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St. Paul Rodeo
Thursday, June 30, 2022 at 9:00 am
Hundreds of community volunteers work shoulder to shoulder for months each year to put this traditional show together, and we welcome the world to St. Paul for five days filled with color, action, excitement, and something for everyone. So, head on out to St. Paul for a fun-filled experience during our 86th annual 4th of July rodeo celebration of the American cowboy and our western lifestyle!

www.stpaulrodeo.com

Mark your calendars now and join the fun at the 86 th Annual St. Paul Rodeo June 30, July 1,2,3, & 4, 2022.
St. Paul, OR



2022 Lincoln County Fair
Friday, July 1, 2022 at 10:00 am
FREE ADMISSION * July 1-3 * Newport, Oregon

Join Us for an Old-Fashioned 4th of July Celebration!
Details & event calendar: www.thelincolncountyfair.com
1211 SE Bay Blvd Newport, OR 97365



Marion County Fair
Friday, July 8, 2022 at 10:00 am
2022 Marion County Fair July 8-10, 2022 Friday: 10am – 11pm Saturday: 10am – 11pm Sunday: 10am – 6pm
Oregon State Fairgrounds 2330 17th ST NE Salem, OR 97301



Linn County Fair
Thursday, July 14, 2022 at 10:00 am
Linn County Fair July 14 - 16 2022
Linn County Expo Center 3700 Knox Butte RD E Albany, OR 97322



World Athletics Championships
Friday, July 15, 2022 at 8:00 am
The World Athletics Championships are coming to Eugene this summer (July 15-24 2022), the first time in history that the championships will be held in the United States. This mega-sporting event will showcase the best track and field athletes in the world. The event will bring 2,000 athletes from more than 200 nations, all competing for 49 gold medals. About 20,000 to 25,000 attendees are expected per session, with most days hosting two sessions (both morning and afternoon).
Eugene



Lane County Fair
Wednesday, July 20, 2022 at 11:00 am
Lane County Fair JULY 20 - 24, 2022 11:00am - 11:00pm
Lane Events Center 796 W 13th Ave, Eugene, OR 97402



Coos County Fair& Rodeo
Tuesday, July 26, 2022 at 8:00 am
Coos County Fair and Rodeo July 26 - 30, 2022
Coos County Fairgrounds 770 4th St, Myrtle Point, OR 97458



Malheur County Fair
Tuesday, August 2, 2022 at 10:00 am
Malheur County Fair August 2-6th
Desert Sage Events Center 795 N.W. Ninth St. Ontario, OR 97914



Union County Fair
Wednesday, August 3, 2022 at 10:00 am
Union County Fair August 3-6th 2022
3604 N 2nd St, La Grande, OR 97850



Yamhill County Fair & Rodeo
Wednesday, August 3, 2022 at 7:11 pm
Fair and Rodeo August 3-6, 7 am - 11 pm. Wed. Nitty Gritty Dirt Band; Thur. Jo Dee Messina; Fri. Shenandoah; Sat. Night Ranger Kids rides Adults $12 Kids $6 Exhibits; Demolition Derby Saturday 168th Annual; Oregon's oldest Fair
Yamhill County Fairgrounds



Baker County Fair
Sunday, August 7, 2022 at 10:00 am
Baker County Fair August 7 - August 13
Baker County Fairgrounds 2600 East Street Baker City, OR 97814



Umatilla County Fair
Wednesday, August 10, 2022 at 10:00 am
Umatilla County Fair Aug. 10th-13th, 2022
1705 E. Airport Rd. PO Box 94 Hermiston, OR 97838



CLACKAMAS COUNTY FAIR & RODEO
Tuesday, August 16, 2022 at 10:00 am
CLACKAMAS COUNTY FAIR & RODEO August 16-20, 2022 10am - 10pm
Clackamas County Events Center 694 NE 4th Ave. Canby, OR 97013



Oregon State Fair
Friday, August 26, 2022 at 10:00 am
Which part of the Oregon State Fair are you most excited for? We'll keep adding to the fun all summer long!
Salem, Or



Oregon General Election
Tuesday, November 8, 2022 at 8:00 pm
Statewide


View All Calendar Events


Class Size as a Bargaining Chip
COVID is really all about reduction in K-12 class sizes

On January 25th, the Senate Education Committee held an informational hearing on reopening schools. All the major players were there; Colt Gill, Oregon Department of Education, Dr. Sidelinger, Oregon Health Authority, John Larson, Oregon Education Association (OEA), and so on. ODE and OHA talked about the importance of safely getting kids back into school for many reasons including social emotional learning and student mental health.

