Morning Roundup

Yet another corporate tax proposal surfaces, Eugene mayor pushes for Knight Campus funding and SOU loses $1.9 million in email scheme.

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Democrats propose “game-changing” corporate tax

Democratic leaders have come forth with yet another proposal to tax corporations, the Oregonian reports. The proposal is billed as a compromise between House Speaker Tina Kotek and Sen. Mark Hass, who have been leading the charge. The new plan is considered a $900 million patch until 2019, when the state can overhaul the business tax system. The proposal temporarily increases the corporate income tax from 6.6% to 8% on the first $1 million in sales, and from 7.6% to 9% on income above the threshold. 

Eugene mayor lobbies Legislature for Knight Campus funding

The University of Oregon has requested $100 million from the legislature to help fund its Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact. UO has $500 million in funding from Phil and Penny Knight and is trying to raise $500 million in matching funds. In an attempt to secure state funds, Eugene’s Mayor Lucy Vinis is joining the cause and will lobby on the university’s behalf, the Register Guard reports.

SOU falls prey to email scheme

Southern Oregon University lost $1.9 million in April when it wired money to an account posing as a contractor, the Medford Mail Tribune reports. University officials believed they were sending money to Andersen Construction, which is building its McNeal Pavilion and Student Recreation Center. An FBI investigation is underway.

Bud Pierce files term limit ballot measure

The former Republican nominee for governor wants to limit members of the State Senate and House of Representatives to 8 years out of any 12 years of service, the Statesman Journal reports. A similar measure was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2002. Legislators who would be forced out of office if the measure passed, including Senate President Peter Courtney, say it would destroy the Legislature and remove those with experience.

Solar industry boom continues

Solar installations in the first quarter of 2017 were up 126%  compared to last year, the Portland Business Journal reports. Solar capacity increased by 33.4 megawatts between January and March. Solar jobs are on the rise as well. There were more than 4,500 solar jobs in Oregon last year, up from just 2,999 in 2015.

Sage grouse management under federal review

The U.S. Department of the Interior is spearheading an effort to review sage grouse population management in western states, the Bend Bulletin reports. There is some concern from environmental leaders and governors that an order from the federal government would both fix a plan that isn’t broken and create a top-down approach to benefit energy companies. Gov. Kate Brown signed an order to protect sage grouse in 2015.