Kate Brown is governor. She is not queen. She doesn’t faithfully discharge the duties of governor when she dictates important policy changes for the state and ignores the Legislature.
Brown declared Monday that all new homes built by October 2020 must be equipped for solar. The same will apply to commercial buildings by October 2022. She also has declared that all new parking structures for home and commercial buildings must be wired for a charger for an electric vehicle by October 2022.
These are the kinds of changes that should be vetted and voted on by the Legislature — not issued by executive order. What is so terrible about the democratic process? Why even have a Legislature?
Solar can be a great option for homes and businesses. Electric cars may one day rule Oregon’s roads. The problem in Brown adopting these changes by diktat is there is no full debate of the policy merits.
For instance, what about costs? Bryan Hockaday, Brown’s press secretary, didn’t provide an estimate. Cost surely would have been something a legislator would have wanted to know. Hockaday did write, though, Brown hoped to save consumers money. He added “if there is a significant increase in costs” implementation could be delayed. So a significant cost increase is OK as long as it is delayed?
Brown’s executive orders should worry liberals and conservatives. Oregon’s government is structured so no one individual, no one agency of government, can make important policies unchecked. Brown’s action deserves rebuke.