As Legislature Convenes, Business Community Forms Alliance on Key Issues

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J.L. Wilson
Associated Oregon Industries

In the week prior to the start of the 2009 Oregon Legislature, AOI convened a “summit” of Oregon’s leading business associations to talk strategically about the session’s major business issues.  Coming out of that meeting was a dedication to working together under the banner of the Alliance of Oregon’s Business Associations.

The Alliance, which promises to grow in strength and participation, will maintain a focus on job creation and economic growth in 2009.  The Alliance adopted several policy positions on key issues that will unite and guide the business community as it evaluates the various legislative proposals that will emerge in 2009.

Among the adopted positions:

Corporate Minimum Tax. While the business community will support a modest increase in the corporate minimum tax, it will oppose any corporate minimum tax proposal based on a firm’s gross revenues.

Paid Family Leave. The Oregon business community does not support additional payroll taxes or additional taxes on our employees to establish a system for Paid Family Leave.

Health Care. Oregon businesses believe that a broader funding source should be found before expanding the state’s Medicaid programs.  The provider tax on hospitals and health insurance policies in their current version are too narrow and create more harm than good for Oregon companies.

Transportation. Increased funding into our state’s transportation system is a top priority for Oregon business.  It is critically important to Oregon’s economy.  Business supports a transportation funding package – even a package that may include a gas tax.

Environment. The business community believes that a state-only “cap and trade” system is unfairly harmful to Oregon businesses and will kill jobs in Oregon.  The Alliance strongly opposes legislation to allow the Oregon DEQ to develop a “cap and trade” system for the state.  The legislature must move forward on an alternative package that incorporates incentives and respects the interests of Oregon’s job creators.

Medical Marijuana. The business community is alarmed by the proliferation of medical marijuana cards issued statewide.  The Alliance supports legislation to clarify that employers are not required to accommodate medical marijuana use, regardless of where the use occurs.

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