During the hearing, Chair Dembrow asked the Dr. Sidelinger a question about vaccination and the continued risk of transmitting COVID after receiving the vaccine. He cited studies done, before the vaccine, stating that school age children have not been shown to transmit COVID. Also, the vaccine is 95% effective of preventing COVID. Although extensive studies have not been done on vaccinated people becoming asymptomatic transmitters, it is assumed in the healthcare community that COVID will act similar to other respiratory diseases like the flu. Vaccinated individuals will not be transmitters. Thus, offering protection for staff in the educational setting as well as the likelihood that students will take the disease home to at risk family members.

However, the tone of the conversation changed when the representative from OEA spoke. He immediately shifted the conversation away from vaccination and to the need for funding from State and Federal sources to address classroom overcrowding, aging infrastructure and ventilation upgrades.

Class size is not a new discussion point on the part of OEA. ODE has reported on class size information since 1997, and the method and measurement has evolved and improved over time. In 2013 HB 2644 established a new class size reporting requirements for ODE as well as requiring that the data be published to the legislature annually.

In 2015 the Legislature passed HB 2928 which directed a study to be performed on class sizes in Oregon and a report to be delivered to the Interim Committee on Education in 2016. The report was delivered and there were several meetings of a legislative Joint Interim task force over the summer.

The 2017 Legislative session saw the first bill introduced regarding class size, when HB 2651 was introduced by Representative Margaret Doherty(D-Tigard). The bill “Includes school class size as mandatory collective bargaining subject,” meaning that teachers unions could bargain salary, hours, etc. based on class size. The bill had one public hearing and died in committee.

During the 2018 Legislative session, the class size discussion resurfaced in HB 4113, introduced by Representatives Doherty and Brian Clem (D-Salem). This time it again “Includes class size as mandatory subject of school district collective bargaining”. This time it got a little further. It moved out of the House committee, and off the floor of the House on party line votes. It received a hearing in the Senate but that was as far as it went.

In the 2019 Legislative Session, the bill concept was back again but this time it started in the Senate as SB 764, introduced by Senators Lew Frederick (D-Portland), Shemia Fagan (D-Portland) and Michael Dembrow (D-Portland) as well as Representative Clem. The bill received a hearing and was voted out of committee on a party line vote. However, this was during the Republican walkout, so it subsequently died on the Senate floor. Part of the reason the bill may have not progressed was due to the annual class size report from ODE submitted Feb 1, 2019 to the legislature. They concluded: In other words, class sizes are stable and not necessarily a driving force to be considered in collective bargaining agreement negotiations.

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

In addition, HB 3427, Oregon’s new Corporate Activity Tax did make it out of session, and many believed this was a partial answer to the “class size issue”. It would bring in a little over an additional $1 billion in annual revenue into education funding and in Section 9, 3(c) it spelled out that the Student Investment Account funds (CAT funds) could be used for “Reducing class sizes, which may include increasing the use of instructional assistants, by using evidence-based criteria to ensure appropriate student/teacher ratios or staff caseloads”. One would think this would have solved the class size tied to collective bargain discussion going for the last 4 years. Nope.

In the 2020 Legislative session, the class size tied to collective bargaining conversation was back on the table. HB 4094 Representatives Doherty and Clem, and Senator Rob Wagner (D-Lake Oswego). The bill “Amends definition of “employment relations” to include class size and caseload limits as mandatory collective bargaining subjects for school districts”. The issue has not been solved by the Student Investment Act -- at least in the eyes of the OEA. The bill was referred to committee but never received a hearing. Some would blame the Republican walkout, but others might assert that you can only bring a bad piece of legislation forward so many times. Not the case.

