Possible PERS solutions deemed likely constitutional

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Sen. Betsy Johnson and Sen. Tim Knopp

Salem, Ore. – Oregon’s Legislative Counsel has released a legal opinion on the constitutionality of possible Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) reforms. Of the reforms analyzed, seven were deemed likely constitutional.

Senator Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose) and Senator Tim Knopp (R-Bend) are spearheading the Bipartisan PERS Solutions Work Group. Any Oregonian interested in pursuing fair, constitutional PERS reform is invited to participate. Invitations have also been sent to a broad, bipartisan coalition of school administrators, local government officials, and labor and business groups representing a variety of interests across the state. Continue reading

Posted by at 07:30 | Posted in Oregon Senate, Oregon Supreme Court, PERS, Public Employees Retirement System | 4 Comments

What’s ailing Oregon education?

Sen Doug Whitsett

by Sen. Doug Whitsett

Our state government’s spending addiction and our failing public school system are Oregon’s two most serious and pervasive problems.

According to the Taxpayer Association of Oregon, this is the number one tax-and-spend state in the West. In fact, we spend more taxpayer dollars per capita than all but ten other states.

About half of our discretionary revenue is spent on pre-k-16 public education. But despite the immense cost, our K-12 system has one of the worst performance records in the nation. By any measure, homeschoolers, private schools, and even most charter schools, are performing much better. They outperform our public schools, even though they receive significantly less, or often no, outside funding. Continue reading

Posted by at 05:22 | Posted in Education, Oregon Government, Oregon Senate, Public Employee Unions, Right-to-Work, State Budget | 4 Comments

Measure 97 jeopardizes Bend’s progress

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by Rep. Knute Buehler and Dino Vendetti

Bend and Central Oregon are growing. With easy access to all forms of outdoor recreation, good local schools, expanding higher-education opportunities at the OSU-Cascades campus and direct-flight connections to key cities, Bend and Central Oregon have emerged from the Great Recession as an economic and lifestyle destination for a diverse community of entrepreneurs, dreamers and doers.

But Ballot Measure 97 — the $6 billion tax on corporate sales — is a direct threat to the progress and opportunities being created in the region.

By now, perhaps you’ve heard the major problems with Ballot Measure 97. First, it raises a whopping $6 billion every two years — a 30 percent increase in the state budget with no plans, controls or guarantees on how this huge influx of new revenue will be spent by the governor or Salem politicians. Second, it’s a highly regressive new tax, with no exemptions for food, medicine or monthly utilities. The tax will hit seniors on fixed incomes and middle/lower-income families particularly hard. And third, an independent analysis estimates the tax will cost more than 38,000 private-sector jobs over the next six years. Continue reading

Posted by at 05:47 | Posted in Economy, Education, Jobs, Measure 97, State Taxes | 18 Comments

Take Time to Meet Dr. William “Bud” Pierce

Right From the Start

Right From the Start

I like smart people. I like to talk to them, listen to them, probe and challenge them. I like to find out if they are book smart or real smart – the former referring to education, and the latter referring to application. I’m not much into book smart people – they tend to be one dimensional, reciting what others who came before them have thought and said. I am into real smart people – they are fascinating and most of them are multi-dimensional.

My personal physician is one of those people. Real smart. He is your basic Renaissance man – skilled in his chosen area of expertise and well read and thoughtful in a multitude of other areas. When he is curious, he studies. When he studies, he thinks. And when he thinks, wondrous thoughts flow with facts, rationale and unassailable logic. I am a generally healthy person so my annual physicals routinely morph into discussions of topical things. We do politics, religion, ethics, economics or whatever else is happening on that day. I am usually exhausted by the time we finish and I spend several days thereafter trying to put all that I have learned into workable order.

And that brings me to Dr. William “Bud” Pierce. When a friend of mine asked whether I would meet with Dr. Pierce, the Republican gubernatorial candidate I readily agreed. I like smart people and well educated people are a good place (but not the only place) to begin. Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in 2016 Election, Chicago corruption, Education, Ethics, Gov. Kate Brown, Government corruption, Leadership, PERS, Public Employee Unions | 3 Comments

Executive Club: Oregon Director for Trump

jacob-danielsJacob Daniels, Oregon Trump Dir.
Guest Speaker,
Executive Club Meeting
7:00pm • Wed. Sept. 7th
Airport Shilo Inn

Jacob is the State Director in Oregon for Mr. Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.

Daniels is an attorney who has served on a number of statewide campaigns and is a respected opposition researcher, currently on sabbatical from the Washington D.C. based Sonoran Policy Group, where he serves as special counsel to the Chairman. As a native of Oregon, Daniels wants nothing more than to turn Oregon red and win up-and-down the ticket in 2016. Continue reading

Posted by at 09:12 | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Presidential race tightening

2016 Trump V Clinton

by NW Spotlight

A few short weeks ago, Real Clear Politics presidential polling averages showed Hillary with a +5.3 advantage over Trump in polling. A Real Clear Politics snapshot of the 2016 presidential election had Hillary with a +18.0 favorability rating, Hillary leading in betting odds 79.0 to Trump’s 21.0, and Hillary leading in the battleground states.

That +5.3 polling advantage has dropped to +3.3 for Hillary, the +18.0 favorability rating has fallen to +7.7 for Hillary, and Hillary’s lead in betting odds has gone from 79.0-to-21.0 to 76.0-to-24.0 over Trump. Hillary’s lead in the battleground states is shrinking. Continue reading

Posted by at 06:43 | Posted in 2016 Presidential Election, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Voting | 2 Comments

Two-Thirds of Oregon Union Members Want to End the Unions’ “Forced-Rider” Problem

CascadeNewLogoBy Kathryn Hickok and Steve Buckstein

Last month, National Employee Freedom Week (August 14-20, 2016) called attention to the rights of union members to opt out of union membership if they choose and to stop paying dues and fees to unions they do not support. National Employee Freedom Week has conducted surveys of union members and households. One of this year’s significant findings is that a strong majority of union members nationwide agree that if members opt out of paying union dues and fees, they should represent themselves in negotiations with employers.

Two-thirds (66.9%) of Oregon union members agree with this proposition. “Worker’s Choice” would end the so-called free-rider problem (really a forced-rider problem), which argues that labor laws require unions to continue representing workers even after they stop paying dues. The Mackinac Center for Public Policy explains: “Without requiring a complete overhaul of collective bargaining laws, [Worker’s Choice] can free unions from having to provide services to employees who do not support them, and allow individual employees to represent themselves and negotiate independently with their employers.” Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Employment, Jobs, Labor, Public Employee Unions, Right-to-Work, Unions | Tagged , | Leave a comment

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