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Entries in Oregon Legislative Assembly (2)


Bits and Pieces from the Policy Trail

Here are some worthy tidbits — from a prediction of a recessionary echo to a call for merit-based appointments of judges, with thoughts about international trade, the Greek debt crisis and Occupy Portland thrown in for good measure.

  • Tim Duy on Oregon's Economy: The Oregonian cites Duy's report on a small improvement in Oregon's economy in September, but not enough to allay fears of an echo recession. The way Duy, from the University of Oregon, put it: "...I become very cautious that, in fact, a recession is brewing beneath the surface." He said the European financial crisis could push Oregon and the United States over the recessionary cliff.

    That's not good news for legislators as they head to Salem for "legislative committee days" later this month, including a report to the Joint House and Senate Revenuye Committee on the next state revenue forecast. Duy's comments portend more bad news and that could mean cuts in K-12 education, higher education, cops and prisons and human services, including health care. The further downturn also could put a dent in Governor Kitzhaber's plans for health care and education reform, both of which will be up for consideration in the February 2012 legislative session and both of which rest, at least in part, on decisions about the state budget.
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Political Fundraisers Mark Political Landscape

It seems like there is a fundraiser almost every day as Democrats and Republicans jockey for position heading into the 2012 election year. Of course, the key to setting the stage for tough campaigns is raising the money to fund them, and that is aggressively under way.

As Statesman-Journal political writer Peter Wong commented, many eyes are focused on the House, where currently control is evenly split between Republicans and Democrats. To be sure, there will be campaigns for many House seats that could turn the tide in the direction of one party or the other.

Two examples:

  • House Co-Speaker Arnie Roblan, D-Coos Bay, has announced he will run for the Senate seat being vacated by Senator Joanne Verger, also a Democrat. That puts the Roblan House seat in play.
  • Farther north on the Coast, Rep. Jean Cowan, D-Newport, indicated she will retire at the end of her term. Republicans have a genuine shot at reclaiming the seat they held for several terms before Cowan took the seat.

Democrats expect to retain House seats they hold in the Portland and Eugene areas. But to win back control, Democrats must regain seats in suburban areas of Portland that they lost in a sweep that erased their supermajority in the 2009 session and resulted in the 30-30 split in the 2011 session. This won't be easy, the GOP victors in 2010 are now incumbents and many can boast solid freshmen years in the legislature.

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