The FCC has been holding a series of workshops in an effort to collect information that will be useful in the creation of a National BroadbandPlan. On September 1st, state and local telecommunications officialsparticipated in a workshop entitled State and Local Governments: Toolkits and Best Practices,at which the FCC aimed to learn from the experiences of state and localgovernments that have proactively addressed broadband deployment andadoption issues in their communities.
The over-riding theme of the legislative session this year was how toresolve a $4 billion budget deficit. However, unlike many states,Oregon's legislators successfully avoided the worst cuts through fairrevenue generators and spending cuts. They also continued to pushforward on key issues like the environment, worker's rights, andhealthcare. On several issues, such as climate change, the governorput forward an agenda to lead the nation and in other areas strongprogressive legislators set out similarly ambitious goals. In manyinstances compromises tempered the boldness of the final product, butin most cases some real progress was made.
Earlier this year, policymakers in Oregon enacted both temporary
and permanent changes in the state’s tax system to help close an
enormous budget gap and, by extension, provide funding for vital
services like education, health care, and public safety... Yet, due to quirks
in Oregon’s legislative process, opponents of these changes have an
opportunity to put them before the voters for approval via referendum.
Not surprisingly, representatives of big business and a who’s who of
anti-tax organizations are attempting to take full advantage of that
Oregon became the latest state to address the current fiscal crisis with progressive revenue increases. This is part of a welcome trend that we highlighted back in April
of states recognizing that budget cuts need to be balanced with
wealthier state residents being asked to pay their fair share to
address the effects of the economic downturn.
Too often workers are forced by employers to listen to religious,
political, or anti-union propaganda that has nothing to do with their
work responsibilities-- yet they are threatened with being fired if
they don't attend such employer-mandated meetings. The Oregon legislature this past week joined New Jersey in giving employees the right to skip such employer propaganda meetings without fearing reprisals.