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Oregon gov says painful spending cuts now inevitable
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Oregon gov says painful spending cuts now inevitable

BY Charles E. Beggs

SALEM, Ore. - Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski directed state agencies Wednesday to seek ways to protect vital services after voters rejected an $800 million tax increase, but said painful spending cuts are inevitable. "There will be loss of essential programs," including lopping about 50,000 low-income people from the state health plan, he said. "There will be drastic consequences to some citizens," the Democrat said. The proposed tax hike failed 59 percent to 41 percent. Rejection automatically triggers $544 million in spending cuts on May 1.

02/04/2004
Oregon soundly defeats tax increase, triggering cuts to services
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Oregon soundly defeats tax increase, triggering cuts to services

BY Brad Cain

PORTLAND, Ore. - Oregon voters resoundingly rejected a proposed $800 million tax hike, turning aside warnings about looming state budget cuts for schools and other key services. With 95 percent of precincts reporting early Wednesday, the measure was failing 59 percent to 41 percent. Rejection of the tax package automatically triggers $544 million in spending cuts on May 1. Political analyst Jim Moore said the vote showed that Oregonians weren't swayed by warnings that schools and other services would suffer big cuts without the tax increase.

02/04/2004
Governor directs agencies to find ways to soften spending cuts
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Governor directs agencies to find ways to soften spending cuts

BY CHARLES E. BEGGS

Gov. Ted Kulongoski directed state agencies Wednesday to seek ways to protect vital services after voters rejected an $800 million tax increase, but said major spending cuts will have to be implemented. "There will be loss of essential programs," including lopping about 50,000 low-income people from the state health plan, he said. "There will be drastic consequences to some citizens," the Democrat said. The proposed tax hike failed 59 percent to 41 percent. Rejection of the tax package automatically triggers $544 million in spending cuts on May 1.

02/04/2004
Welcome to the Party
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Welcome to the Party

BY Jeffrey Marcus

Sarah Marcus, nursing a $5 Miller Lite from the cash bar at the the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, wants somebody to beat President Bush. "I know Republicans have more money than Democrats and that [irritates] me," she said, referring to the disparity in political fundraising.

02/03/2004
Vote turnout hasn’t measured up
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Vote turnout hasn’t measured up

BY STEVE LAW

Voter turnout for the Measure 30 tax increase is down compared to a similar election a year ago, but public employee-rich Marion County has the heaviest turnout in the state. Not counting late votes arriving Monday and today, 48 percent of Oregon’s registered voters have cast ballots on the $1.2 billion tax package. This time a year ago, 53 percent of registered voters — or 100,000 more people — had cast ballots on the smaller tax increase known as Measure 28.

02/03/2004
Alternative Minimum Tax Fix? No Rush
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Alternative Minimum Tax Fix? No Rush

BY Janet Novack

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Along with its proposed 2005 budget, the Bush Administration this week produced a document--known as the "blue book" for the color of its cover--detailing its proposals for $1.24 trillion in tax cuts over the next ten years. Compared to the budget, the blue book is light reading at just 195 pages. But like this year's budget itself, it is most remarkable for what it leaves out.

02/03/2004
NH-CSE Supports Taxpayer Bill of Rights
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Press Release

NH-CSE Supports Taxpayer Bill of Rights

This piece originally appeared as a guest commentary in the Independent News on January 31, 2004. (Concord) -- Rejecting tradition and writing its own maps in 2002, the NH Supreme Court did more than just “redistrict” our State House political boundaries. In effect, the court saw fit to provide perpetual incumbency and remove from the voting public any real sense of accountability over State House officials.

02/03/2004
New Polling Data Shows Huge Support for PRAs
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Press Release

New Polling Data Shows Huge Support for PRAs

New polls from Fox News and CNN show strong, widespread support for Personal Retirement Accounts (PRAs) that workers can own and control. PRAs are a bipartisan solution to the looming Social Security crisis-- the program will run into the red in 2018 if Congress doesn't act now.

02/03/2004
We take democracy too far
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We take democracy too far

BY BRIAN WAGNER

For the Unless Oregonians experience a large change of heart, polls indicate that Measure 30 will fall to defeat today, following close on the heels of the recent defeat of its tax-increase predecessor, Measure 28. But in reality, while the measure itself is of the utmost importance to Oregonians who would be adversely affected by cuts, the most important issue is not "to tax or not to tax," but instead: Should we as voters have the direct ability to reverse legislative decisions? Measure 30 is on the ballot as a citizen referendum in response to House Bill 2152; the Legislature came to a compromise after weeks of special sessions last year and passed HB 2152, an $800 million temporary income tax surcharge. By gathering signatures from 5 percent of the people who voted in the 2002 gubernatorial race, Oregon Citizens for a Sound Economy was able to place the tax increase on the ballot, in effect asking, "Do we agree with what our representatives have done?" But a system that allows us to challenge every action of our legislators is fundamentally flawed. We have the ability to ask the aforementioned question at each election, but we should not be able to act whenever we feel that our elected officials aren't saying what we want them to say. Oregon should not, in fact, have a referendum system that allows citizens to bring to a direct vote the legislative decisions of the Oregon Legislature. That is not the role of the electorate in our representative system.

02/03/2004
Oregonians vote on a tax increase
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Oregonians vote on a tax increase

BY BRAD CAIN

With state government desperate for additional revenue, Oregonians voted for a second time in just over a year Tuesday on a state tax increase. The stakes were high. If the Measure 30 tax hike is rejected, as last year's tax plan was, schools and social welfare programs that are still reeling from earlier funding cuts will once again take a big hit. ___ The Legislature narrowly passed the $800 million tax package last August in a bid to balance the state budget without inflicting even more pain on schools, welfare programs and law enforcement.

02/03/2004

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