Register today to vote Feb. 3 on Measure 30 Today is the last day Oregonians can register to vote Feb. 3 on Measure 30, the Legislature’s $800 million tax increase. Legislators and Gov. Ted Kulongoski approved the tax plan last year as part of their effort to balance the state’s $11.5 billion budget for 2003-05. But several groups collected enough signatures to put the plan on a statewide special ballot. Mailed registration forms must be postmarked by today, according to Secretary of State Bill Bradbury. Registration forms and information are available from county elections offices or online at — Dave Hogan

Two former governors support temporary tax Two former Oregon governors Monday
joined to support a temporary tax increase that voters will consider in
February. Former Govs. John Kitzhaber, a Democrat, and Vic Atiyeh, a
Republican, said social services, health care and education will suffer if Measure 30 is defeated. Measure 30, on the Feb. 3 ballot, would raise $800
million to balance the state budget. Lawmakers outlined cuts in K-12 education, human services and public safety if the measure fails. Kitzhaber said more than 85,000 people would lose Oregon Health Plan insurance coverage. The health plan, which Kitzhaber has championed since its inception in 1994, was an effort to expand the state Medicaid program to include more lower-income residents.

Atiyeh said he understands the pain of deciding what and where to cut, but
pointed out that Measure 30 got support from Democrats and Republicans in the
Legislature. Atiyeh said he and Kitzhaber decided on their own to support Measure 30. Russ Walker, Oregon director of Citizens for a Sound Economy, the national group that led the campaign to put Measure 30 on the ballot, has said lawmakers had other options for dealing with budget holes caused by declining tax revenue. — The Associated Press

Transportation panel changes meeting location The Oregon Transportation
Commission will meet Wednesday in Portland, not in Salem as originally
scheduled. Commissioners, who oversee the Department of Transportation, will
hear public testimony on proposed changes aimed at making it easier to develop areas that straddle state highways. The formal portion of the monthly meeting starts at 9:30 a.m. at the transportation department’s Portland office, 123
N.W. Flanders St. — Janie Har

Discussions scheduled on state budget, taxes A public discussion of the state
budget and taxes is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 21, at Valley
Community Presbyterian Church, 8060 S.W. Brentwood St. A group called Citizens
for Oregon’s Future will host the discussion. Connie Brenner, representing the church, said the group does not support specific tax reforms but provides information on budget and tax structures and options for change. — Dan Hortsch