Morning Roundup

Business group proposes alternative to corporate tax, $8.2 million education budget moves forward and climate change tops the news cycle.

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Oregon Business Plan finally weighs in on corporate tax proposal

Oregon Business Plan Chair Patrick Criteser testified before the Joint Committee on Tax Reform yesterday to offer an alternative plan. Criteser proposed raising $500 million by tweaking the existing tax system, the Portland Business Journal reports. Lawmakers are considering a new activities tax to raise about $1 billion.

$8.2 billion education budget passes first legislative hurdle

Oregon’s largest school budget to date moves to the Join Ways and Means Committee for review, the Register Guard reports. The budget was forwarded from the Education Subcommittee. Legislators say the additional funding could reduce class sizes, increase the number of counselors and nurses and lengthen the school year.

The climate change news came fast and furious 

At Oregon Business, the news burst kicked off Wednesday, during our 100 Best Green Workplaces awards celebration. Keynote John Morris called on local businesses to lobby for climate change legislation and award winners picked up the theme. Several business leaders called on the community to take the lead in reducing carbon emissions amid rumors that Trump would withdraw the U.S. from the Paris accord. 

Twenty-four hours later, Trump withdrew the U.S. from the climate pact.  In response, the governors of California, Washington and New York announced the formation of the United States Climate Alliance. But as OB Research Editor Kim Moore notes, Oregon is missing from the group of founding members.

Portland, however, committed to 100% renewable electricity by 2035 yesterday, the Statesman Journal reports.

The latest climate news? Portland’s Senior Sustainability Manager Michael Armstrong is leaving the city to work with a Philadelphia-based climate group.

Suction dredge mining limits approved by Legislature

The practice uses a motorized in-stream vacuum to extract minerals in search for gold. Environmentalists have been fighting the practice for years because of the damage to fish habitats and water quality. The new bill doesn’t prevent suction dredge mining altogether, but protects 20,700 miles of “essential salmon habitat,” Capital Press reports.

OB original blog: Silver tsunami leads to mass leadership exodus

We’ve been hearing for years about the silver tsunami. Well, this appears to be the year the Big One hit. Check out the list of Oregon executives who will be retiring or who announced their retirement this year.

Intel in $50 million battle with contractor Hoffman Construction

Intel has spent the past seven years building an enormous factory in Hillsboro deemed D1X. Work is progressing (phase 2 is largely complete), but at some point in 2015 the relationship between Intel and Hoffman soured. The latter placed a $50.8 million lien on the Intel project, and that lien remains in place, the Oregonian reports. Neither party commented on the reason for the lien.