Testimony of John A. Charles, Jr.Regarding the proposed DEQ budget

John A. Charles, Jr.
Cascade Commentary

April 15, 2009
Overview
 Environmental trends over long periods of time matter more than measurements at any given moment. Also, pollution per unit of economic output is the key to measuring economic sustainability. Listen to John’s testimony at 42:08-46:20 and his answer to questions by Representative Cannon at 50:15-52:51.

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Testimony of John A. Charles, Jr.Regarding SB 580-6

.John A. Charles, Jr.Cascade Commentary

April 15, 2009
As a member of the Oregon Road User Fee Task Force, I support the policy direction of SB 580-6. The construction and ongoing maintenance of highways, tunnels and bridges should be financed through direct road user fees, collected via electronic tolling technology.

Listen to John’s testimony at 22:14-26:14 and 27:48-30:17 on the audio file.

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Government Gas Detectors

Steve BucksteinQuickPoint!

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Oregon legislators surely know that this recession has led to a slower housing market than most of us can remember. So why are some of them trying to dampen home sales even further?

House Bill 3450 would prohibit transferring the title to a single-family dwelling or multifamily housing that has a carbon monoxide source (i.e., a furnace or gas fireplace) unless the dwelling is equipped with a carbon monoxide detector.

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Education Tax Credits Can Save Oregon Money

Christina Martin
Cascade Commentary
Click here to read the full report in PDF format

Summary: House Bill 2754 would create two education tax credits, one for families’ own out-of-pocket education expenses and another for donations to scholarship-granting organizations for low-income or disabled students. According to a fiscal analysis by Dr. Eric Fruits, HB 2754’s tax credits have potential to save money for the state of Oregon.

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Fiscal Impacts of Proposed Educational Tax Credits

By Eric Fruits, Ph.D.

Executive summary 
Currently, Oregon parents of public school children who need extra tutoring or other assistance are not reimbursed for that expense. In addition, many low-income parents or parents with children with disabilities cannot find public education alternatives that meet their children’s demands and cannot afford educational options available from private schools. In response to these gaps, Cascade Policy Institute proposes two tax credits to help support efforts to make educational opportunities more affordable to Oregon families.
Click here to read the full report in PDF format

Cap-and-Trade in Oregon: A Primer for Legislators and Citizens

Todd Wynn

Introduction

Climate change, and how to deal with it, is literally one of the hottest topics in state and national public policy. Because astonishing news sells, media coverage on climate change focuses on exaggerated claims of future catastrophe and proposes economically devastating “solutions” that may have no effect on global climate at all.

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Reject transferring billions of dollars from the private to the public sector:What’s wrong with SJR 29

March 3, 2009

As a member of the Task Force on Comprehensive Revenue Restructuring representing taxpayers, I must express reservations about Senate Joint Resolution 29 which seeks to amend the Oregon Constitution to, among other things, direct income tax kicker money into the Rainy Day Fund.

I agree with the Task Force consensus that establishing more reliable forecasting and more prudent budgeting is a worthy goal. I do not agree, however, that the state is the best repository for ending balances under the new forecasting method. That money rightfully belongs to the individuals and corporations who earned it.

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HB 2500 creates a searchable government transparency website showing Oregonians everything they want to know about state taxes and spending.

Steve BucksteinTestimony before the House Committee on Rules in favor of House Bill 2500 The Taxpayer Transparency Act
February 25, 2009

Chair Roblan and members of the Committee. My name is Steve Buckstein. I’m Senior Policy Analyst and founder of Cascade Policy Institute, a non-partisan, non-profit public policy research organization based in Portland. Our mission is to promote policies that enhance individual liberty, personal responsibility and economic opportunity in Oregon.

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Tax Reform Vision Goes Up In Smoke

Steve BucksteinCascade Commentary

Summary:

The Task Force on Comprehensive Revenue Restructuring was charged with developing a blue print for a state and local government tax system. But Portland pollster Adam Davis has shown that public negativity on government and politics is now higher than it has been in 30 years. Oregon voters do not trust government or politicians to get things right.

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Making Health Insurance More Affordable

Steve BucksteinQuickPoint!

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As the Oregon legislature risks making matters worse by creating a brand-new health care system for us all (HB 2009), there are some small changes legislators can enact now that will make a real difference.

One way to give Oregonians more insurance choices is for the state to give its own employees the same ability to choose a Health Savings Account as federal employees have.

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