Morning Roundup

Photo credit: Oregonian

Pension reform on table for 2017, legislators propose six housing bills and Mayor Ted Wheeler pushes pause on housing bond spending.

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1. PERS reform bills proposed 

Two Republican senators have proposed bills to reform the public employee retirement system, the Oregonian reports. One bill would redirect the 6% employee contribution from an investment account to the pension fund. The second bill would cap final salaries for benefit calculations at $100,000. The cap would reduce the pension system’s liabilities by $3.3 billion per year. Gov. Kate Brown said during her swearing in ceremony yesterday that she looks forward to other PERS solutions.

2. Six housing bills proposed so far for 2017 legislative session

Legislators have already begun filing bills to consider in this year’s session, which begins next month. Six address the housing crisis, the Oregonian reports. Bills include repealing Oregon’s ban on rent control, preventing no-cause evictions, a Rent Guarantee Program in cases where low-income tenants don’t pay rent and forming a low-income homeownership grant program.

3. Portland halts housing bond spending

In his first act as housing commissioner, Mayor Ted Wheeler ordered the Portland Housing Bureau to stop spending the $238 million housing bond, Willamette Week reports. Wheeler suspended spending while he develops an investment strategy. The Bureau has already spent $37 million of the bond purchasing the Ellington Apartments in Northeast Portland.

4. Eugene’s Pacific Continental Corp. merging with Washington bank

The third-largest Oregon-chartered bank will join the Columbia Banking System and more than 150 branches in the Northwest, the Portland Business Journal reports. Columbia will pay Pacific Continental $629.5 million in stock and $14.6 million in cash.

5. Pendleton to open flagship store in Portland

The Park Avenue West tower, across from Director Park, will now host Pendleton Woolen Mills in a 3,000-square-foot space, the Portland Business Journal reports. Charles Schwab is the only current retail tenant in the new building so far.

6. Latest ‘like Uber’ business is for animals

VetPronto will soon open shop in Portland, providing veterinary services on-demand and in-home, OPB reports. The service is already available in 10 other cities with costs comparable to an in-office visit. 

7. Speaking of Uber, Salem reconsiders the ride-share service

Uber hasn’t started up in Salem because the city argued the company needed taxi licensing. But a new mayor is interested in bringing the ride-share service to Oregon’s capital, the Statesman Journal reports. The council directed staff yesterday to draft code changes allowing Uber to operate in Salem without taxi licensing. 

8. OB Original Blog: Where do millennials work?

Millennial employment patterns don’t always reflect market demand.