Oregon Senate District 3 voters deserve specific commitments from candidates, regardless of party, instead of “trust me” rhetoric that too often results in policies that benefit only corporate special interests and the wealthiest elites.
The following questions have been sent to all candidates who have filed for Senate District 3, as well as the incumbent. Candidates have until midnight on Wednesday January 31st to reply.
We will be sharing all responses here.
No list can include every important issue that will come before the Oregon legislature in the next two years, but answers to this questionnaire will give voters a good picture of the type of commitments each candidate is willing to make.
These questions, listed in no particular order of priority, were drawn from the expertise of nonpartisan grassroots community groups in Southern Oregon with a track record on particular subjects.
In Jackson County, one in every three renters – and three-quarters of low-income renters – are paying more than 50 percent of their income in rent.
In the 2017 legislative session, the proposed HB 2004 would have limited landlords with five or more units from evicting tenants without cause (landlords could evict with cause or in the case of exceptions, such as selling the property or a family member moving into it). It also would have allowed cities and counties to adopt policies on the rate of rent increases.
What is your view of this proposed legislation, as well as other specific state actions to protect tenants, stabilize the rental market, and address homelessness with housing solutions??
In 2016, the Oregon legislature restored the right of cities and counties to require that at least 20% of new developments be affordable units, provided that developers are provided specified financial incentives to do so. The legislature decided, however, to make this “inclusionary zoning” law apply only to multifamily structures of 20 units or more – larger than most new development in Jackson County.
What is your view of whether this is an appropriate way to help increase the supply of housing that working and low-income people can afford, and what changes, if any, would you make in its provisions?
Corporate taxes to fund education
Since the mid-1970s, the share of all state income taxes that comes from corporations has dropped by two-thirds. In Jackson County, school districts that depend on state funding often face overcrowded class sizes, teacher layoffs, and other cutbacks.
The Education Investment Initiative introduced in the 2017 legislature would have raised $2 billion per two-year budget cycle, primarily for education from early childhood through college, through a tax on the largest corporations, many of them from out of state.
What is your view of the proposed Education Investment Initiative, as well as other specific ways to provide our schools with increased, stable, and equitable funding?
Oregon provides a special ”pass-through income” tax break, 94% of which goes to corporate executives, consultants, and other professionals who make more than $200,000 a year.
This loophole already is estimated to take away nearly $300 million in future budget periods from funding for education, health care, foster care, and other essential services.
In December, Congress passed a bill that greatly increases the incentive for the wealthiest Oregonians to take advantage of this loophole, meaning the loss in state funding for local services will grow even faster. In 2017, Gov. Kate Brown proposed eliminating this loophole.
What is your view on keeping or eliminating this tax provision, and on other specific state actions to ensure that everyone pays their fair share to fund essential services?
Racial justice and immigrant rights
More than 30 years ago, the Oregon legislature passed with nearly unanimous support from both major parties a law that leaves it to the federal government to enforce immigration laws and requires that state and local funds by used only for other law enforcement.
What is your view on whether Oregon should keep this law, and on other specific state actions in relation to immigration and racial justice?
Paid family and medical leave
A proposal in the 2017 legislature (HB 3087) would have created a family and medical leave insurance program to provide all workers in Oregon with paid leave for the birth of a child, an illness of their own or of a family member, or military service, without losing the income their family relies on.
What is your view of this proposed legislation, and of other possible state actions related to the workplace?
Jobs and climate action
Oregon’s Clean Energy Jobs Act would establish a financial incentive, similar to one used in other states, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the largest polluters and use the money to create jobs in renewable energy and energy efficiency in rural areas like ours.
What is your view of the Clean Energy Jobs Act and other possible state actions on climate change?
Responses to this questionnaire will be shared in March, 2018 on the Rogue Action Center website, newsletter, and on our Facebook page which you can follow here.
For more information on each of these topics, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Rogue Action Center does not endorse candidates for public office.