center in La Grande discussed their work with me while in Washington, D.C. for the National Children’s Alliance Leadership Conference.

Members of the Oregon Nurses Association gave me an update on their policy issues last week as part of their national conference in Washington, D.C.

Winner of the 2017 Congressional Art Competition

Liberty Rossel’s artwork, “We Have Seen Too Much”, was selected by a panel of judges as the winner of the 2017 Congressional Art Competition for our district.

Congratulations to Josephine County resident and Grants Pass High School senior Liberty Rossel for winning the Congressional Art Competition for Oregon’s Second District. Liberty’s painting “We Have Seen Too Much” was selected by a panel of local art professors and artists out of 87 entries from students around southern, central, and eastern Oregon. Her powerful painting will be showcased in the U.S. Capitol among the best student artwork in the nation, where it will be seen by members of Congress and visitors from around the world. Special thanks to all the art teachers from high schools around the state for encouraging their students to participate, and to this year’s outstanding judges for doing the difficult work of choosing our winner out of so many great entries. For more information on this year’s competition and how to participate in future competitions, please click here: https://walden.house.gov/artcompetition

That’s all for this update. Remember, you can always keep in touch with me via email, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

It is an honor to represent you in the U.S. Congress.

Best regards,

Greg Walden
U.S. Representative
Oregon’s Second District


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House Republican Clips

HOUSE REPUBLICAN OFFICE

JUNE 12, 2017 DAILY CLIPS

STATE GOVERNMENT & POLICY

 

PUBLIC SAFETY

 

Portland’s 911 center knowingly misreports hold times, ombudsman says

The Associated Press

St. Helen wrote that the 911 center’s hold time data had been inaccurate since 2004, when the bureau implemented a flawed system designed to screen out accidental cellphone calls. “What this means is that all call hold times reported at any time in the past as they related to cellphone calls has been incorrect,” St. Helen wrote in 2015. “Clearly this is an issue.” “It’s absolutely cause for concern,” St. Helen said. “I’m trying to get a handle on everything that’s happened in the past. There is nobody that is standing up louder that wants this fixed than I am.”

 

AGRICULTURE & NATURAL RESOURCES

 

Federal environmental laws don’t shield Oregon from counties’ timber lawsuit, judge rules

The Associated Press

The Endangered Species Act and Clean Water Act don’t shield the state of Oregon from a $1.4 billion timber lawsuit, a judge has ruled. Federal environmental statutes don’t protect the state from potential damages in a lawsuit filed by 14 counties and roughly 130 tax districts accusing Oregon’s government of insufficiently logging state forests, a Linn County judge ruled Thursday.

 

LOCAL NEWS

 

Oregon Shipping Group looks to restore rail lines

Stayton Mail

Mannix, a Salem business lawyer, told the Stayton council that after shipping in the Port of Portland was compromised, Oregon Shipping Group formed to advocate and develop a vision for improving the state’s shipping capabilities for imports and exports. “In that context, especially because of our agricultural economy, our farmers need to be able to ship their product (throughout the) United States and to the rest of the world,” he said.

 

OPINION

 

Editorial: Brown puts road measure on short list

Gazette-Times

It would be a signature embarrassment for the transportation plan to stumble for the second straight session. We expect that legislators from both parties and the governor have little appetite for such an outcome.

 

Editorial: Win-win for UO, state

Register-Guard

It’s the idea that state politicians and university administrators have always been a touch wary of one another. They live in different worlds. Run in different circles. Speak in different languages. In short, don’t always play well together. But as the UO seeks to secure $100 million from the state in immediate financing for the Knight endeavor, this project has the potential to ease that divide — because the $1 billion center isn’t designed to be simply a nicety for the campus. “This can be a game changer for the state,” said Patrick Phillips, the Knight Campus executive director.

 

OREGONIANS IN CONGRESS

Merkley for President in 2020? CNN Profile Sends Up Trial Balloon

Willamette Week

“Right now, every elected Democrat in the nation knows they’d be a better president than Donald Trump,” Merkley said. “And I’m not just talking the House and the Senate, I’m talking every city council member, mayor, and county commissioner knows that they would be a better president.”

 

Ron Wyden Elicits New Information About Jeff Sessions, Says Americans Deserve to Know More

Willamette Week

Wyden held a Portland press conference this morning, a day after his questioning of James Comey revealed that the former FBI director knew more reasons than he has disclosed about why Sessions had to recuse himself from overseeing an inquiry into ties between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives. Wyden today referenced those “secret facts” that forced Sessions to recuse himself from the Russia investigation. “It is my view this morning, that the American people deserve to know what facts Mr. Comey was talking about here that would disqualify America’s sitting attorney general from this investigation,” Wyden said.

 

Sen. Wyden urges public hearing with AG Sessions

Statesman Journal

The Oregon Democrat sent a letter to the Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C., and Vice Chairman Mark Warner, D-Va., saying, “I believe we owe the American people transparency.” Here is the letter Wyden sent:

 

NATIONAL NEWS

 

Trump faces lawsuit from Maryland, DC attorneys general

The Associated Press

The attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia say they will sue Donald Trump on Monday, alleging he has violated the Constitution by taking payments from foreign governments as president.

 

 

 

House Republican Clips

HOUSE REPUBLICAN OFFICE

JUNE 9, 2017 DAILY CLIPS

STATE GOVERNMENT & POLICY

 

Oregon is suing engineers for .?.?. speaking up about engineering?

The Washington Post

After Jarlstrom emailed his traffic-light ideas to the board, it declared the emails illegal because in them he called himself an engineer. The board investigated him for 22 months and fined him $500 for expressing opinions without getting a professional-engineer license. This would have involved a six-hour examination ($225 fee), an eight-hour examination ($350 fee), an application to the board ($360 fee) and a demonstration of “education and experience” that usually requires a four-year apprenticeship.

 

The board has tried to bully others, too. It investigated and warned a political candidate about calling himself an engineer without being licensed by the board. (He has Cornell University and MIT degrees in environmental and civil engineering, and membership in the American Society of Civil Engineers.) For the same reason, the board is in its 12th month investigating a gubernatorial candidate who said “I’m an engineer” in a political ad. (He has a mechanical engineering degree from Purdue University and was an engineer at Ford and Boeing.)

 

BUDGET & TAXES

 

Kate Brown says lawmakers must pass three key bills before going home

The Oregonian

The governor made the statement less than 24 hours after House Speaker Tina Kotek, D-Portland, and Sen. Mark Hass, D-Beaverton, introduced a plan to raise nearly $900 million in the next two years by temporarily increasing corporate income taxes and, beginning in 2019, dramatically changing how the state taxes businesses. “I honestly do not know whether the votes are there at this point in time,” Brown said of corporate tax changes. However, she added that conversations on the topic should continue because “I am not interested in kicking this can down the road.” Brown’s comments were nonetheless a rejection of Kotek’s attempt to push corporate tax changes and other budget fixes ahead of any other priority bills. Two weeks ago, Kotek told reporters that “any other bill will just have to wait until we get that done.”

 

Brown: ‘Time to start passing budgets’

Associated Press

Republicans are digging in their heels on the business tax plan, saying it’s too similar to Measure 97 that voters rejected in November. The GOP minority isn’t outright opposed to tax increases but argues Democrats aren’t as serious as they say about reining in government spending, particularly pension and health care costs, which are growing faster than tax revenues that are at all-time highs. “Much like previous iterations, the latest plan brought forward by Democratic leadership is heavy on new taxes and light on structural spending reform,” said Republican Rep. Cliff Bentz, of Ontario, who co-chairs the Tax Reform Committee, referring to the newest plan rolled out this week by House Speaker Tina Kotek and Sen. Mark Hass.

 

Gov. Kate Brown describes how she thinks the Legislature will get to a balanced budget

Statesman Journal

Republicans remain opposed to the gross receipts tax.  Rep. Cliff Bentz, R-Ontario, said: “House Republicans are not willing to ask Oregonians to hand over more of their money to bailout a broken system, which is what this latest plan would do. “We will continue to work in good faith to develop a solution to our state’s budget challenges that includes an emphasis on sustained economic growth, structural spending reforms that result in real and significant savings, and targeted investments in education and workforce development programs. We continue to believe this can be accomplished before the end of the legislative session,” he said.

 

Gov. Brown criticizes union threats aimed to force corporate tax increase

The Oregonian

Gov. Kate Brown said Thursday she does not approve of “threats” by Oregon’s largest public employee union to oppose lawmakers’ transportation plan if they don’t also approve a corporate tax increase. Brown told reporters it’s not unusual for legislators and interest groups to insist that their legislation pass and threaten to tank other bills unless demands are met. But, Brown added, “I do not support those tactics. The priorities that I outlined need to move forward without regard to connections to other issues,” Brown said, referencing bills that trim state government costs, raise health-related tax revenue and fix roads and bridges.

 

Governor urges Legislature to pass transportation and hospital tax measures, while business tax proposal languishes

Register-Guard

Brown’s comments caused some shock in the Capitol Thursday, as many Democratic lawmakers are still holding hope for a business tax compromise this session. Just Wednesday, House Speaker Tina Kotek said she’d reached a “game-changing” compromise with Democratic Sen. Mark Hass on how to structure the tax and said she remained hopeful of securing more business and GOP support. Brown’s statements appeared to undercut that effort.

 

Unclear Democrats’ tax plan has the votes to pass

Portland Tribune

“The Speaker of the House will not get away with holding this building hostage for a resurrection of Measure 97,” said Senate Republicans spokesman Jonathan Lockwood, referencing a 2016 ballot measure to raise corporate taxes, “the (Democrats) do not have the legally required votes to pass it.”

