Meet the man who helped persuade President Trump to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Accord in Portland THIS Friday

President Trump’s Environmental Agenda: An Insider’s Perspective with Myron Ebell Last week, President Trump pulled the U.S. out of the controversial Paris climate agreement. In response, Cascade President and CEO John A. Charles, Jr. commented in a statement: “The central … Continue reading

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The Case of the Missing Transit Money

By John A. Charles, Jr. Late last month, the TriMet Board adopted a budget for fiscal year 2018, which begins on July 1. As usual, the budget shows no correlation between the levels of subsidies given to TriMet and the amount … Continue reading

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Who says Oregon spends $13,230 per public school student? The National Education Association, that’s who!

By Steve Buckstein Ever since Oregon’s property tax limitation Measure 5 shifted the bulk of education funding from local sources to the state general fund in 1990, public education advocates have claimed that our schools are severely underfunded, spending less … Continue reading

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Kicker Envy 2017

By Steve Buckstein Individual Oregon income taxpayers may receive kicker refunds when they file their 2017 tax returns based on a percentage of the state income tax they paid in 2016. Based on the May revenue forecast, $408 million could … Continue reading

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Overtaxed and Underbuilt

By John A. Charles, Jr. An Oregon Legislative committee is proposing a massive series of tax increases to pay for various transportation projects. The proposal calls for higher taxes on vehicle registration, increased gas taxes, a new sales tax on … Continue reading

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Education Savings Accounts Treat Kids Like the Individuals They Are

By Kathryn Hickok Six years ago, Arizona became the first state to pass an Education Savings Account law for some K-12 students. In April, lawmakers there passed a new ESA bill which expands the program eligibility to include all Arizona … Continue reading

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Oregon Politicians Support Better Roads, Just Not Here

By John A. Charles, Jr. Recently the Oregon Legislature held a hearing on HB 3231, a bill promoted by Rep. Rich Vial (R-Scholls) that would authorize the formation of special districts for the purpose of constructing and operating limited-access highways. … Continue reading

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Are Free Expression and Academic Integrity on College Campuses Gone for Good?

Challenges to Free Expression and Academic Integrity on Campus Join Cascade Policy Institute for a special event with Dr. Jacqueline Pfeffer Merrill of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni. Monday, May 8, 2017, 6:00-7:30 pm, at the Crowne Plaza Portland-Lake Oswego With … Continue reading

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Oregon Land Board Should Take the Deal

By Lydia White At a time when Legislators threaten to slash government services to cover a $1.6 billion budget shortfall, Governor Kate Brown and Treasurer Tobias Read plan to make things worse. Next week, the State Land Board will meet … Continue reading

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The Greatest Challenge to Traffic Safety? It’s Not Residential Speed Limits

By John A. Charles, Jr. Last week the Oregon House of Representatives passed HB 2682, which will allow Portland to lower traffic speeds on residential streets from 25 MPH to 20 MPH. This was hailed as an important step towards reaching … Continue reading

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Arizona’s Universal Education Savings Account Law: A “Breakthrough” in Education Financing for Students Today

By Kathryn Hickok Six years ago, Arizona became the first state to pass an Education Savings Account law for some K-12 students. Earlier this month, Arizona lawmakers passed a new ESA bill which expands the program eligibility to include all … Continue reading

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Education Savings Accounts Can Help Students Without Hurting Public Schools

By Steve Buckstein School choice programs allow students to choose schools or other educational resources and pay for them with a portion of the tax funding that otherwise would go to the public school assigned to them by their ZIP … Continue reading

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Educational Choice: An Economic Development Catalyst for Urban Neighborhoods

By Kathryn Hickok A case study on urban renewal suggests that private and charter schools can act as positive drivers of economic development and neighborhood stability. The report, Renewing Our Cities, was produced by EdChoice, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization promoting … Continue reading

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How Portland’s Inclusionary Zoning Policy Makes Development Less Affordable

By Lydia White The City of Portland’s inclusionary zoning* requirements have turned a once-gushing housing development market into sludge. This was predicted by nearly everyone outside the central planning bureaucratic bubble. In a rush to beat a February 1st deadline, … Continue reading

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Selling Bonds to Buy the Elliott State Forest Would Be a Breach of Fiduciary Trust

By John A. Charles, Jr. State Treasurer Tobias Read has announced that he is now prepared to support a plan being developed by Gov. Kate Brown to sell bonds that would “buy out” the Elliott State Forest from the Common … Continue reading

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Let’s Build Some Highways

By John A. Charles, Jr.  Oregon stopped building new highways in 1983 when I-205 was completed. Top planning officials began espousing a philosophy of spending money on rail transit rather than roads. The government also used the power of zoning … Continue reading

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Now Is the Time: Oregon’s Educational Opportunity Act, The Power of Choice

By Steve Buckstein Oregon now has the chance to become an early adopter of a universal Education Savings Account program. An ESA program allows Kindergarten through 12th grade students to use part of the state funds allocated to their local … Continue reading

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The Road to Success Travels Through 3rd Grade Reading

By Kathryn Hickok Denisha Merriweather failed third grade twice. Today, she is finishing her master’s degree, thanks to Florida’s tax-credit-funded scholarship program. Denisha was President Trump’s guest at his Address to Congress Feb. 28, where he called educational choice “the … Continue reading

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Oregon Taxpayers, Not Riders, Pay Most Costs of Public Transit Operations

By John A. Charles, Jr. In a recent interview with the Portland Business Journal, Chris Rall of Transportation for America argues for increased state support of public transit service. He says that Oregon only covers three percent of the operating … Continue reading

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How Legislators Can Balance Oregon’s Budget—Without Raising Taxes

By Eric Fruits, Ph.D. Despite an eight percent increase in general fund revenues, Governor Kate Brown and some lawmakers say Oregon is facing a $1.7 billion budget shortfall in the 2017-19 biennium. Nevertheless, the Governor has released a budget that … Continue reading

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