Ballots have arrived. Now it’s time to vote! Our partners at Oregon Business & Industry (OBI), the state’s major business association, has advised its members to vote on two ballot measures, one statewide measure and one Portland measure with statewide implications.
In January, Oregon voters overwhelmingly supported temporary funding to maintain Oregon Health Plan coverage for low-income Oregonians. But a permanent funding plan is still needed to protect health care coverage for more than one in four Oregonians.
For more than a decade, the Oregon Business Plan goal has been to make sure at least 95% of Oregonians have health insurance. Thanks to the expansion of Oregon Health Plan eligibility in 2013 to cover more low-income Oregonians, we have nearly reached that goal. Maintaining Oregon’s high rate of coverage is essential for both the health of Oregonians – and Oregon’s economy.
The state Office of Economic Analysis could not have conjured a better illustration of the perversity of Oregon’s kicker law: In 2020, the office’s forecasters predict, Oregon will return $686 million to individual income tax payers — just as the state tips into a recession. It’s the fiscal-policy equivalent of spending your savings on a vacation the week before you need to pay for a kidney transplant.
An Aug. 26 Guest View column by a Springfield teacher defended the Public Employees Retirement System and criticized the first legitimate fix for the system proposed by a major Oregon politician — Knute Buehler, the Republican candidate for governor. The author stated that Buehler’s plan would make “younger teachers like me pay the state’s pension liability.”
The two leading candidates for governor, Republican Knute Buehler of Bend and incumbent Democrat Kate Brown, both came out with plans for Oregon’s lackluster education system this summer. Only Buehler offered a way to pay for them.
In summer 2016, Gov. Kate Brown was under pressure to pick a side in the expensive fight over Measure 97, the $3 billion a year corporate tax initiative.
Brown, who was running to serve the remaining two years of former Gov. John Kitzhaber’s term, issued her plan for spending the money Measure 97 would raise but stopped short of endorsing it.
As campaign promises often are, Gov. Kate Brown’s seven-point education strategy is long on aspiration and short on specifics.
Brown doesn’t say how she would fund the teacher hiring spree that would be required by her proposal to reduce class sizes in grades K-3 across the state. She doesn’t mention how much her promise to expand free preschool for 10,000 more kids in the next biennium would cost. And she doesn’t show how her disjointed proposals link together to create a compelling vision on par with the comprehensive plan – though similarly lacking price tags – unveiled in June by her opponent, Republican Knute Buehler.
The Oregon Legislature seems certain to consider property tax reform when it meets next year. Yet finding changes that make the current system better, then persuading voters that they’re fair, will take leadership that we have yet to see.
PORTLAND — Oregonians will have a chance to vote this November on how much legislative support certain state tax laws should need to pass.
Supporters and opponents made their case for and against Ballot Measure 104 Friday before an editorial board meeting of the Pamplin Media Group.