On Election Day 2018, moderate Republican Knute Buehler failed to unseat incumbent Democrat Kate Brown as Oregon’s governor. On top of that, Republicans took a beating in races for the state House and Senate, and conservative ballot measures all lost. The result? Oregon’s House now has a 38-22 Democratic supermajority, while the Democrats also enjoy an 18-12 supermajority in the Senate. Oregon law says new taxes must pass by a three fifths majority vote, so a supermajority means more pain for the state’s taxpayers. And a far left, Soros-funded, environmental feminist extremist governor who prides herself on leading the resistance to Donald Trump is ready and waiting to sign bad things into law.
Oregon’s Democrats have wasted no time in introducing some of the most extreme nanny state legislation imaginable. Here now are the worst of the worst – bills which would make California weak at the knees, and which should serve as a cautionary tale to the other states. Elections do, indeed, have consequences.
1. Senate Bill 501, HB 2251 an assault on gun ownership.
Oregon Democrats are close to realizing their dream of extreme gun control. Combined, these bills would:
a. Expand the number of guns listed as “assault weapons” and ban their transfer to anyone under 21.
b. Requires person to secure permit before purchasing or otherwise receiving firearm.
c. Restrict purchasers to one gun purchase every thirty days, and 20 rounds of ammunition per month, punishable by up to 364 days in prison and a $6,250 fine. Ammunition purchasers must first pass a background check.
d. Gun owners must secure firearm with trigger or cable lock or in locked container, punishable by jail time or fine. No word yet on enforcement, but imagine cops showing up at your door demanding to see your firearms storage.
e. Bans magazines of more than five rounds, and any existing magazines of higher capacity must be destroyed or disposed of, punishable by prison, fine, or both.
The kicker is that SB 501 was written by children in high school who had organized after the national walkout for gun safety.
2. Senate Bill 526, universal in home visits for every home with a newborn.
You read that right. This would set up an ambiguous, universal, not sure if it’s mandatory or not, system by which DHS will visit your home three times after you have a baby, to make sure you’re doing things right. The implications for the homeschooling movement alone are frightening. If you raise your kid without state oversight, look out.
3. Carbon Tax.
A bill has not yet been introduced, but it’s only a matter of time. Even some Republicans are buckling. Cliff Bentz (R-Ontario) was quoted by The Oregonian as saying,
“It’s a waste of time to argue about the existence of climate change. The planet is warming, he said, and we need to adapt. His worry is that a cap-and-trade system won’t work. ‘There is going to be a cap and trade bill,’ he said. ‘I can’t stop it. I’m at the table trying to make the package less damaging to Oregon.’
4. HB 2643, public bailout of union dues.
In the wake of the Janus v AFSCME decision that banned “agency” fees paid by those who opted out of public sector unions. This bill actually creates a slush fund out of the state’s general fund to repay the unions their lost revenue.
5. SB 211, small business tax increase.
This bill would reduce the amount of income eligible for elective reduced personal income tax rate allowed for certain pass-through income. A tax increase by reducing the adjusted income eligible for deduction.
6. SB 206, 207, 208: increases in corporate taxes.
Unless it’s Nike or Intel, the state’s two largest employers, your business is about to be put over a barrel. Again.
7. Statewide bans on plastic shopping bags, straws, and other single-use plastics.
Several of these bills have been introduced. They seem likely to pass, unless the grocery and restaurant lobbies can peel off enough support from rural Democrats.
8. SB 191 and 210, removing property tax exemptions from hospitals.
Because, you know, those greedy corporations.
9. Rent control and banning no cause evictions.
At least one news organization reports that these measures should have smooth sailing towards becoming law. According to Willamette Week, Oregon should become the first state in the union to have state wide rent control, capping annual rent increases at 7%. Additionally, it will prohibit no-cause evictions for tenants who have lived in their building for at least a year.
10. SJR 2 will gut Oregon’s landmark Measure 5, which capped yearly increases in property taxes.
This will cause a spike in property taxes, causing strain on homeowners – especially those living on a fixed income.
11. House Rules banning transparency.
The first order of business for the Oregon House was to approve new rules regarding legislation. Governor Kate Brown ran on a platform of transparency after the disaster that was the fourth term of her predecessor, John Kitzhaber, who resigned in disgrace amidst an influence peddling scandal. Instead of transparency, her buddy, House Speaker Tina Kotek, rammed through new rules allowing an expansion of the types of bills that could be referred by committee to the House floor, without individual sponsors. Rep. Mike Nearman (R-Independence) posted this on his Facebook page:
Yesterday, we voted on House rules that allow Legislators to introduce many committee bills with no House sponsor listed. The most egregious abuse of this is the introduction of tax bills with no sponsor listed. I believe that the people of the State of Oregon should know who is introducing bills and have the ability to vote them out of office (or back in) every 2 or 4 years. I voted no on the House rules.
There are also new taxes on cell phones, telecommunications companies, alcohol, tobacco, and many more. Governor Brown, who refused to release her legislative priorities prior to Election Day 2018, has called for a budget that requires $2-3 billion in new revenue.
Elections have consequences. Don’t be like Oregon.
Jeff Reynolds is the author of the forthcoming book, Behind the Curtain: Inside the Network of Progressive Billionaires and Their Campaign to Undermine Democracy, due out February 26, 2019. The book is available for pre-order now on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, BAM!, and Indiebound. You can follow Jeff on Twitter @ChargerJeff.