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|Articles - January 2013|
|Monday, December 10, 2012|
Page 2 of 5
Health care and education: Finishing the job
In 2011-12, business leaders helped pass landmark education reforms giving public universities more autonomy from the state and creating a new entity, the Oregon Education Investment Board, to make policy and funding decisions for all education levels, from preschool through college.
According to Betsy Earls, AOI’s education legislative representative, the higher-education discussion will focus on new governance structures and financial tools, including institutional governing boards, bonding authority and shared services between institutions. All eyes will also be on Oregon’s new chief education officer, Rudy Crew, whose proposals for boosting K-12 educational outcomes will help inform future discussions about school funding.
Business groups championing structural reforms will encounter opposition from parents and unions who are far more concerned about hiring more teachers and bringing down class sizes in schools decimated by budget cuts. “We are creating a system that has done a lot in the last few years to talk about accountability but is not providing revenue in service of those goals,” says BethAnne Darby, director of public affairs for the Oregon Education Association. The Educational Investment Board, she says, is “working on initiatives that are out of touch with what parents, students and teachers are worried about.”
In the health-care arena, one big push involves refining the two health-care models created last session: the health insurance exchange, intended to boost small business access to affordable insurance, and Coordinating Care Organizations (CCOs), which aim to deliver more efficient health-care services to state Medicaid recipients. Funding for CCOs is based on the hospital tax and insurance tax, both of which are set to expire next year. Negotiating renewal of the hospital tax is a top legislative priority, says Andy Van Pelt, chief operating officer for the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems.
In Oregon a supermajority vote of 60% is required to pass revenue increases. As Jarman points out, the CCO funding mechanism is one of several policy issues that will require a good working relationship between Democrats and Republicans.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER
Spring rains are the bane of an Oregon cherry farmer’s existence. Even a few sprinkles can crack the fruit so badly it’s not worth picking. Science to the rescue: Researchers at Oregon State University have developed a spray-on film that cuts rain-related cracking in half, potentially saving a season’s crop. The coating, patented as SureSeal, is made from natural chemicals similar to those found in the skins of cherries: cellulose, palm oil-based wax and calcium.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN
Like all good journalists, OB editorial staff typically eschew freebies. But health care costs being what they are, digital news editor Jacob Palmer couldn't resist ZoomCare's offer of a three-in-one (cleaning, exam, whitening) dental office visit, guaranteed to take no more than 57 minutes.
Friday, June 05, 2015
As temperatures in Oregon creep into the 90s this weekend, Oregonians' thoughts are turning to — summer baseball.
Tuesday, June 09, 2015
The technology at the center of Oregon’s road usage fee reform.
Thursday, May 14, 2015
BY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
There are more than 160 farmers markets in Oregon, contributing an estimated $50 million in sales, according to the Oregon Farmers Markets Association. We checked in on the Forest Grove market, which for several years has brought local produce and food vendors to Main Street in the center of town.
Friday, May 15, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR
The Portland Bureau of Transportation is seeking input from businesses on a $5.5 million initiative to create a network of biking, transit and pedestrian trails within Portland’s central city.
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
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Tonkon Torp helps seed sustainability at Gunderson.
Oregon-based Environments helps companies create inspired workspaces. “Simply put, we help companies future-proof their workspaces,” says Chris Corrado, president. Since 1988,Environments has witnessed firsthand the changing landscape of business. Native Portlander and Environments founder Corrado says, “We help our clients navigate the complex realities of the workplace today and plan for their future in a very mindful, strategic way. We think of ourselves as their partners in the process.”
One hundred years ago, the Willamette River might easily have been mistaken for a sewer. Unchecked industrial activity and decades of pollution made it unrecognizable compared to the clean river that now flows north for 187 miles from Eugene through the center of Portland.
3 Degrees Event Celebrates 5th Year Bringing Nonprofit and Business Professionals Together to Benefit Portland.
Bend energy leader brings passion for efficiency and renewable energy to the nonprofit.
Event in Forest Grove marks recognition of Global Food Safety Initiative Certification.