2021 legislative session has begun, and the request is back as SB 580, introduced by Senators Dembrow and Frederick and Representative Clem. Again, it looks to “Amends definition of “employment relations” to include class size and caseload limits as mandatory collective bargaining subjects for school districts”. The latest ODE Class Size Report for the 19-20 school year which is the 5th annual report since reporting started looks very similar to the 2018-19 school year report. The data showed: If the data continues to show that class sizes have remained stable for five years and if there is a concern regarding class size, it is isolated to elementary grades and also relates to the size of the district (i.e. larger districts tend to have larger class sizes). If the ODE reports are true why is the legislature, again, looking at a “one size fits all approach” for the 197 school districts in Oregon? Why do they want to force districts into negotiating class size in teachers collective bargaining agreements if their specific school has no class size issues?

The COVID “pandemic” has given the OEA power never before seen. Teachers have been out of the classroom for almost a year teaching a modified and often reduced caseload. Now they have an opportunity to use COVID to bargain a return to the classroom if class sizes are small enough to make them comfortable and/or if they are paid more money if the class size goes over the negotiated threshold.

Legislative Session 2021 may finally be their year.


--Terese Humboldt

Post Date: 2021-01-27 10:48:35Last Update: 2021-01-27 11:30:21



Change in Oregon Senate Proposed
Senate legislative districts to be coterminous with county boundaries

HJR 9 is a proposal that would change Oregon's Constitution and therefore needs to be sent to a vote of the people. It is proposing that the number of Senators be increased to 36 and that each county would be considered a Senate District. The bill is the work of State Representatives Mark Owens (R-Crane) and David Brock Smith (R-Port Orford).

The bill has been assigned to the House Committee on Rules. It has not been scheduled for a hearing at this time.

“I recognize the changes proposed are complicated, but the principle behind this bill is what matters,” said Rep. Owens. “Our vast rural communities are not one-in-the-same and our counties have varied interests that deserve more representation in the Capitol. Right now, the system is outdated and takes for granted the diversity of our region. My hope is this legislation starts an important conversation about ensuring all Oregonians have a voice in their Capitol.”

This bill would certainly tip the balance of power toward rural Oregon. Currently, large metropolitan counties send several Senators to Salem and many rural counties are gathered together to make up one Senate District. Were the bill to pass and be approved by the people, large, urban counties would get one Senator, as would all the rural counties.

The Oregon Senate has an interesting history. The Original Oregon Constitution had the counties as Senate districts, though the layout of counties in Oregon was a bit different than we know it today. Additionally, Oregon did not redistrict between 1907 and 1960. In 1954 through a ballot initiative, Oregon changed to a "one person, one vote" system in which each Senate District completely contains two House districts, giving us the district configuration we have today. Though the actual districts change every ten years as they are redistricted, there are always 60 House districts and 30 Senate districts.

In 1964, the US Supreme Court decided in Reynolds v. Sims that legislative districts need to all have roughly the same amount of residents in them. In 2016, Evenwel v. Abbott the High Court backed off that decision. Neither case dealt with Oregon Directly.

If you know a House District, you can always calculate the Senate district. If it's even just divide by two. If it's odd, add one and divide by two. So House District 14 (even, so divide by two) is in Senate District 7 and House District 45 (odd, so add one and divide by two) is Senate District 23.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-01-27 07:43:37Last Update: 2021-01-27 14:07:31



Extended Producer Responsibility
Who’s Responsible for the Old Mattress?

The folktale, The Princes and the Pea, possibly based on a true story, involved a stack of 20 mattresses and a pea placed in the bottom mattress as a test for the Princes. The author joked that the pea was placed in the Royal Museum, but what of all those mattresses? Chief Sponsors Senator Michael Dembrow (D-Portland), and Senator James Manning Jr (D-Eugene) are making another run at mattress disposal that died in committee last session. To further their agenda for Extended Producer Responsibility that makes manufacturers manage their products from inception to garbage dump, SB 570 will receive a public hearing January 28, 2020. The bill establishes guidelines for a nonprofit run product stewardship program and funding for mattress disposal.

