July 13, 2009
Don't undo legislators' good
Oregon's wealthy are mad as hell.
Why? Because the 2009 Oregon Legislature approved bills, which once signed into law by the governor, will bring these folks tax bills that are progressive and in line with what the percentages the remainder of the population has had to pay.
In other words, the new tax laws are intended to bring about a more equitable taxation system in this state.
If a reader is one of those who now swears to even the score, by voting against those who represent him in the next election or by supporting initiatives to undo what the Legislature has done, perhaps he ought to be aware of what many among us would consider the good stuff that resulted from the statehouse session that adjourned June 29.
New laws will better protect schoolchildren, foster children, the Oregon National Guard, the developmentally disabled, public safety, public education and many other progressive measures. Here's a summary sampling from one of those bills:
(1) They ban public and private schools from concealing the sexual misconduct of educators who resign. Five other laws protect students by giving the state more disciplinary power and require more teacher training.
(2) Curb $20 million in tax breaks to prosperous wind farm companies.
(3) Require better oversight of children sent from state foster care to live with relatives in other countries.
(4) Require tougher regulation of psychiatric drugs prescribed to children in foster care.
(5) Assist National Guard soldiers who were poisoned by toxic chemicals in Iraq.
(6) Protect developmentally disabled adults from abusive caregivers.
(7) Protect Oregonians from unlicensed therapists and counselors.
These examples are but a few of the outstandingly good and direly needed actions on the part of the 2009 Legislature. To bend to the will of the wealthy who want to spend their money on high-priced cars, expensive gadgets of all kinds that self-indulge, and second or third homes here and elsewhere through overturning what the legislative body was able to accomplish would be to surrender to acts through initiative petition that are the self-centered stuff of folly and out-and-out greed.
We should be thanking those members of the Legislature in 2009 for helping to protect and sustain some of our most precious human and material assets in this state.
I personally send along my most sincere and heartfelt thanks to the majorities who passed the bills in an effort to make this a better Oregon in spite of a serious and enduring recession.
Gene McIntyre of Keizer writes Neighbor Talk, a blog on StatesmanJournal.com. Contact him at email@example.com.