 

EDUCATION & HIGHER EDUCATION

 

Oregon Senate passes $8.2 billion K-12 spending plan

The Oregonian

And late Thursday, Kotek suggested the $8.2 billion budget was too small to pass in the House. “It’s unclear whether there are the votes in the House to pass a status quo K-12 budget at this point,” Kotek said in a statement. “I’m still fighting to pass a compromise on business tax reform and cost containment that allows us to invest more in our schools this session.”

 

Senate approves $8.2 billion state education budget

Portland Tribune

The plan exceeds the existing two-year budget by 11.2 percent, said Sen. Rod Monroe, D-Portland. Education advocates, including the Oregon School Boards Association, have said the amount fails to account for schools’ increasing expenses related to bargained salaries and the rising cost of providing health insurance and pension benefits.

 

Oregon Senate OKs K-12 spending plan that’s up 11.2 percent from current biennium; some school advocates say it is still not enough

Register-Guard

“This is a strong budget,” said Sen. Rod Monroe, a Portland Democrat. “It was a stretch” for the budget committee. “We’ve gone as far as we can go with no additional tax revenue,” he added.

Sen. James Manning, a Eugene Democrat, said that setting a “floor” budget of $8.2 billion now is a prudent step. “The session is not over,” he added, referring to ongoing discussions around a major new tax on businesses and cost-saving reforms to public pensions.

 

TRANSPORTATION

 

Bend area officials back $8.2B state road bill

Bend Bulletin

Supporters of the bill said U.S. Highway 97 needs to be fixed to help speed up regional trucking, increase highway safety, and even give the region a way out in case of a massive earthquake. Mostly, the highway is too small, narrow and old for the booming region. “Bend is consistently the fastest growing city on the West Coast in population and job growth,” wrote Mayor Casey Roats. “This growth has created congestion and safety pressures on Highway 97, which is the backbone of the state system east of the Cascades.”

 

Bill may allot $26 million for shipping facility

The Argus Observer

For Malheur County a big part of the bill is $26 million for a transmodal facility at which products would be delivered by trucks to be loaded onto rail cars for quicker and less expensive shipping across the country. The proposed facility is touted as a way to make local producers more competitive.

 

HOUSING

 

Tenant protections bill in peril in Senate

Portland Tribune

“We are still working on it. We are meeting with the no votes and seeing what can be changed in the bill to get it off the floor,” said Sen. Laurie Monnes Anderson, D-Gresham, a chief sponsor of the bill. All of the Republicans in the Senate are opposed to the bill, according to the Senate Republicans Office. At least two Senate Democrats also have indicated they plan to vote no. Sen. Rod Monroe, D-Portland, still opposes the bill, according to his office. “I think we are just focusing on the symptoms and not really the problem. I am trying to focus the Legislature on the real issues, which is supply and demand issues,” said Sen. Tim Knopp, R-Bend.

 

Economist: Housing demand is far outpacing supply

Mail Tribune

“Developers and home builders want to build — that’s why they were put on the planet,” the Windermere Real Estate chief economist told his audience at Rogue Valley Country Club. “But there are so many obstacles in their way right now that it’s become a problem for them. The obstacles are three-fold, he said.

 

HEALTH CARE

 

Lawmakers try to get more Medicaid members into CCOs and move them faster

Portland Business Journal

The bill attempts “to make our CCO system more sustainable,” Rep. Cedric Hayden, a Roseburg Republican and co-vice chair of the health care committee, said at a hearing. “Currently, they can languish in this re-application for 30, 60, 90 days or more and then get into retroactive assignment, which causes problems with networks accepting patients from CCOs.”

 

Feds come knocking at failed Zoom Health

The Oregonian

The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services claims Zoom Management led regulators to believe it was putting another $3 million into Zoom Health at the end of 2016. But the cash never changed hands, the state claims.

 

OPINION

 

Editorial: Term limits for legislators would create worse problems

Bend Bulletin

The doctor may have the right diagnosis, but his prescription to heal it is all wrong. Voters have the power to throw out the old and bring in new legislators, and sometimes, they do so. And the “political class” he criticizes starts at the top, with officials and influential power-brokers who would be unaffected by this proposal.

 

Editorial: Add instructional time

Register-Guard

As reported by Alisha Roemeling May 19, most of Eugene’s schools have fallen below state standards for classroom time, some woefully so. But the Eugene School Board’s attempt to rectify the deficiency Wednesday by voting to count recess, professional teacher development and parent-teacher conferences as “instructional time” isn’t the right solution, even if it’s only a temporary fix for 2017-18.

 

Editorial: Oregon businesses get it right to ignore Paris accord withdrawal

The Oregonian

Oregon businesses did right this week. When they did, tellingly, they characterized Trump’s action as “out of step with what’s happening in the United States,” according to the “We are still in” document they signed. Businesses have a way of being as grounded as they are aspirational. And they will, with enough certainty, help shape an energy future that’s as smart for Oregon and the nation as it is for the planet.

 

Guest: Rep. Nearman: Honoring ‘innocent until proven guilty’ for my staff

Representative Mike Nearman, HD 23

I hope your readers are more thoughtful in their views than your reporter was in crafting a story that served no purpose other to embarrass an otherwise hard-working state employee. I don’t for a minute regret hiring Angela and giving her a second chance. I’d do it again.

 

Guest: Legislature should work to keep children, seniors in safe housing

Tonia Hunt is executive director of Children First for Oregon. Elaine Friesen-Strang is the AARP Oregon Volunteer State President

Loss of a home can mean loss of community ties, displacement, and even premature, unnecessary and costly institutionalization at tax-payer’s expense. This is why Children First for Oregon and AARP urge lawmakers to support HB 2004A. Children and seniors can’t wait.

 

OREGONIANS IN CONGRESS

 

Sen. Ron Wyden Interrogates Former FBI Director: “The Odor of Presidential Abuse of Power Is So Strong.”

Willamette Week

“Yesterday you put on the record testimony that demonstrates why the odor of presidential abuse of power is so strong,” Wyden began. “All in one dinner, the president raised your job prospects, he asked for your loyalty and denied allegations against him.” Here’s the video of Wyden’s exchanges with Comey.

 

Wyden questions Comey, says firing ‘stinks’ with ‘odor of presidential abuse of power’

The Oregonian

Wyden questioned Comey about what would have happened if the FBI did follow through with Trump’s request and “drop” the Flynn investigation. Comey responded that, “We would have dropped an open criminal investigation.” Wyden noted that though Flynn is now gone from the White House, others close to Trump remain who are facing scrutiny about potential ties to Russia. When Wyden asked Comey if Americans should be concerned about those still in the White House, Comey ducked the question.

 

NATIONAL

 

GOP Senators’ Medicaid Clash Jeopardizes Health Deal

Wall Street Journal

The divide among Senate Republicans over Medicaid was wide enough that some GOP lawmakers and aides said they now believe it may be impossible to broker a deal to unwind the health law known as Obamacare. Some senators are already preparing to move to another goal, an overhaul of the tax code.

 

 

 

 

House Republican Clips

HOUSE REPUBLICAN OFFICE

JUNE 7, 2017 DAILY CLIPS

STATE GOVERNMENT & POLICY

 

EDUCATION

 

Protestors line Capitol halls to jeer lawmakers’ education budget

Portland Tribune

The budget … does not really address the cost drivers, so it’s not going to help us to get more teachers and reduce class sizes,” Rep. Gene Whisnant, R-Sunriver, said, referring to increasing costs in pension and health insurance costs. Whisnant and two other Republicans, House Minority Leader Mike McLane of Powell Butte and John Huffman of The Dalles, voted against the education budget.

 

Oregon lawmakers advance $8.2 billion funding plan for K-12 schools

The Oregonian

Preston Mann, a spokesman for House Republicans, questioned why lawmakers were voting on the schools budget before passing legislation to trim costs, such as two bills aimed at controlling public pension costs and other spending that were introduced Monday. “Why are we passing any budget without exhausting all cost containment options first?” Mann said.

 

Lawmakers advance $8.2 billion education bill

The Associated Press

Committee members like Republican Sen. Alan DeBoer said they were “offended” by the hallway demonstrations, and also defensive of the work they did to raise education funding despite a shortfall and no new tax revenue. “This budget is sound … it is certainly significantly hundreds of millions of dollars more than the governor recommended,” said Sen. Rod Monroe, a Democrat and educator for more than 50 years. “This is a significant budget … we oughta be applauded, not jeered.”

 

TRANSPORTATION

 

Union may use ballot as bargaining chip to force vote on corporate tax increase

The Oregonian

Oregon’s largest public employee union may try to kill lawmakers’ multibillion-dollar transportation plan at the ballot if officials don’t increase corporate taxes. Melissa Unger, political director of SEIU 503, confirmed the union’s ballot intentions Tuesday. Unger said it’s the union’s hope that a transportation plan passes. But union leaders would be “disappointed” if the annual legislative session ends without a corporate tax package, she said. “Our stance is that we shouldn’t tax people for roads before we tax corporations for services and schools,” Unger said. “If that’s where we end up, we would be forced to look at all the options, which includes referral” to the ballot.

 

Clean Fuels Program pumps up demand, jobs at biodiesel maker

Portland Tribune

Oregon’s controversial Clean Fuels Program is fueling growth at the state’s only biodiesel manufacturer. SeQuential, which is based in Portland and operates a biodiesel production facility in Salem, hired 100 new employees since the legislation took effect in January 2016. That brings the company to about 250 employees.

