Tag Archives: Oregon Legislature

Environmental Score Card for Clackamas Legislators

by Peter Toll

Democratic legislators in Clackamas County got high marks from the Oregon League of Conservation Voters for their 2019 votes on 14 pieces of legislation.  

And there’s a new wrinkle this year as OLCV gave an “incomplete” grade to Republicans  who walked out on a key climate change bill rather than vote against it.

On the Senate side, Lake Oswego’s Rob Wagner tied with Happy Valley’s Shemia Fagan with 94 percent.  Kathleen Taylor, of SE Portland, came in with 88 per cent. All three Republicans fared poorly, earning incompletes.  

A hint of their performance can be gained in looking at the 2017 session.  Alan Olsen, of Canby, didn’t vote appropriately on even one bill. He got a goose egg.  Chuck Thomsen, of Hood River, earned 29 percent then, and Kim Thatcher, of Keizer, who represents Wilsonville in the State Senate, had just 33 per cent two years ago.

Over in the House, newcomer Rachel Prusak, of West Linn, voted perfectly—100 percent.  Other high performing Democrats included:

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Intraparty Differences over Clean Air Funding

By William Street

There is a deep historic division in Oregon Democratic circles most commonly referred to as “Jobs versus Environment.” This split crosses industrial lines: workers in extractive industries, such as forestry, are often pitted against workers in less polluting industries. It crosses rural/urban lines since many workers in extractive industries live in rural portions of Oregon.

This historic division appeared again last week when House Democrats refused to fund the governor’s Cleaner Air Oregon initiative. The sum: $1 million to be paid by polluters. Continue reading

Looking Ahead to 2016 Sees Interesting Election Fights

BallotWe’re nine months away from the 2016 primary election, and already candidates are jockeying for position. Announcements have been made, and money is already being solicited in Clackamas County and across the state.

Here in Clackamas County the activity will be especially hot and heavy. Let’s look at the early information:


Terms are up for three of the five county commissioners, including the outspoken (“Stop Portland Creep, including Light Rail”) Chair John Ludlow. Two of his commission colleagues, both re-elected last year and thus able to run without losing their seats if they lose, have already announced they are running against him:

Jim Bernard is in his third term on the board. The former Milwaukie mayor was re-elected last year. A middle of the road Democrat (who now lives in New Era, east of Canby), Bernard feels he has a good shot at Ludlow.

Paul Savas, the Oak Grove Republican also re-elected in 2014, calls himself a moderate and is often the swing vote on the five-member commission. He also wants to send Ludlow packing home to Wilsonville.

That particular race will be especially interesting because, if no candidate achieves a majority in the primary, the top two will run off in November. (That’s true in many other races, too, of course.) Continue reading

A Clean Slate

open cell with marijuanaState Rep. Ann Lininger, D-38, co-chaired the legislature’s joint committee charged with figuring out the whys and wherefores of legalized marijuana.

Not covered by that committee was the notion that people who are serving long terms for something which is now legal should start seeing less jail time. President Obama recently joined in supporting this idea nationally.

Lininger reports on how the Oregon legislature addressed these issues with its own versions.

A Session Wrap-Up from Rep. Jeff Reardon

(Copied from Rep. Reardon’s email)

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Friends & Neighbors:

After months of preparation, long hours on the House floor, and consideration of thousands of bills, last week the Oregon Legislature finished the 2015 session a few days ahead of schedule.

I’m extremely proud of the work we accomplished and even happier to know that my top priorities—to strengthen career and technical education, to protect pollinator health, and to make East Portland safer—will all be signed into law soon.

As a legislature, we worked together to pass bills that directly benefit thousands of Oregonians. We began to repair the K-12 funding gap that was created during the recession by budgeting an historic $7.4B for public schools. We invested $35M in career technical education and science, technology, engineering and math so that our students are prepared for the high-tech jobs of their generation. We asked universities to find a way provide students with a meaningful degree for an affordable price.

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