Joan Austin died on June 5, 2013 at the age of 81. She was a friend of mine; that put me in the excellent company of literally thousands of people across Oregon and the rest of the United States. Those people ranged from former Presidents of the United States to clerical staff at her office.
She was a wife, mother, grandmother, a great-grandmother-in-waiting, and a tireless and generous benefactor to Oregon’s many charities. Oh yes, she was also the business genius behind the creation and growth of A-DEC, the largest privately held dental equipment manufacturer in America. She and husband Ken – the technical wizard – began their venture in a Quonset hut in Newberg and grew it into a worldwide industry leader. And then when she was in her 70’s Joan envisioned, planned and built The Allison – Oregon’s premier resort and spa which sits at the doorway to Oregon’s famed Yamhill wine country. Continue reading →
Students Denied Increased Funding By Democrats on Party Line Vote
Salem, OR – Senator Tim Knopp voted to increase the K-12 budgets totaling $7 billion dollars. In an effort to help the struggling school districts throughout Oregon Sen. Knopp was joined with his fellow Senate Republicans. However, Senate Democrats were OK with a status quo budget of $6.55 billion that ensures a shortened school year and larger class sizes for many districts around the state. Continue reading →
How free are you to engage in the occupation of your choice? In Oregon the answer appears to be—not so much. No one is quite sure how many occupations actually require a license, but The Oregon License Directory currently contains 1,190 entries by 113 agencies. While items like drivers’ licenses and concealed carry handgun permits are included, many are occupational licenses, and those often take significant time and money to obtain. Also, the site warns that not all jurisdictions are even in the directory yet, so “adding these additional licenses may take years.”
Recently, one lobbyist told a legislative committee why he thought the state requires such licensing. He said:
“The only reason that the state of Oregon through the Oregon legislature licenses any individual profession or industry is to protect the public health, safety and welfare. That’s it.”*
Kitzhaber & Dems are again holding the K-12 school budget hostage
I was first elected to the legislature in 2002, yet I am still surprised by the political “blame game” that occurs at the end of most Legislative Sessions. [To see a brief YouTube on this subject, click here.]
Last week, Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber spoke to the House Republicans and requested an additional $275 million in tax increases. He promised that if Republicans joined the Democrats in voting for tax increases the additional revenue would enable the legislature to help publicly funded K-12 schools, community colleges, universities and youth mental health programs. In other words, “it’s for the kids.” Continue reading →
I am going to circle back to an issue that won’t go away, and that is guns. As a reminder, there were four gun bills sent from the Senate Judiciary Committee to the Senate Rules Committee on a party line vote. This was done because there were not the votes in the Senate to pass any of them and the only way to keep them alive was to send them to Rules which is one of the few committees still open. At this point it appears SB 700; the background check bill seems to be the only one still in play. The votes are still not there and won’t be, but Senators Burdick and Prozanski will not give up. I have read in some blogs and other places that Senator Betsy Johnson has changed her mind and might vote for SB 700, and nothing could be further from the truth. Let me repeat that; Senator Johnson is still and will continue to be in opposition to all four bills. Anything you have heard to the contrary is completely false. Continue reading →
Salem, OR – The Oregon Senate unanimously approved House Joint Memorial 17 on Thursday, a measure urging the Pentagon to give Leonard DeWitt the Medal of Honor for his actions in World War II.
“Colonel DeWitt demonstrated the bravery and sacrifice that defines his generation and the spirit of our nation’s military,” said Senator Brian Boquist (R-Dallas). “More than seventy years ago his Medal of Honor recommendation got lost in the shuffle of military bureaucracy. It’s time he was given the honor he is due.” Continue reading →