EPR operates by requiring consumers to pay a transparent fee at the point of purchase that covers the cost of disposal or recycling of the product. EPR makes some sense with high-hazard, low-value items such as used car batteries. It makes less sense with low-hazard items that puts a mandated price on the item. The concept is an environmental push to control the flow and track products, which makes little sense while businesses struggle to recover from multiple shut-downs.

SB 570 assesses a tax to consumers at point of sale to cover disposal, modeled after California who assesses $10.80. While the program is intended to be self-supporting based on an annual fee paid by stewardship organizations, the program is supervised by the Department of Environmental Quality establishing, approving, administering, collecting and disbursing the mattress stewardship assessment.

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

The mattress stewardship program is a new system for simply hauling mattresses to the dump. Some areas report serious problems where mattresses are collecting on streets and roadsides that has prompted developing a mattresses disposal program. Instead of a voluntary cleanup day that a county could sponsor for free dumping, government wants to manage a statewide program complete with hefty penalties. A nonprofit could offer pickup and dump for mattresses for a donation forgoing the need for a state-run program.

Counties with less than 10,000 population will be required to hold an annual collection event if no collection site is available, and other counties must provide a permanent staffed collection site with a permitted solid waste facility. That imposes an expense on counties that were struggling even before the pandemic.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2021-01-27 07:25:26Last Update: 2021-01-26 22:16:12



Teachers’ Unions Calling the “Shots”
She needs a plan that includes school reopening

Governor Brown has mishandled nearly every aspect of the coronavirus vaccine rollout, and still she sticks to her course. Her administration's mishaps range from giving seniors mixed messages on when they could receive the vaccine to sluggish distribution. Now, she is on pace to botch school reopening. Is this a lot to do about nothing? In a virtual press conference on December 28, 2020, the World Health Organization and Dr. Fauci publicly stated that “health officials do not know if COVID-19 vaccines prevent infection or if people can spread the virus to others after getting vaccinated.” FDA granted emergency use for Pfizer and Moderna vaccines based on clinical trials showing a reduction in severity of symptoms, but WHO officials say, “while it appears the vaccines can prevent clinically symptomatic COVID-19 clinical disease, there is no clear evidence COVID-19 vaccines are effective at preventing asymptomatic infection and transmission.”

So why all the fuss over the vaccine? Is it the need for Governor Brown to appear she has successfully manage the pandemic? Senate Republican Leader Fred Girod (R-Lyons) “I share the Governor’s eagerness to open schools, but not at the expense of lying to seniors.” After all Governor Brown set the standard for her to get criticized.

The Governor first told seniors that they would become eligible for shots starting last week. She then changed course after she mistakenly counted second doses for first doses. Teachers are now set to receive vaccines before seniors in an attempt to return kids to school this school year. In early January, a group of teachers’ unions sent the Governor a letter demanding access to the vaccine before schools reopened. But now, they are moving the goalposts; The Portland Association of Teachers and other local teachers’ unions are balking at returning to in-person instruction.

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

To date, there has been no agreement with school districts and teachers’ unions to ensure schools will actually reopen once teachers are vaccinated. “If teachers are going to jump the line ahead of seniors, they must go back into the classroom.” Girod continued his hit on the Governor, “The science says this vaccine is effective. We cannot allow politics to get in the way of getting our kids back to school.”

“The Governor continues to say that she trusts that teachers will return to the classroom, but last time she relied on others to fulfill her plans, she ended up lying to seniors. She should not set parents and kids up for disappointment. Her words are empty until there is a guarantee that kids will get back to regular instruction. No agreement, no cutting in line – that’s the deal. We need to see something in writing.”

When will Governor Brown face her responsibility to parents and students and iron out with teachers’ unions a plan that will put kids back in the classroom? More than vaccines, we want leadership that is transparent and trustworthy.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2021-01-27 07:13:35Last Update: 2021-01-26 18:25:26



Broadcasters Seek Relief from Tax
It’s questionable whether the tax was intended for them

Under Oregon tax law, the Deaprtment of Revenue is responsible for the annual assessments of certain transportation, communication, and energy properties for property tax purposes. These annual assessments are sent to the county assessors and tax collectors for the billing, collection, and ultimately the distribution of property tax dollars.

