2007: A political year in review

From the Senate Republican Office:

Best year ever for”¦

Oregon’s teachers and students gain an experienced hand in the classroom
Senator Bruce Starr, Oregon Republicans and the Chalkboard Project spearheaded efforts to bring mentors to every new teacher and administrator in Oregon. Oregon teachers face a challenging and crucial task. It is our responsibility to make sure they have everything they need to be successful.
100 new state troopers added to Oregon highways
Thanks to the Republicans like Doug Whitsett who wouldn’t take no for an answer, Oregonians will see 100 new state troopers on the road aiding drivers in distress and serving as the first line of defense against meth traffickers.

Oregon labor written a blank check
Unions in Oregon ended up getting almost everything they asked for thanks to Governor Kulongoski and Democrats in the legislature. That included not one, not two but three different pay raises, more power in collective bargaining disputes, top positions in the Governor’s administration, and 1,777 new union jobs in state government.

Worst year ever for”¦

Government grows unchecked and unevaluated
Government spending increased by over 20% this budget cycle, yet the only bill increasing the government’s level of accountability was vetoed by the Governor. Democrat majorities killed an attempt to create an Office of Government Accountability to conduct top to bottom agency audits. Taxpayer dollars flew out the door faster than ever, but there was no attempt to eliminate waste in state government.

Taxpayer’s get the bill for another Democrat spending spree
Even with $2.5 billion more available to spend, there were 150 tax and fee increases proposed on hardworking Oregon families. Proving that no wallet is safe while the legislature is in session, Democrats tried to confiscate Oregonian’s gift cards and continued their constant crusade to eliminate the kicker. There is always another piece of pork or bureaucracy that needs money, and taxpayers are the ones that foot the bill.

Students suffer because of inadequate teacher training
Better than average students need better than average teachers, but a bill to provide teachers with results-based professional development never made it out of the legislature. Oregon ranks 28th in fourth grad math scores and 31st in fourth grade reading tests. Teachers and students need and deserve the best in educator development.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user swpolo12.