New bills are being considered for the January legislative session, and it’s the same old story. Oregon legislators have found they can get away with introducing bills without attaching legislators’ names to them. And that’s exactly what they are doing.
There are even big tax changes up for consideration, and legislators are introducing them without clear accountability.
Legislators are hiding who is behind the effort to swipe money from taxpayers by trying to bring an end to the kicker tax rebate. There is nobody’s name attached to the bill.
Legislators are hiding who is behind a proposed change in how property tax is calculated, driving it up. Nobody’s name is attached to the bill.
Legislators are hiding who is behind a proposed increase in the corporate minimum tax. Nobody’s name is attached to the bill.
There are many more tax changes, but you get the idea. It’s like Oregon legislators have adopted the omerta as the way to do the public’s business. It’s not for your benefit. It’s for the benefit of legislators. If nobody can be held accountable for a bill, voters don’t know who to vote for or against.
Sure, when pressed, a legislator might stand up and take responsibility. They also may claim the session has not yet started, so it’s too early to name names. They could argue the bills are only in a preliminary form and haven’t been formally introduced.
That’s nonsense. If legislators wanted to insist on accountability, they could easily forbid any bill or legislative concept from being considered unless a legislator or group of legislators clearly put their name on it. State Rep. Mike McLane, R-Powell Butte, led an effort to end the practice. Democrats rejected it.
Politicians and state officials complain about lack of trust in government. Nothing corrodes public trust like efforts by legislators to conceal accountability.