QuickPoints!

Restore the Trust in State Trust Lands

By Anna Mae Kersey When Oregon joined the Union, the U.S. Congress granted it control of State Trust Lands, public lands managed by the state to support public education in perpetuity through the Common School Fund. Currently, 96 percent of Oregon’s remaining State Trust Lands show no signs of generating revenue within five to ten […]

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Will “Free” Tuition Make College Cost More?

By Thomas Tullis On July 17, Governor Kate Brown signed Senate Bill 81, the “Oregon Promise” legislation that allocates $10 million to a “free” community college tuition program for Oregon students. With college tuition having increased ten-fold over the last three decades, Oregon lawmakers clearly have good intentions, but that doesn’t make the Oregon Promise […]

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Nevada’s Education Innovation

By Emma Newman According to the U.S. Department of Education, Oregon’s 2013 graduation rate is the worst of all 49 states which reported data. Nevada, which held Oregon’s position at the bottom in 2012, has decided to do something truly bold and create a system that allows for unprecedented levels of accountability, opportunity, and individualization […]

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“Right to Try” Is a Good First Step, Should Be Expanded

By Anna Mae Kersey Oregon House Bill 2300 gives terminally ill patients access to potentially life-saving drugs or investigational products not yet approved by the FDA that they might otherwise die waiting for. While the necessity of such a bill is largely uncontroversial, and since last year more than 20 states have passed similar legislation, […]

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How the State of Oregon Gambles Away Its Lottery Proceeds

By Thomas Tullis When Oregon politicians pretend to be experts on venture capital investing, it ends up costing the state millions of dollars in education money. This is exactly what is going on with the Oregon Growth Board, a project of the Oregon Business Development Department. Tasked with generating a return on investment by financing […]

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Does PCC-Sylvania Need a Light Rail Tunnel?

By Emma Newman Metro and TriMet are jointly considering an expansion of the light rail system to PCC-Sylvania in SW Portland, by building a tunnel to the campus from Barbur Boulevard. The tunneling would have a significant impact on the surrounding neighborhood, forcing many homeowners to move away while still requiring PCC students to make […]

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Oregon’s Proposed Sick Leave Law Doesn’t Fit All

By Anna Mae Kersey Senate Bill 454, which mandates that employers implement paid sick leave for employees, may leave small business owners and the agriculture industry in the dust. SB 454 states, “Employers that employ at least 10 employees working anywhere in this state shall implement a sick time policy that allows an employee to […]

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Minimum Wage Follies

Fourteen bills have been introduced in the Oregon legislature to raise Oregon’s already high minimum wage or let localities do so. Apparently, some legislators believe that political laws can override the laws of economics. In this case, the law of supply and demand tells us that raising the price of labor will lead employers to […]

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Don’t Steal the Kicker

Would you like to pay $284 less in Oregon personal income tax next year? That’s what the average taxpayer may save if Oregon’s constitutional kicker law is allowed to take effect. The kicker law requires that if actual state revenue for a biennium exceeds the official economic forecast by two percent or more, the entire […]

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Is It Possible to Power an Export Facility Entirely by Renewable Energy?

The Portland Sustainability Commission recently recommended that the City Council approve a $500 million propane export facility proposed by Pembina Pipeline Corporation. However, as part of its approval, the Commission is requiring that 100% of the electricity used at the export facility be generated by Oregon renewable energy sources. This is an impossible standard to […]

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