 

Oregon Driver’s Licenses Still Don’t Meet Federal Security Standards

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Oregon was given an extension last year to bring its driver’s licenses up to federal security standards. That extension expired Tuesday, but the state isn’t worried. Back in 2009, Oregon lawmakers decided not to comply with the REAL ID Act unless federal funds paid for it. That standoff has lasted eight years now. But David House with the Oregon DMV says a bill in Salem would allow Oregonians to pay $20 extra for a new federally accepted license, so they can board planes and get into federal facilities.

 

PERS

 

What Do All Seven Members of Gov. Kate Brown’s Asset-Sale Panel Have in Common?

Willamette Week

Records show all seven people Brown appointed are registered Democrats. Should the group fail to reach Brown’s $5 billion target, the lack of political bipartisanship on the panel could prove a rich target. “As if appointing a task force to address one of Oregon’s biggest problems wasn’t underwhelming enough already,” says Preston Mann, a spokesman for the House Republicans, “the fact that the group is exclusively made up of Democrats will do nothing to inspire confidence among Oregonians that the [Public Employee Retirement System] disaster will be adequately addressed.” Brown’s spokesman Chris Pair declined to comment.

 

BUDGET

 

Business tax proposals get specific rates, an official bill and support from woman voters

Statesman Journal

The rates would start at a flat $250 annual fee for mom and pop businesses with less than $3 million in sales while bigger businesses would pay a fraction of 1 percent on their gross receipts: .75 for services, .35 for retail, .25 for wholesale and .48 for others. The tax would net $796 million in the upcoming biennium, according to Legislative Fiscal Officer Paul Warner.  Proceeds of the new tax are earmarked for public schools and universities.

 

HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES

 

State officials unwittingly used Minnesota social security number for thousands seeking birth control

Portland Tribune

The Oregon Health Authority for years unwittingly instructed Oregon Health Plan clinics to use someone’s social security number for thousands of young people seeking free birth control, officials say. The practice, used by OHA since 2010 for teenagers who did not themselves provide a social security number, was abruptly halted more than a year ago after concerns were raised by an investigator from the federal Social Security Administration’s Office of Inspector General, according to a letter recently sent by Helen Rimberg, and OHA reproductive health manager.

 

“From May 2010 through October 2015, 9,487 clients were enrolled in CCare without providing an SSN at the time of enrollment,” he wrote in an email. “Of these, state staff were able to find and verify SSNs for 5,339 (56%) clients. Regardless of whether an SSN was found, 90% of clients enrolled without an SSN (8,538 clients) had their U.S. citizenship verified. Those who were not verified were terminated. “

 

State birth control program thought it used ‘dummy’ SSN

Bend Bulletin

The Oregon Health Authority used what it believed to be an unassigned Social Security number for five years to enroll young adults in a program that administers birth control and other family planning services. The practice ended when the agency learned the number did in fact belong to an individual. “Were we aware that the dummy Social Security number was being used? Yes,” said OHA spokesman Jonathan Modie. “Were we aware it was tied to a specific person? After we were notified, yeah. And then we virtually immediately stopped using that and changed our processes.”

 

An Oregon Civil-Rights Pioneer is Helping Big Tobacco Fight Against Raising the Legal Smoking Age

Willamette Week

The bill was sent to the House Rules Committee for possible amendment to address the issues Carter raised. “There was still a lot of concern in the Trump era that there would be racial profiling,” says state Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer (D-Portland), a chief sponsor of the bill. One state representative says, however, that Carter didn’t disclose who had hired her. State Rep. Jeff Barker (D-Aloha) says Carter lobbied several of his colleagues, telling them the bill could lead to racial profiling. Barker says some colleagues told him Carter had not disclosed she was working for Altria. “To try to kill a bill that way when you are really representing a tobacco company is not right,” Barker says. “I’m disappointed in her.”

 

Greenlick tries to restrict CCO political contributions with ballot measure

Portland Business Journal

Rep. Julie Parrish, a Republican from Tualatin, said she appreciates Greenlick’s effort, but she believes broader campaign finance reform is what’s needed. “The problem with HJR 32 is it cherry-picks one particular piece of finance reform,” Parrish said. “I think it’s the wrong approach.” Parrish plans to submit an amendment to Greenlick’s resolution to allow the Legislature, citizens or local governments to enact “meaningful campaign finance reform” without a constitutional amendment.

 

Opioid crisis: Pain patients pushed to the brink

Bend Bulletin

“We all have a sense of desperation as the immense number of opioid deaths pile up, but the response is increasingly misdirected,” said Dr. Stefan Kertesz, an addiction medicine specialist at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine. “A significant number of chronic pain patients are killing themselves, and that should be a concern to society at large when people die as a result of something done to care for them.”

 

States With Large Black Populations Are Stingier With Government Benefits

The Atlantic

Oregon also helps people get off welfare by linking them to employment and pays their wages for up to six months. Mississippi has a work requirement for people receiving welfare, but does little to help them get a job. “I think what you see in other states is you see this kind of partisan, ‘we are going to take it out on poor people,’ philosophy. You just haven’t seen that here,” Tina Kotek, a Democratic legislator in Oregon, told me last year.

 

PUBLIC SAFETY

 

OnTrack’s DUII program in disarray, state says

Mail Tribune

In March 3 and April 11 reviews of OnTrack’s programs, the OHA found scant evidence that clients had received a required Certificate of Completion for their DUII program. The OHA “found only one Certificate of Completion sent to the Department of Motor Vehicles to verify completion of treatment. Management was unable to convey what had occurred or where the numbered certificates were.” Houston, who said the problems at OnTrack were widespread and troublesome during his time there, said the DUII program generally failed to check on the backgrounds of clients to determine their risk of drinking and driving again.

 

Report: 911 response times longer than reported for years

Portland Tribune

Although the Bureau of Emergency Communications (BOEC), which operates the center, says the problem was fixed late last year, the report says the underreporting allowed BOEC to wrongly claim it was exceeding performance standards, despite chronic staffing shortages. “Contrary to the bureau’s assertions, it is performing well below accepted standards,” reads the ombudsman report, titled, “911 Hold Times Longer Than Reported.”

 

Portland’s 911 agency knowingly reported inaccurate hold times, report finds

The Oregonian

Portland’s 911 center knowingly reports falsely short wait times by omitting nearly all cell phone hold times — and has done so for years, says a report released by the city ombudsman Wednesday. More than 99 percent of calls to Portland 911 are reported to overseers and the public as being answered within 20 seconds, when in fact, many cell phone calls took much longer, ombudsman Margie Sollinger found.

 

ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT

Satisfied with clean-up, DEQ green-lights Eugene riverfront for revival

Register-Guard

The site of Eugene’s industrial district for more than 25 years, the 17-acre property along the Willamette River was tainted by chemicals that had seeped into the soil in five places. The city of Eugene announced in April its plans to buy the land from EWEB for $5.75 million, but the deal hinged on the Department of Environmental Quality approving EWEB’s cleanup. The city intends to sell the land to developers, creating a new neighborhood connecting downtown Eugene and the river.

 

HOUSING

 

Westside suburban leaders hold housing summit to frame policies

Portland Tribune

“Supply is your best friend. If you’re trying to cut the price down, supply is helpful. It doesn’t have to be all affordable housing to more the supply more affordable,” economist Jerry Johnson of Johnson Economics said at the beginning of the summit. Oregon U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley kicked off the summit in the Council Chambers with a call to protect existing federal affordable housing programs from cuts proposed in President Donald Trump’s budget. Merkley said creating more affordable housing has always been one of his top priorities.

 

REAL ID ACT

 

Oregon Driver’s Licenses Still Don’t Meet Federal Security Standards

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Oregon was given an extension last year to bring its driver’s licenses up to federal security standards. That extension expired Tuesday, but the state isn’t worried. “But even if this bill doesn’t pass through the Legislature … there’s no immediate affect, we won’t see the enforcement at the airports for example until 2018,” he said. House added, “We’ve requested another extension for a few more months from Homeland Security.”

 

OTHER STORIES

 

Bud Pierce files Legislature term-limits measure

KTVZ

“It is time we change the pattern of electing career politicians in our state and get back to a true citizen legislature,” Pierce said in a news release. “Our current system is failing the citizens of the state,” he said. “We continue to have one of the poorest graduation rates in the nation, our infrastructure is crumbling and our roads are overcrowded, the Department of Human Resources is a mess and failing our children, PERS liabilities continue to be ignored. “Something must be done to get Oregon back on track. Changing our leaders is necessary if we want to make progress in our state,” Pierce said.

 

An inside look at politics

Portland Tribune

More than a dozen local high school students have been tracking bills in the state Legislature and writing policy briefs for Rep. Ann Lininger as part of a Student Leadership Cabinet created by the Lake Oswego lawmaker earlier this year. “There are things you can’t do away from Salem,” she says. “They get to see the kind of work we get done in such a small space.” Lininger says the program was created from scratch, but it was inspired by similar opportunities in other legislatures and by the ways in which her own high school-age kids have been able to view the inner workings of the legislative process. She says she wanted to extend that opportunity to other students interested in state government.

 

OPINION

 

Editorial: Twin budgetary challenges

Register-Guard

House Minority Leader Mike McLane, R-Powell Butte, was noncommittal about the cost-reduction proposal, which involves leaving vacant positions unfilled and ending inflation adjustments for services and supplies: “Whether this package does enough to contain costs over the next decade remains to be seen.”

 

Editorial: For the good of Gov. Brown

Bend Bulletin

For the good of Oregon, Brown’s public records attorney, Emily Matasar, told The Oregonian that the redactions were justified because the public records law allows advisory communications to be withheld. And for the good of Oregon, Bryan Hockaday, a spokesman for Brown, added that it’s good to redact evaluators’ impressions of job candidates so discussion about them can be frank and won’t damage their future job searches. But knowing the way Brown’s office redacted the material, it’s clear that for the good of Brown, her office redacted things to support her actions.

