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National Retail Federation comment on fixing the health care policy

June 30, 2017 --


Robin Roberts, National Retail Federation

The National Retail Federation today praised congressional efforts to replace former President Obama’s Affordable Care Act in an op-ed published in the newspaper USA TODAY, but added that further actions are needed to provide relief for employers from Obamacare’s compliance burdens.

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Oregon band wins Supreme Court trademark case

June 29, 2017 --

Wall Street Journal Editorial,

The Supreme Court has done some of its best work in recent years on the First Amendment, and that continued with an 8-0 decision Monday protecting unpopular speech. The Justices ruled that an Asian-American rock band called The Slants can’t be denied a federal trademark because the government fears the name might offend someone.

Simon Tam, front man for The Slants, sought to register the name with the Patent and Trademark Office as a rebuke to those who use it as a pejorative. The government denied the trademark, citing a Lanham Act provision that bans trademarks that “may disparage . . . persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols.” The Court ruled that this clause is unconstitutional (Matal v. Tam).

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House passes bill that benefits local technical career programs

June 28, 2017 --

House Passes Bipartisan Updates to Career and Technical Education Programs
Education, Jobs and Economy Bonamici Applauds Strengthening CTE Courses

Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) applauded the House of Representatives for passing a bipartisan update to federal Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs. The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act provides federal support to programs that prepare students for in-demand careers and success in higher education.

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Juggling multiple jobs in Oregon higher than national average

June 27, 2017 --

Oregon’s Multiple Jobholders in 2016

Oregon Workforce and Economic Information 
In 2016, 106,000 Oregonians held more than one job in addition to their primary job and were considered to be multiple jobholders. The multiple jobholding rate – the proportion of multiple jobholders among all employed workers – was 5.4 percent, which was slightly above the U.S. rate of 5.0 percent.

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Oregon House Democrats tax small businesses

June 26, 2017 --

House votes to dishonor tax compromise it made as part of ‘Grand Bargain’

Anthony K. Smith, NFIB

The Oregon House of Representatives voted 31-28 today to drastically restrict the number of small businesses eligible for the tax rates it agreed to during the 2013 special session as part of the so-called ‘Grand Bargain’ and which have only been in effect for two years.

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American Health Care Act Proposal – business friendly?

June 23, 2017 --

U.S. Chamber President Reacts to Senate Health Care Proposal

via U.S. Chamber of Commerce 

U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue issued the following statement today upon the release of the Senate discussion draft on health care:

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Congressman Schrader: The Electric Reliability and Forest Protection Act

June 22, 2017 --


Schrader Bill to Prevent Forest Fires, Reduce Blackouts Passes the House

Via Congressman Kurt Schrader

Congressman Kurt Schrader (OR-5)’s bill to improve the safety and reliability of the electric grid on our federal lands, the Electric Reliability and Forest Protection Act, passed through the House with overwhelming bipartisan support, 300-118.

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Low unemployment rates continued in May

June 21, 2017 --

Twenty-Eight Counties Had Historic Low Unemployment Rates in May

Oregon Workforce and Economic Information

Twenty-eight counties were at or tied with their historic low unemployment rates. Benton County had Oregon’s lowest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in May at 2.8 percent. Grant County (6.7%) 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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Another round of proposed tax increases

June 20, 2017 --

Teachers Union to Push Taxes on 2018 Ballot

The proposed ballot measures would make it easier for the Legislature to increase business taxes, and impose a .95 percent gross receipts tax on certain corporations.

via Oregon National Federation of Independent Businesses
The Oregon Education Association (OEA) is pushing for two ballot measures for November 2018 that would help fund education in the state by taxing business, according to the East Oregonian. The first measure would lower the threshold for the state legislature to raise corporate taxes to fund education to a majority vote. Currently, the legislature requires a three-fifths majority in order to pass similar legislation.

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Rising income in Willamette Valley

June 19, 2017 --

Willamette Valley Household Incomes
(Graph of the Week)

Oregon Office of Economic Analysis

by Josh Lehner

This edition of the Graph of the Week highlights improving household incomes here in the Willamette Valley. As we have discussed numerous times lately, the tight labor market has begun driving many positive economic trends. The share of the working-age population with a job today is back to where it was last decade. Wages are rising across all industries and across all regions of the state.

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