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Gender: Male
Hometown: South Texas. most of my life I lived in Austin and Dallas
Home country: United States
Current location: Bryan, Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 78,324

About Me

Middle-aged white guy who believes in justice and equality for all. Math and computer analyst with additional 21st century jack-of-all-trades skills. I'm a stud, not a dud!

Journal Archives

Bill prohibits employers from firing employees who use marijuana

SALEM — Most Oregon employers would lose the right to fire employees or deny employment to a candidate who uses marijuana during non-work hours, under a bill proposed by lawmakers on the legislative marijuana regulation committee.

The controversial legislation makes exceptions for certain industries such as truck drivers, federal contractors and jobs covered by collective bargaining agreements.

As a legal substance in the state, marijuana should be treated the same as tobacco, proponents told lawmakers during a public hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday, Feb. 21.

"The goal with Senate Bill 301 is to protect other substances that are legal under Oregon law from being a cause of termination or not hiring people for a particular job," said Beth Creighton, a Portland employment attorney, who has represented clients who were fired for their marijuana use. "Currently, tobacco is protected, so if you use tobacco offsite, employers are not permited to fire you because of that. With the onset of legalized marijuana, marijuana should not be treated any differently."

Read more: http://portlandtribune.com/pt/9-news/346306-226227-bill-prohibits-employers-from-firing-employees-who-use-marijuana
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Mar 1, 2017, 06:25 AM (0 replies)

Republican lawmakers introduce bill to ban late-term abortions in Oregon

Republican lawmakers on Thursday introduced legislation that would restrict access to late-term abortions in Oregon.

In what would be a major reversal of current state law, House Bill 3017 would prevent doctors in Oregon from performing an abortion if the fetus is more than 20 weeks old, or about half-way through a typical pregnancy. Nineteen states already ban abortion past 20 weeks. None of those states is controlled by Democrats, whereas Democrats control the Oregon Legislature and governorship.

Oregon's abortion laws are generally more liberal than in other states. The state does not have common abortion restrictions, like mandatory waiting periods or parental notification and is one of the few states that allows publicly-funded abortions, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive health research group.

Beyond banning abortions past 20 weeks, House Bill 3017 would also require doctors performing abortions to determine the age of the fetus by making "inquiries" of the woman seeking an abortion and performing "medical examinations and tests" on her.

Read more: http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2017/02/republican_lawmakers_introduce.html#incart_river_home
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Mar 1, 2017, 06:24 AM (0 replies)

Company with 'baggage' proposes Wilsonville mental hospital

A chronic shortage of treatment facilities has put the mentally ill on Oregon's streets and in its jails in dismaying numbers. So you'd think mental health advocates would be doing backflips over the news of a proposed 100-bed psychiatric hospital in Wilsonville.

You'd be wrong.

Instead, activists are lukewarm to downright hostile, arguing Universal Health Systems's planned $35 million hospital is the wrong plan in the wrong place from the wrong company.

Universal, a for-profit, publicly traded operation, will not include an emergency room at its Wilsonville facility, which critics view as a clear signal the company intends to cherry pick the well-off and the insured as opposed to the impoverished and homeless.

Universal also has plenty of internal issues. "Clearly, this is a company with baggage," said Chris Bouneff, local head of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Read more: http://www.oregonlive.com/business/index.ssf/2017/02/company_with_baggage_proposes.html#incart_river_home
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Mar 1, 2017, 06:23 AM (0 replies)

Kate Brown gets an early start on 2018 campaign

Gov. Kate Brown didn't waste any time after her reelection. On Wednesday, Nov. 9, she was right back on the campaign trail.

Her calendar shows she spent six hours campaigning that day. She thanked donors, gave media interviews and chatted about the election results, her campaign manager says.

But she was also getting a head start on her 2018 race, where she'll likely face stiff competition from Republicans.

Since winning the state's highest office less than four months ago, Brown has devoted an average of six hours a week to calling potential donors, meeting with supporters and other campaign activities, an Oregonian/OregonLive analysis of her calendar shows. That adds up to about 73 hours strictly campaigning.

Read more: http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2017/02/kate_brown_2018_early_start.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Mar 1, 2017, 06:18 AM (0 replies)

Undocumented immigrants in United States stage rally by ICE building

PORTLAND — Openly defying President Trump’s plans to step up deportations of immigrants in the U.S. illegally, several hundred of them and their supporters staged a rally Monday right next to a building of the federal immigration agency.

“We are undocumented, and we are unafraid,” protesters chanted at the rally, held in bone-chilling rain near downtown Portland. Uniformed guards at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement building kept an eye from behind windows on the peaceful protest, but they did not intervene. Some motorists driving by tooted their horns and gave thumbs-up in a show of support.

