Sen. Alan Olsen submits SB 435 and demands “No more secret bills!” as a call to end anonymous bills and amendments.
By Taxpayer Association of Oregon Foundation,
Oregon State Senator Alan Olsen’s SB 435 would eliminate anonymous mystery bill amendments by requiring amendments to identify the state Legislator who proposed it. Anonymous legislation passing through the Legislature only reinforces the back-room deals aura of Salem and has the effect of shutting out the public who wish to know more, not less of their Democracy. The most controversial bill of the Session, the Low Carbon SB 324 (also referred to as a hidden gas tax)was amended in a surprise gut-n-stuff by an anonymous amendment. No one knows who the author is. Furthermore, without knowing who the amendment author means the public has no one to direct questions towards. There is no way to find the full intent or background behind an amendment that can such drastically change a piece of Legislation. It gets even worse when even the committee chair does not know the origin. At that point the process becomes unfriendly to all participants. Continue reading
by Rep. Mike Nearman
The latest government overreach – brought to you by the friendly thugs at the Bureau of Labor and Industries
When I think of tyranny, I think of guys with three-cornered hats and muskets and a mean old King in England. I need to have less faith that we’ve moved beyond some of these problems in modern times. Tyranny still exists and walks among us.
Take Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian and the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries.
He’s pushing for HB 2386 in the Oregon Legislature which would give the Labor Commissioner the power to issue cease and desist orders – effectively shut down businesses – until a labor complaint or other violation is resolved. Because of the slow pace of litigation, this effectively results in a “guilty until proven innocent” system where a business must cease operations if “the commissioner has reason to believe that an employer has violated (the law).” Continue reading
by Dan Lucas
There are about 40,000 state workers in Oregon. Around 800 of those state employees work for the Department of Administrative Services (DAS). Some of those DAS employees demonstrated extraordinary courage and principles earlier this year during the closing weeks of Gov. Kitzhaber’s administration.
Rather than being praised or encouraged, though, they continue to be the subjects of breathtaking retribution. Retribution that began just hours into Gov. Kate Brown’s administration and retribution that is ongoing. Retribution that communicates very loudly and clearly to state workers that if they are tempted to be whistleblowers or to question orders that may be illegal, they will face extreme retribution, including criminal prosecution. Continue reading
Rep. Whisnant: No excuse “un-transparent” half-billion fund
By Taxpayer Association of Oregon Foundation
State Representative Gene Whisnant believes no tax dollar should go unnoticed — especially if it is a half billion education fund that lacks the basic tenants of transparency. A total of $569 million of the school fund gets directed to a special fund for the Children for Low income Families program and for English Language Learners (ELL) also known as English as a Second Language (ESL). Currently, there is no accountability on how the money is spent. Representative Whisnant has authored HB 2967 & HB 2968 which would require school districts to publish an annual report on the details of the funds received, funds spent and require measurable outcomes of the program. Continue reading
By John A. Charles, Jr.
During the 2003 session of the Oregon State Legislature, TriMet sought an increase in the regional payroll tax rate. In public testimony, TriMet General Manager Fred Hansen said, “TriMet’s proposed payroll tax increase will be used exclusively to provide new or enhanced transit service.”
The legislature approved TriMet’s request, and the payroll tax rate went up every January for ten straight years. By the end of 2014, TriMet had received $34.4 million in new payroll tax revenues attributable to rate increases. Yet during that same decade, the miles of transit service offered to patrons actually dropped by 14%, while the hours of service declined by 5%. Continue reading
Posted in Economy, Government Spending, Government Waste, Local Taxes, Oregon Government, Portland, Portland Politics, Public Transportation, State Government, State Taxes, Taxes, Transparency, Transportation, TriMet, Uncategorized
Tagged MAX, payroll taxes, Portland-Milwaukie light rail, Portland-Milwaukie light rail line, TriMet
by NW Spotlight
Jeff Mapes at the Oregonian wrote an article on Friday that reported the chairman of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission estimates “as much as 75 percent of the medical marijuana in the state winds up going to the black market.” The OLCC will be responsible for regulating recreational marijuana sales which will soon be legal in Oregon as a result of the passage of Measure 91 last year. Medical marijuana has been legal in Oregon for 16 years since the passage of Measure 67 in 1998.
In the Oregonian article Sen. Ginny Burdick (D-Portland) says “It’s no secret that medical marijuana [from Oregon] is appearing all over the U.S. in the illegal market.” Continue reading
Senate Republican Leader Ted Ferrioli
Senate Republican Leader Ted Ferrioli
On February 2nd, as the most senior member of the Oregon State Senate, I had the honor of opening the 78th Legislative Session. Last November, state legislatures around the country flipped from Democrat-led to Republican. In fact, today, almost two thirds of legislative assemblies in the country are Republican.
Oregon was not among those that flipped. The power centers in Oregon turned a deeper shade of blue as Democrats picked up seats in the Senate and held their lead in the House, thanks to public employee and trade unions, environmental front groups and out-of-state green energy billionaires.
Then a bizarre scandal overwhelmed the Kitzhaber administration, forcing the Governor and his first lady to move from Mahonia Hall in disgrace. As the couple left, rumors concerning multiple investigations by federal and state agencies only served to heighten the surreal atmosphere. Continue reading