Press "Enter" to skip to content

Posts published in “Day: June 10, 2009”

Would a temp tax work?

Well, so much for the remarkably smooth Oregon session of '09. Owing to a single flipped vote - that of Beaverton Democratic Senator Mark Hass - the Senate declined to pass a business tax package approved the day before by the Oregon House. Because of that, a second tax bill was table (alongside that first one). And because of that, the whole question of how to balance the state budget has been thrown wide open.

This wasn't entirely a surprise (one reason, presumably, the vote was held until late afternoon). The debate wasn't long (there was some but not a lot of Republican argument against), and during it, Senator Alan Bates, D-Ashland, warned that people were "teetering" and "I implore you, to vote for this bill tofay and the one following it. The state will go into chaos without these bills."

Now, presumably, we start to find out what that entails.

It could mean, as senators got some indication, that the budgets are reopened and mass cuts ensure. Or maybe not. On Blue Oregon, a commenter remarked, "Hass just said he wants to send the corporate minimum back to senate revenue for a fix- they MAY not have the votes on the floor and might have to come back another day."

Overall, the legislature may be here a few days longer than they had thought. But what direction this goes next looks up for grabs.

First big glitch in what had been a remarkably smooth-running machine.

WA: 867,000, no insurance for you

Kreidler

Mike Kreidler

Only a number, maybe, but what ought to be a big number: 876,000, the number of people in the state of Washington who by year's end are expected to have no health insurance.

Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler talked (timely, given the health talk going on in the other Washington) about how his office came up with the estimate. After that, there was a piece of sort-of good news from the state Health Care Authority, that earlier reports about tens of thousands of residents being dropped from the state basic health plan will not materialize. None of that affects the 876,000 estimate, though.

uninsured

Kreidler chart

What this will establish immediately beyond more hand-wringing isn't clear. But maybe it provides a little more impetus to the state's congressional delegation as it considers where to land in the emerging health care policy battle. The commissioner himself seemed to acknowledge as much in his statement - some reliance on solutions coming from a couple time zones away.

From Kriedler's release: (more…)