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Where is All the Money Going?
A new buzz word is “priority population.”

Governor Brown will leave office as the worst governor in the United States, a reputation she has worked hard to earn. In her last session to make a good impression, she continues to separate and divide the state with her “equity” agenda, which has a racial application towards segregation in lieu of "equal treatment" for everyone. The more equity measures, the less equitable everyone becomes.

Even though “equity” only shows up in bill titles a few times, it’s there using creative words. Crafting bills using alternative words, may be deliberate for an end run around federal court rulings against discrimination using race. The fact that millions are being directed to the culturally underserved, underrepresented, targeted population, priority population, it still refers to race and ethnicity when defining language, disabled, low-income, sexual orientation, gender identity, and some bills add women or veterans.

A new buzz word is “priority population.” SB 1545, introduced at the Governor’s request, defines priority population as communities of color, women, low-income communities, rural and frontier communities, veterans, and participants in offender reentry programs. This bill establishes equity grant programs in Higher Education Coordinating Commission to prioritize funding for workforce development activities to increase access for priority populations to training opportunities in construction, health care, manufacturing and workforce development services and benefits. It appropriates $115.5 million, mostly going to administering the program. The 2021 budget already provides Higher Education with $200 million, an increase of $30 million for Oregon Opportunity Grants. This bill creates another program and another biennial budget item. SB 1545 passed out of the Senate committee, referred to the Joint Ways and Means Committee.

Another bill is HB 4052, and the chief sponsor is Representative Andrea Salinas (D-Lake Oswego). It appropriates $2 million from General Funds. This bill uses “priority populations” to define targeted populations for Oregon Health Authority to provide grants to operate two culturally and linguistically specific mobile health units as a pilot program. It is to serve priority populations with histories of poor health or social outcomes. The 2021 Budget already allocates $100 million for Cover All People program, which was directed at the priority population. HB 4052 passed out of the House committee, referred to the Joint Ways and Means Committee.

SB 1543 with chief sponsor Senator Kate Lieber (D-Beaverton), appropriates $4.5 million in tax revenue to pay for lawyers to help illegal immigrants stay in Oregon, and another $10.5 million to the Universal Representation Fund. Efforts were made by Republicans to amend the bill to exclude convicted murders and rapists, but the leadership majority overruled. Records from the Oregon Department of Corrections show that at least 615 criminal illegal immigrants are in Oregon’s prison. That includes 142 convicted sexual abusers, 141 rapists, and 97 murderers. They are all eligible for a taxpayer-funded deportation attorney. The 2021 Budget already includes $4 million for the Criminal Justice Commission to establish a new restorative justice grant program, and $2 million to the Innovation Law Lab for immigration defense.. Where did that money go? SB 1543 passed out of the Senate committee, referred to the Joint Ways and Means Committee.

SB 1579 was sponsored by Democrats led by Senator Akasha Lawrence Spence (D-Portland). This bill appropriates $50 million General Funds to the Oregon Business Development Department to develop and implement an Economic Equity Investment Program to award grants to organizations that provide culturally responsive services to support economic stability, self-sufficiency, wealth building and economic equity among disadvantaged individuals, families, businesses and communities whose future is at risk. The 2021 Budget already includes $90 million for technical assistance to underrepresented businesses in the Oregon Business Development Department, $10 million to capitalize Certification Office for Business inclusion and Diversity Loan Fund., another $10 million to lenders to address institutional and social barriers making access to capital nearly impossible, and $3.8 million for the Oregon Diversity Procurement Program. SB 1579 passed out of the Senate committee, referred to the Joint Ways and Means Committee.

HB 4112, sponsored by Representative Teresa Alonso Leon (D-Woodburn), appropriates $1.25 million from General Funds for the Educator Advancement Council to provide professional learning opportunities related to ethnic studies standards adopted by Department of Education. School districts that implement ethnic studies, such as CRT and CSE early will benefit from the funding. Ethnic studies is the interdisciplinary and comparative study of ethnicity, Indigeneity, race, and racism. The 2021 Budget already gaves $600,000 to the Teacher Standards and Practices Commission for start-up costs for developing nontraditional pathways to licensure. HB 4112 passed out of the House committee, referred to the Joint Ways and Means Committee.

HB 4099 sponsored by a full lineup of Democrats is led by Representative Andrea Valderrama (D-Portland). Originally introduced in 2021 that proposed a $1 million price tag, it establishes a Racial Equity and Justice Youth Collaborative. It has a complicated structure with an organizing work group that suggests members for the collaborative. Both group members are of racial, ethnic, underrepresented/underserved, sexual identity, English language learners, disabled or poverty communities. Effectively capturing vulnerable youth in the quicksand of another government entity, programming them to believe that government provides the only solution to racial, cultural, and ethnic conflicts. The 2021 Budget already allocates $11.7 million for the Oregon Youth Employment Program, along with statute changes to ensure at least 75% of participating youth are from communities of color, rural communities, or historically underrepresented communities; and $500,000 for a study of the impacts of State School Fund spending to determine if the spending pattern results in disparities between students who are Black, Indigenous or People of Color (BIPOC) and non-BIPOC students. HB 4099 passed out of the House committee, referred to the Joint Ways and Means Committee.

The 2021 Budget allocated $259 million just to benefit or handout to the 'underprivileged' ‘priority population’ and all programs have an equity aspect to them to such an extent that socialism has taken over. Oregon's population is 85.06% white. So, these bills represent 15% of the total population. How much does the 85% have to give through taxes, jobs, opportunities, businesses before it violates the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. which says: “No State make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privilege or immunities of citizens of the United States;… nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

These six new bills total $184,750,000 of additional General Fund money, a 71% increase in funding directed specifically at the underprivileged/priority population. You might ask what these bills are doing in a short legislative session, which was created to rebalance the budget, not create new expenditures.


--Donna Bleiler

Post Date: 2022-02-15 17:30:36Last Update: 2022-02-15 17:52:08



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