From the Capitol
by Bill Post
Once again I am honored and privileged to serve you the good people of Keizer (along with St. Paul, Newberg and parts in between) in the Oregon Legislature. This month is sort of a “grab bag” of thoughts.
First off, I am always surprised at how many people I talk to who aren’t even aware there is an Oregon Legislature. I talk to a lot of people around town, by e-mail and social media, and many are not aware that the session of 2015 even happened, especially those it affected the most: businesses. In the 2015 Session, there were several laws passed that will further burden businesses in our district and that greatly concerns me. I get excited to read the Keizertimes and see new businesses start up or old ones grow larger – this is success for all of us, not just the business owner. This is the main reason I am opposed (not as your state representative, but as Bill Post, the guy who lives in a home in Keizer) to the Salem-Keizer transit payroll tax. I have seen the very difficult choices business will have to make beginning in 2016 thanks to the Oregon Legislature – they don’ t need another burden.
Second, I love the weekly poll in the Keizertimes, as it tells us a little bit about our community. Last week it featured a question concerning the amount of guns in our households. Thirty-four percent said they had no guns while 66 percent said they did, with 30 percent saying they had 10 or more guns. I am encouraged by that as we have a right, thanks to the US and Oregon Constitutions, to own those guns and it seems Keizerites revel in that right.
Lastly, I am concerned for the youth of our community. The “millennials” in particular (since my own son would be considered in that group). I watch as government has tried to make their lives easier, yet instead, their future success is appearing more elusive. By expanding entitlements to so many, those of my generation are saddling young people with debt that they’ll never be able to pay. We encourage them to go to college and get a degree but then prevent them from entering the job market through licensing, red tape and protection of already established workers. The idea of increasing minimum wage, while very appealing to hear and may be very well intentioned, makes it even more difficult for young, inexperienced and low skilled people to enter the job market. The thought that, “if only government were larger and gave more handouts, and taxes were raised to pay for these programs, then young people would do better” just isn’t true. Government tends to pick winners and losers, and the politically unorganized young are ineffective at lobbying for their interests. The key for these young folks to succeed is for government to get out of their way.
Though we are not in session again until February, I continue to do what I can to serve you in any way here in House District 25.
(Bill Post represents House District 25. He can be reached at 503-986-1425 or via email at email@example.com.)