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Entries in Frank Morse (2)


Oregon Loses Strong, Moderate Voice

When Frank Morse announced his resignation from the Oregon Senate last week, the 30-member body — and the entire state — lost one of its most competent members. The Senate and the state also lost one of its most dedicated moderates whose hopefulness seems to be flagging.

"I have thought long and hard about this decision and I believe it is time for new energy," Morse told a hushed Senate chamber. "While serving in the legislature, I’ve worked harder than I have ever worked, but there comes a moment in one’s life when energy fades, and you know it is time to go. I love this state and I cherish the many friendships I’ve made in the legislature and throughout the state. While the work is not done, it is time for new energy to carry our state into the future."

In his final speech on the Senate floor, Morse also made a statement that, in retrospect, will characterize his state service. He urged lawmakers, one last time, to solve Oregon's tax and spending problems for "the sake of our children." Failure to do so is "destroying our state," he said. "It's destroying our schools."

Following a career as president and CEO of Morse Bros. Inc., a construction materials firm, Morse won election to the Oregon Senate in 2002. As The Oregonian put it in a story last weekend, he "was fit and well-groomed at 69 and always wore business suits and ties on the Senate floor. All business, he showed little patience for partisan antics or issues he deemed trivial."

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Preparing for a Rainy Day: An Exercise in Bipartisanship and Civil Discourse

If you wondered whether bi-partisan government could work, here is a recent example that was introduced at the Capitol on Monday, February 21:

Sen. Frank Morse, R-Albany, and Sen. Ginny Burdick, D-Portland, have drafted a plan they say is designed to do what Oregon has failed to do for decades – which is to save money in good times to cushion the blow in bad times.

Here's the way The Oregonian editorialized about the plan last weekend ("Ready for action: Finally, a real savings plan," Feb. 19):

"For decades, legislators have found every excuse to avoid confronting the volatile tax system, the bursts of unsustainable spending or the absurd, only-in-Oregon tax kicker. Rather than that, they repeatedly cast votes that made all these things worse. They are out of excuses. Two recessions and two budget crises in less than a decade have illustrated why this state can't just keep on with schools and other essential services strapped in a yo-yo system of public finance backed by the equivalent of a three-week savings account."

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