 

Editorial:Time to set partisanship aside in Salem

Mail Tribune

Oregon’s Legislature was once a place where the state came before the party and where compromise was not a dirty word. With Democrats muscling their way through the sessions and Republicans playing the unhappy victim, there’s been little common ground on the major issues facing the legislators. Perhaps they need to remember that those issues are facing all Oregonians and agree to resolve them through leadership rather than partisanship.

 

Editorial: Cost-cutting bills usher in session’s final act

Democrat-herald

The big question now is this: Are the cost savings in these bills enough to generate enough Republican support for increasing taxes? It’s not an idle question: Some Republican support will be required for the Legislature to pass a tax increase. Legislators may well have to do some additional budget-trimming before any kind of compromise emerges on taxation. And that just heightens the odds that the Legislature’s work might not be done by the time the regular session ends on July 10.

 

Editorial: Fuels act could trip up road work

Democrat-herald

In the 2015 session, legislators were astonished that Republicans held the line on the gas tax increase; not one supported it, and so the negotiations on that session’s transportation bill crashed and burned. Since then, another two years have gone by without a substantial investment in Oregon’s crumbling infrastructure. There’s still plenty of time for legislators to enact this transportation bill in this session. What’s not clear yet is whether they have the will to craft the compromises that will be necessary for passage.

 

Editorial: 911 issues must be addressed to keep citizens feeling safe

The Oregonian

The Bureau of Emergency Communications operates unlike any other department under the city’s purview, moving forward with policy and purchasing decisions without an airing before the full council and the public. That must stop. In her response to the recent ombudsman report, St. Helen agreed it would be a good move to treat the agency like other bureaus. That should happen sooner rather than later. These calls are valuable. People are often at their most desperate when they call 911, and the city must be more vigilant to be sure the system designed to help them is working at its very best.

 

Editorial: Keeping its cool, Portland shows how democracy is done

The Oregonian

But while Sunday afternoon had its woolly moments in which police blocked antagonists from one another, as well as decisively shut down a city park that served as an anti-Trump staging area, the day ended with just 14 arrests and without serious incident. Portland, and Portland police, take a bow. Sunday is how democracy is done.

 

Editorial: College debt info could help student choices

Bend Bulletin

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum has spearheaded an effort to give those students a clear view of where those debt decisions are taking them. It’s a smart move that has received full support from Oregon’s Legislature and is headed to the governor’s desk.

 

Guest: Portland business group: Spending cuts alone won’t fix state’s budget

Kerry McClenahan, CEO of McClenahan Bruer; Bryan Steelman, Por Que No?; Matt Ellis, CEO Cloudability

You’ve heard that we’re facing a $1.6 billion budget shortfall, that Portland Public Schools is considering cutting up to 70 teachers, that the state’s universities plan to raise tuition by 5 percent or more, and that in-home care for low-income seniors is on the chopping block. And you may have heard that the business community is calling for legislators to reduce state spending and defer plans for raising new revenue to some undetermined point in the future. But what you probably haven’t heard is that Oregon’s business community is no monolith. There is no single voice that speaks for every executive, investor, and small business owner in the state.

Kate Brown Hides Information From The Public While Touting Transparency

Wilsonville, OR – Democrat governor Kate Brown is taking even more heat this week for her administration’s alarming lack of transparency.  A new report by The Oregonian reveals that Brown attempted to redact and conceal “contradictions in Brown’s reasoning for firing the appointees.”  Her office attempted to delete key information before responding to a records request by the paper. The information would have remained a secret if another department had not released the same information without Brown’s redactions:

”If it were up to Gov. Kate Brown, you wouldn’t know that her former advisor, Richard Whitman, is ‘very intelligent and well-spoken and very well-versed in Oregon environmental and natural resources policy.’

You wouldn’t know that a recruitment firm, which Oregon paid $65,000 to find the department’s next leader, ‘strongly recommended’ Whitman. Or that the recruiters thought the other finalist, Leanne Tippett Mosby, should be strongly considered but would need orientation before starting

Brown’s office deleted the opinions offered by the state’s recruiters before releasing records about the search process requested by The Oregonian/OregonLive.

The information would’ve remained a state secret — except the state Department of Environmental Quality already released the same records to the newsroom without redactions, offering a complete picture of what Brown tried to shield from public view…

Records previously obtained by The Oregonian/OregonLive have revealed contradictions in Brown’s reasoning for firing the appointees. While the governor has repeatedly said she supports Whitman, she has also said she was unhappy with the almost year-long search that netted him. Emails have shown that Brown tried to prevent Whitman’s hiring, threatening to pick the next environmental quality leader herself.

The contradictions have cast a shadow over the new director at a time when he’s supposed to be leading major change at the agency in charge of protecting Oregon’s air and water.

Brown’s redactions are particularly remarkable since they were made by a governor for whom transparency has been a hallmark since she replaced Gov. John Kitzhaber in 2015.”

“Even after coming to office promising increased transparency in the wake of disgraced Democrat Ex-Governor John Kitzhaber’s scandalous resignation, Kate Brown continues her disturbing and duplicitous attempts to shield information that the people of Oregon have a right to,” noted Chair Currier. “It is clear that Brown is all talk and no action when it comes to delivering transparency.  Our state deserves better.”

The Oregon Republican Party is the state’s arm of the Republican National Committee. It’s Chairman and officers are dedicated to promoting Republican principles within the state of Oregon and to improving the lives and livelihoods of Oregon’s working families through economic freedom and equal protection under the law.

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House Republican Clips

HOUSE REPUBLICAN OFFICE

JUNE 6, 2017 DAILY CLIPS

STATE GOVERNMENT & POLICY

 

BUDGET

 

Oregon lawmakers introduce cost trimming bill aimed at reducing deficit

The Oregonian

Some Democrats have said they will not vote for the cost trimming bills unless the Legislature also passes legislation to raise revenue by changing how Oregon taxes corporations. “They are linked, they are connected at the hip so to speak, and we want to try to get them both done,” Kotek said in late May. However, Kotek clarified on Monday that only passage of the bill tweaking public employee pensions is tied to getting more corporate tax revenue.

 

Kotek said she, Courtney and the governor are committed to passing the cost savings bill, regardless of whether the Legislature passes the pension savings and corporate tax bills. “This is really about stabilizing the budget going forward,” Kotek said.

 

Republicans were less enthusiastic in their initial reaction to the bill Monday.

“The first step in solving any problem is admitting that you have one,” House Republican Leader Mike McLane, R-Powell Butte, said in a statement. “In that regard, today’s announcement is a positive development. Whether this package does enough to contain costs over the next decade remains to be seen.”

 

Rep. Julie Parrish, R-West Linn, questioned how much the state would save by combining its two public employee health insurance boards. Parrish cited a bill passed earlier this year that merged two mental health boards and actually increased their total staffing.

“My argument is if you’re just going to mash the two together, where does the cost savings come from?” Parrish said.

 

Oregon Senate Unveils Plan to Curb Government Spending

Associated Press

Courtney’s conditions on passing tax reform ahead of pension reform disappointed Republican House Minority Leader Mike McLane, who said he was otherwise encouraged overall by the cost containment effort. “The first step in solving any problem is admitting that you have one … whether this package does enough to contain costs over the next decade remains to be seen,” McLane said. Republican Senate Minority Leader Ted Ferrioli says the effort doesn’t go far enough, noting that pension obligations jumped by $315 million in the current cycle alone. “This is ‘PERS Reform-Lite,’ not the robust restructuring needed to protect the long-term financial solvency of PERS, and by extension, Oregon herself,” Ferrioli said in a statement.

 

Oregon PERS cost-cutting proposal includes ‘risk sharing’ account

Statesman Journal

Discussions about the high cost of pensions for 347,324 current and former public employees — including teachers, police, firefighters and all manner of state workers — have been percolating behind the scenes at the Legislature for weeks. The so-called unfunded liability is currently $20 billion. Consequently, the PERS agency projects steep cost increases for public employers, with the obligation growing from 17 percent of payroll today to 34 percent by 2021. In 2017-2019, the bill would produce savings of $106.7 million, according to the Legislative Fiscal Office.

 

Legislators rush on budget and more

Bend Bulletin

House Republican Leader Mike McLane, R-Powell Butte, used the language of addiction programs, saying “the first step in solving any problem is admitting that you have one.” He suggested the plan didn’t cut deep enough.

 

Changes to PERS part of changes proposed by key Oregon lawmakers

Register-Guard

House Republican leader Mike McLane of Powell Butte applauded Democrats for “admitting” the problem. “Whether this package does enough to contain costs over the next decade remains to be seen,” McLane said.

 

Democrats propose employee cost-sharing in pension fund

The Oregonian

“Cost-containment and PERS reforms can be part of the solution,” Courtney said in a prepared statement. “Tax reform that raises significant revenue needs to be in the equation. Then, we can change Oregon’s future. Then, we can put our state back on a sustainable path. We’ve worked all session to get to this critical point. It’s time to close the deal.”

 

Senate Republican Leader Ted Ferrioli of John Day called the proposal “‘PERS Reform-Lite,’ not the robust restructuring needed to protect the system’s long-term solvency. “The ‘Risk Sharing’ proposal authored by public employee union members, while better than a ‘study’ or a ‘task force’ as the governor has suggested, fails to deliver the savings necessary to allow the Legislature to prioritize education, health care and public safety,” he said in a prepared statement.

