Transportation bill including bike tax passes Oregon Senate

Elias Hubbard
July 8, 2017

A sweeping new bill passed by OR lawmakers will force taxpayers to assume some of the costs of abortions, even though many oppose the procedure, anti-abortion campaigners said Thursday as a legal expert predicted the measure will draw lawsuits.

Due to tax hikes and new taxes, the bill required a three-fifths majority vote in each chamber, according to the Oregon Constitution. The plan also includes other projects around the state. And McKeown said the package would give the state a crucial lift in upgrading thousands of bridges at risk in a big quake.

The new Oregon transportation bill means millions of dollars for Central Oregon roads, if it survives a possible trip to the ballot box next year. The Oregon Transportation Commission is responsible for establishing the program, which could toll certain lanes on Interstate 5 and Interstate 205 to pay for congestion-busting projects.

President Donald Trump earlier this year signed legislation allowing states to withhold federal family planning funds from Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers. "I draw it at impairment", he said.

That money would come from a 4-cent tax on gas starting in 2018, and 2 cents added to that every two year years.

The bill increases gas taxes, payroll taxes, and new vehicle sales taxes. There would also be additional funding for bicycle and pedestrian paths - and the bill would impose a $15 fee on the sale of adult bicycles that cost at least $200. The bill must now be approved and signed by Gov. Kate Brown.

Under the bill, insurers would be prohibited from shifting costs from those mandates to enrollees' deductibles, coinsurance or copayments, although the measure offers some religious-based exemptions.

Buehler, widely expected to be a candidate for governor, said the payroll tax to "fund transit in a few communities" is an unfair hit on workers.

In the end, though, the votes weren't there. Six Democrats opposed it. Increasing the tobacco age will help counter the industry's efforts to target young people at a critical time when many move from experimenting with tobacco to regular smoking.

Even so, several organizations who supported HB 2004 were still optimistic the amended version could pass the Senate and provide some new protections to renters. With Gov. Brown's strong track record for supporting such causes, House Bill 3391 appears to have a high chance of becoming state law.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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