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Oregon lawmakers scramble closer to deals on minimum wage, housing relief

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Denis C. Theriault, The Oregonian/OregonLive

Lawmakers, advocates and Gov. Kate Brown are circling around compromises on two of the signature issues looming over next month’s short legislative session: housing relief and whether to raise Oregon’s minimum wage…

…The Oregonian/OregonLive has compiled a preview of those issues…

Housing relief: When Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer, D-Portland, announced plans in November for legislation on Oregon’s housing crisis, advocates demanded a one-year moratorium on no-cause evictions. They also sought an end to a state ban on rent control…

And Sen. Michael Dembrow, D-Portland, will move a bill aimed at increasing workforce housing in Oregon — by ending the state’s ban on local inclusionary zoning…

Another proposal would make it easier for cities to set aside state building and zoning codes when installing emergency shelters and tent communities….

Minimum wage: Lawmakers and advocates are planning a major show of force Thursday night, when House and Senate members gather for a public hearing on whether to raise the state’s $9.25-an-hour wage…

Also unclear? Whether any compromise is enough to stay the hands of the state’s $15 Now movement…

We Respond & Your Comments

According to MoneyRates.com Oregon is the second worst state in which to make a living. Let’s look at these “compromises.” Will they make things better or worse for Oregonians?

Housing: Right on, Kate & Alissa! Let’s fix the affordable housing shortage by letting local politicians decide what kind of houses developers can build! We bet they’ll decide based on how it’ll get them votes. Then let’s make it harder to evict problem tenants. And we’ll grease the skids for rent control so apartment owners make less money. It’s a liberal trifecta!

And let’s let the politicos set aside zoning rules and throw up a tent city next to your development. Yeah – that’s the ticket!

Minimum Wage: Oregon’s unemployment rate is already .6% above the national average and its labor force participation rate is near a 40 year low. We’ll fix it by making labor more expensive! It works every time! Employers will crawl on their bellies over broken glass to pay higher salaries here than they would in Idaho or Nevada !

Is it too much to ask these Salem geniuses to filter every policy through this prism: “Will what we are doing create jobs?” Probably.

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