 

Teachers union pushes ballot measures to change business taxes

Portland Tribune

Charging that state funding is insufficient in light of the state’s relatively large classroom sizes and low graduation rates, the OEA has proposed two ballot measures, both of which are planned for the ballot in November 2018. They aim to leverage changes to the state’s business tax structure to increase school funding.

 

TRANSPORTATION

 

First hearing on transportation funding bill highlights transit

Portland Tribune

Rural lawmakers also have criticized the tax, as some areas are too scarcely populated to have transit. During discussions on what should be included in the bill, Sen. Fred Girod, R-Stayton, suggested levying the tax only on workers who live in transit districts. “To ask somebody out in the country to pay 0.1 percent … to try to justify it to those people the first thing they’re going to say is, ‘This is Portland money,” Girod said last month.

 

What will state’s transportation bill projects cost you?

Portland Tribune

One of the challenges to approving the bill may be in persuading lawmakers and the public that Oregon faces the crisis that transportation officials say it does. Earlier this year, US News & World Report rated Oregon’s road quality as seventh best among states and its bridge quality ninth best, using official government statistics. The rankings, which went unpublicized by ODOT, pose a challenge to the department’s lobbying efforts. “You can’t sell an $8 billion transportation package without a crisis,” Sen. Ted Ferrioli, R-The Dalles. The Oregon Legislative Revenue Office has not yet prepared an analysis of how the new fees and taxes would fall. But given the rapid pace of the bill, with only a week of public hearings planned, here’s the Tribune’s stab at how the costs could fall.

 

HEALTH CARE

 

Research & Commentary: Oregon’s Certificate of Need Laws Limit Mental Health Services

The Heartland Institute

The unintended consequences of CON laws have led many experts to call for the reform or repeal of these policies. The lack of mental health services is a public health and safety issue that states need to address. Simply throwing money at the problem will not suffice; states need to give mental health providers the flexibility to change and grow. Ending CON laws would be a step in the right direction.

 

Taking The Banking Out Of Blood Banking To Save Lives In Remote Places

Northwest News Network

The procedure is sometimes called a “buddy transfusion.” Combat medics have trained how to do this for decades. They rapidly collect and transfuse blood on scene after making a match between donor and patient. ? Now the technique is bleeding over into the civilian world where it could potentially save tens of thousands of lives every year.

 

Seattle City Council OKs Tax On Soda, Sugary Drinks

The Associated Press

The ordinance calls for a tax of 1.75 cents per ounce to be paid by distributors of beverages such as Pepsi and Coke, sports drinks, energy drinks and other sweetened drinks. The tax excludes diet drinks. Councilman Tim Burgess, who sponsored Seattle’s measure, said there’s incontrovertible evidence that sugary drinks have negative health outcomes and that people of color are disproportionately targeted. “Liquid sugar has zero nutritional benefits,” he said.

 

ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT

 

What Gov. Kate Brown doesn’t want you to know about DEQ’s director

The Oregonian

The information would’ve remained a state secret — except the state Department of Environmental Quality already released the same records to the newsroom without redactions, offering a complete picture of what Brown tried to shield from public view. Colleen Johnson, one of the fired commissioners, questioned the decision to shield the details from the public. “This just underlines even more strongly that something was going on and she didn’t want Richard to be hired – and we took the punishment for it,” Johnson said. “She’s obviously trying to hide the rationale and hope that nobody would really push on it.”

 

LOCAL NEWS

 

Portland’s next superintendent will get a big raise

Portland Tribune

That appeared to be the conclusion of a majority of current and upcoming members of the Portland Public Schools Board at a work session on the superintendent search Thursday. And that’s despite the public outcry that followed news of Smith’s 2014 raise, which brought the former superintendent’s base salary to $247,000 a year—then the highest in the state. It’s unclear, though, exactly how high PPS officials are willing to go. Board members Thursday declined to set a target, opting instead to study their options for a suitable range.

 

OPINION

Editorial:Too much, and too little

Register Guard

Both the Republicans and Hernandez are right: Oregon spends too much on education, and it also doesn’t spend enough. An $8.2 billion appropriation would be a 9 percent increase over the state school spending in the current biennium. Oregon ranks toward the middle in per-student spending nationwide, but is toward the bottom in such important measures as high school graduation rates. At the same time, Hernandez noted that the Oregon School Boards Association says school districts will need $8.4 billion in 2017-19 to avoid layoffs and other cuts.

 

Editorial: Rummage sale is not a PERS solution

Bend Bulletin

She’s appointed a task force to come up with a plan to reduce the PERS problem by $5 billion. It’s been charged with looking at the sale of state assets, not including forests, parks and prisons. It also will consider dedicating some unexpected funds to PERS reduction and forcing school districts and others to do the same. It is, as state Sen. Dennis Linthicum, R-Klamath Falls, says, a “pernicious” way to go that fails to address the real problem, which is reining in PERS costs for the long haul.

 

Editorial: Donors create a better future for OSU-Cascades

Bend Bulletin

The gifts to OSU-Cascades are a major commitment to higher education in Central Oregon. As Bend continues its shift from its mill town roots, college remains the single best tool for making sure those who grow up here will be able to stay and earn a living. A four-year college in Bend dramatically expands the availability of that education across Central Oregon. Brooks bet on the value of Bend in 1916, when it opened that sawmill. It bet again today, when it donated money to ensure that Bend’s children will have a college close at hand.

 

Editorial:Protests made no point about free speech

Portland Tribune

With the shock of the MAX slayings wearing off and the weekend protests behind us, many will ask: ‘What can be done?’ Actually, there are things being done. Groups such as the Interfaith Council of Greater Portland, the Muslim Education Trust and others are working to bridge cultural and religious divisions, through meaningful dialogue and education.

 

Guest: Where is Gov. Kate Brown?

Lori Chavez DeRemer

Even in April, the governor put her campaign ahead of our state. She also attended more campaign events on April 10 and April 20. With both parties working to balance our budget, the governor has been absent to act as a facilitator in these important discussions. The lack of leadership shown by Gov. Brown is evident by her calendar. I’ve seen numerous articles questioning Brown’s leadership this session and the way she has governed our state. Now, the real issue seems to be that she is too focused on her 2018 re-election efforts and does not see the issues in our state as her first priority.

 

Guest: Secretary of State’s ‘audit alert’ more publicity stunt than public service

Steve March is the Multnomah County Auditor and a former legislator

So the lesson learned for the media and the public: The “audit alert” turned out to be like a movie trailer for an un-reviewed movie, a lot of hype and the story didn’t follow the book, or in this case, the audit.  Having served with Secretary Richardson, I would say to him, “Dennis, the lesson for you is to read the audit carefully and don’t let your publicity people send out inaccurate alerts.”

 

Opinion: How to Make Medicine More Expensive

Wall Street Journal

Registering outrage over the high price of medicine is a national pastime, especially for politicians whose solution is always handing themselves more power. The latest examples come from Nevada and Maryland, where legislators are passing bills to punish drugmakers for no benefit to patients.

 

Guest Opinion: Why Elites Hate The liberal contempt for middle America is baked into the idea of identity politics.

So good luck with the idea that the Democratic Party can restore its relationship with Middle America without addressing the identity politics that fuels it. Especially when it starts from the premise that the Americans they are condescending to will remain too stupid to figure it out.

 

 

HB 3464

HB 3464 might as well be called the Illegal Alien Protection Act!
Shocking news!

Governor Kate Brown and Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum have introduced a bill that would limit law enforcement even further and also direct local agencies to withhold information regarding citizenship and immigration status whenever possible!

  • Prohibits public body from inquiring concerning persons citizenship or immigration status except as required by state or federal law or when determining benefit eligibility.
  • Authorizes public body to decline to disclose information concerning persons citizenship or immigration status except as required by state or federal law or in certain other circumstances.
  • Directs Attorney General to publish model policies for public bodies intended to limit, in manner consistent with state and federal law, immigration enforcement in public facilities.
  • Declares emergency, effective on passage. (To prevent citizens from using their Constitutional right to hold a Referendum on the bill, as we did on the driver card bill).
We must stop this bill from passing.  Please contact the following House Rules Committee members and tell then NO on HB 3464!  Let this bill die in committee, as it should!

Please contact today by email or phone call:

 

 

Sample message to copy and paste:

Dear Legislator, 

I am writing to ask you to oppose HB 3464. We are a nation of laws and I expect our lawmakers not to pass bills that would aid and abet people who are breaking the law.  Our elected leaders should be expected, by their oath of office, to uphold the laws of this nation, not work to circumvent them to benefit people here illegally and at the expense of the Oregon taxpayer!

Sincerely,

Your Name (a registered voter)

House Republican Clips

 

HOUSE REPUBLICAN OFFICE

JUNE 5, 2017 DAILY CLIPS

 

STATE GOVERNMENT & POLICY

 

Happening at the Capitol: road funding, predatory towing, laughing gas, historic Salem

Statesman Journal

Hearing on the major hoped-for capital initiative, the 10-year transportation funding plan, is moving into hearings this week but a key proposed budget booster, a gross receipts tax, appears stuck in place. In the meantime, policy-type bills are piling up awaiting votes in both the House and Senate chambers. Here’s what to watch for:

 

PERS

 

Lawmakers fear wave of retirements because of PERS changes

Statesman Journal

“We do have to be careful what we say because it can have ramifications out there,” said Sen. Richard Devlin, co-chair of the Joint Ways and Means Committee. With a $1.4 billion hole in the 2017-2019 budget ahead, lawmakers are hustling up a deal to raise business taxes and control state spending — including trimming the whopping $22 billion the state owes to its legacy pension system. Both Senate President Peter Courtney and House Speaker Tina Kotek are involved in the discussions. Kotek recently said the PERS concepts are alive and moving. “And that’s about all I’ll say,” she said. “We’re being very discrete about anything we’re talking about.”

