I’ve been holding off on this post for a few days because more information keeps coming at me and I want to make these as precise as possible.  But to wait any more would make this email even longer than it will be.  So here we go… in the words of rock climbers “On Belay?  Belay on!”
As always the majority of this information is provided for education and awareness.  I will make sure to identify the areas where the Chamber has taken any official stance on a subject.
First, attached please find the OSCC OR Leg 2015-16 Voting Record.  This gives you a way to gauge the support of your local legislators on business/OSCC issues.  Per the OSCC Legislative Committee call on April 1st, they believe it is fair to use 70% as the benchmark to determine whether a legislator is “pro-business.”.
Second, we would like to bring to your attention a potential ballot measure that we will be paying attention to for possible support Oregon State Chamber – IP 49 – which limits the ability of the Oregon Legislature to pass bills with ‘emergency clauses.’  The ‘emergency clause’ is commonly used to prohibit the rights of Oregonians to force a referendum (vote) on legislation.  The attached document was written by the campaign to solicit Chamber support for the measure which will appear on the November 2016 ballot.
Third, I have received a handful of inquiries from members over the past month about how local communities can regulate the manufacture and retail sales of marijuana. While comparing notes with other Chambers, they are getting similar questions.  Attached, please find the definitive document LocalRegulationMarijuana08-14-15, produced by the League of Oregon Cities, which details the regulatory options available to local communities with regard to marijuana production and sale.
EXTREMELY IMPORTANT: The McMinnville Chamber does not oppose the legal and licensed operations of marijuana medical or recreational businesses.  This is provided as a source of information that you may share with others who may ask the same question.  Above all, if you have concerns please reach out to your City officials for the specific local rules and regulations.  Also, I would suggest, reach out to a business owner in this industry to understand more about what they are doing and how they operate under OLCC regulations and licensing
Fourth, attached please find a letter from the US Chamber supporting new legislation that would overturn recently-proposed Department of Labor regulations that would double the salary threshold required to classify employees as exempt from overtime: US Chamber OT Sign on letter The U.S. Chamber is asking all local chambers to assist in signing on to the attached letter urging Members of Congress to oppose the Department of Labor’s proposed overtime rule.  As many of you are aware, the proposed rule, which we expect to be finalized soon, would require employees making less than $50,440/year to be paid overtime.  This is a 113% increase over the current income threshold for exempt employees.
Another Important Point: The McMinnville Chamber has not taken a position on this issue.  I believe it could possibly have negative implications on non-profits, and maybe some other industries.  I am providing this again as a point of education.  Please read the letter for the factual information and to research more deeply.  Here is the DOL website link: http://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime_pay.htm
AOI produced a good update on this topic here: http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?m=1109620549152&ca=a8725eb6-ce8f-4eb4-8b11-4a25751cd88c
Break time for some national attention:

A little ironic juxtaposition:

State jobless hits record low
Posted: 13 Apr 2016 05:00 AM PDT
By Oregon Employment Department, Oregon’s unemployment rate dropped to a record low of 4.5 percent in March—the lowest point since comparable records began in 1976. Oregon’s February unemployment…
Continue to web site to read the rest of this article…
Job vacancies abound
Posted: 07 Apr 2016 05:00 AM PDT
By Oregon Employment Department, During 2015, Oregon’s private employers were looking to fill about 48,000 job vacancies at any given time, according to new annual figures from the Oregon Employment…
Continue to web site to read the rest of this article…
The McMinnville Chamber Board unanimously voted to oppose Initiative Petition 28.  The potential ballot measure, known as the “Gross Receipts Tax” is flawed in many ways.  For recent memory I would remind you of Measure 66 & 67 that were passed to tax businesses and high earning individuals to support education funding and some medical funding…the measures were passed, so why are we still fighting for funding for education, senior services, and healthcare?
The Chamber agrees that Education, Senior Services, and Healthcare need stable and dependable funding.  A tax on Gross Sales, however, is not the way to raise that funding.  In a nutshell this tax is a hidden sales tax that will effect everything from transportation to groceries and much more.

IP28-Spread the Word!
Initiative Petition 28 (IP28), proposed for the November 2016 statewide ballot, would impose a huge new $5 Billion tax on sales – the largest tax increase in state history – and would increase costs for Oregon businesses, working families and consumers.
It’s not too early to begin spreading the word about why this is a costly and damaging proposal for Oregon.
Some quick facts about IP28 worth sharing:

  • IP28 would tax sales, not profits. Even businesses that are losing money would be forced to pay this huge new tax.
  • Despite the proponents’ claims, there is no guarantee and no plan for how IP28’s billions in new taxes would be spent. All of the new taxes would go to the general fund, with no plan for addressing the real needs of Oregon schools, small businesses and families.
  • IP28’s new tax would hit Oregonians hard – especially those who can least afford it. Because the tax would apply to sales of everyday consumer items like food, gas, medicine, cable TV – even electricity – everyone would pay in the form of higher prices for goods and services that Oregonians buy every day.

Although IP28 is a flawed, costly and damaging proposal for Oregon, defeating it won’t be easy unless we come together.
If you haven’t already, please join the coalition to Defeat the Tax on Oregon Sales and bookmark the official website. By joining, you will receive updates direct from the coalition about why IP28 is wrong for Oregon.


Final Point: Interesting Article from Oregon Prosperity Project


Get Started Getting Out the Vote!
In a recent survey, 31% of employees surveyed ranked their current or former employer as the most credible source for information on political and public policy issues. To top that off, for employees who heard from their employer during the 2014 Midterm Election, 63% of them were motivated to learn more about the issues that were important to their employer and/or 43% were motivated to register to vote.
The Oregon Prosperity Project believes that an educated and motivated private-sector electorate will help ensure our state’s prosperity and economic growth in America this November. That’s why we’ve worked with BIPAC to create a user-friendly Employee Voter Education Toolkit.
Below is your link to the toolkit:
Together, we can make an impact this election year! For more information on the Oregon Prosperity Project, contact Betsy Earls.

For the Entire Article: http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?m=1109620549152&ca=dc1adc25-9040-43df-9c0e-3d4d3915eb90