Morning Roundup: Local governments hit by PERS increase; Deschutes greenlights pot

Governments socked with $900 million in additional PERS contributions, while Deschutes County lifts pot ban.

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— Local and state government contributions to the Public Employees Retirement System Board will have to increase by $885 million in the coming two-year budget cycle. This increase is a result of a recent court decision that overturned a legislative decision to cut pension benefits. These contribution increases can be expected to continue, the Portland Tribune reports, for at least the next two budget cycles.

— Matt Tucker, co-founder of Jive, has announced a new Portland-based startup. Koan will develop software to improve workflow and employee management. Tucker has obtained $2 million in seed money to begin work on the software program. Read more from the Portland Business Journal.

In other startup news, Stuffstr, the decluttering, circular economy app, has launched. ICYMI: check out ourQ & A with vice president Steve Gutmann.


— It’s official: As of September 1, businesses located in unincorporated areas of Deschutes County will be able to join the pot sector. County commissioners voted to lift the marijuana ban Monday. Recently passed regulations will apply to any applicants. The Bend Bulletin has more.

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— BMW is joining the ride-share train. The automaker debuted ReachNow in Seattle earlier this year, and announced today its expansion to Portland. ReachNow is designed to compete with Car2Go, with slightly higher prices: 49 cents a minute compared to Car2Go’s 41 cents a minute. Those prices, however, have not been announced in Portland. Read more from the Oregonian.

— Four more apartment buildings could rise from the South Waterfront adding 1,200 apartments to Portland. Prometheus Real Estate, which owns four buildings in Portland and two in Beaverton, applied for building permits with the city. The proposed buildings would be 7 stories each. Other apartments operated by Prometheus in Portland range is price from $1,050 to $5,000 for one or two bedrooms. The Oregonian has more.

— Another home buying startup has joined the marketplace. Check out my interview with Zeppidy founder Gary Schultz.


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— The state of Washington has filed a $100 million lawsuit against Comcast for alleged deceptive practices. The consumer-protection suit was announced by Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson. Washington alleges the deceptive practices stem from three areas that involve repair charges and credit checks. Read more from the Seattle Times.

— Crude oil has dropped below $40 a barrel once again thanks to a price fall this morning. Reuters reports the market is concerned with an over saturation of oil, forcing prices to drop.