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Pete Springer/OPB

Representative Mitch Greenlick (D-Portland) enjoyed a legislative victory this week that’s been at least three years in the making. Greenlick championed a resolution to declare Jory soil Oregon’s official state soil. The resolution does not require the governor’s signature. So, once it passed the Senate on Monday, the soil, which is named for a pioneer family, became official.

Initially, the Senate voted it down, but Greenlick did some political maneuvering to get it back to the floor for reconsideration. The resolution passed on the second try, but the way Greenlick went about ruffled a few feathers among his legislative colleagues. Senator Larry George (R-Sherwood) was miffed enough to send out a press release after the vote with a subject line that read, “Statement regarding broken legislative process.”

With roughly a month left in the 2011 session, Oregon dirt isn’t the only thing on lawmakers’ minds. A bipartisan pair of senators are still trying to pass some key tax reforms: changes to the “kicker” (a tax rebate which gives money back to taxpayers when the state takes in at least two percent more than it expected) and cuts to capital gains taxes.

The Senate passed a bill this week that eliminates faith-healing as a legal defense. That won’t affect the current case of two parents on trial for relying solely on faith to heal a growth on their daughter’s eye. What will the new law mean for future faith healing cases?

Have you been following the legislature’s progress on kicker reform, capital gains cuts or other tax-related matters? How would proposed changes affect you?

What have you observed about how well the legislative process works? What, if anything, do you think needs to be changed?


2011 session legislature taxes

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OPB | Broadcast: May 26, 2011