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January 12, 2017 Daily Clips

House Republican Office
January 12, 2017 Daily Clips

STATE GOVERNMENT

Gov. Kate Brown Declares State Of Emergency
OPB
“As snow continues to accumulate and local authorities respond to provide core services and clear roadways, all available state resources will be made available to ensure the safety of communities throughout Oregon,” Brown said in the release.

The declaration allows the deployment of Oregon State Police and the Oregon National Guard to support to communities needing assistance.

Gov. Kate Brown declares state of emergency in Oregon due to snow
Oregonian
Gov. Kate Brown has declared a state of emergency in Oregon due to severe winter storm conditions. Rep. Mike McLane, R-Powell Butte, whose legislative district includes Juniper Acres, said he has been in close contact with state and county officials to monitor the situation. McLane urged residents to exercise caution and look out for friends and neighbors.

“With more snow in the forecast and freezing temperatures expected to continue, Oregonians should not hesitate to contact emergency personnel if they or someone they know is in distress,” McLane said.

Rep. Cliff Bentz and Sen. Ted Ferrioli, R-John Day, on Wednesday requested that the governor send resources to the county, where parts of Interstate 84 and Highway 20 are closed due to bad weather. Bentz said in a press release that Brown has ordered her staff to coordinate with local authorities and the office of Idaho Gov. Butch Otter.

Explosives considered for removing dangerous ice floe in far-eastern Oregon
Oregonian
Officials in Oregon’s far-east Malheur County are asking the National Guard to consider using explosives to blast away a mile-long ice floe blocking parts of the Snake River, according to an emergency proclamation obtained by The Oregonian/OregonLive. That kind of operation has never been done by the Oregon National Guard before, said Cory Grogan, spokesman for the state Office of Emergency Management.

“If we get a flood event we’re in real trouble,” said Rep. Cliff Bentz, R-Ontario. “This is not a joke. This is bad.”

Crook County emergency request granted by the state — for a price
Bend Bulletin
State officials rejected Crook County’s emergency request for money and manpower to help dig stranded people out of snowed-in rural neighborhoods after concluding Wednesday that the county hadn’t used all of its resources. But the state did offer help for an estimated $55 an hour, plus equipment costs.

Port of Portland Director Bill Wyatt to Retire, Presenting Gov. Kate Brown with a Dilemma
Willamette Week
Wyatt’s departure raises a couple of intriguing questions. First, there’s his own future. Oregon’s two statewide business organizations, Associated Oregon Industries and the Oregon Business Association, have agreed to merge and will be looking for an executive director who can increase their combined effectiveness. Wyatt has long been mentioned as a potential candidate. Second, his departure presents a dilemma and a test for Gov. Kate Brown. The governor appoints the nine-member port commission, which then hires the executive director. Brown’s dilemma is this: Does she steer the job to Robinhold, Wyatt’s deputy, or does she put in her own person?

Critic Suggest Legislators Take Action to Avoid Conflicts of Interest
The Lund Report
Legislators can avoid future conflicts of interest that led to the recent resignations of Kristin Leonard and Abby Tibbs, according to a vocal critic. Les Ruark is encouraging Sen. Richard Devlin and Rep. Nancy Nathanson — two prominent Democrats who co-chair the Ways and Means Committee — to pursue a budget note that controls how state agencies can use loaned executives.

Hundreds expected at rally against Trump’s immigration proposals
Portland Tribune
A pro-immigrant rally set for Saturday, Jan. 14, at the Oregon Capitol could draw several hundred demonstrators opposed to President-elect Donald Trump’s positions on immigration.
U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader and several state lawmakers are scheduled to participate in the rally from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the steps of the Capitol.

Gomberg takes oath of office; small business, housing priorities
Tillamook Headlight Herald
This session will be dominated by large issues like the budget, funding improvements to our roads and bridges, and helping our struggling education system,” said Gomberg. He added he will also be on concerns that directly affect this part of Oregon. “I’ve prepared almost a dozen bills to cut red-tape and provide support for our small businesses,” he said. “And I’m already working to reverse planned cuts to Oregon Project Independence, a program that keeps seniors safe and secure in their own homes. I’m fighting to preserve the funding increase Oregon voters committed to Veterans through Measure 96. And I’m working on plans to create more affordable housing.”

Rescue dogs, border collies nominated for Oregon state dog
Statesman Journal
“The beauty of this resolution is it covers all breeds,” he said. “More importantly, it represents the community’s commitment to working with rescue animals and giving them forever homes.” Gomberg worked with the Oregon Humane Society and the Humane Society of the United States in the past and readily agreed to sponsor the resolution. But most convincing of all were the two rescued Samoyed dogs and four rescued cats that greet him every day at home, he added.

Bedrooms for burrowing owls
High Country News
After the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declined to run the refuge, the Columbia Development Authority, a consortium of public and private business organizations, offered to take over. It also proposed a much larger solar farm — 2,000 acres that could generate $1 million worth of electricity annually. “We want to find a balance to protect habitat and economic development,” says Oregon State Rep. Greg Smith, executive director of the authority.

