Appeal tribune. (Silverton, Or.) 1999-current, January 31, 2018, Page 2B, Image 6

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    2B ❚ WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 31, 2018 ❚ APPEAL TRIBUNE
Voters pass health care tax measure
Connor Radnovich
Salem Statesman Journal
USA TODAY NETWORK
In a referendum pitting new taxes
against health care coverage, Orego-
nians voted Jan 23 to back the Legisla-
ture's plan for keeping 350,000 low-in-
come residents on the Oregon Health
Plan.
According to unofficial election re-
turns, 60.8 percent of voters supported
Measure 101, while 39.1 percent voted
against. Statewide voter turnout was at
32.4 percent, according the Secretary of
State's website.
"I’m especially proud of our state to-
night," Gov. Kate Brown said in a state-
ment. "The voters have said loud and
clear that everyone deserves access to
affordable health care."
The law, passed during the 2017 legis-
lative session, was referred to voters by
a handful of Republican lawmakers who
saw the taxes as unfair.
The state estimates that the referred
portions of the law account for between
$210 million and $320 million in state
revenue, the loss of which could have
resulted in possible reduction of federal
funds by between $630 million and
$960 million. The taxes will be paid by
health insurance companies and some
hospitals
"I don't know that we're going to close
the gap," said "no" campaign leader Rep.
Julie Parrish, R-West Linn. "They're go-
ing to win, ultimately."
Lawmakers crafted the legislation to
maintain health insurance coverage for
about 350,000 Oregonians on the Ore-
gon Health Plan. The federal govern-
ment reduced by 5 percent last year the
amount it would pay for individuals
newly eligible for Medicaid under the
Affordable Care Act.
Without additional funds or cuts
elsewhere, hundred of thousands of
low-income people could lose coverage.
The law, HB 2391, was a compromise
that took months to put together. Those
supporting Measure 101 said it was the
only option to fund the health plan
without kicking people off their health
insurance.
Parrish disagreed with this conclu-
sion. She, along with Reps. Sal Esquivel,
R-Medford, and Cedric Hayden, R-Ro-
seburg, were the chief petitioners of the
underlying referendum that got Mea-
sure 101 to the ballot.
"At the end of the day, we had two
goals: Let voters vote and then go out
Jessica Keck of Salem drops off a ballot as Nate Braun works security at the Marion Country Elections park-and-drop site
in the parking lot of the Walmart on Commercial St. SE in Salem on Jann. 22. PHOTOS BY ANNA REED/STATESMAN JOURNAL
there and really educate people about
what's happening in our health care
system," Parrish said.
Parrish was vocal from before the ref-
erendum process even began that Dem-
ocratic lawmakers were undermining
her attempt to bring the issue before
Oregon's voters, primarily by schedul-
ing the vote for January.
The measure only qualified for the
ballot in mid-October, and the January
vote gave Parrish and her compatriots
much less time to convince potential
voters statewide. They also raised far
less money than the "yes" campaign —
more than $3 million compared to less
than half a million — which she said
compounded the issue.
As the results rolled in, Parrish reit-
erated her belief that lawmakers
"rigged" the election.
Those who supported the decision to
move the election date to January said it
was necessary to give legislators an op-
portunity to plug the budget gap that
would have resulted had the measure
failed.
The 2018 short legislative session
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Dillon Benham works security at the Marion Country Elections park and drop site
in the parking lot of the Walmart.
would have been the only opportunity.
That budget crisis would have also
required politicos to divert their atten-
tion toward plugging the hole, making it
harder to pass major legislation, namely
the Democrats' big "cap-and-invest"
greenhouse gas emissions cap bill.
"With this vote by the people, the
decks are cleared for the legislature to
work on other priorities like clean air
protection and growing jobs in the
booming clean economy," said Tera
Hurst, executive director of Renew Ore-
gon, a coalition of 700 Oregon business-
es and organization working to pass the
carbon emissions bill.
But the budget is sure to come up in
one way or another, other said.
