House Republican Office
January 20, 2017 Daily Clips
Trump sworn in, marking a transformative shift in the country’s leadership
The Washington Post
Trump began his inaugural address by proclaiming that with his victory, “the United States of America is your country.” With now former president Obama and three previous presidents watching from behind him, Trump seemed to condemn them as unfaithful to the popular will, saying that his inauguration signaled that “the people” would rule the country again.
As Trump takes office, Portlanders turn their backs and take to the streets
Top state officials, including Democrats Gov. Kate Brown and House Speaker Tina Kotek, will largely spend the day disregarding the pomp and circumstance 3,000 miles away as Trump is installed as the nation’s leader. Closer to the ground, protest organizers say they’ll gather thousands on the streets of Portland to draw the gaze of local and state leaders to their clarion call: resist Trump’s agenda.
Portland opposes President-elect Donald Trump’s threats against sanctuary cities in legislative agenda
The Portland City Council formally opposed President-elect Donald Trump’s pledge to limit federal funding to so-called “sanctuary cities” that won’t cooperate with federal immigration enforcement actions. Mayor Ted Wheeler vowed to keep Portland a sanctuary city during his campaign, but the City Council has not yet voted on it.
Oregon guardsmen join presidential inauguration security
More than four dozen Oregon National Guard members are in Washington, D.C., this week to provide security for the 58th presidential inauguration ceremony.
Lawmakers’ spending framework includes cuts, no new taxes
Rep. Greg Smith, R-Heppner, who is also House Republican Caucus Budget Chair, also framed the framework as an opportunity for “spending reform.” “This Legislature has an opportunity this session to finally address the structural deficits that led us to this position in the first place,” Smith said, “and to put Oregon on the path to a more stable financial future.”
Oregon Democratic leaders release proposed state budget that would cut range of public healthcare and social services
Leading Democratic budget crafters released their proposed 2017-19 state government budget Thursday with a long list of spending curbs, including in public healthcare, social services, drug treatment and corrections, to fill a projected $1.8 billion hole.
Rep. Greg Smith, a Heppner Republican: “House Republicans stand ready to partner with our Democratic colleagues to deliver a budget that acknowledges the need for spending reform, while also ensuring that our most critical services are not compromised.”
Oregon legislators warn of painful cuts in ‘existing resources’ budget
And House Republicans pledged to work with Democrats to deliver a balanced budget. “This legislature has an opportunity this session to finally address the structural deficits that led us to this position in the first place and to put Oregon on the path to a more stable financial future. I hope we do not let this opportunity go to waste,” House Republican Caucus Budget Chairman Greg Smith, of Heppner, said. The 2017 legislative session begins Feb. 1. Lawmakers must complete their work by July 10.
Oregon’s top budget writers unveil proposal filled with painful cuts
From teacher layoffs to cutting as many as 355,000 people from Medicaid, Oregon’s top budget-writers painted what they hope is a heart-wrenching scenario Thursday of what would happen if the state had to operate without increased taxes or other revenues the next two years.
Oregon Budget Proposal: Program Cuts, No New Taxes
NW News Network
Democratic Rep. Nancy Nathanson, who helped craft the plan, said those cuts probably won’t sit well with Oregonians.
“I believe we’ll start to hear from them once we start to have our public hearings that this is not adequate,” she said. “It’s moving backward.”
Nathanson and her Senate colleague Richard Devlin said they drew up their plan without proposing any new revenue sources. They said those conversations are ongoing and a bipartisan agreement on tax increases is far from a sure thing.
Lawmakers release proposal with big cuts
Nathanson and Devlin attributed the budget gap to a “structural deficit” created by ballot measures voters passed in the 1990s to reduce property taxes. Voters also passed three ballot measures in November that didn’t include new funding but will cost an estimated $357 million over the next two years, according to Legislative Fiscal Officer Ken Rocco.
Devlin and Nathanson suggested the state cannot fully fund those ballot measures, because doing so would force deeper cuts to other programs. That philosophy is similar to Gov. Kate Brown’s budget proposal, which particularly upset supporters of the ballot measure to boost services for veterans.
Government plan for Klamath wildlife refuges violates law, conservation groups say
Three conservation groups filed a lawsuit in federal court Tuesday alleging a management plan for five wildlife refuges in Southern Oregon and Northern California doesn’t do enough to restore and protect key habitat for tens of thousands of migrating waterfowl.
‘Blockades, mazes and rabbit holes’ for public records at Oregon environmental agency
Transparency is a mess at the agency responsible for policing Oregon’s air and water pollution, a new Portland State University study has found.
After interviewing more than 50 people inside and outside the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, researchers at the university’s Center for Public Service concluded that the agency lags behind its peers and falls short on public disclosure.
