Rep. Zika’s affordable housing solution

The Oregon Legislature looks poised to approve a bill co-sponsored by Rep. Jack Zika enabling construction of 485 new housing units—half of those for people with below-average incomes—on land outside of Redmond.

Zika, R-Redmond, is optimistic for passage of House Bill 2336, which sailed through the House unanimously. Continue reading

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Will Oregonians have vote in death penalty debate?

A bill in the Oregon House of Representatives (HB 3268) would essentially abolish the death penalty in the state with only one exception—for terrorists who kill two or more people.  At the same time a major Oregon newspaper is asking lawmakers to send the issue to voters who twice reaffirmed the state’s death penalty laws. Continue reading

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How trade war is hurting Oregon

An escalating trade war between the United States and China, along with tit-for-tat tariffs on imported goods, may curtail business in West Coast ports, reducing labor hours and creating a ripple effect throughout the Pacific Northwest economy.

The latest volley in the trade war brings the battle to the Pacific Northwest home front, especially its ports. Continue reading

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Oregon Interstate tolling one step closer

Motorists traveling on I-5 and I-205 through Portland during peak travel times are likely to pay a freeway toll in the not-too-distant future.

The Federal Highway Administration requested more information but, in a letter Jan. 8, indicated the Oregon Transportation Commission’s request to impose tolls is “likely eligible” to be approved. Continue reading

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Oregon union decline above state average

By Taxpayer Association of Oregon Foundation,

Last year, union membership in Oregon dropped by 7.6 percent, registering the sixth largest drop in the country. According to new data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, from 2017 to 2018, Oregon unions lost 20,000 members. This is the eighth largest drop in the country and is especially remarkable given the state’s relatively small size. Continue reading

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Shutdown: Almost 2000 Ore.workers to apply for unemployment

In a sign of the times, on Thursday the Portland airport had a box accepting food donations for federal airport workers and by Saturday it was taken down as the shutdown ended. The Willamette Week reported that almost 2,000 federal workers in Oregon have applied for unemployment benefits because of the partial government shutdown. Continue reading

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Will hospitals lose their property tax exemptions?

Oregon hospitals just got hit with a $320 million revenue tax last year with House Bill 2161 (also known as Measure 101). Now Oregon lawmakers are coming back to tax them again by stripping away their charitable property tax benefits. It’s been a long-standing policy that hospital and healthcare clinics that provide charity care can be exempt from property taxes. That may end soon in Oregon with HB 2161. Continue reading

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