In 2014, the Oregon Supreme Court upheld the Oregon Department of Revenue central assessment of Comcast as “data transmission services” under Section 308.505(3) of Oregon statutes. In late 2020, the DOR stretched the definition of “data transmission services” to cover radio and television stations which would add an enterprise valuation tax on Oregon TV and radio broadcasters. The legislature never intended broadcasters to be centrally assessed and HB 2331, proposed by State Representatives Daniel Bonham (R-The Dalles) and E. Werner Reschke (R-Malin), provides a fix by explicitly exempting broadcasters from the assessment. The bill is mostly just adding the phrase “Communication” does not include over-the-air broadcasting to current law.

The DOR’s central assessment model is based on enterprise value and requires valuation of intangible assets, even though each broadcaster’s most valuable intangible assets -- FCC licenses -- are exempt from assessment under Section 308.671 of the Oregon statutes.

The COVID-19 pandemic has decimated the broadcast industry. But even during these trying financial times, the state of Oregon and the federal government have received immeasurable value from local broadcasters who have continued to inform our communities on COVID-19, rampant wildfire destruction, Census collection, hectic election coverage and other essential community information. Broadcasters continue to put the safety and education of our communities first.

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A D V E R T I S E M E N T

Ad revenues are the most significant source of income for broadcasters. Unlike cable and satellite companies, broadcasters do not benefit from a subscription-based revenue stream. Ad revenue has plummeted due to shutdowns, even as we help our communities understand and adhere to shut-down regulations. At this point there is no recovery in sight. Local advertisers have either closed or can no longer afford to advertise. This additional tax burden is not only financially insurmountable but constitutes a lack of recognition of the free airtime provided to local, state, and federal governments.

In the Comcast decision, Oregon’s Supreme Court ruled that data transmission services, which are centrally assessed, provide the means to send data from one computer or computer-like device to another across a transmission network. While DOR has determined that over-the-air broadcasters are included in this definition, reasonable legal minds would disagree. DOR’s interpretation of the law shows a wholesale misunderstand of the broadcast business.

The bottom line? A unilateral change in how over-the-air broadcasters is assessed based on the DOR’s legal interpretation and regulatory overreach will have a far-reaching negative impact on broadcasters throughout Oregon, putting the survival of some of them in doubt.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-01-26 17:18:00Last Update: 2021-01-27 20:19:08



Squelching Your Political Voice
Oregon SOS seeking to expand powers

Shemia Fagan doesn’t have to wait for that governorship to follow in Kate Brown’s footsteps. Oregon Secretary of State Fagan flat-out said in her debate with Kim Thatcher that she would not run for governor in 2022.

She calls herself “lieutenant governor” and HB 2908 gives her similar powers that Governor Brown has been exercising over our lives. Representatives Dan Rayfield (D-Corvallis), Pam Marsh (D-Ashland), Janeen Sollman (D-Hillsboro), Anna Williams (D-Hood River), Senators Michael Dembrow (D-Portland), and Kathleen Taylor (D-Portland) introduced HB 2908, authorizing Secretary of State investigative powers into personal bank accounts and “other documentation” if a complaint is launched against a candidate you donated to, petition you signed, or an election law complaint.

The investigation isn't just an accounting of an election committee of illegal receipt or use of funds, but it authorizes the Secretary of State and Attorney General to investigate into personal donors and individual signers of a petition. Upon reasonable suspicion that a violation has occurred, requires, in addition to any other action permitted by law, examination of the accounts of the person, political committee or petition committee or election law complaints with access to bank accounts and other documentation for the three prior months with access to two years prior.

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

The requirement to provide access to committee bank account records and other documentation under this bill may be enforced by writ of mandamus issued by any court of competent jurisdiction. Applies to any independent expenditures made or campaign finance statements filed on or after the effective date of the 2021 Act.