Speakers at the rally gave their names to the crowd and the media. Some said that while they are worried that this could bring them to the attention of ICE agents, they felt they had to speak out to dispel the climate of fear that has gripped the immigrant community in Oregon, where a few towns have a majority Latino population, and in much of the rest of the nation.

“I am very afraid,” Juan Avalos said in an interview. “But that’s the point today, coming out of the shadows. We will no longer be afraid, and this is the main point of the event.”

Read more: http://registerguard.com/rg/news/local/35325098-75/immigrants-in-united-states-illegally-stage-rally-by-ice-building.html.csp
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Mar 1, 2017, 06:15 AM (3 replies)

Oregon bill would crack down on driver cellphone use

SALEM, Ore. - A bill that expands the definition of using an electronic device while driving has bi-partisan support this legislative session.

House Bill 2597 expands speaking and texting on a cellphone to include using an electronic device in any manner, KGW reports. That would include use of social media, games and the Internet while driving.

A workshop and hearing on the bill was scheduled for Monday afternoon before the House Committee on the Judiciary.

The proposed changes to the law include the following:

Read more: http://www.ktvz.com/news/oregon-bill-would-crack-down-on-driver-cellphone-use/364036502
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Mar 1, 2017, 06:12 AM (0 replies)

Kate Brown to Greg Walden: Don't kill progress made under Affordable Care Act

Gov. Kate Brown met with U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., Monday afternoon at his Capitol Hill office to lobby the congressman on preserving health care benefits granted under the Affordable Care Act.

Walden told The Oregonian/OregonLive through his deputy chief of staff that his meeting with Brown was "friendly and frank" and touched on Oregon's transportation, infrastructure, rural economic development, forestry, and health care policies.

Walden is singularly important to Congressional Republicans' effort -- and President Trump's campaign promise -- to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act because he is chairman of the House committee which oversees U.S. health care policy. Walden has criticized the health care law, commonly referred to as Obamacare, and vowed to replace it with something better.

According to her press secretary, Brown, a Democrat, told Walden that she is "open to any solution" for giving better health care to Oregonians, but "is not willing to go backwards."

Read more: http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2017/02/kate_brown_to_greg_walden_dont.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Mar 1, 2017, 06:08 AM (0 replies)

Oregon reproductive health bill rally draws dozens

Dozens of people rallied at the Oregon Capitol Tuesday in support of House Bill 2232, which proponents call the Reproductive Health Equity Act.

The bill would expand reproductive health care, requiring insurance companies in the state to cover the full range of preventive reproductive health services, including abortion, at no out-of-pocket cost to patients.

The bill includes those who are without health care coverage due to citizenship status, and prohibits discriminating against a person based on their gender identity.

The effort comes amidst uncertainty over the federal Affordable Care Act, which President Trump has promised to repeal. The bill would require insurance providers to cover reproductive health services without copays, even if the Affordable Care Act is repealed.

Read more: http://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/politics/2017/02/28/oregon-reproductive-health-bill-rally-draws-dozens/98486830/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Mar 1, 2017, 06:03 AM (0 replies)

Sex trafficking, evictions, gun reform among top priorities for Womens Health & Wellness Alliance

Bills to guarantee reproductive rights, help victims of sex trafficking, and provide eviction protection are among 16 pieces of legislation backed by the Oregon Women’s Health & Wellness Alliance.

The group of legislators, state and local agency staff, health care workers and citizen advocates has been working to help Oregon women and families since 1992.

Members announced the group’s 2017 legislative agenda priorities Monday morning.

“(The bills) really go to some of the underlying causes of things that prevent women from having health and safety in the community,” said Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer, D-Portland, co-chairwoman of the group. “So they go into the areas of firearms and transgender and a variety of things you might not think are specific to women but we know they disproportionally impact women.”

Read more: http://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/politics/2017/02/27/sex-trafficking-evictions-gun-reform-among-top-priorities-oregon-womens-health-wellness-alliance/98478948/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Mar 1, 2017, 06:01 AM (0 replies)

Oregon bill would help transgender residents change vital records to reflect new name, gender

Transgender residents want the Oregon Legislature to make it easier for them to change their names and gender designations on vital records.

In written and oral testimony at a committee hearing Monday, more than a dozen people described their challenges with the state’s current statute, which requires a legal petition that must be publicly posted in a county courthouse.

“I have feared for my safety because I am transgender, so as you can imagine having to go into a government building where my old feminine sounding name would be publicly announced and posted is prohibitive,” North Portland resident J Gibbons said.

The court process also is inconsistent from county to county and can be costly and hard to navigate, according to Basic Rights Oregon, which requested the legislation.

Read more: http://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/politics/2017/02/27/oregon-bill-would-help-transgender-residents-change-vital-records-reflect-new-name-gender/98498396/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Mar 1, 2017, 05:59 AM (0 replies)
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