Category Archives: Esquivel

Don’t depend on Uncle Sam

The Legislature adjourned on Monday, and the days since then have given me the chance to reflect on the session. One of the largest budgets we passed was for the Oregon Health Authority. This new agency was created to take up some of the duties that had been traditionally assumed by the Department of Human […]

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Partisan games prolong session

The Oregon Legislature’s 2013 session should be over by now. But it isn’t. A robust revenue forecast released in May shows that there is enough money to balance the budget and adjourn. Yet the session still continues on. The majority party will try to portray me and my fellow House Republicans as obstructionist. That is […]

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Don’t manipulate the process

The legislative process is designed to be very deliberate, and for good reason — it ensures that ideas intended to be laws are properly vetted before they are voted on. But that process is being abused as this session winds down. Typically, bills are heard in committee, where members of both parties and all affected […]

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Rights must be protected as technology changes

It’s no secret that technology has advanced rapidly in recent years. Because of it, new conveniences like cell phones and Internet technology are making the world a smaller place. But against this backdrop, the global War on Terror that we’ve waged since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks has given the federal government unprecedented powers. That, […]

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Voters should take the initiative to register

I can still remember the first time I voted.  It was 1972, two years after I returned from a tour of duty in Vietnam. Back, then, the voting age was 21. I had recently reached that milestone, and was eager to exercise my rights as a U.S. citizen. The reason I’m sharing this anecdote is […]

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Democrats blocked bills to stop fraud, waste

One of the most important roles of government is to help society’s most needy. But it’s also critical to ensure that the resources intended for those people aren’t squandered through waste, fraud and abuse. An audit conducted in May by the Secretary of State’s Office identified nearly $3 million in erroneously paid benefits. In those […]

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When a tax isn’t a tax

When is a tax not a tax? It depends on who you ask. This week, we took a vote on House Bill 3477. The stated purpose of this bill was to close tax loopholes for out of state banks. But like many issues, this is more complicated than that. In the 1990s, there were around […]

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Now is not the time for more business taxes

Less than 24 hours before the release of the state’s latest revenue forecast, Gov. Kitzhaber held a press conference, in which he expressed support for higher taxes on Oregon business. This comes after a bad month for many big businesses throughout the state. Integra is moving its corporate headquarters from Portland to Vancouver, Wash. The […]

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Law would clarify how to measure 1,000 feet

Ever so often, a piece of legislation is required to correct a situation, even though it should never have been necessary in the first place. On May 2, the Oregon House of Representatives passed House Bill 3434 on a unanimous 56-0 vote. I sponsored this bill in response to a specific issue in Medford. A […]

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Bill will help the public track their money

A bill drafted in response to an important local issue is making its way through the legislative process. House Bill 3013 was inspired by the controversy surrounding the Cherry Creek Development in Medford. The property involved was purchased by the Jackson County Housing Authority, at which point the zoning was changed to a higher density […]

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