Taxpayers Association of Oregon
Lawmakers passed a tax behind closed doors in June and Governor Kate Brown indicated she may want to do it again in August.
With barely a week’s notice, Governor Kate Brown called a rushed Special Emergency Legislative Session last June. Days later, the public was asked to testify on dozens of draft bills that lacked official state descriptions and details on what the bills would do and how much they would cost. If you were not fast enough your voice was gone because the politicians met soon after and began voting. Understandably, due to the virus They closed the doors to the public. There was no staff to answer phones. While the politicians met inside they were almost completely shut-off from the public.
This secretive time was used to pass a partisan cell-phone tax that failed to pass during previous Sessions. The tax even bypassed the Constitutional requirement that taxes require a 3/5th majority for approval.
The Taxpayer Association understands that the politicians need to meet quickly to address COVID-19 and important matters regarding police reform — but the emergency circumstances and virus limitations should be a call to INCREASE transparency where you are able and not DECREASE transparency. Bills should be drafted, given official details and given enough time for the public to read them.
Politicians should also not increase taxes under the cloak of an emergency when it is not an emergency. They should not bypass Constitutional requirements either.
This emergency Session is setting a terrible precedent of hiding things from the public.
Please read “9 Ways Gov. Brown acted in secrecy over the virus”
Squashing transparency is becoming of major scandal in Oregon.
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