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Conveying constructive criticism

December 28, 2017 --

What to Do When Feedback is Met With Defensiveness

By Erin Mahoney

Great Work!

It’s hard enough for many of us to summon the nerve to provide someone with constructive feedback. Ideally we’ve done some work preparing for the conversation: we’ve thought about a way to convey that we mean well from the start, we’ve identified the specific issue in question (rather than focusing on someone’s personality), and we know how to articulate our expectation for that person moving forward.

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Tax Reform’s warning to high tax states CA, NY, OR

December 27, 2017 --

Wall Street Journal Editorial, 12/21/17

Congress passed the most sweeping tax reform since 1986 on Wednesday, and with any luck that success for the country will trigger a new reform debate in many states. To wit, how much will they have to cut income-tax rates to retain and attract the high-income earners who finance so much of their state budgets?

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Data Breaches: Legislative committee to consider legislation

December 26, 2017 --

Data Breaches Workgroup Prepares for Session

by Mark Hester

Oregon Business & Industry

Previously reported in the OBI Weekly Update, Senator Floyd Prozanski (D-Eugene) and Representative Paul Holvey (D-Eugene) formed a workgroup on data breaches amid concerns created by the hack of credit reporting giant Equifax earlier this year. Data security is an important issue for Oregon Business & Industry (OBI) members, who like everyone else want to know that their information is safe. But it also is a complex issue that is difficult to effectively and legally regulate.

Several statutory and regulatory changes were discussed at the December 8 meeting of the workgroup. These changes could create significant legal and operational complications for retailers and other businesses that use or store customers’ personal identifying information.

The Legislative leaders of the workgroup are considering legislation for both February 2018 and the Long Session in 2019. Bill drafts for February were distributed during the workgroup. Here’s what they propose:

•Remove fees for consumers who wish to freeze, thaw, or lift a freeze on their credit. Some Legislators and advocates want these actions to be free to the consumer, regardless of the number of times performed. Others propose one free freeze, thaw, or lifting of freeze, with reduced fees on subsequent ones.
•Establish deadlines – the current proposal is 45 days – for reporting data breaches to affected consumers.
•Restrict upselling, the practice of offering additional services for a fee when providing free credit monitoring after a data breach.

In addition to those proposals, Prozanski and Holvey have not ruled out inclusion of data breach as a private right of action under Oregon’s Unlawful Trade Practice Act. Allowing a private right of action would expose businesses, including some not at fault for the breach, to greater risk of lawsuits. This would be a significant legal change, which OBI opposes. It especially should not be considered in the 2018 Short Session.

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Oregon comes in 10th for tax competitiveness

December 21, 2017 --

Oregon Ranks No 10 for Tax Competitiveness

National Federation of Independent Businesses

According to the Tax Foundation’s 2018 State Business Tax Climate Index, Oregon ranked 10th for its tax competitiveness.

The Foundation’s annual index is designed to help business leaders, government policymakers, and taxpayers determine how their state’s tax system compares to others.

Even though the state earned a top-10 ranking, apart from its low sales tax, it’s clear Oregon has a mixed overall record on taxes:

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Tax relief for Oregonians

December 20, 2017 --

Greg Walden applauds tax relief for middle-class Oregonians

Congressman Greg Walden

Continuing his efforts to provide tax relief for middle-class families and boost job growth in Oregon, Rep. Greg Walden (R-Hood River) today voted to pass landmark tax reform through the House of Representatives. Walden applauded the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (H.R. 1), as a win for hard-working Oregon taxpayers and job creators.

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Fewer employees in citizen sector jobs

December 19, 2017 --

Most Oregon Employers Have Fewer than 20 Employees

by Felicia Bechtoldt

Oregon Workforce and Economic Information

Nine out of 10 private-sector firms in Oregon had fewer than 20 employees in March 2017. Six out of 10 employed fewer than five. Despite their quantity, smaller firms collectively account for a much smaller share of overall employment than their larger counterparts.

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Economic expansion continues

December 18, 2017 --

Supply Side Constraints

by Josh Lehner

Oregon Office of Economic Analysis

Economic growth has firmed and the expansion continues. As the aftermath of the oil bust recedes, there are not many leading indicators today keeping economists up at night. However that does not mean there are not issues to watch. In fact, the challenges the U.S. economy faces will change as we enter into a different phase of the business cycle. Moving forward, the U.S. economy will begin to hit supply side constraints. While some economists, including the Fed, believe we are already at or beyond full employment, the consistent low levels of inflation in recent years are likely evidence that supply constraints are not holding back economic growth yet. Price pressures have yet to build. How exactly the economy adjusts to reaching some of its current limits, and how the newly reconfigured Federal Reserve reacts are key questions. The answers may go a long way toward determining how long the current expansion lasts.

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Solar eclipse tourism data shows something went wrong

December 14, 2017 --

By Oregon Small Business Association Foundation

Last summer in Oregon was a season of wonder, disaster, and a little bit of an employment mystery.

The August eclipse was predicted to bring one million visitors to the state. Hotels were full. Restaurants stocked up on food and told customers to pay in cash to avoid long lines. With the big boom in business, you’d expect to see a bump—maybe even a big bump—in restaurant and lodging employment.

But, something happened.

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Glass company sues Gov. Brown $30M for reckless damage

December 12, 2017 --

Bullseye Glass Company Press Release,

Bullseye Glass Company, a locally owned art glass manufacturer with deep roots in Southeast Portland and a 40 year history of leadership in the arts community, filed a lawsuit today in federal court to expose the state’s irrational and discriminatory conduct, obtain damages for unconstitutional actions which caused irreparable harm to Bullseye’s business operations and reputation, and to overturn an unlawful, retroactive application of a federal regulation. The lawsuit seeks $30 million in damages and names Governor Kate Brown, the heads of the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and Oregon Health Authority and the Multnomah County Health Department for numerous acts of deception and failure to effectively protect the public health and environmental safety.

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Oregon population to rise in the next 10 years


Oregon’s Population Outlook

by Josh Lehner

Oregon Office of Economic Analysis

When the latest population estimates for Oregon came out, I promised you an updated on our office’s forecast when it was available. Since then, Kanhaiya, the state demographer in our office, has updated the population forecast and we did discuss it a bit with the Legislature at our latest forecast release as well. The upshot of the new outlook is our forecast for Oregon’s population has been raised. We are expecting a larger population and slightly stronger population growth rates over the next decade than we previously assumed.

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