Our personal lives have been turned inside-out in lockdown limiting our social interaction, how many people you can invite to your home, attendance of our churches, mandating of wearing masks to conduct business, and invading our bodies with vaccines without choice. The only personal area left to invade is our financial information. What better way to get access but through your generosity? An attack on personal rights and privacy just for donating or signing a petition gives them the power to access your personal bank account records and “other documentation” that is unlimited personal intrusion. The discrepancy trigger isn’t you, but you become the target, which could give them access to your cell phone, social media pages, internet use, and anything else they think of that can be connected.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2021-01-26 16:50:52Last Update: 2021-01-26 17:18:00



Analysis: Partisanship in the Legislature
A little peek at the greasy boot of the party in power.

In the Oregon Legislature there is a jovial time at the beginning of the session when all is "Kumbaya" time and we all get along. There is a "non-partisan" spirit about the place. Then, quickly it fades away and once again the super-majority party exerts all its full control. When I say "full control," I mean it.

The Legislative Policy and Research Office are the folks who work "behind the scenes" to help committees flow. Now, I like all of our LPRO staff a lot and admire their hard work and dedication. Still it's literally advertised as "non-partisan." The graphic shows their job announcement.

In the video below, a new LPRO staffer introduces herself. "I did work for the Utah legislature. I was with the House Democrats, which is s super-minority, so it's definitely nice to be in the majority, so it's good to work with you guys." So I’m not concerned with hurting this staffer, anyone can make a mistake. It’s the fact that the Leadership in the Oregon Legislature is so non-transparent and so entirely biased. IT’s not just that House and Senate Republicans have to deal with the super majority legislators, it’s like doing that with one hand tied behind our backs and blindfolded to boot.

Oregon needs to wake up and see how this place really works. There is no -- I mean zero balance in this process. I wish no ill will to this staffer, she’s done nothing wrong. It’s the Leadership that needs to be addressed.

Which brings me to another point to discuss. The Oregon Republican Party recently released a statement on the impeachment process and 10 US Representatives. I am a State Representative, so I don’t get involved in national politics. Neither should the ORP. What the ORP should concentrate on is things like what I’ve brought up here in this blog post. I have presented tangible proof of the absolute uphill battle that Oregon’s House and Senate Republicans are fighting every day. I am tired of Republicans who “look back” at the past. I am moving forward and moving toward what’s important to Oregon. And much of that is the imbalance of power in the Legislature and the state wide offices. Press releases condemning Republican Representatives from other states does nothing to win seats in here in the Oregon House or Senate, nor does it help Republicans win the Governor’s seat in 2022. Let’s get our focus off of the national news and on to the state of Oregon. The statement made by the ORP is one of which I disagree. I want that to be very clear. This is “looking backward” while I am “pressing onward”.

To the ORP I say: it’s none of our business what US Representatives from other states do. Though I may disagree with the decision made by those Congressmen, it’s not my place to condemn them. Instead, I condemn the Democrats who have “lorded” over this state for 30 years. Focus please!




--State Representative Bill Post

Post Date: 2021-01-26 16:08:05Last Update: 2021-01-26 16:48:36



Sen. Brian Boquist: Independent
One effect is that local parties won’t get to nominate his replacement

Senator Brian Boquist (I-Dallas) stunned Oregon political observers last week when he changed his voter registration from Republican to Independent and appears to not be caucusing with the Senate Republican Caucus, without offering an explanation. It's not the first time Senator Boquist has caused buzz and speculation. He represents Senate District 12, which includes much of the western Willamette valley.

One clear impact -- and it's not clear if this is Senator Boquist's intent, is that were he to retire, he has removed the local county Republican parties' involvement with his replacement. Boquist's sprawling district spans parts of the counties of Washington, Yamhill, Polk, Marion and Benton counties, and if he were a member of a majority party -- a Democrat or Republican -- those party members would assist in naming his replacement.

ORS 171.060 describes two procedures for filling a vacancy. Section (1) describes the process that's been used several times in the last few years -- the filling of a vacancy of a seat held by a member of a major party. In this case, a convention of the Precinct Committee People from that district and members of the same party as the vacating member and they vote to send between three and five nominees for the seat. The County Commissioners from the counties in the district then vote to select a replacement from those nominees. In the case of a seat, such as Senator Boquist's seat, where the seat is not held by a member of a major party, the Precinct Committee Person nominating convention is skipped, and the County Commissioners are free to appoint anyone to the seat -- even one of themselves -- and they can appoint from any party.

