Morning Roundup

Photo Credit: Oregonian

SolarWorld to layoff at least 500, PERS board considers lowering expected rate of return and UO tuition hike approved.

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SolarWorld updates layoff warning — at least 500 will be fired

A letter sent to state employment officials disclosed that at least 500 employees and as many as 711 will be let go from the Hillsboro plant, the Oregonian reports. The layoffs will take place in July. The letter also stated the plant could close altogether. SolarWorld has said Wednesday that it intended to operate into the future, despite a then-unspecified number of layoffs.

PERS board to discuss lowering expected return rates

At this moment, the expected rate of return on investment is 7.5%. The board might consider lowering that economic assumption when calculating the system’s liabilities, the Oregonian reports. If that rate was lowered, it could increase the PERS deficit, which already sits at $22 billion. Lowering the rate would also increase the required employer contribution.

UO to hike tuition after commission reverses decision 

The University of Oregon will increase its tuition rates by 10.6%, the Register Guard reports. The Higher Education Coordinating Commission had rejected the proposal earlier this month. UO says the rate hike will prevent university-wide cuts.

Gov. Brown works with California on salmon disaster assistance

Brown has partnered with Gov. Jerry Brown to ask for a federal disaster declaration, OPB reports. The declaration is in response to two years of cancelled ocean salmon fishing seasons. The seasons were dismissed due to low salmon runs. The federal declaration would mean fishing businesses the depend on salmon can request federal assistance.

Bill opponents claim it will banish GMOs

House Bill 2739 requires biotech patent holders to be financially liable for economic damages caused by unwanted GMOs. The bill could also include an amendment clarifying that landowners can file suit against patent holders if unwanted GMOs are found on their land. Critics argue the bill is intended to stop GMOs in Oregon, the Portland Tribune reports. Breeders like Oregon State University say they would be reluctant to test gene editing because of the financial risk if the bill is approved.

New direct Mexico City flight coming to Portland

Delta is partnering with Aeromexico to create additional direct flights between the U.S. and Mexico. A flight from Portland to Mexico City will begin Dec. 1.

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