“Right to Try” Is a Good First Step, Should Be Expanded

CascadeNewLogoBy Anna Mae Kersey

Oregon House Bill 2300 gives terminally ill patients access to potentially life-saving drugs or investigational products not yet approved by the FDA that they might otherwise die waiting for.

While the necessity of such a bill is largely uncontroversial, and since last year more than 20 states have passed similar legislation, restrictions are included in Oregon’s law that severely limit the types of terminally ill patients who would be eligible for this kind of treatment. Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Health Care Reform, Individual Responsiblity, Oregon Government, State Government | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Political abuses of power by BOLI in Gresham bakery case

Dan Lucas_July 2012_BW

by Dan Lucas

On July 2 Oregon Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian upheld an earlier finding that said the owners of the Sweetcakes by Melissa bakery in Gresham had to pay $135,000 in damages to a lesbian couple for refusing to make them a wedding cake. The damages were for “emotional and mental suffering resulting from the cake denial.”

The case started in January 2013, before a federal judge had overturned Oregon’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Continue reading

Posted by at 09:30 | Posted in 1st Amendment, Government Overreach, Government Regulation, Oregon Government, State Labor Commissioner | 51 Comments

End of 2015 Oregon legislative session: GOP summaries


The 2015 Regular Session of the 78th Oregon Legislative Assembly adjourned Sine Die Monday, July 6, 2015.

Oregon Senate Republicans: Sine Die – Partisan 2015 Legislative Session Draws to a Close

Salem, OR – Following adjournment of the 78th legislative assembly, Senate Republicans decried the highly partisan session that resulted in dozens of costly new mandates on Oregon families and small businesses.

“Before the session began, Democrat leaders made it clear they would take an “our way or the highway” approach to passing a slew of expensive new laws benefitting special interests,” explained Senator Chuck Thomsen (R-Hood River). “First off the block was the Clean Fuels mandate that will raise the price of gas for Oregonians by 19 to 30 cents or more. They chose their pet environmental project over a transportation package that would have given us tangible improvements to our roads and bridges. Oregonians lost big time this session.” Continue reading

Posted by at 05:37 | Posted in OR 78th Legislative Session, Oregon House, Oregon Senate | 3 Comments

Oregon judge’s connection to illegal immigrant’s murder of Kate Steinle

Kate Steinle_thb

by NW Spotlight

Tragedy on San Francisco’s Pier 14

On Wednesday, July 1st, 32-year-old Kate Steinle was shot and killed on San Francisco’s Pier 14, “one of the city’s most scenic tourist spots.” The ABC affiliate in San Francisco reported San Francisco police said she “was walking along Pier 14 when a man came up and shot her in the upper torso.”

The ABC affiliate reported “Wednesday was supposed to be fun for Kate and her family. She met her father on Pier 14 that night. He was there to take her to Pleasanton, to learn if her brother and his wife were expecting a boy or girl. But tragedy struck instead.” The San Jose Mercury News reported “A bullet pierced Steinle’s aorta and she collapsed to the ground in front of her father, who desperately tried to save her life.” Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Crime & Sentencing, Illegal Immigration | 42 Comments

Yes, we should make the kicker better

Reagan Knopp2_thb

by Reagan Knopp

This week, the Oregon Legislature adjourned Sine Die. Many were surprised that the kicker did not receive any significant changes. Many strongly believe the kicker law — which returns excess revenue collect by the state to taxpayers — is outdated and needs to be fixed in order for it work better for middle class Oregonians. They’re right.

The personal income tax kicker has not seen significant revision since 2011. That session, the legislature changed the kicker into a credit that filers must claim on their taxes. Previously, income tax filers directly received a check from the State of Oregon. Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in State Budget, State Taxes | 5 Comments

Free Speech vs. Compulsory Union Dues

Right From the Start

Right From the Start

Two years ago, in the aftermath of Harris v. Quinn, I wrote the following column. Last week the United States Supreme Court agreed to hear Friedrichs v. CTA which will deal precisely with the issue discussed in my column. There will be a lot of legalese and make believe bandied about by the lawyers and the politicians. It is timely to reiterate in laymen’s language what the issue is really about and why “free speech” must remain free.

Free Speech vs. Collective Bargaining (Non-legalese)

Last week’s column dealt with the United States Supreme Court’s recent decision in Harris v. Quinn. This is the case in which the court ruled that the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) could not require individuals who received public funds for providing home health care services to relatives to join or pay dues to the public employees unions. Since that column a number of people have raised the question with me as why there isn’t a balance between the concerns of unions that non-members should not get a free ride for the union’s bargaining efforts and individuals “free speech” and “rights of association (non-association).” Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in 1st Amendment, Bill of Rights, Ethics, First Amendment, Free Speech, Liberalism, Oregon Government, Public Employee Unions, Right-to-Work, Unions | 19 Comments

Senate Republicans push for enough funding for 4,000 new teachers


Oregon Senate Republicans

Salem, OR – Monday, Senate Republicans released a “Reverse Christmas Tree” package of wasteful spending bills passed or by the Democrat-controlled legislature this session. The $203 million in expensive, unnecessary projects and policies should be sent immediately instead to the State School Fund, they argued.

“Democrat leaders have spent the past five months pushing expensive, partisan programs through the legislature that cost Oregonians real money,” said Senator Chuck Thomsen (R-Hood River). “Now they want to create a Task Force to figure out how to reduce class sizes? The answer is simple: more funding and more teachers. We don’t need a task force; we need to fully fund education now.” Continue reading

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Education, OR 78th Legislative Session, Oregon Senate | 7 Comments

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