Oregon 2016 ‘Short Session’: The End

Jeff Kruse

by Sen. Jeff Kruse (R-Roseburg)

The Legislature adjourned Thursday for the year. From my perspective I am glad it is over before we did more things to hurt our economy and take more money from the people.

Minimum Wage Increase

On Wednesday the Governor signed the minimum wage bill into law. I covered that issue previously so I won’t spend time on it now except to make a few points.

This was pushed by the public employee unions who will ultimately be the ones who benefit. This also points out how this Session has been driven by special interest groups. This also points out how emotion trumps logic in the court of public opinion. The argument in favor was simply “EVERYONE DESERVES A LIVING WAGE.” Any attempt to try and explain all of the negative aspect of what was passed seems to not resonate with the public, which I find very frustrating.

We should also keep in mind the people who lose their jobs because of this, and it will happen, will not have any wage.

“Clean Energy Bill”

One Wednesday, after a very long debate, the Senate passed a new utility mandate sold as the “Clean Energy Bill.” I put that in quotations, because once again we are dealing with an emotional position that ignores logic.

The bill that was passed will do nothing to reduce carbon, if you think that is a problem to start with. Keep in mind that coal produced energy in Oregon accounts for 1.8% of the energy consumed in this state and that coal plant is already scheduled for closure. This bill is a sweetheart deal for PGE and Pacific Power. This bill, designed in theory to move towards alternative energy, actually is designed to allow the two big power companies to increase their profits. This is the very definition of crony capitalism. The people who will pay are the rate payers through increased power rates. It should also be pointed out the majority of “clean energy” companies who will benefit from this legislation are not even Oregon companies.

Thankfully ‘Short Session’ Is Done

The two biggest pieces of legislation passed this Session have two things in common. They were both more complicated than should have been dealt with in this short time frame. And secondly, while they both lend themselves to attractive sound bites, actually will cost the people of Oregon in ways yet to be fully discovered.

I guess the good point now is we are done.