Oregon files lawsuit against immigration order, Legislature considers PERS reform and records show Bottle Bill largely benefits distributors.
Oregon groups file federal lawsuit opposing immigration order
The fight back against Trump’s immigration ban continues in Portland. Yesterday, the ACLU filed a lawsuit on behalf of Unite Oregon, OPB reports. The suit asks for an injunction to allow immigrants to fly into PDX without being detained and prevents the White House from banishing immigrants and refugees who do arrive at the airport. Washington’s Attorney General filed a similar lawsuit this week.
OB Original Blog: Oregon farmers fear labor shortages
Oregon’s agricultural community could face a severe lack of labor in light of the Trump administration’s tough stance on immigration.
Lawmakers put PERS on the table
The Senate Workforce Committee pledged to consider any pension reform proposals that legislators bring forward, the Oregonian reports. PERS costs continue to rise with a current deficit of more than $20 billion. While lawmakers can’t reduce benefits earned to date — as the Oregon Supreme Court ruled in 2015 — policy makers can reduce future benefits and make changes to how benefits are calculated and where contributions are stored.
Bottle Bill update benefits distributors, records show
In two months, the bottle deposit doubles to 10 cents. That increase was triggered thanks to a 2011 bill expanding the law to include additional types of drinks, with the goal of increasing bottle returns. Since 2011, however, returns have dropped 10%. That decrease — and updated law — caused the rate to double. The increase and low return rates equal a payday for bottle and can distributors, Willamette Week reports. These companies get to keep the deposit on bottles and cans not returned. How much is the deposit worth? An additional $30 million a year, on top of the $30 million distributors were already keeping.
Transportation budget needs $1.3 billion boost to maintain roads
Lawmakers released an analysis yesterday explaining the deficits in transportation infrastructure, the Register Guard reports. An additional $1.3 billion annually — a 65% boost in funding — would merely preserve roads and help ease congestion state-wide. The report also said individual cities need a collective $3.7 billion to address the project backlog. Identifing new sources of transportation funding is one of the top priorities facing the 2017 legislature.
Bend puts Uber on hold
The city council intended to vote on a proposal that would allow ride share companies like Uber to operate in the city. But the proposal was shelved Wednesday due to council concerns about the proposal’s clarity, the Bend Bulletin reports. The council directed staff to clear up the proposal to review later this month.
With ice en route tonight, Portland promises to use road salt
New Transportation Commissioner Dan Saltzman has been working on a plan to better respond to future winter storms, given how easily snow and ice shuts down the Rose City. The plan, announced yesterday, includes additional plows, salting dangerous roads and a Mutual Aid agreement with Seattle to share resources, the Portland Tribune reports. Seattle assisted Portland during snowpocolypse bringing down 11 plows and workers to clear roads. Portland will also consider contracts with private companies to clear roads in the future. Tonight and tomorrow might be the first opportunity to test out produces, if the 1 to 2 inches of snow and freezing rain shows up.