OREGONIANS IN CONGRESS

Bonamici reintroduces tsunami bill
Daily Astorian
The legislation would strengthen tsunami detection and warning systems, improve response and resiliency and better protect communities vulnerable to a tsunami.

“Many Oregonians, including students from Seaside High School in coastal Oregon, have told me that there won’t be enough time to make it to safety when there’s a tsunami,” Bonamici, D-Oregon, said in a release. “I applaud Seaside residents for passing a bond recently to rebuild schools on higher ground to reduce the dangers of tsunami, and state and local governments are working hard to prepare and educate the public. But the federal government can do more to help keep coastal communities safe through improved warning systems. This bill is one part of the solution. Preparing for tsunami is a life-or-death matter for residents of coastal Oregon and other coastal communities.”

HOUSING

Eviction Wars
Portland Mercury
And no-cause eviction policy is why a political, lobbying, and public relations battle is brewing at the capitol, with landlord groups warning their members that “powerful,” “radical,” and “confrontational” tenant groups “have the ear” of politicians like House Speaker Tina Kotek and Gov. Kate Brown (Kotek has introduced bills that so-called “radical” groups like Portland Tenants Unitedsupport). It’s also why tenant groups are so concerned that landlords are consolidating and raising money to “buy off” other politicians so they can keep raking in profits from poor and middle-class renters.

Inclusionary housing policy has skeptics
Portland Tribune
Although every state but Texas has long allowed local inclusionary housing or zoning policies, some developers said Portland’s policy is much broader than those in other cities, which have exemptions intended to accommodate different kinds of projects at various locations.

MARIJUANA

Medical pot grows denied
Mail Tribune
Pot growers are crying foul because Jackson County so far is refusing to grandfather in existing medical marijuana grows on rural-residential land.
A spring 2016 change to state law made medical marijuana grows illegal on rural-residential land in the county. Recreational marijuana grows were already illegal on the land zoned for country living.

JOBS AND ECONOMY

State’s largest orchard sells to Washington fruit grower
East Oregonian
Earl Brown & Sons, Oregon’s largest grower and packer of fresh apples, has sold to another family-owned fruit enterprise in Wenatchee, Washington. Brown said the transition with Foreman Fruit has been smooth, and will ensure that Earl Brown & Sons has the resources to stay competitive. “You have to be a certain size anymore to compete with all the regulations that come down on smaller companies,” he said.

NATIONAL NEWS

How BuzzFeed crossed the line in publishing salacious ‘dossier’ on Trump
The Washington Post
Where does transparency meet irresponsibility? Right at the line that BuzzFeed’s editor Ben Smith approached Tuesday and decided to step over in the name of serving citizens’ best interests.With caveats and explanations aplenty, Smith published a 35-page “dossier” — actually just a bunch of scurrilous allegations dressed up as an intelligence report meant to damage Donald Trump.

U.S. Senate approves measure launching Obamacare repeal process
Reuters
The U.S. Senate on Thursday took a first concrete step toward dismantling Obamacare, voting to instruct key committees to draft legislation repealing President Barack Obama’s signature health insurance program. The resolution, passed in the early hours of Thursday in a 51-48 vote, now goes to the House of Representatives, which is expected to vote on it this week. Scrapping Obamacare is a top priority for Republican President-elect Donald Trump and the Republican majorities in both chambers.

OPINION

Editorial: It’s time for public records reform
Daily Astorian Editorial Board
Following Kitzhaber’s resignation, there was a welter of requests for communications that occurred behind the wall of the governor’s suite. Our newspaper group made requests regarding the gestation of the gillnet decision. The essence of why access to public records matter is this: Citizens pay for this government and it’s not the property of those who come and go in its leadership.

Editorial: Gov. Kate Brown and Legislature neglect PERS
Bend Bulletin Editorial Board
Brown did mention PERS in her speech. “We must address the ongoing PERS liability in a way that keeps our promises to retirees and does not put us back on an endless hamster wheel of litigation,” she said. The only solution she offered, though, was a hope the state could get better returns on state investments by doing more of the work by state employees. The plan might save the state $1 billion over 20 years, if all goes well. It’s a big if.

Editorial: On pay raises for Oregon legislators
East Oregonian Editorial Board
We understand where Knopp and Buehler are coming from; the timing of this particular raise, as small as it is, is unfortunate at best. But there’s a larger issue here: Considering what we ask from them and the complexity of the issues that they must grapple with, you can make a strong case that we don’t pay our legislators nearly enough — especially if we want to attract younger legislators who must also juggle families and other jobs. This probably isn’t the session to address this issue. But that doesn’t mean the problem is going away.

Editorial: Poor fixes for affordable housing problem
Bend Bulletin Editorial Board
The affordable housing crunch exists pretty much statewide. Yet a statewide problem does not necessarily need a statewide solution, no matter what Democrats in Salem seem to think. From the governor on down, they’ve proposed a series of so-called fixes to the housing crunch that would, in fact, serve only to make it worse.

Editorial: Some advice for lawmakers as the 2017 session draws closer
Beaverton Valley Times
We can make this another year in which we debate gutting social services or education, or we can make this a year in which we try to stop the bleeding and boost revenue. We urge the latter path.

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