 

HEALTH CARE

Overdose antidote easier to get

Bend Bulletin

Pharmacists since 2013 have been able to dispense naloxone to people who don’t have prescriptions from medical providers, but until last year, they couldn’t do so unless those people had taken in-person training hosted by the Oregon Health Authority, which proved to be a hurdle. Now, people just need to read educational materials pharmacists give them. The new law, sponsored by Rep. Knute Buehler of Bend, is designed to make it easier for people to get the drug, which is given as a shot or nasal spray.  “It really improved access,” Kimberly Hecht, a pharmacist and coordinator of new service development for Albertsons Companies, which owns Safeway, said of the 2016 law. “Going to an in-person training can be difficult for some people, so the new law loosens that requirement to allow us to provide the service to more people.”

 

Republican Senator Wants More Veteran Psychiatric Facilities, but Health Leaders Balk

The Lund Report

SB 1054 would allow new hospitals for veteran services to bypass the rigorous state regulatory process, but mental health advocates argue that without proper safeguards limiting it to veterans in crisis, the waiver could allow a for-profit hospital chain to disrupt the mental health system and poach the civilian patients with private health insurance, leaving those on Medicaid worse off.

 

ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT

County, city step up to address climate change as Trump retreats on Paris accord

Portland Tribune

On the same day President Donald Trump abandoned U.S. leadership of the worldwide fight against global warming, Portland City Council and Multnomah County Board of Commissioners jointly adopted one of the world’s most ambitious goals to prevent catastrophic climate change.

 

AGRICULTURE & NATURAL RESOURCES

 

Many Oregon farm bills make progress, others in limbo

Capitol Press

The most controversial bills dealing with pesticides, antibiotics and genetic engineering have largely died, but others — such as a bill imposing liability on biotech patent holders — have been directed to committees where they can survive until the session’s end. However, numerous bills that either faced minimal resistance or were amended to overcome opposition have recently cleared key committees or been approved by the full Legislature, including:

 

GOVERNOR BROWN

 

Gov. Brown reiterates commitment to Oregon values in face of Trump changes

Portland Tribune

Brown also pledged to continue Oregon’s goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, despite Trump’s controversial decision to pull the country out of the Paris climate agreement. His announcement Thursday, June 1, has outraged America’s allies, according to multiple news reports.  The governor expressed disapproval of federal Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ comment that likened education to car insurance.  “I don’t think that is my approach. I think it is critically important that we all have really good access to a good public education because I see education as an elevator. It enables us all to rise,” Brown said.

 

When pressed by interviewer Nicole Maher, president of the Northwest Health Foundation, about shortcomings in Oregon’s education funding formula, the governor said now is not the time to fix it.  “It’s really hard to change a funding formula when we don’t have enough resources coming in,” Brown said. “… I think our first priority as a state must be to get more resources into our education system as a whole. Then I think we can have that conversation about the funding formula.”

 

PORTLAND MAX STABBING

 

Portland Killings Dredge Up Legacy of Racist Laws in Oregon

New York Times

Other people said that in a moment in which many immigrants and Muslims feel uneasy, here and across the nation, and racial slurs spew across social media, the attack on the train had put a broader discussion of race in the Pacific Northwest back on the agenda. Of the nation’s 30 largest cities, Portland remains the whitest, according to the Census Bureau, with 72.2 percent of its population classified as non-Hispanic white. Seattle is not far behind, at 66.3 percent white. “It’s economic, it’s criminal justice, it’s segregation,” said Ms. Ledezma, of the Coalition of Communities of Color, describing the legacy of racism in Oregon. “If you look at the housing patterns, there is this lasting legacy of disparity that’s been essentially baked in.”

 

OTHER STORIES

Legislator gives voice to Oregon Latinos

The Associated Press

Alonso Leon’s victory “shows that human potential does not know immigration status, and that among America’s immigrants, especially those who have come here as children and benefited from the right to education, their potential offers leadership for the country,” said Arturo Vargas, executive director of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials. “We didn’t get our woman president that we were hoping for, but they got me as a legislator,” Alonso Leon said with a laugh in her small office in the Oregon Capitol.

 

Ethics Report: Bend Lawmaker Failed To Make Proper Financial Disclosures

Oregon Public Broadcasting

Republican state Rep. Knute Buehler failed to properly disclose a $12,500 payment he received in 2013 for serving on the board of a Bend hospital to the Oregon Government Ethics Commission, according to a preliminary investigation by the commission’s staff.

 

LOCAL NEWS

 

Springfield City Council continues discussions over police tax levy extension

Register Guard

The City Council will resume debating whether to ask voters to extend the city’s five-year police/jail tax levy, and possibly increase the tax levy rate — the third time the city would raise the rate in the past 11 years.

 

OPINION

 

K-12 education budget shows costs of legislators’ inaction: Editorial Agenda 2017

The Oregonian

This is the price of legislators’ inaction in dealing with Oregon’s runaway spending problem. Despite facing a $1.4 billion budget deficit, lawmakers have yet to show the public a plan for restructuring how much public employers pay for benefits that threaten to gobble up bigger and bigger chunks of taxpayer dollars. While there’s talk of cost-containment proposals coming next week, time is getting short for the thorough analysis and evaluation that must take place. With just over a month left in the session, Democrats – who control the House, the Senate and the governor’s office – have a narrowing window to show just how genuine their commitment is to students and Oregonians as a whole.

 

Editorial: Let’s see some cost cutting

Bend Bulletin

Perhaps it’s time the OEA and its teacher members recognized reality. As businessmen and -women across the state have said numerous times this year, they’re not opposed to new taxes on business. What they’re opposed to is new taxes that are unaccompanied by any attempt to rein in a state budget that promises to grow more quickly than revenues do for years to come.  Nor is business willing to accept new taxes with only a promise of reform. The community that supplies jobs at grocery stores, breweries, farms, newspapers — you name it — is wary of that approach, and those who rely on them for paychecks should be, as well.

 

Editorial: Fuel law flap imperils transport bill again

Mail Tribune

According to reporting in The Oregonian, Senate Democrats are willing to meet the Republicans halfway, but some House members are not. House Speaker Tina Kotek and Rep. Cliff Bentz, R-Ontario, said last week their efforts to negotiate a compromise had reached an impasse. From where we sit, it looks as though Republicans have backed down from their all-or-nothing position, and now it’s the Democrats’ turn to refuse to budge. The losers will be Oregon residents and the state’s economy, as traffic issues continue to worsen and long-overdue fixes get pushed farther down the road.

 

Editorial: Fuels act could trip up road work

Democrat-herald

But raising taxes requires a three-fifths majority in each chamber of the Legislature, and so some Republican support will be required. Republicans have backed off calls to repeal the Clean Fuels Program — but now want modifications to make it clear to consumers how much the program costs them and to control those costs. Are Republicans looking for ammunition to take another run in a later session to repeal the program? That’s our guess. On the other hand, would it be nice to know exactly how much the program has added to your fuel bill each time you fill up? Yes.

 

Editorial: Affordable housing bill is flawed

Bend Bulletin

Affordable housing may not have a more vocal advocate in the Oregon Legislature than House Speaker Tina Kotek, but she went too far with House Bill 2007.  She recently took a swipe at neighborhood historic districts, saying they protect “winners of race-based housing policies.” Representatives of historical districts got no opportunity to respond to the charge. In fact, no representatives of historical districts were invited to testify on the bill, according to The Portland Tribune.  Kotek added an amendment that would prohibit local governments from increasing protection for housing in historic districts. Why should the state decide that rather than local governments?

 

Erik Lukens column: Buehler says ‘no’ to footbridge compromise

Erik Lukens

I asked Buehler’s office Thursday whether he supported the compromise hammered out in the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee. Here’s his response:  “I do not support the amendment to limit protection of the scenic waterway. As I mentioned previously, both the Community Solutions study and subsequent decision by Oregon Parks and Recreation Department to prohibit a bridge over the scenic water area raise serious concerns. This follows an earlier ODFW decision rejecting the proposal. Subsequently, a host of other sensitive environmental, cultural and wildlife concerns have been brought to our attention. These issues need further vetting.”  Buehler’s response suggests two possibilities. One possibility is that Buehler’s a more ardent environmentalist than the three Democrats who control the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee. The other possibility is the anti-bridge push, which he supports, has very little to do with the environment at all.

 

Editorial: Is housing slipping out of reach?

Register Guard

Next year’s homeless count will supply evidence for a judgment about whether this year’s increase is an anomaly or a trend. Either way, homelessness remains as complex as the society in which it is found: a society that must confront a constellation of social and economic factors, including ones that put housing out of reach for many.

 

Guest: Oregon energy leadership in the aftermath of federal abdication

Greg Dotson is an assistant professor at the University of Oregon’s School of Law.

This is an important opportunity for Oregon. We are at a moment when what we want to signal about our values correlates precisely with the work underway here in the state house. Now is the time to push back against the faulty national narrative that clean energy is bad for the economy and enact a strong climate policy. Oregon can secure its own vibrant future while rejecting the harmful policies of the Trump Administration.

 

Guest: All Oregonians deserve access to…

Dr. Calie Roa is a dentist at East Main Dental in Medford

There are tools available to lawmakers to improve access to oral health care in Oregon. Loan repayment programs such as the National Health Service Corps, which I participated in, need to be publicized and made available to recent dental school graduates facing crippling debt. OHP reimbursement rates need to be reevaluated to make it possible for more dentists to provide these services while covering their out-of-pocket costs. Finally, the Legislature should provide incentives such as rural practitioner tax credits to dentists who would like to work in rural communities but don’t think it’s financially feasible.

