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Democrats in legislature bet against history on tax hikes
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Newspaper Article

Democrats in legislature bet against history on tax hikes

BY Harry Esteve

SALEM -- Democrats have rolled the dice in a big way by approving more than $1 billion in tax increases in the waning weeks of the legislative session, gambling that Oregon has undergone a profound political change since the days of property tax limits and income tax rejections.The new taxes -- on upper earners, corporations, hospitals and gasoline -- help balance a shaky budget and offer an exit strategy that sends lawmakers home by July. But it could be a short vacation.

06/22/2009
Oregon House Democrats propose higher taxes for corporations, wealthy
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Newspaper Article

Oregon House Democrats propose higher taxes for corporations, wealthy

BY Harry Esteve and Jeff Mapes

SALEM -- The state can ease its budget crisis by increasing taxes on corporations and adding a new, higher tax bracket for Oregon households that make more than $250,000 a year, a group of House Democratic leaders said Thursday.The tax increases, which could add half a billion dollars or more to the state's general fund, emerged as the centerpiece of the House Democrats' plan to deal with an expected two-year budget shortfall of up to $4 billion.

05/22/2009
Bill would move kicker money into rainy-day fund
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Newspaper Article

Bill would move kicker money into rainy-day fund

BY Harry Esteve

SALEM -- Lawmakers said Tuesday that they're ready to take on one of Oregon's most sacred cows: the kicker tax refunds.A bipartisan group of legislators unveiled a bill to siphon off all or part of any future surplus and put the money into the state's rainy-day savings account rather than sending it back in checks to taxpayers.If approved by the Legislature, the issue would go to Oregon voters in a general election. Kicker refunds are locked in the state constitution, which can't be amended without a statewide vote.

03/04/2009
D.C. Group Targets Oregon Energy Issues
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Newspaper Article

D.C. Group Targets Oregon Energy Issues

BY Ed Walsh

A new player is about to enter the Great Energy Debate in Oregon. FreedomWorks, a Washington, D.C.-based conservative advocacy group whose Oregon director is vice chairman of the state's Republican Party, announced Tuesday that it is launching a campaign to promote "development of clean, affordable and reliable sources of energy" in the state. From the announcement, it appears that another goal of the campaign will be to attack what FreedomWorks calls "anti-energy extremists."

08/13/2008
Group says petition sponsors defy signature gathering ban
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Newspaper Article

Group says petition sponsors defy signature gathering ban

BY Ed Walsh

In the latest skirmish in the war over Oregon's initiative system, a liberal group has accused the sponsors to two citizens' initiatives of violating state law by defying a ban on gathering signatures until the sponsors comply with a state record-keeping requirement. Our Oregon, largely funded by organized labor, has filed a formal complaint against the sponsors with the state Elections Division, which has opened an investigation.

06/06/2008
Initiative Wars Heating Up Again in Oregon
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Newspaper Article

Initiative Wars Heating Up Again in Oregon

BY Julia Silverman

Conservative activists pushing two anti-lawyer initiatives for the 2008 ballot are violating state elections regulations, a union-backed group has charged. The conflict is virtually guaranteed to wind up in federal court, even as elections officials prepare for a November 2008 ballot that could be crowded with perhaps a dozen initiative and referendum proposals.

06/05/2008
Ore. Candidate Repays Old Debts Before New Run
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Newspaper Article

Ore. Candidate Repays Old Debts Before New Run

Kevin Mannix has paid off some old debts in preparation for a new campaign. Mannix is trying to fill the congressional seat that opened with the retirement of Rep. Darlene Hooley, D-Ore. The Salem Republican ran for attorney general and 2000 and governor in 2002 and 2006. He lost all three races and was left with hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign debts that were not paid off until he started considering this latest race.

03/18/2008
New law cuts off 14 citizen initiatives
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Newspaper Article

New law cuts off 14 citizen initiatives

BY Edward Walsh

The sponsors of 14 citizen initiatives have been ordered to stop gathering signatures to qualify for the November ballot until they comply with a new state record-keeping law. Five of the 14 initiatives are sponsored by veteran conservative activist Bill Sizemore. He has until Feb. 11 to submit records on a sixth initiative or stop gathering signatures for it, too. Sizemore said he will file a lawsuit early next week challenging the constitutionality of the new law, which was enacted by the Legislature last year and went into effect July 31.

02/01/2008
Petitioners file suit to block new initiative law
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Newspaper Article

Petitioners file suit to block new initiative law

BY Dave Hogan

A group of chief petitioners is asking a Marion County judge to block a new initiative law from taking effect next month, saying it places unconstitutional limits on political expression. The Oregon Legislature approved the new law, House Bill 2082, this year. It makes a number of changes in the initiative process, including adding requirements for signature-gatherers to register with the Secretary of State's office and undergo training.

12/12/2007
Oregon's kicker is a hallmark worth protecting
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Newspaper Article

Oregon's kicker is a hallmark worth protecting

BY Russ Walker

Children across Oregon will wake up on Christmas morning this year to find an extra book in their stocking and an unexpected game under the tree. Recent college graduates, struggling to make ends meet in their new jobs while paying off student loans, will be able to pay down some credit card debt instead of adding to it. Some families who normally would only be able to afford a small turkey for their holiday dinner can splurge and treat themselves to a ham.

12/10/2007

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