Category Archives: Richardson

One hand claps for these achievements

The 2013 Legislative Session is about to end.  It’s tragic to realize it was run without a carefully considered plan. There were multiple concessions given to powerful political forces, such as “the coalition of the status quo,” but what did this legislative session really accomplish? Did we fix the PERS crisis without violating the PERS [...]

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Working together works

There once was a group of men at a church who had the assignment to move a grand piano from one room to another. The piano was very heavy and several of the concerned volunteers discussed ideas on how to move it without harming themselves or the piano. Finally, a wise man suggested they all [...]

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End-of-session games begin

Last week the governor addressed the House Republicans and requested an additional $275 million in tax increases.  He promised that if Republicans joined the Democrats in voting for tax increases the additional revenue would enable the legislature to help K-12 schools, community colleges, universities and youth mental health programs. In other words, “it’s for the [...]

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The right forest policy will build healthy forests and communities

Summer is here and we are reminded of the catastrophic devastation caused by destructive forest fires and the blights of diseased forests and rotting biomass which has led to Oregon’s crisis in forest health.  In addition, we are reminded that our ineffectual forest policy has caused the economic pain, unemployment and financial desperation our rural [...]

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Remembering our fallen war heroes

Monday was Memorial Day. As a Vietnam vet, on Memorial Day I stopped and remembered my fellow soldiers and pilots who served with honor, who never came home — all were young and most never had families of their own. On Memorial Day we remember and honor those who gave their lives in the service [...]

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Gaming the Oregon Constitution

Notwithstanding last week’s optimistic revenue forecast, which essentially balanced the State Budget for 2013-15, the whisper around the Capitol is that our Democratic leaders are planning to raise taxes without meeting the constitutional requirement for a three-fifths vote. The plan is to draft a two-part bill that will (1) reduce state revenue by extending tax credits [...]

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We all have to step up to care for elders

Our most elderly citizens deserve our respect and attention. They deserve, whenever possible, the opportunity to live and die in familiar surroundings, in their own homes. To help our senior citizens remain in their homes the state provides Oregon Project Independence and federal in-home health care programs. Helping our older generation transition from life through [...]

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Why I voted against driver cards

The Driver Card Bill (Senate Bill 833), passed the Senate, the House and has been signed into law by Gov. Kitzhaber. I voted against issuing driver cards to those who cannot prove legal residency after learning the experience of other states where such laws have been tested. (Watch a video of my floor debate against [...]

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Republicans said no to tax increases

In 2010 Oregon voters were told the tax increases contained in Measures 66 and 67 were needed to ensure Oregon’s businesses and high income earners paid their “fair share” for state services and expenses. Now it is 2013. The Measure 66 and 67 promises that Oregon businesses and wealthy taxpayers finally would be paying their [...]

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Is PERS fixed?

The Oregon Senate has passed SB 822 — the Democrat’s “PERS Lite” bill. It eliminates the windfall payment to PERS retirees living outside Oregon, who do not pay Oregon income taxes, and it reduces Cost Of Living Allowances somewhat. It also contains a poison pill. Our legislative leaders are “kicking a $350 million can down [...]

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