By Peter Toll
With about one year until the next general election and just seven months to the primary, candidates are facing new challenges as at least three incumbents in Clackamas County have announced their pending resignations from office.
Topping the list is State Senator Richard Devlin, co-chair of the Legislature’s powerful Joint Ways & Means Committee. The Democrat from Tualatin serving Lake Oswego and West Linn is being appointed to the Northwest Power Planning and Conservation Council by Gov. Kate Brown. His letter of resignation will follow Senate confirmation Nov. 15. Continue reading
By Peter Toll
This year’s legislature is still in hand-to-hand combat, politically speaking, as legislators jostle and flay to pass their favorite bills before July 6 adjournment while also positioning themselves for next year’s elections.
Lacking the three-fifths majority required to pass tax bills, House Republicans are holding hostage our schools, our roads, and our ability to invest in our future. The 60-member House needs one more Democratic vote to reach the three-fifths requirement to raise the revenues required to fund infrastructure improvements, improve education, fund single payer health care, and fulfill our obligation to retirees. When Republicans were in control a few years ago they were thinking of moments just like this when they dropped the traditional majority rules rule – except for tax bills.
True to form, House Republicans are voting (or not) as a bloc to exacerbate Oregon’s fiscal problems by refusing to modernize an outdated tax system that favors big business. Just one more vote is needed. Continue reading
By Peter Toll
It would appear the National Popular Vote bill, once thought dead in the Oregon Legislature, has come back to life. House Bill 2927, which would have Oregon sidestepping the Electoral College if certain things occur nationally, recently got a ‘do pass’ recommendation from the House Rules Committee. A full House vote and then off to the Senate are imminent.
Therein lies the rub. Senate President Peter Courtney has done his own little pocket veto of the legislation in three prior sessions. After passing the House, Courtney wouldn’t let it even have a hearing in the Senate, where it would thus die a dishonorable death without seeing the light of day there. Continue reading
Hello Friends and Neighbors, and Happy Spring! We are beginning the third month of the legislative session, and it has been busy! I have been hard at work with my colleagues on state-wide issues including transportation and revenue. I have also successfully passed a few of my personal bills. A few of note, include Voter Pre-Registration, Gambling Addiction Hardship Permits, and a pair of bills which give resources to victims of sex trafficking. Read more …
One of Clackamas County’s five Republican members of the Oregon House, Vic Gilliam, resigned his seat two days before the legislature was set to convene Feb. 1. He is 63.
Rep. Gilliam, of Silverton, has been very ill with ALS, reportedly unable to leave his home to campaign in the Republican-dominated House District 18 when he ran against Democrat Tom Kane last year. Regardless of his efforts, he was easily re-elected. Continue reading
Clackamas County will seat four new legislators in January with the replacement of Representatives Brent Barton, Shemia Fagan, John Davis, and Kathleen Taylor. Taylor is advancing to the Senate, and the other three are retiring.
Clackamas has 10 members in the lower house, five Democrats and five Republicans, and five senators. But Democrat Taylor marks the only change in the Senate as Democrat Diane Rosenbaum is retiring. Taylor beat John Sweeney in the primary and there is no Republican candidate in Senate District 21, which includes Milwaukie and part of Southeast Portland.
Replacing Taylor, who did one term in the House, will most likely be Milwaukie City Councilor Karin Power, a Democrat. She was unopposed in the House District 41 primary and faces Republican Tim McMenamin (trying for a third straight election) in November. This seat has long been held by Democrats, and Power should retain it for the progressives. She amassed 10,338 primary votes to McMenamin’s 2,747. He is a pharmacist. She is an attorney. Continue reading