"It may be a win, but we aren’t out of
the woods yet," said Senate President
Peter Courtney, D-Salem. "Our budget
focus must now shift to the February
forecast and the effects federal tax
changes will have on state revenue."
Advocates on both sides of the argu-
ment said that a January election would
have lower turnout than one during a
general election in November.
The last statewide January special
election was in 2010, when voters ap-
proved tax measures 66 and 67 by
100,000 votes a piece. About 62 percent
of registered voters took part in that
election.
OBITUARIES
Ronald John Doran
Feb. 27, 1922 — Jan. 21, 2018
Ronald John Doran, 95, passed away on
Jan. 21, 2018, in Keizer.
He was born on Feb. 27,
1922, to John and Barba-
ra (Sandarg) Dombraus-
kas in Hamilton, New
York. He served in the
Navy from 1943-1946
before joining the Air
Ronald
Force in 1950. Ronald
Doran
married Afke Sieswerda.
He is survived by his wife of 55 years,
Afke; his brother, Truman; and children
Madeleine, Tony and Natalie.
No services are being held at this time.
Arrangements with Unger Funeral Cha-
pel, Silverton.
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Lynn Burkhard Keith
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Oregon saw a turnout of 80.3 percent
during the most recent general election
in November 2016.
The statewide results of the 2018
special election so far mirror those in
Marion and Polk Counties, where the
support for the measure is leading 10
points and seven points, respectively.
In a bit of an experiment Tuesday
night, Secretary of State Dennis Rich-
ardson announced the results via a liv-
estreaming video on his Facebook page
as the returns simultaneously appeared
on the "results" webpage.
He said the video is an attempt to
connect with Oregonians interested in
the results of the election, but not in the
habit of going to the Secretary of State's
website.
“We need new and novel ways to en-
gage younger voters and reaffirm that
this is their government too,” Richard-
son said in a statement announcing the
decision.
The initial numbers Richardson an-
nounced were different by a couple
points favoring the "yes" side than those
seen on the Secretary of State's website
minutes later, but updates online con-
tinued through the night.
Contact the reporter at cradnov-
ich@statesmanjournal.com or 503-
399-6864, or follow him on Twitter at
@CDRadnovich
Surrounded by family, Lynn Burkhard
Keith passed away from complications
of Alzheimer’s Disease on Dec. 15. She
was 78 years old.
Born in 1938 in Dallas,
Texas, Lynn was the sec-
ond of six children born
to Ernst and Erna Burk-
hard. She graduated
from Texas Women’s
Lynn
College with a degree in
Keith
nursing. In 1960, she
married James Stuart
Keith, an aerospace engineer, and had
three children. Suddenly widowed at
the age of 37, Lynn remained single for
the rest of her life while dedicating
herself to a career in nursing and raising
her three children: Walt Keith, a pilot
with United Airlines; Alice Keith, a com-
puter scientist with Lockheed Martin;
and Marion Gilliam, a teacher.
Lynn was a lifelong member of the Lu-
theran church and a devoted congre-
gant of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in
Nassau Bay, Texas. When Lynn moved
to Oregon in 1999, she joined St. John’s
Lutheran Church of Salem, then Im-
manuel Lutheran Church in Silverton,
where she was a member until her
death. Lynn is preceded in death by her
parents; her eldest brother, Bob Burk-
hard; her husband Stuart Keith; and her
daughter, Alice Keith. She is survived by
her brother, James Burkhard; sister
Elizabeth Jacobs; brother Donald Burk-
hard; and brother Rev. Kenneth Burk-
hard. She is also survived by her chil-
dren and their spouses: Walt and Jenny
Keith of Denver, Coloradom and John
and Marion Gilliam of Silverton. Her
grandchildren include Wesley Keith of
Denver, Colorado; Megan Keith of Den-
ver, Colorado; and James Gilliam and
Reid Gilliam of Silverton.
Memorial services for Lynn took place
Sunday, Dec. 17, at Immanuel Lutheran
Church in Silverton and also at Gloria
Dei Lutheran Church in Texas on Thurs-
day, Dec. 21. Lynn was laid to rest in
Texas near her husband and daughter.