Morning Roundup

Lone Rock Timber files suit against Oregon, landlords lose battle against relocation fee and lawmakers wrap up ‘daunting’ session early.

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ICYMI: Lawmakers are getting an early start on their vacation. Three days early. The unexpected reprieve occurred despite a session legislators described as “daunting.” A business tax went nowhere, but law makers balanced the budget and approved an historic $5.3 billion transportation package. The Statesman Journal has more.

The fight for Elliott State Forest heats up.

Just when we thought it was over: Lone Rock Timber Management, the company that hoped to purchase a stake in the state-owned Elliott, has officially filed suit after Oregon pulled out of the $220 million deal. The Legislature recently approved $100 million in state bonds to purchase Elliott Forest. Read more from the Oregonian.

Portland’s relocation ordinance safe, for now. An Oregon judge ruled Friday that Portland’s new law forcing landlords to pay tenant relocation fees doesn’t violate state law. The decision is certainly a blow to landlords who adamantly oppose the rule. The Portland Mercury has the story.

Forth wins by hitching its rebate to transportation bill. Oregon approved an electric car rebate — between $1,500 and $2,500 — thanks to good politicking on the part of Oregon’s electric vehicle and mobility trade association. EV advocates failed to get rebates approved in 2015. Read more from the Portland Business Journal.

Farmers pleased with session results. In an unexpected win for farmers, lawmakers created a state fund to buy farmland-preservation easements. The program probably won’t see funding, however, until after rules for the fund are developed in 2019. Capital Press has more.

Meanwhile, hospitals lose out. The Legislature managed to approve a cost-cutting measure, but Oregon hospitals say the burden ($190 million of $270 million) falls on their shoulders. Read more from OPB.

Providence cuts back. Only two years ago, hospitals were raking in the profits. Now one of Oregon’s argest private-sector employers is prepapring to cut staff as part of a larger cost-cutting effort. The Oregonian has the story.

OB Original Blog: 

West Coast consul generals take on political role in era of strained U.S-Mexico relations. Editor Linda Baker continues her series chronicling a trip to Baja with Mexico’s West Coast consular delegation. 

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