Tim Nesbitt

Rep. Jason Kropf, D-Bend, and Senate Majority Leader Kate Lieber, D-Beaverton, talk to reporters on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024, about their proposed framework to address the drug addiction and overdose crisis.

How treating drug addiction as a public health crisis could fix the failings of Measure 110

By: - February 13, 2024

After listening to hours of contentious testimony about Measure 110 in a Legislative hearing last week, it struck me that everyone who testified for and against the recriminalization of hard drugs was coming from the same place. All acknowledged, at least implicitly, that opioids like fentanyl are dangerous, that persistent use of them is bad […]

Gov. Tina Kotek has set a goal of building 36,000 new homes a year – nearly double the average number of homes built in Oregon in recent years.

Oregon faces problems with expanding housing in cities: paying for services for new residents

By: - February 6, 2024

Oregon, like our neighbors to north and south, is in the midst of an aggressive home building project. But we’re faced with a larger problem than either California and Washington when it comes to sustaining a growing population: Our local tax system can’t keep up with new development. Here in Oregon, as we build new […]


How a partisan fight over chickens united a local community

By: - December 20, 2023

It took two years in a fight over chickens – yes, chickens! – to show how partisan divides can be overcome in local communities empowered with local control. Anyone watching the Legislature’s hearings on a bill to place restrictions on industrial-scale livestock operations earlier this year would have seen a stark demonstration of hardline party […]

Hundreds of educators, parents and students joined a rally Nov. 1. 2023 at Roosevelt High School in northeast Portland to support striking teachers who want better pay, smaller class sizes and more planning time among other demands. (Alex Baumhardt/Oregon Capital Chronicle)

What state lawmakers should learn from the Portland teachers strike

By: - November 28, 2023

The Portland teachers strike sent a message to state lawmakers who hold the purse strings for Portland and the state’s other 196 school districts: You can’t keep writing checks for our schools without getting more involved in how those checks are spent. Portland teachers managed to force changes in the district’s budget, boosting their salaries […]


Ohio voters affirm the “Defense of Democracy” enacted by Oregonians 25 years ago

By: - August 9, 2023

Voters in Ohio turned back a blatant attempt to change the rules of their democracy this week, when they trounced a ballot referral designed by the state’s Republican Legislature to stymie a citizen initiative headed to the ballot in November.  The issue in this case was abortion rights, which elevated Ohio’s Measure 1 to national […]

Watermelon harvest in Hermiston

Oregonians celebrate small family farms, but they’re wary of ‘Big Ag’

By: - July 28, 2023

Disputes over farming of any kind are likely to involve some version of “Big Ag” versus small family farms, each asserting their attention to the environment, their stewardship of the land and the benefits and costs of their products for consumers. “Go big or go broke” was how a number of large dairy farmers and […]

Shemia Fagan with vote tattoo

What was Fagan thinking?

By: - May 3, 2023

There’s something called the “any damn fool” rule in politics. It’s an unwritten rule because, well, any damn fool should know better, no matter what the law says or how the rules can be interpreted to justify one’s actions. Secretary of State Shemia Fagan learned this rule the hard way, when she took on a […]

Mount Hood National Forest

Should Oregon’s population decline concern us? 

By: - April 14, 2023

State economists sounded the alarm recently about a slight but sudden decline in Oregon’s population, warning of a potential drag on an economy that has benefited from steady in-migration for more than three decades.  For business leaders in Portland and budget watchers in Salem, this decline was another warning signal that Oregon should get its […]


Progressives advance a “mend it, don’t end it” approach to Oregon’s kicker

By: - March 14, 2023

This is the year when progressives in Oregon stopped trying to abolish the state’s tax kicker and began to figure out how to live with it. Their ideas chart a path that could resolve the decades-long conflict over Oregon’s most loved and hated tax policy. Progressives at the Oregon Center for Public Policy have argued […]

Tax forms for IRS

State economists conclude Oregon just enjoyed a blockbuster decade

By: - February 24, 2023

Good news is hard to accept at times, as when economists tell us that Oregon has just enjoyed one of its best decades ever – growing jobs, boosting wages, narrowing income inequality and diminishing poverty at rates not seen in most of our lifetimes. Wait, what?  Yes, that’s what the data shows for Oregon’s economy […]


Even the best new plans to reduce homelessness will take years to show results

By: - February 16, 2023

In a new year, with new leadership, there’s a new plan a week to address Oregon’s chronic homelessness problems.  Gov. Tina Kotek declared a homelessness state of emergency in most areas of the state on her first full day in office. Multnomah County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson followed with a new Multnomah Housing Now program, […]

Oregon Senate floor session

Why limit tax credit auctions to exclusive few?

By: - December 7, 2022

This is the time of year when solicitations for charitable giving arrive with appeals not just to the better angels of our nature but to our more mundane aversion to paying taxes. Our tax system is explicitly designed to subsidize charitable giving. So, as in the iconic holiday movie, It’s a Wonderful Life: When we […]