Recall that a voter who registers as an Independent becomes a member of the Independent Party of Oregon. A true independent would be a Non-Affiliated Voter. The statute governing vacancies for minor parties reads:

(2) When any vacancy as is mentioned in ORS 171.051 exists in the office of Senator or Representative not affiliated with a major political party and that vacancy is to be filled by an appointing authority as provided in ORS 171.051, the Secretary of State forthwith shall notify the county courts or boards of county commissioners of the counties constituting the district in which the vacancy occurs of the vacancy and of the number of votes apportioned to each member of the county courts or boards of county commissioners under ORS 171.062 and 171.064. The Secretary of State shall set a time for a meeting of the county courts or boards of county commissioners and by rule shall establish procedures for the conduct of the meeting. If the district is composed of more than one county, the Secretary of State shall name a temporary chairperson and designate a meeting place within the district where the county courts or boards of county commissioners shall convene for the purpose of appointing a person to fill the vacancy.

Boquist, who is 62, has been a member of the Oregon Senate since 2009. He was first elected to the Oregon House in 2005. From time to time, he has spoken of retiring, but has always re-filed for re-election each cycle.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-01-26 15:20:28Last Update: 2021-01-26 16:08:05



Girod: They Must Go Back into the Classroom
Teachers’ unions want to be vaccinated, but not so hot on returning to teach

"Governor Brown has mishandled nearly every aspect of the coronavirus vaccine rollout. Her administration's mishaps range from giving seniors mixed messages on when they could receive the vaccine to sluggish distribution. Now, she is on pace to botch school reopenings.

“I share the Governor’s eagerness to open schools, but not at the expense of lying to seniors,” said Senate Republican Leader Fred Girod (R-Lyons).

"The Governor first told seniors that they would become eligible for shots starting last week. She then changed course after she mistakenly counted second doses for first doses.

"Teachers are now set to receive vaccines before seniors in an attempt to return kids to school this school year. In early January, a group of teachers unions sent the Governor a letter demanding access to the vaccine before schools reopened. But now, they are moving the goalposts; The Portland Association of Teachers and other local teachers unions are balking at returning to in-person instruction.

"To date, there has been no agreement with school districts and teachers unions to ensure schools will actually reopen once teachers are vaccinated.

“If teachers are going to jump the line ahead of seniors, they must go back into the classroom,” Girod continued. “The science says this vaccine is effective. We cannot allow politics to get in the way of getting our kids back to school.

“The Governor continues to say that she trusts that teachers will return to the classroom, but last time she relied on others to fulfill her plans, she ended up lying to seniors. She should not set parents and kids up for disappointment. Her words are empty until there is a guarantee that kids will get back to regular instruction. No agreement, no cutting in line – that’s the deal. We need to see something in writing.

“Governor Brown must get together with teachers unions and hammer out a plan that will result in kids back in the classroom. Without that, teachers will simply cut in front of seniors for no reason, costing lives.”


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-01-26 15:08:07Last Update: 2021-01-26 18:13:35



Sen. Linthicum Proposes School Reforms
ZIP codes should not determine a child’s future

Senator Dennis Linthicum (R-Klamath Falls) released the following statement in observance of National School Choice Week:

"Under the control of Democrats, Oregon schools have been failing our kids and parents for years. Oregon has consistently ranked in the bottom in terms of graduation rates, currently tied for third-worst in the county, despite spending nearly $14,000 in tax money per pupil per year. Barely 50% of our students are proficient in English, and less than 40% are proficient in math. Yet, year after year, the Legislature gives public schools more and more money even while they are shut down by Gov. Brown’s disastrous lockdowns.

"Every legislative session, Senator Linthicum proposes common-sense school choice reforms, like SB 659, that would give kids and parents the freedom to escape failing schools. But Democrats and their public-sector union special interests deny statistical reality and continue the decades-long cycle of poorly-performing schools that fail to provide for Oregon’s kids.

