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Archive for the ‘Legislative Developments’ Category

Oregon Bill Proposes 50 Percent Tax Hike On Electronic Cigarettes
Thursday, March 31st, 2016

Electronic Cigarette users in Oregon are facing a potential tax hike of 50 percent if the state legislature passes Bill 4062, sponsored by Rep. Phil Barnhart. The bill, which would raise retail tax on both electronic cigarettes and e-liquids by a remarkable 50 percent, is still under debate in the legislature, and already raising opposition […]

Portland’s Pothole Problem
Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

An audit of Portland’s street conditions and road management is surprisingly dramatic. The Portland Bureau of Transportation audit finds that the city has “not adequately protected the condition of street pavement…”, noting preventative maintenance has just not been a city priority. More than one-third of the city’s streets are in “poor condition” About 10% are in […]

What is “webbing” – and why does it need to be banned?
Thursday, December 6th, 2012

You probably know that “distracted driving” has become the accepted term for any actions that visually, manually or cognitively distract people behind the wheel. “Webbing” evidently describes the specific act of web browsing while driving. This dangerous practice is becoming increasingly common. A State Farm poll found a 48% increase in smartphone web use while driving […]

Dangerous driving: the poor condition of roads
Friday, October 5th, 2012

The odds are good that you drove or were a passenger in a car today. Even though the rate of car ownership is declining among Americans, there is still approximately 1 vehicle for every 2 people. It’s indisputable that we rely – heavily– on our highway and road system. So is it surprising to learn […]

Playing “Rental Car Roulette”
Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Did you know rental car companies can rent you a recalled vehicle – and not even tell you?

Oregon Senators Try to Strip Rights from Citizens and Protect Insurance Companies
Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

15 Oregon state senators have pledged to derail Senate Bill 1580 by demanding that the landmark legislation include a “cap” or limit on damages in medical malpractice claims – but only for those who can least afford it.   If a privately insured patient is hurt by a negligent or reckless doctor, that person is […]

Washington health insurers sit on $2.4 billion surplus while insurance rates rise
Thursday, February 9th, 2012

While health insurance rates have more than doubled over the last six years, the 3 biggest health insurers in the state of Washington are sitting on a budget surplus of nearly $2.5 billion. According to Washington’s Insurance Commissioner, Mike Kreidler, the 3 health insurance companies – which are all non-profit – raised health insurance premiums […]

Trucking Group Opposes New Safety Regulations
Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

The rest periods before professional truck drivers can start a new workweek, known as restarts, are under review by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.   A new rule, scheduled to go into effect in July 2013, mandates a 34-hour rest period before drivers can start a new week. The controversy in the trucking industry […]

The Need for New Trucking Safety Rules
Thursday, December 8th, 2011

3,675 people died in truck-related accidents in the United States in 2010. While other new traffic safety stats from 2010 are encouraging – although distracted driving remains a big problem – The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports an increase of more than 8% in fatalities in truck-involved accidents. A new bill has been […]

Oregon Legislature Deciding Whether to Extend Whistleblower Protection to All Hospital Staff in an Effort to Prevent Medical Errors
Monday, April 11th, 2011

    We recently posted on how a lack of communication among workers in hospitals is leading to serious errors.  A report by the Oregon Patient Safety Commission cited communication as a contributing factor in 72% of the adverse events reported in hospitals for 2009 (read the full report here).    One of the main reasons workers don’t […]