Voter ID laws cost much, accomplish little

A healthy civic society requires protecting citizens' fundamental right to vote while ensuring the integrity of our electoral system. Sadly, this goal is being jeopardized by a coordinated, nationwide effort to enact voter ID laws that will not solve the challenges facing our electoral systems and will instead disenfranchise voters and infringe upon the fundamental American right to free and fair elections.

Following Year of Devastating Cuts, States Turning to Revenue Options

During 2011 legislative sessions, most states chose to close severe budget gaps without revenue increases, instead opting for further damaging and deep cuts to critical education, health care, and social service programs. However, now that most sessions have ended, lawmakers, business leaders, and community groups in a number of states appear to be increasingly interested in taking revenue increases to voters as an alternative.

Oregon Legislature Unanimously Approves Subsidy Transparency Legislation

This month, the Oregon Legislature unanimously approved a bill to provide increased transparency of state spending on economic development subsidies. The legislation, HB2825, would require the Department of Administrative Services to publish detailed information regarding the amount, purpose, and intent of tax incentives directed to corporate entities on the state's transparency website. State Rep. Phil Barnhart (D), who sponsored the bill along with State Rep. Kim Thatcher (R), commented  that “spending on tax breaks should be treated the same as spending on programs,” and that “by putting this information online, as is currently the case with other areas of the budget, we move one step closer to that goal." The bill now awaits Gov. John Kitzhaber's signature.

OR: Oregon's income gap as large as ever, study finds

The Oregonian:

The incomes of Oregonians have lagged the national average for years, but the gap widened during the recent recession to its biggest point on record, a new report says.

All-Mail Voting Is One Winner of Colorado's Primary

As pundits attempt to digest what Colorado's primary on Tuesday night means for incumbents and insurgents alike, there is one thing everyone can agree on: voting by mail saved counties much-needed money while boosting turnout.

OR: Appeals Court Ruling May Snuff Out Property Rights Claim

A federal appeals court may have doused a legal theory that threatened to blow up the uneasy truce on Oregon's land-use battlefield. Acting on a low-profile Jackson County case, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled this week that property development rights granted under 2004's Measure 37 aren't legal contracts.