All posts by Jeff Newgard

Jeff Newgard

About Jeff Newgard

Jeff Newgard is an account manager and lobbyist for Pac/West Communications.


State economists project $477.5 million income tax refund

Today, state economists released the final economic and revenue forecast of the 2013-15 biennium. Throughout the course of the past year, economists have cautioned the reality of a relatively small personal income tax kicker for the current biennium as a result of the economic recovery and minor changes to the state’s tax regime. Earlier this year, the forecast projected a $349.3 million refund being issued to personal income taxpayers by the end of the biennium. Today’s release increased the value of this payment by approximately $128 million, with an average refund of $284 per taxpayer. Read more…

Kicker graphic

Personal income tax kicker becomes likely, says state economists

Today, state economists released the revenue forecast predictions for March 2015. According to the current forecast, the state is expecting revenues to exceed the two percent personal income tax kicker threshold by approximately $59 million. Therefore, if these predictions hold true, there will be a $349.3 million kicker returned to taxpayers in 2015. Unlike kickers in the past, however, the payment will be expended in the form of a tax credit on the taxpayer’s 2015 filing. There is also a $55.7 percent corporate income tax kicker anticipated. However, due to Measure 85 (2012), the amount in excess is transferred to the State School Fund. Economists will not know for certain whether the personal income tax kicker will “kick” until all of the returns from this year are filed, which will likely be during the fall. Read more…


Oregon dodges personal income tax kicker threshold, for now …

The economic recovery in Oregon is continuing to show progress across nearly all economic sectors on the eve of the seventh anniversary of the Great Recession. During a joint meeting of the House and Senate revenue committees, state economists asserted that employment figures have not returned to their pre-recession levels but are expected to before the 2015-17 biennium begins. As a result of Oregon’s economic dependence on the traded and natural resource sectors, the recession and recovery reflect more of a boom and bust cycle than many other states. Read more…


Revenue Forecast: State economists hint at possibility of a kicker

Today, state economists Mark McMullen and Josh Lehner of the Office of Economic Analysis presented the September 2014 Economic and Revenue Forecast before a joint meeting of the House Revenue and Senate Finance and Revenue committees. The underlying theme of the past several forecasts has been that Oregon’s economy was finally starting to pick up speed after years of sluggish growth during the Great Recession. Read more…


Independent Primary Election Results Telling Tale of Campaign Priorities

On July 21, the Independent Party of Oregon (IPO) announced the results of its primary election. It’s important to note that only 1,712 registered Independents (1.75 percent) participated in the primary. However, the actual results are not nearly as interesting as the efforts of each campaign and the parties to drive up support in this year’s swing districts. Read more…


Oregon creeping out of recession, state economists say

On Wednesday, state economists Mark McMullen and Josh Lehner from the Office of Economic Analysis presented the March 2014 Economic and Revenue Forecast to the House Revenue Committee and the Senate Finance and Revenue Committee. Neither the economy nor state revenues have changed considerably since the close of session projections. This is both good and bad news. Accurate projections suggest that the economy is stabilizing as it continues to emerge from the recession; however, the economy stabilizing at current levels indicates temperate growth, which can affect state revenues in future years, as expected since the economic forecasts of 2010. Read more…

Read More: Explaining the filibuster

The filibuster is by no means a byproduct of modern times. In fact, the parliamentary tool itself was created as an oversight.

When Congress was formed in 1789, the rules for both the House of Representatives and Senate were identical. Both allowed for a parliamentary move called a “previous question” motion, calling for a simple majority to end a debate. In 1805, when Vice President Aaron Burr was presiding over the Senate, Burr requested that senators revisit chamber rules and remove duplicative ones. The Senate then removed its “previous question” motion, thereby allowing for unlimited debate. Keep in mind that the chamber was only in its infancy and had not tested all of the parliamentary rules, including limitless debate because the members believed they had no choice but to vote once the discussion was complete.

It was not until March 1917, when President Woodrow Wilson called a special congressional session to modify the parliamentary rules for the chamber, that the Senate adopted Rule 22, the cloture motion (requiring a supermajority to end a filibuster), into its governing rules.

The majority several times in recent memory has threatened the constitutional option, also known as the “nuclear option,” as a way to undermine a minority filibuster. Typically, a cloture motion must be filed in order to end the debate on the floor. However, a senator can motion for a simple majority to make the decision. This request runs contradictory to parliamentary rules and the member presiding over the chamber must deny the motion. The first senator can then appeal the ruling to the chamber, which only requires a simple majority. If the floor rejects the ruling of the presiding member, there becomes a precedent that a supermajority is not needed for that specific type of motion. (This can be done in part, meaning that only certain types of filibusters can be ended with a simple majority or in whole).

When Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) and Senate Democrats went “nuclear” on November 21, this is precisely what they did. Here is the uncut footage of the floor session from C-SPAN. Beware, it’s an hour long.



Senate Democrats go “nuclear,” what will be the fallout?

On November 21, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) made history when he motioned for an overhaul of the filibuster, a parliamentary tool that has been associated with dysfunction in recent years. This occurred after a cloture motion (a motion to end debate) failed for the second time to appoint Patricia Millet to fill a vacancy on the D.C. Circuit Court, a stepping stone for the U.S. Supreme Court. Throughout history, the majority caucus has threatened to change the filibuster rule but has never followed through. Read more…


December 2013 Revenue Forecast: Economists predict stable, modest growth in Oregon and potential personal income tax kicker in 2015

The Office of Economic Analysis presented its December 2013 economic and revenue forecast to a joint legislative committee on Thursday morning. While the economy in Oregon continues to recover from the recent recession, the outlook for the state budget is not nearly as promising as lawmakers face the potential of the personal income tax kicker reaching its statutory threshold in 2015. The key takeaway left by state economists was that the state budget is at a critical turning point.  Read more…