by Sen. Jeff Kruse (R-Roseburg)
The balance of power in Salem has definitely moved significantly to the left this year. Elections do have consequences, and in a representative republic the winners do get to set the agenda. The reality in the Oregon State Senate is the Democrats can pass anything they want. Just going by the numbers it would require only two Republicans to be present when bills come to the Senate floor for a vote to meet the quorum requirement.
We are already seeing some heavy handed actions taking place. Under most circumstances the chairperson of a committee has the ultimate authority over the activities of the committee. There have already been a couple of times when the members of the committee were attempting to work towards a compromise on a bill only to get direction from leadership to pass the bill un-amended. That is the power of a super majority. Continue reading
by NW Spotlight
OK, this is just getting overwhelming. There were already 4 different federal investigations into the quarter of a billion dollars wasted on the Cover Oregon disaster, and now there are more federal and state investigations as part of the massive criminal public corruption probe into former Gov. John Kitzhaber and former First Lady Cylvia Hayes!
Then new email revelations this week brought Patricia McCaig back into the news. McCaig, “a secretive campaign consultant who liked to call herself the Princess of Darkness,” ran Kitzhaber’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign. Once elected, “Kitzhaber made her his top adviser on the Columbia River Crossing.” While serving as Kitzhaber’s adviser, McCaig also worked for the CRC’s top contractor and she “eventually collected $553,000 for her work on the CRC, which was never built.” Continue reading
by Willamette University College of Law Federalist Society
In January Washington State’s Department of Social and Health Services promulgated WAC 388-148-1320, compelling all persons in a licensed foster home with foster children two years of age or younger to have proof of full immunizations. This regulation makes it so that foster homes are restricted from caring for dependent children two years of age or younger if the family does not vaccinate themselves and their children.
Though well intentioned, this regulation further burdens licensed foster homes, restricts adoption, and undermines the reunification of families. It also is an example of how the erosion of our civil liberties can in many cases lead to negative unintended consequences for some of our most vulnerable citizens. If Washington is going to protect its foster children it has to start by protecting its citizens’ freedom of choice. Continue reading
Oregon Senate Republicans
Request Correspondence between Governor’s Office and Campaign Advisers
Salem, OR – Today, Oregon Senate Republicans announced they have submitted a Public Records Request for all correspondence between key Kitzhaber political campaign advisers and the Governor’s office from January 1, 2014 to February 18, 2015.
“During this unprecedented time, following the disgraceful exit of former Governor John Kitzhaber, Oregon finds itself in the national spotlight and at a historical crossroads,” said Senate Republican Leader Ted Ferrioli (R-John Day). “We are concerned the ‘ethical fog’ extends beyond Kitzhaber’s administration to political operatives in the Democrat party and believe Oregonians deserve to know the extent of that connection.” Continue reading
by Sen. Doug Whitsett
The income tax kicker is Oregon’s only spending limitation
Oregon’s March economic and revenue forecast was released last week. The forecast predicts that the state will receive enough revenue, during the remainder of this budget cycle, to trigger the personal income tax “kicker.”
The “kicker” is a refund of excess income taxes paid by Oregon taxpayers. State economists estimate the refund will total $349 million, about $350 for each Oregon family of four.
“Kicker” refunds will no longer be mailed to taxpayers in the form of a refund check. The refund process was changed by the passage of House Bill 3543 during the 2011 session. Continue reading
by NW Spotlight
A few days ago we reported on Gov. Kate Brown’s chilling moves to silence & punish state employees who refused to delete Kitzhaber emails. KATU is reporting today on new findings about Kitzhaber’s dealings in those emails, based on investigation by Willamette Week’s Nigel Jaquiss:
“Emails that former Gov. John Kitzhaber tried to have deleted reveal that he turned decision-making for the troubled state health exchange, Cover Oregon, over to a campaign consultant.” [That consultant was Patricia McCaig – who was not a state employee]
“Kitzhaber secretly turned over Cover Oregon decision-making to McCaig.” Continue reading
by Rep. Mike Nearman
How’s that going to work out for us?
It’s been 16 years since Oregonians passed Measure 67 and legalized medical marijuana. How’s that working out for us? I don’t dispute that marijuana may possibly have some value in medicine, but I’m skeptical of most medical marijuana usage because most of the medical community and the regulatory structure hasn’t come forward to push for its acceptance as medicine.
As of October of this year, there were nearly 70,000 medical marijuana card holders in the state of Oregon, a little less than 2% of the residents of the state. That makes me skeptical, too. Isn’t it amazing how a recreational drug can become so medically effective? That’s one out of every 50 people who has a card. There are 213 medical marijuana dispensaries in Oregon which means that they have an average of about 330 customers each. Can they operate profitably with so few customers? Maybe they have side businesses. Continue reading