Jobs and Reform Agenda
House Republicans Open 2011 Session With Jobs And Reform Agenda.

SALEM—House Republicans today opened the new legislative session by releasing their “2011 Jobs and Reform Agenda” to improve Oregon’s economy and reform state government, as well as to make improvements in education, public safety and health care.

“As we begin the new term, House Republicans understand that Oregonians want change in Salem and new ideas from their elected officials.” said Republican House Speaker Bruce Hanna (R-Roseburg). “That’s why we’ll offer solutions aimed at strengthening our private sector and making state government more accountable and fiscally sustainable.”

Throughout the session, House Republicans will focus on supporting businesses that create jobs and boosting private investment throughout Oregon. House Republicans propose providing tax incentives to businesses that hire unemployed Oregonians, reforming job-killing Measure 67, and making the state’s capital gains tax rates more competitive nationally.

House Republicans will also introduce the Main Street Incentive Plan to encourage property owners and businesses to reinvest in their properties.

“Because Oregon’s economy continues to struggle, our agenda gives small businesses more reasons to hire unemployed Oregonians,” said House Republican Leader Kevin Cameron (R-Salem). “By reducing capital gains taxes and passing the Main Street Incentive Plan, we can encourage businesses and investors to put more of their dollars to work in Oregon.”

House Republicans say Oregon can no longer afford “business-as-usual” budgeting, and will work to replace the current process with one that’s based on priorities and results. The 2011 agenda includes proposals to increase auditing, examine privatization of certain services, and to require the Legislature to dedicate revenue to the Rainy Day Fund without taking away Oregonians’ kicker checks.

In addition, Republicans will tackle escalating personnel costs by reforming PERS and the collective bargaining process, and by making state salaries and benefits more affordable to taxpayers.

“Unless action is taken, Oregon will experience a decade of deficits that harm our economy and our ability to fund essential services,” said Deputy Republican Leader Matt Wingard (R-Wilsonville). “The 2011 session gives us a new opportunity to change the way state government budgets and operates. To put Oregon back on track, we must reduce the cost and size of state government.”

The 2011 agenda includes additional reforms to improve education, public safety and health care. House Republicans will introduce measures to expand school choice and to give parents and children greater educational opportunities by protecting Oregon’s alternative schools, charter public schools, and online virtual schools. House Republicans will also work to pass the 2011-13 K-12 budget by the end of March to give school districts greater certainty.

Further, House Republicans will seek to dedicate funding for the Oregon State Police without raising taxes, and pass real health care and tort reforms to make coverage more affordable.

“In previous sessions, unnecessary partisanship prevented many of these proposals from receiving a fair hearing,” said Republican Whip Tim Freeman (R-Roseburg). “Now that we have an evenly-split House, we’re excited by the prospect of building bipartisan support and passing our job-creation and reform measures. House Republicans look forward to a productive 2011 session.” Source: Press Release

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