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In Action

Oregon Tax Measure On Table
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Oregon Tax Measure On Table

BY Charles E. Beggs

SALEM, Ore. -- One year after they voted down one tax increase, Oregonians are facing a decision on whether to raise their taxes by $800 million to avert sharp cuts in state funding for schools, the needy and law enforcement. Ballots in Oregon's unique vote-by-mail system will be counted Tuesday. Voter rejection of the Measure 30 tax package would automatically trigger $544 million in spending cuts, putting even more of a squeeze on a state that has become known for incessant budget turmoil.

02/01/2004
Memo costs woman job
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Memo costs woman job

BY W. Gardner Selby

AUSTIN — An employee has resigned from the Texas Workforce Commission under fire for a memo she drafted last spring suggesting the agency should make use of "sugar daddy" lawmakers to succeed in the 2005 regular legislative session.

01/31/2004
Memo urged agency to lean conservative
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Memo urged agency to lean conservative

BY R.G. RATCLIFFE

AUSTIN -- A memo from a Texas Workforce Commission employee raises questions about whether an agency director attempted to use her office to build a conservative political machine. "Everything we do in external affairs, whether it is press or outreach or work with legislators should have as an end result, affecting public policy to TWC's benefit, that is to say frankly, getting legislation passed or killed," says the memo, which was obtained by the Houston Chronicle this week. "TWC needs a public relations overhaul."

01/31/2004
Businesses’ tax burden draws sharp arguments
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Businesses’ tax burden draws sharp arguments

BY STEVE LAW

Critics of Measure 30 say the $1.2 billion tax package on the Feb. 3 ballot may be the worst thing that could happen to Oregon’s sagging economy and business climate. They blame Oregon’s taxes for a litany of ills: the state’s high jobless rate, the recent flight of corporate headquarters and the departure of manufacturers such as SUMCO Oregon. Measure 30 will “throw sand in Oregon’s economic engine” and keep driving businesses away, said Russ Walker, who is leading the opposition campaign as Northwest director of Citizens for a Sound Economy.

01/31/2004
Measure 30 foe's budgeting claim rebuted
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Measure 30 foe's budgeting claim rebuted

BY James Mayer

Gov. Ted Kulongoski is looking into ways to "soften the blow" if Measure 30 is defeated. But the governor has not found $500 million in the 2003-05 budget to save state programs, as a leading opponent of the measure has claimed, Kulongoski's spokeswoman Mary Ellen Glynn said. Russ Walker, Oregon director of Citizens for a Sound Economy, made the claim in an interview with KXL (750 am) radio. Walker said a source in the Legislature gave him the information, but that he has no hard evidence to back it up.

01/31/2004
One year after nixing one tax hike, tax-allergic Oregonians are voting on another one
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One year after nixing one tax hike, tax-allergic Oregonians are voting on another one

BY CHARLES E. BEGGS

One year after they voted down one tax hike, Oregonians have again been facing a decision on whether to raise their taxes by $800 million to avert sharp cuts in state funding for schools, the needy and law enforcement. Ballots in Oregon's unique vote-by-mail system will be counted Tuesday. Voter rejection of the Measure 30 tax package would automatically trigger $544 million in spending cuts, putting even more of a squeeze on a state that has become known for incessant budget turmoil.

01/31/2004
Measure 30 vote may be closer than expected
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Measure 30 vote may be closer than expected

BY James Sinks

SALEM — With just four days until the Feb. 3 special election, the gap has narrowed between those who favor and oppose the Measure 30 tax referendum, the leader of the opposition effort said Friday. Russ Walker, Northwest director for Citizens for a Sound Economy, still predicts the $800 million tax proposal is headed for defeat Tuesday. But he said foes were concerned enough to open campaign coffers in the final days.

01/31/2004
Tax foe claims governor finds big budget savings
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Tax foe claims governor finds big budget savings

The leading opponent of the income tax increase on Tuesday's ballot claims Gov. Ted Kulongoski has found $500 million in the current budget to save state programs if the tax measure fails. Russ Walker, Oregon director of Citizens for a Sound Economy, said he doesn't have hard evidence to prove the money exists, but he told KXL, a Portland radio station, that a source in the Legislature gave him the information. He did not name the source. Kulongoski spokeswoman Mary Ellen Glynn said there's no such extra money in the budget.

01/30/2004
Measure 30: deeper look
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Measure 30: deeper look

BY Pat Kelley

I am very concerned about funding our schools and social services adequately and would ask that those in the community join me in educating themselves about this and not depend on newscasters, newspaper writers, pollsters or others to tell us what to believe. I am concerned that newspaper headlines tell us that "no new taxes" will prevail. Some might say, "What's the use of voting yes, if the Measure 30 is going to fail?"

01/30/2004
Good Medicine?
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Press Release

Good Medicine?

Health care continues to be a significant issue, even in the wake of the sweeping new billion-dollar prescription drug entitlement signed into law by President Bush last year. While Americans have access to the best health care system in the world, the current third-party payer structure of the health care market has led to significant upward pressure on health care costs, because there are few incentives in the system to contain spending. Both public health care and private health care are in need of serious reform. For many looking to cut costs, purchasing low-cost drugs from Canada or other nations seems like a quick fix for the high price of health care. Unfortunately, re-importing drugs threatens future innovations that can improve the quality of health care in America, while ignoring the more fundamental reforms that are required.

01/30/2004

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