 

NATIONAL NEWS

 

What We Know About The London Terror Attacks

The Associated Press

A look at what’s known and what isn’t about the attack in London that left seven people and three attackers dead:

 

Terrorist attacks leave 6 dead in central London

New York News Service

Another night of terrorism unfolded in Britain on Saturday with two attacks that killed six civilians in the center of the capital, London police said.  At least one of the dead was killed when a van careered onto the sidewalk along London Bridge, mowing down pedestrians. The London Ambulance Service said it had taken at least 30 injured to five hospitals.  The police said three attackers were killed, which they believed to be the total number of assailants.

 

Connecticut’s Tax Comeuppance

Wall Street Journal

The Aetna insurance company has been based in Hartford, Conn., since 1853, but this week it said it is looking to move to another state. Governor Dannel Malloy has pledged to match other states’ financial incentives, but taxpayer money can’t buy fiscal certainty and a less destructive business climate

 

 

Keeping Campaign Promises

“Never Forget the Price of Freedom” http://www.gocomics.com/michaelramirez/2017/05/28

 

“Drawing a RED Line” http://www.gocomics.com/michaelramirez/2017/05/24

 

“The Obama Legacy” http://www.gocomics.com/michaelramirez/2017/05/13

 

ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION – Illegal immigrant shelter shuts down in Texas: http://www.breitbart.com/texas/2017/05/22/migrant-shelter-lays-off-1000-border-crossings-drop/

 

DESTROY ISIS – Sniper picks off jihadist from 1.5 miles away: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/05/25/british-sniper-takes-isis-jihadist-1-5-mile-shot/

 

WAR ON DRUGS – Multiple federal indictments for drug traffickers: http://www.breitbart.com/texas/2017/05/28/arkansas-raid-lands-52-suspected-drug-traffickers-jail/

 

ENERGY INDEPENDENCE – Even California benefits from TRUMP policies: http://www.breitbart.com/california/2017/05/29/california-fracking-boom-set-to-lift-u-s-production-to-new-record/

 

STRONG MILITARY – Interceptor missile shoots down ICBM: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/u-s-missile-defense-test-over-pacific-ocean-key-milestone-n766311

 

ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION – ICE continues to round up criminal aliens: http://www.breitbart.com/texas/2017/05/31/ice-arrests-22-criminal-aliens-6-week-operation/

 

END SANCTUARY CITIES – ICE grabs illegal alien sex offender after city releases him: http://www.breitbart.com/texas/2017/06/01/ice-arrests-alien-sex-offender-released-sanctuary-nyc/

 

NEGOTIATE BETTER DEALS – TRUMP gets U.S. out of a horrible climate agreement: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/06/01/delingpole-that-paris-speech-just-made-trump-great-again/

 

JOBS and More JOBS – http://www.marketwatch.com/story/private-sector-job-growth-rebounds-to-rip-roaring-pace-in-may-adp-says-2017-06-01

 

ECONOMIC GROWTH – Americans are more optimistic about the economy: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-06-01/americans-comfort-rises-on-strongest-view-of-finances-in-decade

 

DESTROY ISIS – New bullet can pierce ISIS body armor: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/05/27/army-develops-new-bullet-pierce-body-armor-islamic-state-jihadists/

 

GO TRUMP!

 

Americans for Liberty PAC

A Political Action Committee for Conservatives who uphold the US Constitution in the tradition of the Founding Fathers

Lanny Hildebrandt MBA CPA

1615 4th Street

La Grande OR  97850

(541) 963-7930

Fax (541) 963-7750

Email [email protected]

 

House Republican Clips

 

 

HOUSE REPUBLICAN OFFICE

JUNE 2, 2017 DAILY CLIPS

 

STATE GOVERNMENT & POLICY

 

Oregon teachers union files multi-billion dollar corporate tax initiative

The Oregonian

One of Oregon’s largest public employee unions is once again asking voters to raise corporate taxes, less than a year after they rejected the mammoth Measure 97.  The Oregon Education Association is in the process of filing a November 2018 ballot initiative that could raise as much as $1.75 billion annually for K-12 and higher education through a corporate tax that would be assessed based on companies’ sales. The teachers union is also filing a second initiative that would make it easier for the Legislature to raise corporate taxes to pay for education. It would do so by removing the current requirement for a three-fifths supermajority to increase taxes to pay for education in some circumstances.

 

EDUCATION

 

$8.2 billion K-12 education proposal advances in Legislature

The Associated Press

Within roughly the past year the state climbed one spot to No. 20 for per-pupil spending, according to the National Education Association, while slipping one spot to 48th in the nation for high school graduation. The subcommittee’s two Republicans, Reps. Julie Parrish and Gene Whisnant, voted against the education package, saying the disconnect largely stems from the state’s lack of control over how education dollars are spent by individual school districts, where payroll, pensions and health care for teachers and other administrators are the biggest cost drivers.

 

“While the student population in Oregon has grown by 20,000 students since my first term in 2011, the education budget has grown nearly $3 billion,” Parrish said. “Voters and parents should be demand to know why that money isn’t reaching children. We need a reset on the systemic cost drivers that are starving resources from our classrooms.”

 

Lawmaker ousted from voting no on education budget

Portland Tribune

“We have reached a critical point in this session, and I am sorry but … I cannot vote for a budget that continues to cut our school funding and continues to maintain our mediocrity,” said Hernandez, who also is a member of the Reynolds School Board. Rep. Diego Hernandez’s no vote would have meant defeat for the $8.2 billion biennial budget for K-12 education. When Hernandez made it clear early Thursday, June 1, that he would vote no on the education budget, other members of the subcommittee summoned Ways and Means Co-Chairwoman Nancy Nathanson to the room.

 

HEALTH CARE

 

Kitzhaber: Health care debate aims at wrong question

Beaverton Valley Times

What they ought to focus on, he says, are three things: Restraining the annual growth in costs that are eating into the federal budget and the national economy, providing basic benefits with options to obtain more, and increasing spending on childhood and family services that will have long-term effects. “Instead, we have a system that provides services none of its customers can afford, but all of whom will need one day — and sometimes a matter of life or death, when the cost is irrelevant to the person seeking care or giving care,” said Kitzhaber, formerly an emergency-room physician. “We need to decide we are going to do some modest reductions in the rate of increase in medical care as a national goal and then turn our attention to how we make that happen.”

 

ANTI LUNCH SHAMING LEGISLATION

 

Portland man fighting cancer also takes up fight against ‘lunch shaming’

KGW

That’s why it hit home when this week he read a national article about school lunch shaming, where kids who can’t pay for a hot lunch are singled out and are sometimes made to work for their meal or wear a bracelet or stamp. “If the rest of us can help, then why would we not?” Sexton asked. So he decided to help kids and families in Portland pay off their debt. He called the district and found out there was roughly $30,000 in student lunch debt. He set up a GoFundMe account. State lawmakers are also getting involved in the effort to combat lunch shaming. House Bill 3454, chief sponsored by House Republican Leader Mike McLane (R-Powell Butte) and Representative Brian Clem (D-Salem), was introduced this year. It would make it illegal to publicly identify or stigmatize students who are in debt and for kids to work to pay for their lunch.

 

RED LIGHT CAMERAS

Oregon Senate backs use of red-light cameras to catch speeders

Statesman Journal

The Oregon Senate has approved a bill that would let cities use red-light cameras to also identify speeders. Beaverton officials led the effort to get the bill approved. The city found that in one year, 90,000 vehicles passed through their four red light cameras traveling at least 10 mph faster than the posted speed limit.

 

Drivers beware: Red light cameras may soon ticket speeders

The Oregonian

If signed into law, House Bill 2409 would let cities use red light cameras or speed measuring sensors to issue tickets to drivers traveling at least 11 mph above the speed limit. To use the speeder-nabbing tech, cities would have to post signs saying that traffic laws are enforced with cameras or other technology. Citations would be reviewed and signed by a police officer and then mailed to the registered owner of a ticketed vehicle, or the driver, within 10 days of the violation. Anyone receiving a ticket would have 30 days to respond.

 

AGRICULTURE & NATURAL RESOURCES

 

Oregon predator control funding clears key hurdle

Capital Press

Roughly $460,000 dedicated to predator control is included in the budget for the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s next biennium that was passed May 31 by the Subcommittee on Natural Resources of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means. A matching amount is also included in the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s budget, which has also won a “do pass” recommendation from the subcommittee.

 

Barreto: Opposes suing GMO makers

My Columbia Basin

Barreto says that GMO products have earned a place in agriculture and doesn’t feel lawsuits against manufacturers of the seeds are the right approach. “We need to certainly put sideboards on that, but you can’t suppress it, I don’t think, through litigation and suing everybody that comes along when something goes a little awry,” he said.

 

IMMIGRATION

 

House bill would increase protections for immigrants

The Oregonian

A new bill in the Oregon House would prohibit schools, courts and other public bodies from disclosing personal information such as an address or workplace for the purposes of federal immigration enforcement, except when required by law.  “I have heard from children who are afraid to go to school in the morning, because they aren’t sure if their parents will be home at the end of the day,” Alonso Leon said in a statement.

