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April showers bring down unemployment rates

May 24, 2017 --

Twenty-Three Counties Had Low Historic Unemployment Rates in April

via Oregon Workforce and Economic Information

Twenty-three counties were at or tied with their historic low unemployment rates. Benton County had Oregon’s lowest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in April at 2.8 percent. Grant County (6.9%) registered the highest rate for the month. This was the lowest unemployment rate for Grant County since comparable records began in 1990.

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Changes to Oregon consumer protection laws

May 23, 2017 --

Stronger Privacy Protections Pass out of Oregon Legislature


Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum praised the Oregon legislature for passing legislation (HB 2090) that will update Oregon’s consumer law to hold companies accountable for their online privacy policies. Sen. Chuck Riley carried the bill in the Senate, and Reps. Jennifer Williamson and John Huffman carried the bill in the House. The bill will now move to the Governor’s desk.

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Oregon Legislative committee goes Tax Happy

May 22, 2017 --

Overtaxed and Underbuilt

Oregon Cascade Policy Institute

by John Charles, Jr.

An Oregon Legislative committee is proposing a massive series of tax increases to pay for various transportation projects.

The proposal calls for higher taxes on vehicle registration, increased gas taxes, a new sales tax on motor vehicle purchases, a statewide employee tax to subsidize transit, and a new bicycle sales tax.

Read the full article and discuss it »

Small business owners: Tax Reform can’t wait

May 19, 2017 --

National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) tells House Ways and Means Chairman the time is now for comprehensive tax reform

by Jack Mozloom

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) told House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) today that small business owners expect comprehensive tax reform this year and that it must feature parity for businesses of every size.

Read the full article and discuss it »

Projected $407.8M Kicker amid looming budget deficit

May 18, 2017 --

May Forecast Brings More Revenue, Little Clarity

The Oregon Prosperity Project

Since February, May 16 has been circled on Legislative calendars as the day budget talks would turn the corner and head down the stretch. The last forecast before the end of the 2017 Session would provide clarity, telling Legislators how much money they could spend in the next biennium. In particular, it would indicate whether revenues had exceeded projections enough to trigger “kicker” refunds to taxpayers.

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SB 596: Business personal property tax relief

May 17, 2017 --

By Oregon Small Business Association,

There is an important bill, Senate Bill 596 sponsored by State Senator Tim Knopp, which is up for a hearing today in the Senate Finance and Revenue.

Oregon’s small businesses – which provide a tremendous number of jobs for Oregon’s economy – are just now recovering from the Great Recession.  In some parts of our State, these businesses are still under tremendous pressure and have yet to see the benefit of the slowest economic recovery in many decades.

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Help Wanted

May 16, 2017 --

A Lack of Applicants in a Growing Economy

via Oregon Workforce and Economic Information
Oregon businesses reported 50,800 jobs vacancies at any given time in 2016. They reported nearly two-thirds (64%) of those job vacancies as difficult to fill. Four primary challenges accounted for three-fourths of all difficult-to-fill job vacancies: a lack of applicants (12,000 vacancies); a lack of qualified candidates (5,000); unfavorable working conditions (3,600); and low wages (2,700).

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Cost-Containment Budget Principles

May 15, 2017 --

NFIB: Budget savings, hiring freezes, Spending control

By Anthony K. Smith
Also featured in Salem Business Journal

The 2017 Oregon legislative session is now more than halfway there to reaching its constitutional adjournment deadline of July 10. The “first chamber deadline” for bills to move out of committee passed April 18 – and with it a vast number of bills met their demise, some before ever being heard in committee, others failing to move forward for a lack of support from a majority of committee members.

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Trade good for US Economy says registered voters

May 12, 2017 --

U.S. Chamber Survey Shows Support for Trade among Registered Voters

According to a new U.S. Chamber of Commerce survey conducted by Morning Consult, a majority of voters say trade with other countries will strengthen the U.S. economy. The results of the survey underscore public support for international trade among registered voters.

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Oregon’s long road struggle

May 11, 2017 --

The Long, Winding Road to a Transportation Plan

Building bipartisan support for a statewide transportation package has been a Legislative priority since at least 2015, when the last effort failed. With two months remaining in the 2017 Session, time is running short to develop a bill that can pass both chambers of the Legislature and survive a referral to voters.

Read the full article and discuss it »
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