Let Parents Wield School Spending Power

By Kathryn Hickok

Are we missing the trees for the forest in Oregon school funding and education reform debates?

Media reports, school districts, and political leaders usually focus on the big picture: reaching a 100% high school graduation rate so all children have the best chance in life. That’s a great goal. Frequently lost, however, is the fact that every child is an individual. The focus of real-life Oregon parents is helping their kids reach their potential in light of their specific needs and gifts.

These two perspectives shouldn’t be at odds. In fact, the second could drive the first―if more parents were empowered to make meaningful choices for their children’s education. Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

The Game Theory of Light Rail Platforms

In the tri-county area of TriMet’s service district, the proven reliability of buses is being slowly replaced by light rail, one capital project at a time. How this transformation might change passenger fare compliance is something TriMet needs to carefully consider. Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Public Transportation, TriMet | Tagged | 4 Comments

Sen. Linthicum: Numbers show Oregon’s failed budget

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

Posted by at 04:55 | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Moving Beyond Symbolism

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

Posted by at 10:00 | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Oregon’s new minimum wage law will hurt the people it aims to help

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

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

2018 Republican Governor Primary Poll Results

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

Posted by at 10:35 | Posted in 2018 Election, Dennis Richardson, Gov. Kate Brown, Oregon Republican Party, Poll | 1 Comment

Secretary of State Dennis Richardson Launches Grassroots Petitioning Improvement

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

Posted by at 11:13 | Posted in Dennis Richardson, Petition, Secretary of State | Leave a comment

Coos County is a key to victory

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

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Oregon House, Oregon Republican Party | Tagged | Leave a comment

Despite “Crisis” State Budget Grows 10%

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

Posted by at 04:55 | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Tweets, Russia, ISIS, and Media Priorities

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

Posted by at 12:29 | Posted in Donald Trump, ISIS, Scandals, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Stop Health Care Taxes dot com

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

Posted by at 10:00 | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Is There Corruption of the Election System?

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.

Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in 2016 Election, 2016 Presidential Election, 2018 Election, Corruption, Fake News, Gov. Kitzhaber, Gov. Kulongoski, Illegal Immigration, Public Employee Unions | 3 Comments

Sign the Petition to Stop New Healthcare Taxes

>> 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

Posted by at 10:45 | Posted in Health & Human Services, OR 79th Legislative Session, Taxes, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

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