Kotek, lawmakers vote to roll back liberalism

By Taxpayers Association of Oregon


The Oregon Short Legislative Session ended with many examples of Oregon Governor Tina Kotek and lawmakers forced to take votes to slowly walk-back many failed liberal programs in Oregon.

Fixing the failed Measure 110 drug experiment.  The progressive dream project, Measure 110 decriminalizing hard drugs, failed so spectacularly that the lawmakers had to vote to recriminalize them with HB 4002.   Liberals promised that government could spend away an addicts addiction.  It didn’t work.  State government delayed by years on allocating treatment money and even gave it away to the wrong people.  The Session began with pledges of only minor changes to Measure 110, it ended with major changes.

ABC News special on failed Measure 110.

Reversing Oregon’s land-use bureaucracy which created our nationally recognized affordable housing crisis.  Governor Kotek tried to make changes last year and the ever inflexible, uncompromising environmental lobby would not budge an inch.   Six months later and our housing crisis became even worse.   As a result, the Legislature was compelled to try a smaller bill (Senate Bill 1537 , Senate Bill 1530) to help relax the bureaucracy to allow more places for housing to be built.   The bureaucracy is so bad that Kotek has pledged to spend millions to hire new government employees to help home builders and local governments navigate the red tape quagmire.

Campaign finance reform:  Oregon is among the states with lighter and less regulations for voters participating in campaigns.  The liberal lobby response to this is to make Oregon among the most strictest, most restrictive and bureaucratic places in America with a new Oregon ballot measure.  Lawmakers on both sides felt compelled to have a more balanced approach by taking in ideas from all sides and passing out a compromise campaign finance bill.   Already there are signs that campaign finance reform is not working as promised.  For instance, in Portland, voters were encouraged to restrict their financial participation in politics (by passing contribution limits) in part by promising that candidates would be fully funded by City Government through taxpayer funded matching grants as part of the City Small Donor Program.  The program quickly was over-whelmed, bankrupt and within just a few years has now radically rolled back that promise.  Candidates who were expecting hundreds of thousands of dollars are now left with an empty promise.  These candidates are also left with voters forbidden to make larger contributions without various penalties.

More drug crack-down.   Lawmakers passed SB 1553 which made it a crime to do drugs on public buses and trains.   This came after buses came back testing 100% for meth residue.  As this transit bill was being passed, Governor Kotek worked to close down two Portland bottle redemption centers because they were overrun with drug users and drug dealers.   This is similar to when Portland tried to ban homeless/drug users from camping near schools.    Whether it is schools, transit or bottle redemption centers, lawmakers are forced to deal with a crime wave they helped create and must act like a conservative by being tough-on-crime on certain targeted areas in hopes that the liberal blow-back is not too strong.

Other places are rolling back failed liberal laws.

We rest our case that the 2024 Legislature was defined as trying to undo and fix the liberal failures that become oversize problems in our state.

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