A special thank you to all who voted for me in the May 2018 primary. It is my honor to serve you. I will continue to focus on the ideas of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as I work on legislation to benefit all Oregonians. Now to prepare for the General Election in November. Thank you for your support and God Bless Oregon.
The Governor has called a special session of the Oregon legislature for the week of May 21st. According to the Governor, the purpose of this special session is to pass one bill which will address an “obvious inequity in Oregon’s tax system”. With the changes to the Federal Tax code passed by President Trump in 2018, Oregon’s state taxes automatically connect to Trump's new deduction. However, in February, State Democrats led the charge to reject those automatic tax breaks for Oregon’s small businesses and to keep Oregon's previous state tax code.
The difference for Oregon’s small businesses, between the State accepting the code from the Trump tax plan and remaining with Oregon’s previous tax code, is over $1 billion during the next five years. A $1 billion cash flow infusion that was intended for the pockets of Oregon’s entrepreneurs and Etsy moms will now go to the State of Oregon, which already collects a record amount of revenue. Salem’s tax and spend politicians are elated.
The Governor’s call for a special session will only grant approximately 12,000 of Oregon’s 260,000 smallest businesses a tax break. Sole proprietors with at least 1 full time employee will see a reduction in rates. That’s it.
This “simple fix” could have easily been accomplished when the Oregon Legislature met in February. What the Governor calls a special session, I call an election year political stunt. The Governor and Democrat leadership who stripped $1 billion from Oregon’s small businesses in February now want to give less than 5% of those same businesses a tax cut in order to claim the Governor is a friend to small businesses.
The tragic deaths of 17 students at a Parkland, Florida high school is a grim reality we must all face. Besides the obvious tragedy, once again this mass-shooting brings up political rhetoric claiming guns are bad, therefore guns should be banned. The idea of keeping children safe while at school is one in which all Americans can agree. However, banning guns from law abiding citizens runs contrary to a foundational principle that as Americans we have a natural right to protect ourselves — in other words, the right to bear arms.
A month later after the Parkland shooting, #MarchForOurLives protests took place in several cities across the United States. Organized and funded by Left-wing groups, students took to the streets in anger against our current gun laws, including the Second Amendment.
While the #MarchForOurLives demonstration was bold and loud, their message was muddled and unclear. Now many are rushing to fill in the blanks: from requiring more background checks to eliminating the Second Amendment, as former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens recently said. While there may be some room for improvement in background checks, the idea of eliminating the Second Amendment is dangerous and gaining support. In Oregon this idea manifests itself as Oregon IP 43, which requires the surrender or registration of all “assault” weapons and limits the size of magazines. Let me ask, will such a mass-gun registration stop any violent crime? Of course not, but the registration of guns is not for that purpose. The only reason for gun registration is so the State knows who owns guns. The only practical reason for that knowledge is that IP 43 is Step-1 of a two-step program. Step-2 is the confiscation of guns from law-abiding citizens: first the State must know where all the guns are before they can confiscate them. Otherwise, learning such information is more bureaucratic busy-work with no real public benefit.
The following is the speech I gave on the Floor of the House of Representatives on March 2, 2018 to stand up for small businesses in Oregon.
SB 1528 effectively eliminates the tax benefits from the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Bill passed in Congress. SB 1528 takes those dollars intended to boost small business and slurps them up into the State Treasury. As long as liberal Democrats run this state, there will never be enough of your money in their pockets.
Thank you Madam Speaker. To the Bill.
Madam Speaker I have two words to summarize this bill — to describe why I will be a No on SB 1528. Those two words are “Cash Flow”. When it comes to Small Business, Cash Flow is King.
Most small businesses in Oregon are not made of wealthy attorneys or medical professions. Statistics from the Oregon Department of Revenue tell us that these over 300,000 small Oregon businesses — who will be negatively effected by SB 1528 — are made up of just one, or a few, individuals and average a gross income of less than $50,000/year. These are mostly home-based businesses — for example mom’s who sell their crafts on Etsy or EBay to help make ends meet; Uber drivers and freelance writers.
Many of Oregon’s small businesses are entrepreneurs who have walked away from the golden chains of corporate America and are trying something new in order to make a better life for themselves and their families. Let us not forget part of the American dream is to invent something new, or to build something better — in a way never done before — in order to improve lives and build a secure financial future. This ingenuity and work ethic is what has helped make America great.