What the Oregon Dem majority still needs to accomplish

Dan Lucas_July 2012_BW

by Dan Lucas

1 in 4 Oregonians is on Medicaid, the government health care payment system for the poor. That does not include older Oregonians who are on Medicare. Additionally, 1 in 6 Oregonians is on food stamps.

Last November Democrats gained even more seats in the Oregon Legislature and they held onto their decades-long control of all statewide offices, including governor. They returned to super-majority status in the Oregon Senate and moved to within one seat of super-majority in the Oregon House.

We are now more than half way through the Regular Session of the 78th assembly of the Oregon Legislature, which started in early February. Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Economy, Education, OR 78th Legislative Session, State Budget, Transportation | 11 Comments

Tennessee Special Needs Kids Get Choices in Education

CascadeNewLogoBy Kathryn Hickok

Tennessee just became the 28th state to enact a private school choice program, giving parents more options for their children’s education. Governor Bill Haslam signed the nation’s fourth Education Savings Account law last Monday.

Arizona, Florida, and Mississippi already allowed parents to have some control over the funding allocated for their kids’ education through Education Savings Accounts (ESAs). ESAs are a flexible way for parents to manage some of the money that otherwise would be used for their kids’ education in their zoned public school. ESAs allow parents to pay for different kinds of educational services that may be the best fit for their children, including tuition, online courses, tutoring, therapy, or other categories of expenses defined by law. Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Education | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

Justice for victims, not continuing protection for rapists

legal court

Crime Victims United

Rape survivors press for 20-year statute of limitations in Oregon

When:   Tuesday, May 26, 10:30 a.m.

Where:  Sentinel Hotel, Card Room, 614 S.W. Eleventh Avenue, Portland, OR 97205

What:    Press conference re: House Bill 2317 and Oregon’s Statute of Limitations (SoL) for First Degree Rape, Sodomy, and Unlawful Penetration Continue reading

Posted by at 06:11 | Posted in Crime & Sentencing, OR 78th Legislative Session | 3 Comments

Legislative update on marijuana: tracking and local control

Jeff Kruse

by Sen. Jeff Kruse (R-Roseburg)

I have received a lot of phone calls and emails on the subject of marijuana, which advocates say we should call cannabis, but for the sake of brevity in this update I will call it pot. While a good number of these have been thoughtful and courteous, a large number and been vulgar and even threatening. To those in the latter category, if you are trying to make a valid point with a legislator, you are going about it the wrong way. I can’t speak for my colleagues, but personally I don’t respond to such tactics and have little respect for those who use them.

Before I go any further it might be a good idea to once again tell you why I am qualified to be working in this subject area. First, I am a recovering addict. I have been drug and alcohol free for 29 years; but, among the other things I did, I was a daily pot smoker for eighteen years. Additionally I have been involved legislatively with the medical marijuana program since the passage of the ballot measure in 1998. Continue reading

Posted by at 06:12 | Posted in Marijuana, OR 78th Legislative Session | 18 Comments

Oregon Dems put political agenda ahead of K-12 funding


Oregon Senate Republicans

Democrats raid K-12 education, rejecting intent of voters to spend corporate kicker on Oregon students

Salem, OR – Senate Democrats are undermining the will of Oregon voters by refusing to spend the corporate kicker on K-12 education, as mandated by the Oregon constitution, argued Senate Republicans today.

“In 2012, Oregon voters chose to redirect extra corporate tax revenue to bolster the education budget so our schools have the resources they need,” said Senate Republican Leader Ted Ferrioli. “By redirecting the corporate kicker to education, Oregonians sent the message that strong schools are the top Oregon value. Now, Senate Democrats want to undercut voters and spend the corporate kicker on other programs without sending a dime to K-12 education.” Continue reading

Posted by at 06:13 | Posted in Education, OR 78th Legislative Session, Oregon Senate, State Budget | 5 Comments

Tax lesson found in Portland Art Museum?

italyarttaxesmuseumTax lesson found in Portland Art Museum?
By Taxpayer Association of Oregon

There I was enjoying the spectacular Italian Fashion history exhibit at the Portland Art Museum when suddenly I stumbled upon a real-life tax lesson.

Near the end of the exhibit was a video highlighting the dire challenges of the Italian fashion industry. Famous Italian designer, Mariano Rubinacci, laid it out boldly in the video “The laws in Italy are terrible. The taxes are unbelievable. I am not political. I am not right or left. I wish only to be in a country where live properly and with reasonable taxes.” Another designer in the video lamented poor support from Italy’s government.

I hope Portlanders got the message and Mariano’s call for “reasonable taxes” because Italy’s taxes are so high that tax evasion hides nearly 20% of the economy. Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Taxes | 12 Comments

Reminder: Polar ice cap could be completely gone by 2014!

Al Gore

Al Gore

by NW Spotlight

Former Vice President Al Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. It was awarded jointly to Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) “for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change.”

When he delivered his Nobel Lecture on December 10, 2007, Al Gore said “scientists reported with unprecedented distress that the North Polar ice cap is ‘falling off a cliff.’ One study estimated that it could be completely gone during summer in less than 22 years. Another new study, to be presented by U.S. Navy researchers later this week, warns it could happen in as little as 7 years. Seven years from now.” Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Global Warming | 34 Comments

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