Morning Roundup

Photo credit: Statesman Journal

PERS investments may need recalibrating, amendment waters down shell legislation and Portland sues Trump over sanctuary city order.

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Pew Charitable Trust finds PERS is making riskier, unnecessary investments

A report found alternative investments may not be worth the high risk to pension funds, the Statesman Journal reports. These investments often come with high managements costs and unpredictability. Oregon PERS holds 34% of its assets in alternative investments. The report found only two of the 73 funds examined were able to exceed their investment targets as a result of these decisions. Oregon’s target is 7.5%, but its one-year performance is only at 4.3%.

Shell company legislation watered down

Oregon’s proposed legislation requiring companies to disclose who owns the company and the physical address is receiving some modifications, the Portland Business Journal reports. An amendment to the bill would remove the requirement that companies must disclose an owner. In its place, companies would only have to submit the information on request from the Secretary of State.

Portland to sue Trump over sanctuary city executive order

Trump’s order says his administration will withhold federal grants from sanctuary cities that refuse to cooperate with immigration enforcement. The City Council voted Wednesday to join Seattle’s lawsuit against the order, the Oregonian reports. The suit alleges the order violates the Tenth Amendment, which prevents the federal government from ordering state and local governments to do their work.

More Uber problems unveiled

Uber allegedly used a software named “Hell” to undermine Lyft from 2014 to 2016, the Oregonian reports. The software allows Uber to track Lyft drivers available for rides. These allegations are just the latest in a string of disasters, including complaints about a culture of sexual harassment, the use of “Greyball” to evade authorities and Uber’s CEO Travis Kalanick berating a driver on video. At the same time Uber is trying to improve its image with programs such as its new EV initiative in Portland.

Battle over GMO regulation alive in legislature, barely 

Lawmakers prevented local governments from regulating seed back in 2013, but SB 1037 would provide an exemption for genetically modified organisms. That bill has died in the House, but continues in the Senate, Capital Press reports.

Eugene purchases vacant riverfront property

The city will spend $5.75 million on the 17-acre mixed-use property, the Register Guard reports. City officials say the sale closes a long-term effort to develop the waterfront and connect the downtown to the Willamette River. The city plans to then sell the property to a developer, such as Williams & Dame Development, which developed part of Portland’s South Waterfront.

OB Original Blog: The unnecessary burden of filing taxes

Research Editor and native Brit Kim Moore reflects on the challenge of filing taxes.