Tag Archives: Oregon State

Guess the main culprit of Oregon’s $623 million projected budget shortfall…

When the “Affordable” Care Act was passed, it expanded tax-payer funded health coverage through Medicaid. States that agreed to participate and expand eligibility would be reimbursed by the federal government at 100% of the costs with those reimbursement costs declining by 2020.

As Nasdaq reported in 2016, states would take a hit to their budgets once the reimbursements were reduced. From their report:

At this point, many states have seen dramatic increases in their Medicaid enrollment levels beyond original expectations, which may pose serious fiscal consequences.

While this growth speaks volumes about the progress toward meeting the federal government’s goal of increasing the number of Americans with health insurance, it arguably falls short in addressing the financial burden to state governments.

With federal reimbursement levels declining in a few years, states have largely focused on the most economical and efficient delivery methods (e.g., health maintenance organizations) to help alleviate fiscal costs going forward. Still, budgetary pressures are likely to persist. Enrollment projections were wrong and costs have exceeded expectations. That is why more than 20 states, mostly conservative, Republican-dominated states, opted out of joining the ACA program and are now enjoying an “I told you so” moment after analyzing the program’s fiscal costs.”

Oregon Live reported on Tuesday that the state’s general fund and lottery revenues could total $23.6 billion from 2019 to 2021, a 5 percent increase from the current budget, yet the state could still go $623 million in the red, according to a tentative budget overview from the Legislative Fiscal Office and Department of Administrative Services.

And the main cause of this deficit? Rising costs for the state’s Medicaid program. From their report:

Under the Affordable Care Act, states such as Oregon that expanded Medicaid must pick up a greater share of the cost over time. Existing taxes that fund the program are also set to wind down.”

Adding to that deficit is education costs that will increase due to the passage of Measure 98 in 2016. That will result in an increase in spending on the programs by $147 million annually.

How’s that “big f*cking deal” working out for you now, demorats?


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OR Governor is a liberal whacko

Remember the man I wrote about who was arrested for collecting rainwater on his private property? Gary Harrington of Eagle Point, Oregon has been in  a long legal battle against Oregon water managers who want the water that falls on his property. He was convicted in July on three counts each on charges of illegal use of water denied by a water master, unauthorized use of water and interfering with a lawfully established head gate or water box.  He’s heading to jail today to do his 30 days times.  But guess who the governor is giving clemency to?

OR Gov. Grants Clemency To Murderer, But Not To Man Collecting Rainwater

CNS News: Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber won’t even discuss clemency for a man convicted of collecting rainwater, yet he’s forcing a reprieve on a convicted murderer – who wants to be executed.
Democrat Gov. Kitzhaber has granted a reprieve “for the duration of my service as governor” to Gary D. Haugen, who has twice been convicted of aggravated murder. Haugen – who wants to be executed – was first convicted of killing the mother of his girlfriend and later was found guilty of murdering a fellow inmate.

Got something stuck in his ear…

Meanwhile, Gov. Kitzhaber’s office won’t even discuss the possibility of granting any form of clemency to Gary Harrington, who is scheduled to begin serving a 30 day jail term this week – for collecting rainwater his own property.
Mr. Harrington was sentenced July 25 in Jackson County Circuit Court to 30 days in jail and over $1,500 in fines for violating Oregon state laws that say all water is publically owned–making the 3 reservoirs on his property used to house rainwater and snow runoff illegal.
CNSNews.com has repeatedly contacted the governor’s office via phone and email to ask if the governor has any intention of pardoning Harrington or commuting his sentence. But the governor’s office has not responded to any of those inquiries.
And, while Harrington is scheduled to begin serving his jail sentence on Wednesday despite appealing his conviction, Haugen has waived his available appeals regarding his sentence.
Haugen has even filed a lawsuit against Gov. Kitzhaber seeking judicial intervention to invalidate the reprieve and allow the state to execute him. Haugen claims that state law allows him to refuse the reprieve.
In his report to the Oregon Legislative Assembly, Gov. Kitzhaber acknowledges that Hauber has waived his right to appeal his death sentence. But, the governor continues to fight Hauber’s lawsuit, insisting he does not need Hauber’s permission to grant the reprieve.
The judge hearing Haugen’s complaint against the governor is asking for additional input before deciding whether or not to grant Haugen’s request to be executed.
Giving clemency to a man who killed two people yet not to a man that collected rainwater on his property?  Liberalism is truly a mental disorder.

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State of Oregon owns the rainwater

Homeowner Gary Harrington continues to be persecuted by Oregon State water

The Oregon Herald: Homeowners should beware that there are state managers who would take the very water that falls on your property, take you to court and prosecute you as a criminal.

Gary Harrington of rural Eagle Point said he will continue his long legal battle against Oregon water managers who want the water that falls on his property. He said the water containers the managers are concerned about are merely ponds holding rain and snow runoff from his own property, and that he stores the water mainly for fire protection.
Oregonians and many property owners around the United States are quite away, this summer, of how important it could be to have extra water to wet the roof and other property on your own land.
Harrington plans to appeal his recent conviction on nine misdemeanor charges for filling his own private reservoirs with rain and snow runoff the state steadfastly maintains is owned by the Medford Water Commission.
That’s right. The state swears they own the water on your own property.
Harrington disagrees with the state’s interpretation of a 1925 state law granting the commission broad water rights to the Big Butte Creek Basin. He believes he’s been singled out amid other pond owners.
When it comes to the point where a rural landowner can’t catch rainwater that falls on his land to protect his property, it’s gone too far,” he said. “This should serve as a dire warning to all pond owners.”
Oregon officials have dragged Harrington through the state court system for a decade for using his own water without a permit, convicting him of “illegally taking water without a permit” in 2002.
Harrington’s case was prosecuted by the state Department of Justice at the request of the Jackson County District Attorney’s office. Prosecutor Patrick Flanagan, who handled the case with die-hard passion, declined to comment until after Harrington’s sentencing.
Harrington represented himself at his trial Tuesday. It was no surprise when a six-member jury convicted him on three counts each on charges of illegal use of water denied by a water master, unauthorized use of water and interfering with a lawfully established head gate or water box.
At issue is the interpretation of the 1925 state law that gave the water commission exclusive rights to all the water in Big Butte Creek, its tributaries and Big Butte Springs. That’s core of the city’s municipal water supply.
Harrington has argued in court documents that he’s not diverting water from the creek system, but capturing rainwater and snowmelt from his 172-acre property along Crowfoot Road. He maintained that the runoff does not fall under the state’s jurisdiction and does not violate the 1925 act.
Water managers have said the runoff is a tributary of nearby Crowfoot Creek and thus subject to the law. Here’s additional details:
The Oregon Legislature closed Big Butte Springs drainage from any additional
appropriation in 1925 and gave all additional water to the City of Medford. The
Commission receives most of its water supply from the Big Butte Springs. The
water begins as snowmelt on Mt. McLoughlin and percolates through volcanic soils to emerge again as springs. The Big Butte Springs watershed is a multiple-use watershed consisting of 56,000 acres of private and publicly-managed lands. This watershed provides the recharge zone for the Big Butte Springs.
While I am no attorney, I don’t believe Mr. Harrington is in the wrong.  It’s not like he’s withdrawing water from the creek, just the sky. Is he wrong or getting screwed by big government?
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