OREGON HOUSE REPUBLICANS
Oregon faces many challenges, but one thing is clear: government can’t balance the budget or protect essential services without a strong economy. That’s why House Republicans will focus on job creation in 2011. We will also work to reform government, improve education, and pass measures to keep Oregonians healthy and safe.
Oregon continues to suffer from a poor economy and high unemployment. To create more jobs, Oregon needs a strong private sector and a healthy business climate. House Republicans will introduce measures to encourage businesses to put more people back to work, as well as to encourage investors to put more dollars to work in our state.
- Provide a tax credit to businesses that hire unemployed workers.
- Pass the Main Street Incentive Plan to give property owners and businesses an incentive to hire Oregonians and reinvest in their properties.
- Reduce Oregon’s high capital gains tax rate to encourage reinvestments in Oregon businesses and workers.
- Repeal the job-killing gross-receipts tax in Measure 67 and replace it with two reasonable corporate minimum tax rates.
- Put more money in the pockets of Oregon families by reforming Oregon’s income tax brackets and increasing the state’s per-child tax credit.
- Reform Oregon’s land use system to promote local control and regionalized economic development.
- Create market-driven jobs in alternative energy by creating incentives for the production and transportation of woody biomass.
- Meet the state’s water needs by permitting Columbia River withdrawal during high-flow periods.
- Manage state forests to maximize job creation and funding for the Common School Fund.
Oregon’s budget can’t sustain its level of spending today, tomorrow or into the future. Unless bold action is taken, Oregon may see yet another “decade of deficits.” House Republicans will introduce reforms to make state government more transparent, accountable and fiscally sustainable.
- Establish an audits office outside the executive branch to audit state agencies and report directly to the Legislature to improve services and eliminate waste and abuse.
- Replace the “business-as-usual” state budgeting process with a new system based on priorities and results.
- Require the Legislature to save money before it spends by dedicating one percent of
- General Fund revenue each biennium into the Rainy Day Fund.
- Create a Privatization Task Force to examine areas in which private sector delivery of government services can lower costs and improve the quality and delivery of programs and services; apply the “yellow pages” test to ensure state government isn’t competing with private businesses in providing certain services.
- Require that all fee increases be adopted by the Legislature, not by state agencies.
- Reform PERS by establishing a new tier modeled on more traditional 401(k)-style retirement plans and capping the employer pick-up at three percent.
- Protect public employees and citizens who blow the whistle on government fraud, waste and abuse.
- Bring benefits costs in line with other state and local governments by requiring state employees to contribute a portion of their health insurance premiums.
- Require legislative approval for any union contract or collective bargaining agreements that allow for an increase in compensation greater than the average increase in CPI for one year prior.
- Close the Capitol’s revolving door by establishing a one-year “waiting period” on former legislators before they can seek and obtain non-elected positions in the state’s executive branch.
Oregon’s public education system- in terms of student achievement and other factors- continues to lag behind the nation and the world. To give our kids more opportunities to succeed, House Republicans will introduce reforms to increase accountability and performance in our schools. We will give parents more power to seek a better education for their children, and to provide more certainty in Oregon’s school funding process.
- Embrace education reforms being adapted across the country, including: applying incentives, ending social promotion, increasing choice for parents, assuring clear “A-F” grading of schools, and reducing barriers to the teaching profession.
- Promote and protect greater educational opportunities for parents and children by protecting alternative schools, charter public schools and virtual schools.
- Pass the 2011-13 K-12 education budget by March 31 to give school districts greater certainty as they develop their budgets.
KEEP OREGONIANS HEALTHY AND SAFE
Oregon’s poor economy continues to put our citizens’ safety and health at risk. House Republicans will work to protect funding for state law enforcement, and introduce measures to make health care coverage more affordable for individuals, families and small businesses.
- Identify a dedicated revenue source for Oregon State Police that doesn’t require a tax increase.
- Allow Oregonians and their families who purchase their own health insurance to deduct the cost from their taxable income.
- Give Oregonians more choices on health insurance coverage by allowing insurers to offer plans free of expensive, state-imposed mandates.
- Pass tort reform to reduce frivolous lawsuits that increase the costs of health care.