Oregon needs ideas fast, because the times demand it.
Taxpayers Association of Oregon
We offer these ideas for the approval of state officials and state health officials as a safe, sound and strategic way to re-open Oregon to save parts of our state from economic collapse and to stem a long-term Great Depression.
1. Regional re-opening: Businesses in low-risk areas should be allowed to re-open as there are five Oregon counties with no cases at all and a few more with only one case. State Senator Lynn Findley and Representative Mark Owens have proposed a pilot program for the (currently virus free) county of Harney County.
2. Occupational re-opening: Not all occupations carry the same risk. Safer occupations should be allowed to re-open.
3. No-contact re-opening: Many owners are already changing their businesses to reduce any contact with customers. Some are changing their point-of-purchase into a contact free experience for both the customer and employee.
4. Safe-and-slow re-opening: This would allow businesses to increase customer capacity in stages. For instance, a restaurant with 100 person capacity could start seating two families in addition to take-out. This would allow businesses to navigate health changes, new rules, inventory control and employee re-training at a speed that best suits them.
5. Healthcare re-opening: Closing off healthcare services is actively harming the efforts to help fight the coronavirus. For instance, medical reporter Dr. Marc Seigel spoke this week on how people cannot get antibody tests (to prove their post-virus status) because testing labs have been scaled down to near zero because doctors have cancelled all tests (routine blood test, cholesterol, etc..) not related to the virus or life-threatening which has left testing labs understaffed.
6. Reduced regulations and taxes: If not all businesses are going to be allowed to open soon, then we need to have a plan for those businesses who are left out! Oregon needs to follow the President administration’s example of reducing regulations and suspending more rules to help businesses better bounce back from the economic crisis. Remember, this is a worldwide recession threat where businesses are being hit on all sides. After Oregon passed several of the largest taxes in Oregon history in the past three years and they also passed some of the most restrictive regulations in the nation, there needs to be some relief or they will not survive to pass those taxes — which is the WORST case scenario.
7. A forum for citizen participation: Oregonians want to participate in their own recovery. Right now, it feels that all we are hearing is all the things we cannot do or should not do and that all the future decisions will be made by others. Without openly and actively soliciting the public, many of Oregon’s best ideas will remain never used. The State should create a central clearinghouse of ideas and solutions that are unique to Oregon. Right now, citizens do not know who to talk to with their suggestions or if any cares about their ideas. If you have an idea please email us at [email protected] Furthermore, when it comes to our state leaders, the President has called for a bipartisan council on the re-opening and therefore the Governor should call do the same. State Representative Jack Zika has called for the state’s top religious leaders to be included in Oregon’s virus response which represents a powerful force and voice of charity in the state.
The Taxpayer Association offers these draft ideas as a positive, pro-active solution to help address these historic problems. In times past, we have have addressed Oregon’s budget crises by publishing 100 Ways to Balance the budget as an example that we can’t just point to problems in our state we must point to solutions.
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