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Oregon HB 3543 Repeals the Kicker Check Refunds
The Bill Now Goes to the Governor for His Signature
-by Scott Rohter, June 2011

Dateline: Salem, Oregon - May 26, 2011
Oregon HB 3543, to end the kicker check refunds passed the State Legislature, and will be sent to the Governor for his signature.  The only question remaining is, will Governor Kitzhaber sign the bill, and risk alienating the voters, and hurting his chances for re-election? 

In an effort to hold our elected officials fully accountable, this story identifies those legislators in Salem, who sold the taxpayers of Oregon ‘ down the proverbial river,’ by voting to end the taxpayer favored practice of mailing out kicker checks when the actual state collected revenues exceed the projections by over 2%.  As the story goes, it is just too expensive to return to the taxpayers of Oregon, the amount of money that we overpaid!  Besides, our state government in Salem doesn’t even have the money anymore!  (What!)  And they would have to borrow the money just in order to pay us back!  (Excuse me?)  I thought you aren’t supposed to spend, money that you weren’t even supposed to have in the first place!  Or to put it another way.  If we overpaid you, that money belongs to us!  You should have just parked it in a no-risk, interest-bearing account, until it could be determined what would eventually be done with it!  Why did you spend money that you weren’t even supposed to collect?  For the answer to that question you have to listen to the words of Calvin Coolidge.  He said that the easiest thing to do, is to spend the public’s money!  “It doesn’t appear to belong to anyone, and the temptation to spend it… is overwhelming!”

So for anyone who wants to know, here is the breakdown of how the votes went on the repeal of the kicker check refunds, HB 3543. 

HB 3543   THE VOTE
Senate     17 YES     |     12 NO
House      38 YES     |     21 NO

Democrats
ALL of the Democrats voted to END the kicker check refunds except for three.  They are:


Senator Joanne Verger

D.

North Bend

503-986-1705

Representative  M. Schaufler

D.

Happy Valley

503-986-1448

Representative B. Garrard

D.

Klamath Falls

503-986-1456

These few decent Democrats deserve our thanks! Call them and thank them for their vote.

Republicans
On the Republican side only two Republicans in the Senate voted to end the practice of mailing out the kicker checks, and they deserve our contempt.  They are:

Senator Frank Morse   R. Albany 503-986-1708
Senator Alan Olsen  R.  Canby 503-986-1720

On the House side, there were ten other Republicans who voted along with the Democrats, to repeal the kicker checks.  They are:

Representative Julie Parrish

R.

Westlinn

503-986-1437

Rep. Vicki Berger

R.

Salem

503-986-1420

Rep. C. Bentz

R.

Ontario

503-986-1460

Rep. K. Eyre Brewer

R.

Hillsboro

503-986-1429

Rep. J. Conger

R.

Bend

503-986-1454

Rep. B. Jensen

R.

Pendleton

503-986-1458

Rep. B. Kennemer

R.

Oregon City

503-986-1439

Rep. Shawn Lindsey

R.

Hillsboro

503-986-1430

Rep. D. Richardson

R.

Central Point

503-986-1404

Rep. P. Sheehan

R.

Clackamas

503-986-1451

These ten House Republicans along with two Republican members of the State Senate gave the Democrats the majority they needed to pass the bill.  Shame on all of you!

You should take the time to call their offices and tell them how you feel!

And while you are at it, call Governor Kitzhaber's office at 503-378-3111 and ask him not to sign HB3543!

Thanks go to Becky Lemler for her assistance with this story.

"The truth, the political truth, and nothing but the political truth.
A journalist has no better friend than the truth."
- Scott Rohter

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