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Get Ready for Racial and Ethnic Impact Statements
They dig a hole right back into a class society

Waiting in the wings for a work session is HB 2991, introduced by Barbara Smith Warner (D-Portland), seemingly a spokesperson for BIPOC. The bill requires the Legislative Policy and Research Office to prepare an estimated racial and ethnic impact statement, if requested by a member or committee of the Legislature to determine the effect on “traditionally marginalized groups.” If a negative impact is estimated, the bill cannot be moved to the floor of either chamber.

For many years, bills were required to have a fiscal impact statement -- what the cost was expected to be for state government -- and a revenue impact statement if either were applicable. Recently, bills are required to have an Open Government Impact Statement. Perhaps we're seeing the mushrooming of different kinds of "statements" that need to follow bills around. One can imagine a "Carbon Footprint" statement, but let's not say that too loudly.

What might seem to be beneficial for the “traditionally marginalized groups”, could have grave unforeseen consequences. These groups are defined as:

(a) Women
(b) Persons with disabilities
(c) Blacks or African-Americans
(d) Hispanic or Latinx persons
(e) Asians or Pacific Islanders
(f) American Indians, or
(g) Alaska Natives

The statement is to be “impartial, simple and understandable” including the “methodologies and assumptions used in preparing the estimate.” But then it violates its own “impartial” requirement by “including a description of any consultation with community-based organizations or persons with expertise in the impact of implicit or inherent bias on traditionally marginalized groups.” Where is the impartiality when only the marginalized communities are consulted?

To further restrict the bills being introduced, the committee must consider ways to eliminate or mitigate the estimated negative impact on any “traditionally marginalized groups,” and must be resolved for a positive impact before it can be moved to the floor for a vote. Why not make this a resolution for everyone?



These statements would be very time consuming to document a subjective guess that has no basis in fact, and make it look impartial with an underlying assumption that all bills will be partial to the “traditionally marginalized” with a blind eye to equity. At what point does it become "reverse discrimination?" When there is an overwhelming benefit or handout to the 'underprivileged' ‘underserved’ to such an extent that it affects every law, then socialism has taken control. Oregon's population is 85.06% white. So, the under-represent is 15% of the total population. How much does the 85% have to give through taxes, jobs, opportunities, businesses before it violates the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. which says: “No State make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privilege or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.” Public policy covers everyone equally and when you start naming a group, it is no longer equality.

As much as BIPOC wants to equalize social and economic circumstances, the more they dig a hole right back into a class society that is kept by government. When the free market is manipulated with estimates aimed at a specific group, the results are never economically sound.

--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2021-03-31 08:57:43Last Update: 2021-04-01 15:15:18

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