Tired of paying for poor choices

Can we please start to look at facts and be truthful?

The latest protest for our kids by unionized teachers is just another ruse for more money for PERS. It is always marketed as for the “kids,” but the only connection to the kids is that they will be the ones paying for the future PERS liability. And why do these protests always occur during a school day? It really is a form of bullying. Otherwise, hold the protest on a weekend.

The City of Albany has reported that PERS contributions increased by 6%. This increase will no doubt result in cuts to personnel. It’s no secret that Kate Brown and other elected Democrats have done nothing to solve the PERS problem. Currently, PERS is estimated to have a $27 billion deficit. She did suggest that educators contribute to their own retirement, but that didn’t go over well with the unionized masses?

Creating new business taxes is not a solution, but it seems to be all that Democrats know how to do. And the irony is so very thick. The teacher’s union and public employees union were two of the biggest supporters of Brown and her fellow Democrats. Well, folks, you have elected people with no clue as to how to solve this problem. Are you finally ready to elect some conservatives to manage our state?

If you are a Democrat and work for government, please step forward and take your lumps. Maybe losing your job will be a wake-up call on how you vote. The rest of us are tired of paying for your poor choices in leadership. Using past history as an indicator, continuing to elect Democrats will only further push our state into financial ruin.

John Robinson

Albany (May 10)

Paid family leave will help society

Recent discussion regarding paid family leave in Oregon has sparked support mainly from small business owners. These business owners are at a disadvantage because small businesses cannot part with money as easily as large businesses. House Bill 3031 would make it less financially painful to offer paid leave by letting employees take part of their pay when on family or medical leave.

This policy would have employers and their employees split the bill 50-50 to pay for this program. This makes it more appealing and likely that employers would invite this policy into their businesses. There are some states including California and Washington that already have state-run paid family leave policies. Not having a paid leave policy makes it harder for small businesses to retain workers because the large businesses are able to offer paid leave already.

I fully support this policy. The United States is one of the few countries that does not offer paid leave which could be due to the fact that our policymakers care more about public matters than private ones (such as family matters). As an individualistic society, family issues are often “swept under the rug” and not acknowledged by policymakers.

I believe this policy is important because families are the building blocks of society and should be more highly valued as a whole. This would help small businesses grow, improve family life, set the future up for success, and benefit many other aspects of our society.

Quinn Weisensee

Corvallis (April 30)

Legislators must pass energy bill

The Clean Energy Jobs Bill (House Bill 2020) has been a decade in the making. This legislation will put a cap on greenhouse gas emissions for the largest polluters in Oregon and invest money generated from cap revenues into more clean energy opportunities, while also providing security for communities most impacted by climate change in our state.

Transitioning from a polluting economy dependent on fossil fuels is what we need now. There is no time to wait, to push it off for later. Greenhouse gas emissions must be rapidly reduced in the next decade, and Oregon can champion the way.

Naysayers include those on the Joint Committee for Carbon Reduction, including Rep. David Brock Smith, who argues that Oregon’s contributions to reducing emissions will appear miniscule on a global level. Let’s expand our thinking. Why pass any legislation in Oregon — if we always compare our efforts to the global level impact, of course our efforts will seem small. But small is better than nothing. Thousands of youth across Oregon who know that future generations do not have the benefit of waiting around when it comes to climate change.

Right now, HB 2020 is sitting in committee, and it needs to get to the floor for a vote. With just two months left in the legislative session, we need to express our desire to see this bill passed into law. Let your senator, representative, and those on the Ways and Means Committee know that Oregonians want the Clean Energy Jobs bill passed!

Erin Kanzig

Philomath (May 1)

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