Measure advances out of subcommittee on party-line vote
SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Reps. Cedric Hayden (R-Fall Creek) and Vikki Breese-Iverson (R-Prineville) voted in opposition to the controversial Senate Bill 1530, a cap and trade tax proposal that they believe will cause significant harm to Oregon’s natural resource industry sectors and working Oregonians by driving up gas prices and home utility costs.
Here's the full news release from Hayden's office on the vote:
The measure passed out of the Ways and Means Natural Resources SubCommittee on a party-line vote. The measure was scheduled outside the hearing’s normal 3 p.m. start time. Further public testimony was allowed on the most recently engrossed version, which included a complex amendment passed by the Senate Environment Committee.
People came out again tonight in opposition to the measure. The legislation continues to move the through process with a very limited fiscal impact statement data describing impacts as “indeterminate,” and with no revenue impact statement.
“It’s stunning that one of the most complex pieces of legislation to move through this Capitol in a decade has had such little deliberation, has no data on the cost to Oregonians, and is being jammed through so fast it’s unlikely any of the committee members actually had time to read the bill before voting today,” said Representative Hayden. Hayden, who serves as Vice Chair on the House Healthcare Committee, compared the process to Oregon’s implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
“The most recent, complex public policy that Oregon enacted in the last decade that we can compare to the process being used to pass SB 1530 was when the legislature implemented the ACA. That process had two committees dedicating hundreds of hours of public testimony and meetings with lawmakers from both sides of the aisle where they worked to hammer out the details. It flowed through as one work product that spanned both a long and short session. It was deliberate and thoughtful. But even with all that public input and bipartisan cooperation, it still failed to turn out as envisioned. Oregonians got a costly website for $350 million dollars that never worked, and the Medicaid expansion continues to drive up budgets, costing taxpayers more than originally anticipated. In the ACA legislation we also saw limited public records, costly litigation and hundreds of millions of our Medicaid dollars never reaching patients,” Hayden said.
“Comparatively, SB 1530 is being rushed through, people are only being given 90 seconds to speak on a measure nobody has had the time to read, and there is no bipartisan cooperation. It’s a formula for a colossal disaster even bigger than the billion-dollar failure of the BETC tax credits.”
Representative Breese-Iverson expressed concerns that the measure unfairly impacts rural Oregonians. “The price of a gallon of gas in Salem this week is $2.49. In Prineville, it’s $2.95 per gallon. In our coastal communities, it’s $3.29 per gallon. So, when we talk about tacking on an extra .22c per gallon or more, it’s the people in rural Oregon who will pay more,” she stated.
“The people I represent are paying a payroll tax for mass transit, but they have no services. The median wage in Crook County is more than $20,000 less per family than the statewide average, but our kids have to ride for miles just to get to school. Our local governments are already strapped, and this measure adds to their burden too. This legislation will create more rural poverty in cost increases alone but will have a devastating effect when jobs disappear.”
Breese-Iverson went on to note that purported concessions in the bill for rural Oregonians were mere window dressing and that a proposed tax rebate for low-income Oregonians requires them to wait for next year’s tax return to recoup price increases. “That won’t help families who need the money to buy fuel or pay bills at the moment they have to outlay cash for their cost of living,” she said.
House Republican members pushed two amendments in an attempt to get the bill into the hands of Oregon citizens for their vote, but the amendments were also rejected on party lines.
One amendment would have stripped the Emergency Clause, allowing voters to refer the measure through a signature gathering referendum, and the other would have done a direct referral to voters for their consideration this upcoming November election.
Senate Bill 1530 now moves to the full Ways and Means Committee for further consideration. Hayden expressed that he hopes the full committee will slow the process down so lawmakers are afforded the time to read and comprehend the measure with all the new amendments. He also stated that it is unconscionable to be voting on a measure without producing financial data needed so elected officials can return properly vetted information back to their constituents.