Sine Die. So what?

Session adjourned this week. While legislators, lobbyists, advocates, and activists are celebrating Sine Die (and by “celebrating,” we probably mean “taking a much-needed nap,”) the rest of us are scratching our head trying to understand exactly what the last five months mean for Oregonians.

somersaultcat

“Meow”

The Sockeye‘s got you covered. We’re providing analysis and final results on significant bills across a series of priority issues. We’re also “grading” the Legislature on their work across our series of priority issues, using cat.gifs to illustrate the legislature’s performance.

We’ve got quick synopses for each priority issue area here, or you can follow the link for the full scoop and an in-depth analysis.

K-12 Education

The legislative session’s mixed success is perhaps most clearly seen in the budget for K-12 schools. On one hand, the legislature’s K-12 budget includes direct funding of $6.55 billion—considerably higher than the past few years of deeply bleak budget cuts.

But for most districts, this is nothing more than a “stability budge.” Meaning once the dust settles, we may not still have the third largest class sizes in the country, but we won’t have moved up very many notches. Read More…

Jump back to the top.

Higher Education

While there are still some concerns about tuition rate increases, lawmakers made serious efforts this cycle to identify progressive policies to address the serious state of higher ed in Oregon.

The Legislature passed policies to minimize tuition rate increases, expanded education opportunities to Oregonians, identified new sources of revenue for financial aid, and approved investigation into the creative “pay it forward, pay it back” tuition model. Read more…

Jump back to the top.

Cutting Tax Loopholes

In short, Democrats in the House and Senate—for the most part—were poised to pass bills that closed big tax loopholes and raised significant money for schools and other priorities, but they were repeatedly blocked by Republicans who voted in lock-step. Read more…

Jump back to the top.

Environmental Priorities

OCN, a coalition of more than 40 environmental groups, set four priority issues this session; only two were met. We think Oregon deserves better than a 50-50 success for our environment.

Wins included improved energy efficiency standards and protecting Oregon rivers from suction dredge mining. Read more…

Jump back to the top.

Senior Services and Health Care

The first iteration of the legislative budget called for tens of millions in cuts, which would have triggered an astonishing loss of federal funds to services like long-term and in-home care for seniors. This would have come while low-income seniors are still reeling from the effects of the Great Recession. However, advocates, like the members of the Campaign for Oregon’s Seniors and People With Disabilities, rallied and convinced the legislature to roll back their proposed cuts. Read more…

Jump back to the top.

Economic Fairness and Consumer Protections

Thanks to dutiful work by Economic Fairness Oregon and other consumer protection advocates this legislative session, Oregonian homeowners and non-homeowners alike are more secure with their investments in their homes and medical savings accounts. But several good idea policies were killed by debt collectors’ and the insurance industries’ motives, making this a mixed bag for consumer protection policies this legislative session. Read more…

Jump back to the top.

And More

In addition to the handful of hot-button issues like the environment and K-12 funding, there were a number of other critical bills that were debated during this legislative session that led to progressive wins, including: Driver’s cards, a call to overturn Citizens United, retirement security, public safety reform, pay equity, and more. Read more…

Make the first comment ...

or:
  • (will not be published)