Rift exposed over ODOT oversight
Beaverton Valley Times
State Rep. Rich Vial has just been elected to the Legislature, but this issue may fall directly into his lap even before the first day of the session. Vial — a Republican whose District 26 includes Sherwood, Tigard and parts of Hillsboro — has been named vice-chairman of the House Committee on Transportation Policy. “We must continue to work for efficiency and transparency in all our functions of government, and certainly our transportation planning and operations are no exception,” said Vial after seeing Baney’s letter. “Effective leadership is critical in carrying out this important objective, and having as many voices heard as possible in the process will insure our best results.”
Sen. Hansell hopes to end ‘game of chicken’ with Real ID bill
Oregon’s deadline for complying with the federal Real ID Act is ticking down, and state Sen. Bill Hansell of Athena has proposed a bill to beat that clock. “This is one of my major bills,” the Republican and former Umatilla County commissioner said. “We can’t just keep kicking this can down the road, and we can’t ignore it.”
Oregon’s national monument fight is far from over
Friday’s inauguration of President Donald Trump ends the rash of national monument designations made under Obama, swiftly shifting the issue to new – potentially untested – grounds.
Oregon faces obstacles expanding health insurance to all residents, study finds
Creating a Medicare-like public health insurance option for residents of Oregon may be the easiest system to extend health coverage to more people in the state, but other proposals such as single-payer plan or a system to provide limited private insurance to all residents would eventually cover more people, according to a new RAND Corporation study.
EDUCATION & HIGHER EDUCATION
University presidents say budget could decimate Oregon’s higher ed
Portland Business Journal
“The impacts of these large tuition increases and reduction in services have taken their toll on Oregonians. Retention rates, and at many universities graduation rates, are down or stagnant and many students can no longer piece together a financial aid package of grants, loans, and work sufficient to fund a college education. Too many Oregonians are at risk of taking on college debt but not earning a degree.”
Oregon Education Officials Offer Relief To Snow-Battered Schools
Oregon Public Broadcasting
Oregon education officials may relax instructional time requirements for school districts that have lost class time to snow and ice. Proposed rules would allow districts to count 14 hours of weather-related cancellations as “instructional time.” That’s similar to what Oregon used to allow, before phasing out allowances for time lost to weather emergencies.
JOBS AND ECONOMY
Minimum wage increase impacts onion-growing areas
A minimum wage increase affecting 21 states nationwide will, to varying degrees, impact several onion-growing regions in the United States this year and in coming seasons.
Portland region’s economy fueled by tax dollars
Seven out of 10 of the region’s largest employers are either government agencies or health care systems. Health care also is funded largely by government.
Drug testing bill filed in Salem
A bill meant to prevent employers from using off-the-clock marijuana use as a cause to fire or refuse to hire someone is on the growing list of proposed legislation awaiting lawmakers in Salem. Backers of Senate Bill 301 say it would override state Supreme Court decisions that say employers need not accommodate workers’ off-the-job use of marijuana, legal for all adults since July 2015. Others give slim odds of SB 301 passing when the Legislature convenes Feb. 1.
The Supreme Court’s Next Gun Battle
The New York Times
It will be late February at the earliest before the justices announce whether they will hear the case, Peruta v. California, filed on behalf of five California gun owners and a gun-rights organization by Paul D. Clement, a solicitor general during the George W. Bush administration who since then has taken on a number of high-visibility conservative causes. The mere fact that the appeal is pending is bound to play a role during the confirmation hearings for the next Supreme Court nominee; during the campaign, President-elect Donald J. Trump called on “Second Amendment people” to vote for him as a bloc to prevent a President Hillary Clinton from being able to fill the Supreme Court vacancy with a justice opposed to gun interests.
Editorial: Don’t let anyone pull a Whitsett
Bend Bulletin Editorial Board
Oregon House Bill 2429 is a tribute to Doug and Gail Whitsett. But it’s not for the work the married Republicans did to represent their districts in Eastern Oregon. It’s for the way the Whitsetts effectively picked their successors.
Editorial: A flatter jobs cycle?
Register Guard Editorial
The key is to pursue economic diversity — not just by encouraging the emergence of new employment sectors, but by diversifying within existing sectors, including high technology, wood products and agriculture. This is already happening. It’s possible that Oregon’s economy has become diverse enough to somewhat cushion the next downturn — and it’s certain that encouraging continued progress toward the emergence of such an economy should be a central goal of public policy.
Opinion: 21,000 reasons to give rent-stabilization policies a chance
Kayse Jama, executive director of Unite Oregon. Rev. Joseph Santos-Lyons, executive director of APANO.
It’s no secret that communities across Oregon are experiencing severe housing shortages and extreme rent increases. Last year, over 21,000 kids in Oregon’s school districts experienced homelessness. That means 21,000 kids worried about where they and their parents would sleep at night, rather than focusing on school. This year, Oregon legislators will have an opportunity to lift the statewide prohibition on rent stabilization, a step that would help keep families in their homes and set children up for success.