“I have been a consistent advocate for school choice because the best way to give people opportunities to be successful, to break cycles of poverty, and to allow people to lead fulfilling lives is through high-quality education. For too long, outdated government dictates have trapped our kids in failing schools, just because they happen to live in a particular zip code.

“Increasing school choice for our kids and parents doesn’t just promote freedom, competition, and quality of education, it also provides a way to break cycles of poverty. School closures due to the Governor’s lockdowns have only exacerbated educational disparities of failing schools which are disproportionately found in low-income and minority communities.

“That is why I am introducing SB 659. It will allow students to attend any school in the state. There is no justification to lock students into struggling schools. I call on the Democrat supermajority to hear this bill so that students can get the education they deserve and makeup lost learning due to school shutdowns.”


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-01-26 07:02:03



Senate District 20 Replacement to Be Chosen
Clackamas and Marion Commissioners will decide

Following the resignation of State Sen. Alan Olsen, Clackamas County and Marion County commissioners will hold a joint session on Monday, Feb. 1, to interview candidates and select a replacement for the open Senate District 20 position.

Oregon law requires that a legislative vacancy be filled by county commissioners representing the district in which the vacancy exists. Senate District 20 overwhelmingly falls within Clackamas County, but a small pocket extends into Marion County.

Finalists were selected by the local Republican Party (as deemed by state law), since Olsen belongs to that party. The three finalists are: The person selected will fill the remainder of Olsen’s term, which runs through 2022.

The meeting will be held from 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 1, in the Board Hearing Room in the Public Services Building on Red Soils Campus in Oregon City. The address is 2051 Kaen Road.

Due to COVID restrictions, physical space in the Hearing Room for attendees is limited. The public is welcome to virtually attend the proceeding over Zoom. Zoom and phone connectivity information is available online.

The meeting will also be broadcast live on the county’s YouTube channel and Clackamas County Government Channel.


--Ben Fisher

Post Date: 2021-01-25 16:41:45Last Update: 2021-01-25 18:32:01



Land Use Laws and the Housing Crisis in Oregon
Caused in part by government?

As the Oregon Legislature considers several measures to address the housing crisis in Oregon, it's a good time to reflect on Oregon's land use laws and what impact they have had on the supply of housing in Oregon.

The high point for housing starts in Oregon was in the mid-1970s when builders started on nearly 45,000 new units. Despite consistent high demand over the decades since then, housing starts in Oregon have never reached that level. The graph shows how, when beaten down by recession, housing starts struggle to recover to previous levels and since the mid-2010s trended flat. Another watershed event of the 1970s was the passage of Oregon's land use system in 1974.

Like many economic trends, perennially sluggish production in the housing sector has various causes. One of the simplest causes, however, is the reduced inability of builders to acquire buildable land, and when they can acquire it, the cost of the land is so high that it often makes sense to put larger, more expensive properties on it. The biggest cause of this is the decreased supply of buildable land due to land use laws.

According to the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis, the problem lately has been supply. "In fact, one of the largest issues has been that the supply of products has not been able to keep up with the demand. Employment for wood products manufacturing and construction are down, seemingly in expectation that demand would dry up due to the recession. However these goods-producers tied to the housing market are adding jobs and looking for workers to meet the stronger-than-expected demand." In hindsight, the COVID-19 recession is a service sector recession and little else. It's had little effect on housing.

The damage due to fires will surely support something of a rebound by creating demand, but there are legitimate worries over access to raw materials. The Oregon Office of Economic Analysis says, "the wildfires are a complicating economic factor. Early indications are that the amount of timber burned is equal to a quarter or a third of the annual harvest. While certainly not insignificant, this is likely a manageable amount from an industry perspective. Markets should not be overwhelmed with burned logs, driving prices down to the point where it hurts the viability of logging. This is not always the case following large fires. Already, crews began as soon as possible to salvage log private lands before the rain started, and will return to do so next year."


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-01-25 16:13:05Last Update: 2021-01-25 17:43:37



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