Elliott Forest sale cancelled, Oregon legislators oppose Comey firing and state proposes $1.1 billion to fix Portland traffic.
Elliott State Forest is off the market
The State Land Board unanimously voted Tuesday to cancel the forest sale, OPB reports. The board had previously voted to sell 82,500 acres to Roseburg’s Lone Rock Timber and the Cow Creek Band of the Umpqua Indians for $220.8 million. Gov. Brown has since pushed to keep the lands in public hands. Several alternative plans have been proposed — including a partnership with OSU and issuing state bonds — but the board has directed staff to develop a new management option to review.
Oregon lawmakers outraged by Comey firing
The sudden decision by President Trump to fire FBI Director James Comey Tuesday afternoon has draw the ire of Oregon legislators, the Portland Business Journal reports. Lawmakers called for an independent prosecutor to continue the investigation into Trump’s ties to Russia and questioned the suspicious timing of the firing. Trump cited Comey’s handling of the 2016 Hillary Clinton email investigation as cause.
— Oregon Business (@OregonBusiness) May 9, 2017
— Senator Jeff Merkley (@SenJeffMerkley) May 9, 2017
State could funnel $1.1 billion into Portland traffic solution
Lawmakers say reducing Portland’s traffic problems will benefit the state, the Oregonian reports. The funding comes from the $8.2 billion transportation package proposal, announced yesterday. The proposal asks Metro to split the costs with the state.
Portland considering corporate tax to fund climate change projects
City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly is exploring a 2018 ballot measure to implement a 1% tax on local gross receipts on businesses with more than $1 billion in sales, as long as at least $500,000 of those sales are in Portland, Willamette Week reports. The new tax would fund renewable energy projects, solar panels in low-income neighborhoods, for example. An estimated potential revenue was not outlined in the proposal, but backers say the tax could raise $10 million annually.
Ilani Casino impact on Oregon industry smaller than expected
The new Washington casino was expected to draw from Oregon’s lottery industry, but initial reports show that impact is almost nonexistent, the Portland Tribune reports. Oregon State Lottery revenues are on track with typical revenues and lottery retailers on Hayden Island — closest to the new casino — say business hasn’t slowed down.
Hillsboro company lays off upwards of 100 employees
SureID produces identification software and was previously used by the U.S. Navy. That military contract was cancelled last month, nearly four years after an investigation found SureID’s technology had failed to prevent ineligible people from accessing installations. SureID says the decision to lay off employees was based on a change in corporate strategy, the Oregonian reports. The company declined to disclose how many employees were fired.
OB Original Blog: Changing of the guard
Several prominent business associations and educational institutions are either in search of a leader or about to undergo a leadership transition.