Gun control, property tax reform on Portland agenda
The City Council is scheduled to consider Portlands agenda for the 2013 Oregon Legislature two days after lawmakers convene in Salem.
Members of the State Senate and Oregon House of Representative will meet at the State Capitol on Monday for the start of the new session. The members will be sworn in, presiding officers will be elected, committees will be assigned, and they will receive annual State of the State speech from Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber.
Then they will go home on Thursday and return in early February to be begin considering legislation.
Some of the bills will be introduced on behalf of or supported by the council. The list of legislative priorities and issues will be reviewed by the council on Wednesday.
It includes positions on some of the most controversial matters expected to be addressed by the session. Among other things, the Legislative Agenda submitted by new Mayor Charlie Hales calls for:
Banning so-called assault weapons, including some semi-automatic rifles and handguns, and the sale of large capacity magazines
Reforming Oregons complicated property tax limitation system to allow voters to raise revenue collections above the current restrictions.
Enacting a statewide ban on plastic bags at retail outlets.
Requiring all employers in Oregon to provide paid sick leave for their workers.
Limiting the concentration of video lottery establishments.
Allowing the Oregon Liquor Control Commission to restrict the sale of alcohol in geographically-defined alcohol impact areas.
Allowing local law enforcement agencies to suspect liquor licenses after alcohol-related crimes associated with the license holders.
The Legislative Agenda also calls for the 2013 Oregon Legislature to increase or stabilize state funding in a variety of areas, including school finance, the mental health system, 9-1-1 emergency communications improvements, affordable housing construction, rural medical practices, and public infrastructure. In most cases, the agenda does not recommend specific funding levels or revenue sources, however.
The Legislative Agenda was largely prepared by the city Office of Government Relations before Hales and new Commissioner Steve Novick took office. They were both able to review it before it was placed on Wednesdays council agenda, however.
The entire Legislative Agenda can be read at www.portlandonline.com/auditor/index.cfm?c=50265&a=429691