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Business backs Email Privacy Act

April 29, 2016 --

Chamber-of-commerceU.S. Chamber of Commerce

Amanda Eversole, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Advanced Technology (CATI), issued the following statement today regarding House passage of the “Email Privacy Act”:

“We applaud the House for passing this legislation, which makes necessary updates to the Electronic Communication Privacy Act, modernizing it to better reflect the challenges of the digital age.

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Drug program for poor being misspent

April 28, 2016 --

medsDrug assistance program intended for the poor should go to the poor. Not pad profits for hospitals and pharmacies
By David Darnell

Many government programs are intended to help Americans in need, but some of them are more effective at it than others. In other cases, programs start out with the right objectives in mind but then drift off course due to mismanagement or poor oversight.

One of those programs that is drifting off course is the Federal discount program that some hospitals use to purchase prescription drugs. It’s called 340B, and it was started almost a quarter-century ago as a program to help indigent patients get better access to needed prescriptions[1]. Since that time, the program has expanded well beyond its original targets, and that has diluted the program’s effectiveness at helping the poor.

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State further clarifies Minimum Wage rules. You may be effected.

April 27, 2016 --

Barran Liebman
Oregon Law Firm

By Damien T. Munsinger

Oregon will become the first state in the nation with a tiered minimum wage on July 1, when a different minimum wage will apply in three different regions across the state:

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Wyden: Expand medical marijuana research

April 26, 2016 --

Wyden-ron-SenatorU.S. Senator Ron Wyden Press Release,

In a response to requests from U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and their Senate colleagues, three federal agencies announced plans to release a determination this year about whether to reschedule marijuana.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) responded on Monday to a letter from the senators that requested information on these agencies’ efforts to facilitate medical marijuana research.

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Mandatory pension law seeks your opinion

April 25, 2016 --

nfib-logoBy Oregon NFIB,

Last year, the Oregon Legislature passed HB 2960, the Oregon Retirement Savings Plan bill, which was signed into law by the governor. The bill created the Oregon Retirement Savings Board in the office of the State Treasurer and directs the Board to develop a payroll deduction retirement plan for Oregon workers that will require mandatory participation from all Oregon employers who do not already offer retirement plans to their employees.

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Chamber critical of Obama overseas tax plans

April 22, 2016 --

Chamber-of-commerceU.S. Chamber of Commerce

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President for Government Affairs Bruce Josten issued the following statement regarding President Obama’s comments about tax inversions:

“Punitive one-off ‘anti-inversion’ regulatory efforts make American companies even less competitive on the global playing field and will do little to stem the flood of outright acquisitions of U.S. firms by foreign companies. Further, protectionist measures that are punitive to all foreign companies deter foreign investment in the United States. Punishing the business community, as the Obama administration has proposed, is not the answer. The real solution is comprehensive tax reform that lowers rates for all businesses and shifts to a competitive international system that both allows American companies to compete globally and attracts foreign investment to the United States.

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Oregon alcohol exports

April 20, 2016 --

By Josh Lehner
Oregon Office of Economic Analysis Blog

While non-technology Oregon exports are plunging with declining global demand and the strong dollar, one category continues to see growth. Oregon’s alcohol exports reached an all-time high in 2015, led by the state’s breweries. According to various sources, our beer exports aren’t necessarily who you think they are. For example, Alameda Brewing in Portland exports internationally while when I spoke to Deschutes Brewery a year ago, they said they exported very little.

Liquor also is seeing strong percentage gains but remains considerably smaller to date. Our growing liquor exports are driven by whiskey and gin, with vodka holding steady. Wine exports are volatile due to some strong demand by individual countries in any given year, but showing slow and steady upward trends. ORAlcExports15

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Schrader unveils drug price bill

April 19, 2016 --

Kurt-schrader Congressman Kurt Schrader


Congressman Kurt Schrader (OR-05) and Congressman Gus Bilirakis (FL-12) introduced legislation to lower drug prices through increased competition in the pharmaceutical market. The Lower Drug Costs through Competition Act (HR 4784) will speed up FDA approval of generic drugs where there is no competition, and will create incentives for competitors to come to the market.

“Too many Americans are facing steeper costs just to fill the same prescriptions they have had for years,” said Congressman Schrader. “We’ve seen some outrageous cases where greedy Wall Street speculators have caused drug prices to skyrocket five thousand percent overnight. Some of our most vulnerable constituents depend on access to life-saving pharmaceuticals. We know many of these patients’ costs could be lowered if generic competitors were available. Our bipartisan proposal will encourage generic competition, lower drug costs, and allow treatments to come to market faster.”

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100 Oregonians owe millions in unpaid taxes

April 18, 2016 --

taxBy Oregon Department of Revenue,

Oregon’s top 100 delinquent income taxpayers owe millions in unpaid taxes, and the state is testing a new way to collect that debt.

The Oregon Department of Revenue’s website now features a list of the top delinquent taxpayers for both the personal income tax and income tax withholding programs. “This is a pilot project, testing a new tool to encourage tax compliance and increase collection of delinquent taxes,” said Chris Wytoski, collections manager for the Personal Tax and Compliance Division. “More than 30 states use public posting of delinquent taxpayer information, with positive results,” Wytoski added.

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Huge coalition rallies around Trade deal

April 15, 2016 --

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

225 food and agricultural companies and associations including the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association sent a letter to members of Congress calling for a swift vote on the Trans Pacific Partnership. NCBA President Tracy Brunner says cattle producers cannot wait any longer to level the playing field.

“Japan is our largest export market and our Japanese customers demand high quality U.S. beef,” said Brunner. “However, due to the Australia-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement, U.S. beef faces a tariff that is 11 percent higher than Australian beef, our leading competitor. That tax alone makes our beef less competitive and gives Australia’s beef producers a significant advantage that has allowed them to capture over $100 million in additional beef sales at the expense of U.S. producers.”

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