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In today’s economy everyone is looking for ways to create jobs and increase revenues. That includes Senator Ron Wyden, who has drafted the Oregon Forest Restoration and Old Growth Protection Act, which would manage Oregon’s federally owned forests tree by tree instead of as a sustainable landscape. Though his goal to improve forest health while providing jobs in our rural communities is well intentioned, it will only create more bureaucracy while jeopardizing forest health and our rural communities’ livelihoods. (more…)
Listen to John’s testimony at 1:47:05 through 1:57:35 on this audio file, which includes an exchange he had with Representative Bruun and the unanimous committee vote on the bill.
Senate Bill 34 gives TriMet authority to increase payroll taxes. Watch Representative Wingard’s compelling testimony here.
SB 34 passed the House on a 32 to 28 vote.
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Oregon received around $121 million for education as a result of the federal stimulus bill passed earlier this year. According to the U.S. Department of Education, the stimulus funds are intended to save jobs at risk of budget cuts and to advance education reforms.
According to the Department of Education, in order to receive these funds, the Oregon government promised to “collect, publish, analyze and act on basic information regarding the quality of classroom teachers, annual student improvements, college readiness, the effectiveness of state standards and assessments, progress on removing charter caps (more…)
Listen to this testimony at 2:55:51-3:09:05 on this audio file.
My name is John Charles and I am president of Cascade Policy Institute, a non-profit policy research organization. I have extensive experience with urban mass transit, both as a consumer and as a researcher. During the past 29 years I have used the TriMet transit system over 20,000 times.
Read the full text of the bill here.
Just when federal and state legislators are passing economic stimulus packages to get people working, House Bill 2204 in the Oregon State Legislature would end innovative programs that provide exactly the kind of stimulus that spurs people to continue working. Pieces of legislation are pending at both the state and the federal level for the addition of multiple public projects as part of economic stimulus packages. In contrast to the old “chicken in every pot” (more…)
In a world full of names, acronyms and management change plans, taxpayers can get lost. When the information to describe these programs is not transparent to the public, we cannot keep up with what our tax dollars are purchasing. Moreover, we cannot wander into discussions of government services without an entire world of letters swimming together to shorthand the names of agencies and programs. This alphabet soup is almost guaranteed to confuse those being asked to fund all these changes: the taxpayers. (more…)
John A. Charles, Jr. Testimony regarding HJM11 Carbon Sequestration on Federal Timberlands May 6, 2009
Listen to this testimony at 1:00:00-1:03:45 on this audio file.
Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, the assumption with HJM 11 is that we can get something for nothing through the hoped-for carbon sequestration on federal lands, as part of a national carbon rationing program. Advocates hope that the creation of a new type of asset called carbon sequestration offsets, formed literally out of thin air, will help lock up more federal lands into non-harvest regimes. (more…)
John A. Charles, Jr.Testimony on HB3253subsidies for electric vechiclesHouse Revenue CommitteeMay 6, 2009
Listen to the testimony at 0:30-6:21 on this audio file.
Mr. Chairman, although I look forward to someday driving an electric vehicle, subsidizing the industry is a bad idea. There is already a generous federal subsidy program for electric vehicles, beginning January 1, 2010. Tax credits for plug-in electric passenger vehicles and light trucks will range from $2,500 to $7,500, depending on battery capacity. (more…)
Most Oregonians think that our state government is short of money, billions of dollars short. Legislators are faced with cutting programs and raising taxes as they struggle to close a $4 billion hole in the General Fund budget.
What most Oregonians don’t know is that the General Fund is only about one third of all the money Oregon state government spends. (more…)
Summary: SJR 29 is based on a fallacy. Its supporters assume that the kicker somehow has prevented the state from building a substantial rainy day fund, when in reality there has been no prohibition against lawmakers budgeting for less spending than the point estimate forecasts would allow. (more…)
Some activists are begging Oregon’s legislature to create yet another social safety net: paid family leave. Senate Bill 966 would create “insurance” benefits for family leave, subsidizing time off from work to care for a new child or a seriously ill family member. It would cost each full-time worker about $42 each year. After working six months, a worker could receive up to $300 per week for six weeks while on family leave.
To pay for a worker to take the maximum amount of leave benefits, about 42 full-time workers would have to work more than a year. Since this program would change behavior, it is likely that the tax (more…)
Steve Buckstein Testimony in favor of HB 2817 before the Senate Business and Transportation CommitteeMay 4, 2009
Chair Metsger 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. (more…)