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Governor Orders Hiring Freeze

April 25, 2017 --

Governor Kate Brown Announces First in a Series of Cost Savings Across State Government

Governor Kate Brown announced that she is signing an Executive Order implementing a statewide hiring freeze. This is the first in a series of executive actions being taken by Governor Brown over the next several weeks in response to the current fiscal shortfall and to improve overall government efficiency and operations.

Governor Brown released the following statement:

“Oregon’s children and families deserve the chance to lead healthy and productive lives. But the cuts to the state budget recently proposed by the Legislature put the most vulnerable Oregonians even more at risk than they are now. This is unacceptable.

Read the full article and discuss it »

1st Quarter earnings kicked into high gear

April 24, 2017 --

April 21st — First quarter earnings season kicked into high gear this week and investors were treated to a smorgasbord of blue-chip results across a range of industries. As they typically do, numbers for most companies have exceeded Wall Street expectations, but with almost 20 percent of the S&P 500 now having reported, the .75:1 ratio of “beats” is modestly better than where it has been over the last several quarters. Thus, a constructive backdrop to the early innings of earnings season is upon us. Because blue-chip equity valuations are elevated, companies need to deliver the earnings “goods” to justify current S&P 500 valuations of 18x estimated profit.

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March retail sales up slightly

April 21, 2017 --

Retail Sales Grew 0.3 Percent in March

By Treacy Reynolds

WASHINGTON – Retail sales in March increased 0.3 percent seasonally adjusted over February and 3.5 percent unadjusted year-over-year, according to calculations released today by the National Retail Federation. The numbers exclude automobiles, gasoline stations and restaurants.

“Various factors were at play in the first quarter, but we are again seeing a pattern similar to previous years — consumer spending was weak but is expected to pick up as we move through the year,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said.

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Oregon beer numbers are up

April 20, 2017 --

2016 Annual Numbers Press Release
Posted by Brian

Oregon Craft Beer by the Numbers

In a Changing Craft Beer Climate, Oregon Drinkers Continue to Support Their Local Brewers


PORTLAND, OregonThe Oregon Brewers Guild released their annual numbers report for 2016. Overall, Oregon is seeing strong growth in employment and brewing company numbers, while production numbers and sales continue to hold strong and steady. Oregonians are drinking more Oregon beer. Beer consumption increased in 2016, with 23.3 percent of the 3.04 million barrels of all beer (both bottled and draft) consumed in the state were made in Oregon. 707,000 barrels of beer consumed by Oregonians in 2016 were made by an Oregon brewery, an 8.7 percent increase from 2015.r

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Oregon 8th fastest job growth state!

April 19, 2017 --

By Oregon Employment Department,

Oregon had the eighth fastest job growth among the states from January 2016 to January 2017. Adding 43,200 jobs for a growth rate of 2.4 percent, Oregon’s solid job growth was much slower than first ranked Idaho (+4.0%) and second ranked Nevada (+3.5%). Oregon’s job growth rate was nestled between Washington (2.8%) and California (2.0%) growth rates.

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ESA’s could benefit students

April 18, 2017 --

Education Savings Accounts Can Help Students Without Hurting Public Schools

Cascade Policy Institute, By Steve Buckstein 

School choice programs allow students to choose schools or other educational resources and pay for them with a portion of the tax funding that otherwise would go to the public school assigned to them by their ZIP code.

While school choice is popular with large segments of the public, opponents often claim specific programs like vouchers or Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) drain funds from the public school system, and so must be rejected.

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Consumer confidence near all-time high

April 17, 2017 --

by Brad Houle, CFA, Executive Vice President

April 14th — For the shortened holiday week, equity markets were down by almost 1 percent as investors followed events in Russia and North Korea. Interest rates were lower with the 10-year Treasury declining in yield from 2.36 to 2.22 percent.

Each quarter we select a theme for our investment strategy communication and this spring it is, “Economics Over Politics.” It highlights that, despite some recent market softness due to geopolitical concerns, the financial markets are more focused on economic data than current political nuances and navigation occurring in Washington, D.C.

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Cheers for Gorsuch

April 14, 2017 --

U.S. Chamber President Congratulates Judge Gorsuch on His Confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court

‘He will undoubtedly use his gifted legal mind to help our country sort through our toughest questions for years to come,’ says Donohue

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue issued the following statement today on the confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch to be associate justice of the Supreme Court:

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Schrader: Limit Congressional wages

April 13, 2017 --

Congressman Kurt Schrader

Congressman Kurt Schrader re-introduced his Hold Congress Accountable Act (H.R.1794), which would reduce the salary of Members of Congress in the event of a government shutdown for as long as the shutdown continues. He first introduced a version of this bill in 2013 immediately following the start of the government shutdown in October of that year.

Rep. Schrader also joined 18 of his Democratic and Republican colleagues to cosponsor H.R.1779, the No Budget, No Pay Act, which would suspend the salary of Members of Congress if they do not pass a budget on time. This is the third consecutive Congress that the bill has been introduced, and Rep. Schrader has been an original cosponsor of the bill every time.

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Scheduling bills create a chain reaction

April 12, 2017 --

The Oregon Prosperity Project

Call it Newton’s Law of Political Physics: For every action created by a regulation there is an equal and opposite reaction. Few proposed bills illustrate this principle as clearly as SB 828 and HB 2193, which would change the rules for scheduling workers.

The bills require employers to establish a “mutually acceptable work schedule” if employees request a flexible or predictable work schedule. Among other mandates, it requires retail, hospitality and food service businesses with more than 25 employees to post schedules two weeks in advance and pay extra compensation if the schedule is changed after posting.

Read the full article and discuss it »
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