By Oregon State Senator Dennis Linthicum,
A well-balanced, realistic policy-making approach could pave the way toward long term fiscal solvency and achieve investment goals for Oregon’s future. As I entered my first legislative session, I anticipated Democrats and Republicans would work together to achieve those goals by supporting both spending and revenue reforms. It only makes sense that balancing both sides of the ledger would increase stability for our state’s budget.
It seems, I was wrong. Continue reading
By John A. Charles, Jr.
Last week Governor Kate Brown gave a speech to Portland activists promising to secure carbon-pricing legislation in next year’s one-month legislative session. A few days later, she met with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and urged him to maintain or expand the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in Southern Oregon.
Clearly, the Governor is getting bad advice about environmental priorities. Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant; it’s a beneficial gas that is essential for plant growth. If the Governor continues Oregon’s “war on carbon,” she will impose great costs on the economy with no offsetting benefits. Continue reading
By Lydia White
Just prior to Oregon’s July 1 minimum wage* increase from $9.75 to $11.25 (Portland Metro Area), a team of researchers from the University of Washington produced a study, published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, that measures the effects of Seattle’s $13 minimum wage. In just nine months, Seattle wages rose substantially, from $9.47 in 2014, to $11 in 2015, to $13 in 2016 (an increase of 37.3%), and again to $15 on the first of this year.†
Unique to this study is a data set collected by Washington’s Employment Security Department which tracks hours worked in addition to earnings, making this particular study the first of its kind. Washington and Oregon are among four states that track these data.
The study‡ found that the city’s mandates resulted in 5,000 fewer jobs around Seattle. The average low-wage employee saw 3% higher hourly wages, but 9% fewer hours worked, resulting in a net loss of $125 per month. For low-income households especially, an annual loss of $1,500 is significant. Continue reading
From June 9th to June 18th, Oregon Catalyst conducted an online poll of 500, self-identified Republican voters. The goal of this poll was to see how Republican voters currently feel about the gubernatorial primary election that occurs in May of 2018. It is likely that the winner of that election would challenge Governor Kate Brown in the November election. Continue reading
SALEM, OR — Today, Secretary of State Dennis Richardson announced an administrative rule change to empower grassroots petitioners who are filing ballot initiatives. As it stands today, opponents of a ballot initiative can manipulate the initiative process by challenging ballot titles in court for the sole purpose of delaying signature gathering. Often this results in delays of 2-3 months or even more, which is especially burdensome for grassroots petitions that do not have the resources to hire a signature gathering service. This new grassroots petitioning rule will allow petitioners to continue gathering signatures on the official sponsorship templates while a ballot title is being written and challenged in the courts, thereby giving activists more time to gather signatures and avoiding a gap of several months in the signature gathering effort. Continue reading
When I was asked by the Coos County Republican Women to speak at their monthly meeting tomorrow, I was happy to oblige, increasingly hearing how up for grabs the voters are in that part of the state. A strong showing in Coos County can win the 4th Congressional District. If not in the anti-Trump wave election we’ll face next year, it’s certainly a real possibility in 2020 with the right candidate. Continue reading
Despite Supposed “Crisis,” Legislature’s Budget Grows 10 Percent
By Matt Evans
Taxpayer Association of Oregon,
Oregon’s 2017 Legislative Session began with laments of a “budget crisis” and “shortfall” from the Democratic majority and their friends in the news media. To close the gap between what previous Legislatures had promised to spend and the actual amount of money available, virtually every kind of tax increase imaginable was proposed. At the end of the Session, and with only marginal new or increased taxes enacted, Oregon’s Legislatively Adopted budget for 2017-19 managed to grow 10.3 percent from the previous 2-year period. Somehow, the “crisis” was averted by doing very little. Continue reading
According to The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, they have received information that self-proclaimed Caliph and leader of the Islamic State Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been killed. There have been reports of al-Baghdadi’s death before, so we cannot be 100% sure. As with Osama Bin-Laden, al-Baghdadi’s death may not have a dramatic effect in the war on ISIS but is certainly a symbolic achievement. Unfortunately, I worry that most Americans are not aware of this nor the recapture of the city of Mosul from ISIS because the mainstream media seems far more focused on talking about Russia or President Trump’s tweets. Continue reading
By Steve Buckstein
The Oregon legislature just passed, and the Governor signed, a bill designed to generate some $550 million in new taxes on health care, hospitals, and health insurance premiums. Ostensibly, this money is needed to help balance the budget, even after strong revenue growth, and to help maintain the controversial Medicaid expansion.
According to an Oregonian editorial, when word got out that someone might refer these new taxes to the ballot, legislative leaders showed “how they’re willing to protect that new revenue at all cost—even hijacking the referendum process at the core of Oregon’s identity.” Continue reading
Right From the Start
Several years ago while at a dinner party, the conversation got around to the burden that illegal immigration was putting on the country’s welfare system. The hostess, a generally thoughtful and well reasoned person, disagreed asserting that she had worked at one time for a welfare agency and that illegal immigrants were not eligible for welfare payments as a matter of law. I agreed but then asked her whether she ever asked any of the recipients whether they were lawful residents. She said no. I then asked her whether anyone in the agency ever checked on the resident status of any of the recipients. Again she said no. I then asked how she could know that illegal immigrants were not a burden on the welfare system if no one asked and no one checked. There was silence.
>> Sign the petition <<
State Representatives Julie Parrish, Sal Esquivel, and Cedric Hayden have filed a petition to refer HB 2391, raising $550 million in taxes on healthcare, to the ballot. Democrats in the legislature voted to attempt to rig this election by moving the election to January of 2018 instead of the regularly scheduled November 2018 election when it should be on the ballot. Please read the information below and sign the petition if you oppose the tax. Continue reading
By NW Spotlight
The internet is an engine of innovation, generating billions in economic activity and millions of jobs. This technological revolution has transformed our economy and changed the way we work and communicate.
This makes the July 12 net neutrality ‘day of action’ all the more surprising. Companies on the cutting edge of innovation are urging their users to protest the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) recent effort to rollback Obama-era policies that regulated the internet under Title II. It’s ironic that some 21st century innovators support regulations that treat the internet like a 1930’s style public utility. Continue reading
By Steve Buckstein
To hear some teachers talk, you would think before smartphones became ubiquitous in their classrooms that every student sat politely and paid attention every minute of the day. Of course, anyone who was ever a student knows the messy truth about this assertion. So, a little perspective may be in order, both about the evolution of the telephone and what should be the evolution of our educational system.
It wasn’t too long ago that if our parents or grandparents wanted to make a phone call from home, they would pick up the receiver and ask the monopoly “phone company” operator to place their calls. Later, how glorious it was that we could use our rotary phones to spin out our own calls, even long-distance ones if we could afford the high per-minute costs. Then came digital phones, and finally cell phones became affordable to the masses. But even the early cell phones had limited uses. Continue reading