Two and half months into the 2007 Legislative Session and Democrats are hard at work making sweeping changes in Oregon. Priority bills are moving very quickly with little or no public scrutiny. SB 426 centralized control of the health care benefits of every public school employee in Oregon and didn’t even get a hearing in the House of Representatives. It passed the Senate on March 8th and passed in the House a mere 3 working days later. Again, there was no testimony taken in the House of Representatives.
Due process is a mere formality for Democrats now that they have complete control of Oregon’s government. The effect of much of what they are doing will take a year or so to be felt by the public at-large since some laws do not go into effect until January 1st. The impact of tax and fee hikes will be slow as well. Hidden taxes in your energy bills may not show up until 2008 and even then they will not appear as a line item. Your insurance premiums will creep up do to additional mandates being passed this year, but no one will ever tell you this is why.
Some of the tax increases are obvious, such as the attempt to raise cigarette taxes for health care, alcohol taxes for state police, car registration fees for roads and mass transit, etc. But most of the additional costs to you will be done by stealth””they will be factored into the cost of your next home or car purchase, etc. For instance, you won’t just pay for renewable energy mandates in your electric bill. You will also pay for it when the cost of goods and services in Oregon goes up because local businesses will pass their higher energy bills on to you in the form of price hikes.
Here is a partial list of the items on the Democrat agenda this year. Bear in mind, in only a few cases are there enough votes to stop them:
– Resolution classifying Health Care as a right.
– Government provided health care for children in families making up to $75,000 a year.
– Restrictions on loans available to poor Oregonians and those with bad credit
– Requirement that electric utilities buy more expensive sources of energy.
– Reintroduction of Grey Wolf to Oregon.
– Tobacco tax increase for health care and/or transit
– Extend commuter rail line from Wilsonville to Salem (maybe even Eugene).
– Require employer to pay for extended family leave time.
– Mandate more expensive construction costs on public buildings (translation: you pay).
– Expand public employee union bargaining rights and issues.
– Eliminate the secret ballot from unionization votes.
– Repeal Double-Majority rule for passing property tax measures.
– Expand the number of people who qualify for higher wages on public projects only (translation: you pay).
– Increase the “public-purpose” fee on all PGE and Pacificorp customers.
– Transfer control of public employee health benefits from school boards to the teachers union.
– End the charter school movement in Oregon.
– Repeal or water-down Measure 37.
– Repeal the Death Penalty (this is a formality since the Oregon Supreme Court has blocked the death penalty from being carried out since 1997).
– Block development in rural Oregon whenever possible.
– Fine retailers when customers steal shopping carts.
– Require every well-user to meter their water use.
– Restrict new well-drilling in Oregon.
– Mandate Kindergarden.
And on and on…
Thsi article is from the Wingard Report. To catch the entire Wingard Report click here.