 

PAY EQUITY

 

Oregon Pay Equity Act becomes law

Portland Tribune

The bipartisan bill passed the Senate unanimously after sponsors of the bill negotiated several changes to satisfy the business community. “We started out with two positions that were sort of far apart, which is how you begin negotiating complicated and important legislation, but we didn’t stop there,” said Rep. Ann Lininger, D-Lake Oswego, referring to previous disagreements with Republicans over the bill. “…That’s the kind of thing we can do with strong leadership and teamwork.”

 

DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES

 

Why Oregon’s former DHS child welfare director resigned

Statesman Journal

Emails obtained through a public records request offer a window into why, exactly, Alhusseini quit the job atop the state child welfare program after a little more than six months there.

 

PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE ACROSS DESCHUTES

 

Bridge bill sent to full Senate

Bend Bulletin

The bill has changed several times since April, and the final version came together less than 24 hours before the committee vote. The bill was approved on a 3-2 party line vote, with no senator expressing enthusiasm for the result. Some felt that lawmakers in Salem were being asked to decide the fate of a very local issue. “This is one of those bills where you just say, ‘give me a break,’” said Sen. Herman Baertschinger, R-Grants Pass. “I don’t want to get mixed up in local land use decisions.”

 

OTHER STORIES

 

Women make their mark on Oregon’s highest bench: ‘It’s a huge revolution’

Portland Tribune

When Judge Rebecca Duncan becomes Justice Duncan in July, Oregon will have its first-ever women-majority Supreme Court. “I suppose it is historic,” Duncan said last week, speaking to The Times. “It’s a barrier that has come down. And it’s a court that better reflects the community it serves.”

 

OPINION

 

Editorial: A $50 million emergency Bill would divert money to Medicaid, not insurers

Register Guard

State Rep. Cedric Hayden, R-Cottage Grove, is trying to do the next best thing. Hayden, who is vice chairman of the House Health Care Committee, has introduced legislation that would use that $50 million to shore up the state’s Medicaid budget. He estimates that $50 million would provide coverage for a year for about 9,500 of Oregon’s neediest adults and children. “Moving these funds to cover Medicaid patients is the right thing to do,” Hayden said. “Let’s get this done.” We couldn’t have put it any better.

 

Editorial: Voters should decide on state impeachment

Mail Tribune

Impeachment is a last resort against a recalcitrant official who refuses to step down. It may never be used, but lawmakers should have the option available. And voters should be given the chance to add that option. Senate leaders should allow a vote on HJR 10.

 

LOCAL NEWS

County steps up to address climate change as Trump retreats on Paris accord

Portland Tribune

Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution calling for 100 percent of the electricity consumed in the county — by people, government, and the private sector — to come from clean, renewable sources of energy by 2035.

 

NATIONAL NEWS

 

After Paris withdrawal, states take the lead on climate

The Washington Post

Thirty states and scores of companies said Thursday that they would press ahead with their climate policies and pursue lower greenhouse-gas emissions, breaking sharply with President Donald Trump’s decision to exit the historic Paris climate accord.

 

Trump Announces US Withdrawal From Paris Climate Accord

National Public Radio

During a news conference Thursday in the Rose Garden at the White House, Trump said the withdrawal is aimed at keeping his campaign promise to put American workers first — but he also added that the U.S. would begin negotiations to possibly re-enter the Paris accord or a similar deal that, he said, would result in a better deal for American workers

 

 

 

Oregon House Republicans and Medicaid services

 

OREGON HOUSE REPUBLICAN OFFICE

 

In Case You Missed It

Oregon House Republicans devise plan to retain Medicaid services

 

Oregon House Republicans devise plan to retain Medicaid services

Portland Business Journal | by Elizabeth Hayes

 

Oregon House Republicans are touting a plan to ensure the Oregon Health Authority can fully operate next year, even in the face of decreasing federal funding for the Medicaid expansion, and without tapping the general fund.

 

Republicans on the House Health Care Committee hammered out the one-year plan, which they say ensures that the program can operate during the first year of the 2017-19 biennium.

 

Funding would come from a combination of existing unallocated dollars, an increase and expansion of the hospital assessment, a small hike in the cigarette tax and a “nominal tax” on e-cigarettes dedicated to mental health, House Republicans’ announcement said.

 

Diminishing federal funds are in large part responsible for the state’s project $1.4 billion budget shortfall for the next biennium. Lawmakers have been floating various plans to raise revenue through increased corporate taxes or cut costs to close the gap. One controversial idea is to end coverage for the expanded Medicaid population, which would cast about 400,000 people off the rolls, and eliminate mental health and addictions coverage.

 

The governor’s health policy advisor, Jeremy Vandehey, has been leading a group to try to hammer out a plan to close the nearly $900 billion budget gap for OHA. A hearing is scheduled today on House Bill 2391 to discuss that plan.

 

The new Republican plan includes enough additional funding for OHA to retain current service levels, including the Medicaid expansion population, with an additional carve out for mental health, the House Republicans announced. The Legislature would complete the OHA budget in the 2018 short session.

 

Under the plan, the hospital assessment would rise to 6 percent from the current level of 5.3 percent and, for the first time, smaller hospitals would also be included, though at a lower rate, said Rep. Knute Buehler.

 

“I very much think hospitals have benefited from Medicaid spending, so it’s only logical they’re part of the solution in protecting critical health benefits people are receiving,” Buehler said.

 

Another source of funds would be the approximately $30 million to $40 million remaining in the Health Insurance Exchange Fund, which came from an assessment on insurance companies, and a $50 million overage from the Oregon Reinsurance Program.

 

Buehler and Rep. Cedric Hayden said Republicans came up with their own plan because they couldn’t agree with Democrats on several items.

 

Republicans don’t want to tap into general fund revenue and don’t want to tax insurers, “which becomes a sales tax on premiums,” Buehler said.

 

“We all agree it’s important to protect the 400,000 people that have Medicaid, but we were not able to agree on the details,” Buehler said.

 

House Republicans said their plan would allow time to get answers on exactly how many people are eligible for Medicaid and, thus, the exact cost. A recent audit alert from Secretary of State Dennis Richardson questioned whether OHA is providing benefits to ineligible recipients.

 

“The timing of when OHA’s true budgetary needs become known and when we must vote on an operating budget are not aligned,” Hayden, a Republican from Cottage Grove, said in a written statement. “In good conscience, we shouldn’t vote for a hefty tax package when we won’t know for several months the actual budgetary needs of the agency.”

 

OHA is trying to complete the process of verifying eligibility for about 85,000 recipients. Gov. Kate Brown set a deadline of Aug. 31 to complete that work and Richardson has said the audit would be completed in November. Then lawmakers will have a clearer picture of “how much money it will take to ensure our most vulnerable citizens have access to Medicaid,” Hayden said.

 

Buehler said legislation is being drafted and will likely be referred to either the House revenue or rules committees.

 

Read the story online here.

 

###

 

House Republican Clips

 

OREGON HOUSE REPUBLICAN OFFICE

 

For Immediate Release

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Contact: Preston Mann, 503.986.1009

[email protected]

 

House Republicans on Education Subcommittee say no to K-12 budget

With no cost containments in sight, the $8.2 billion dollar budget puts school children at risk

 

Salem, Ore. — Republican House members of the Oregon Legislature’s Joint Ways and Means Subcommittee on Education today voted “no” on the K-12 education budget being passed with no cost containment measures to ensure the full weight of the budget reaches Oregon’s school children.

 

“Senate Bill 5517 is good in that it increases the K-12 budget by nearly nine percent over the current biennium,” said Representative Gene Whisnant (R-Sunriver). “What is not reflected in this budget is that key cost drivers like PERS and health care are slated to go up significantly. That means these additional dollars won’t translate into hiring new teachers to reduce class sizes or adding new curriculum opportunities for Oregon’s students.”

 

According to the National Education Association’s recent nationwide comparison of education budgets between states, Oregon is projected to rank 18th in education funding per student in 2017 and in the top tier 20 for teacher salaries, yet still ranks in the bottom for class size and graduation outcomes.

 

“As long as we do nothing to address the future of PERS, reduce healthcare costs for employees, and end the practice of 197 school districts individually bargaining with no insight into a state budget that reflects 70% of their local resources, there will never be enough money to make meaningful reforms in our K-12 system,” said Representative Julie Parrish (R-Tualatin/West Linn). “While the student population in Oregon has grown by 20,000 students since my first term in 2011, the education budget has grown nearly $3 billion dollars. Voters and parents should be demand to know why that money isn’t reaching children. We need a reset on the systemic cost drivers that are starving resources from our classrooms.”

 

During the hearing, Representative Parrish warned of budget holes on the horizon that could result in SB 5517 failing to meet the reality of school district needs. Her concerns included yet to be determined increases in Oregon Educators Benefit Board (OEBB) healthcare costs and an upcoming July, 2017 PERS board meeting where a change in the assumed PERS rate could drive additional increases in PERS payments by districts. “When these two cost drivers collide with the education budget, we’re going to see a massive hole blown in school district budgets across Oregon in the upcoming biennium,” she said.

 

Both representatives also applauded the courage of committee member Representative Diego Hernandez for his desire to be a “no” on the budget as well. His statements triggered a pause in the committee vote when he was temporarily removed from the committee by House Ways and Means Co-Chair Representative Nancy Nathanson.

 

“Representative Hernandez displayed a rare moment of courage to speak up and do what’s right for children.  He represented his district well today,” stated Representative Parrish.

 

Notably, SB 5517 moves on to the full Ways and Means Committee without any allocations for voter-approved Measure 98 (CTE education) and Measure 99 (outdoor school). “We’re still in the dark about how the Co-Chairs are going to put together the funding to meet the budget goals of the K-12 budget and voter-approved measures,” Whisnant said.  “It’s June 1, and we’re still waiting.”

 

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