Taxpayer Association Update: Stimulus, election changes and more

Taxpayer Association of Oregon update
Legislative Update: January 27, 2009
By Jim Welsh

Robbing Peter to pay Paul
The week of January 19th brought plenty of attention to an “Economic Stimulus Package” which has passed the Senate, the Joint Ways and Means Committee and soon to be voted on in the House. Republicans and Democrats have voted for the package with the intention to fund GO Bonds for public capital construction projects and help fund some jobs in the next six months. The House Republican Leader, Rep. Hanna, said the $17-19 million could certainly help shore up budgets in education, public safety, human services and other vital programs. There were comments from lobbyists representing some business sectors that thought the expenditure could also help those budgets and programs and in the same breath offered the realization that there would probably be revenue proposals in the next few weeks to replace the expenditure.

Legislative Alert:

House Rules (1-28-09)
“¢ HB 2386 – Directs Secretary of State to adopt electronic voter registration system. Allows qualified person to complete registration card electronically. Becomes operative on January 1, 2011. Declares emergency, effective on passage.

“¢ HJR 5 – Proposes amendment to Oregon Constitution to allow citizens to register to vote in election not later than day of election. Refers proposed amendment to people for their approval or rejection at next regular general election.

Senate Rules (1-29-09)

“¢ SB 330 – The pamphlet must include the procedures for filing a complaint under ORS 260.345. A list of the five sources that have expended the most money supporting the measure and the five sources that have expended the most money opposing the measure, as determined by the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State shall use information provided in the electronic filing system to determine the sources described in subsection (1)(e) of this section not sooner than 56 days before the date of a general election or any special election.

  • Bob Clark

    SB 330 sounds like a loser. The government employee unions will just create about 50 different or so shell organizations that will act as one funding the measures they support and funding opposition to those measures they dislike. And they’ve got the wicked witch of Portland presiding over the whole process.

    Oregon doesn’t really have to spend any money to promote job growth. All it has to do is remove the layers of restrictions against local governments and people in developing their communities. Furthermore, the state could sublease the bridges needing renovation to private companies who could charge a regulated toll to pay for the renovations. The state could christen new state enterprises to plant and harvest its forests for lumber and wood, explore for oil and natural gas offshore while experimenting with wave energy.

    Empowering its people to be productive instead of restricting them to following the bureaucratic dictum of entrenched state agencies should be the path for unleashing an economic recovery in Oregon. Kulongowski will probably be no better at picking winning industry (“green” industry from all the bucks they get from the state) than Portland was in wooing biotech jobs with the subsidized South Waterfront development. Let the collective wisdom of hundreds of thousands of hardworking Oregonians determine the best economic course, not just the Governor’s office and the select cronies who bought the office and pull the strings.