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Suicide Hotlines
Never underestimate the ability of tax-and-spend Democrats to create bigger government

There are many fine suicide hotline programs and all of them could go away in an instant, replaced by a one-size-fits-all state operated program, supported by a new tax. Most of the current suicide prevention hotlines are run out of the county mental health providers.

Nationally there has been a call for a 9-8-8, system, modeled on 9-1-1 systems in which one three number combination can be dialed anywhere and all the switching mechanisms will identify it and route it to where it needs to go. Suicide prevention hotlines are a perfect application of this tool. Imagine a distraught young person or perhaps a veteran. They just need to talk to someone. One could easily see how it could make a difference by merely dialing 9-8-8, than having to make several calls or poke around online to find the right number.

Never underestimate the ability of tax-and-spend Democrats to take an important issue like suicide prevention and use it to create bigger government and increase taxes. HB 3069, introduced by Representative Tawna Sanchez (D-Portland) creates a statewide 9-8-8 center supported by a tax on all phones. Presumably, the 15 or so existing, functional systems will just fade away.

The size of the tax increase has not been determined, but Oregonians who just had their cell phone taxes increased for rural broadband may not have an appetite for another tax increase -- whatever the size. The bill has passed out of the House Committee on Behavioral Health and is in the House Committee on Revenue.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-05-04 09:25:29Last Update: 2021-05-04 10:37:37



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