Camouflaged Changes in the Constitution
Concerns regarding passage of concealed tax bills.
I wanted to take a few minutes and write a bit about a trend I see happening here in the Capitol which concerns me greatly.
Any of you who know me know that I am a consistent and dedicated supporter of the Constitution - both Oregon's and the United State's. When I see something happening that I believe threatens our Constitution I know I have to speak up.
Many of you have been following SB324 - the Clean Fuels Bill which passed both the Senate and the House on strict party lines - and is now on the Governor's desk awaiting signature. In my opinion - this bill is a tax bill - straight forward - a tax bill.
However, it was passed with just simple majority votes. According to our Constitution any tax increases must be passed with a 3/5 majority vote. So how did this happen? Why was it okayed by Legislative Counsel and Legislative Fiscal? Those are questions that may never be answered.
Although this process was not exactly what was used on SB324 - it appears to me that the majority party has found a way to "balance" out the tax statement by including a tax credit in the same proposed legislation - thereby voiding the "tax" language.
Once the tax language is "voided" then the proposed legislation sunsets the tax credit - but not the tax. The tax continues on forever.
Good for Oregonians? No
The right thing to do? No
Does it assist in reaching the legislative goals of the majority party - well apparently yes. But let's take this one step further.
Once this method of taxation is established any party in charge can use it. Is this a good idea? Personally I do not believe so. We have rules and regulations, laws, constitutional requirements that we, as elected officials have sworn to uphold. Is that what is being done here? As an elected official, I believe it is detrimental when one party rules - too easy to forget that you may not always rule.
I am asking you to call the Governor's office 503-378-3111 or email Governor Brown and request that she table SB324 because of:
- a. The questionable constitutionality of a tax bill being passed with less than 3/5 majority vote and
- b. The investigation by the Federal Government into the part which Cylvia Hayes may have played in creating the Clean Fuels Bill and other energy conservation proposed legislation.
One could truly begin the process of building trust once again in our Governor's office by not signing this legislation.
Just observing - do you watch the Floor Sessions?