Rep Thatcher April 2012 Newsletter

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Legislative Update

April 2012

IN THIS ISSUE

Tax Time Help
Gov Signs CHL Law
Town Halls Held
OSP Memorial
School Mascot Names
Social Services Help

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EVENTS:

Oregon Money Smart Week –
April 21-28 2012

Click here [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001HXLQemd6SOmN9dQdmyKv7D7Mp8…cbKjh] to find classes and events are going on all week across the state to improve your financial literacy. Sponsored by Oregon JumpStart [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001HXLQemd6SOlE7wpvS-_sQ6LMup…cCQ==], a non-profit coalition to help Oregonians manage their money wisely.

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001HXLQemd6SOmG5UdXmADzJnX1QT…wu3jA] April 28th

Sponsored in part by the Oregon Partnership [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001HXLQemd6SOlr8ZartCMS3hv5yW…tkA==]
Click here [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001HXLQemd6SOm3eq1yXSXe-J71T1…EgYCc] to find a location near you to drop off outdated and unused prescription medications ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
IN THE NEWS:

Cracking Down on Drunk Drivers with Ignition Interlock Devices [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001HXLQemd6SOk3l1OY8gBBGnU9aS…Lmg==]–Rep Thatcher is a leader in this effort [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001HXLQemd6SOn3T__ppOokCZpVGs…YYw==]
Rep Thatcher Reappointed to Transparency Oregon Advisory Commission [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001HXLQemd6SOnyeezNv3m1fSW4ht…HHg==]
The Commission oversees the Transparency Website [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001HXLQemd6SOlpdg-q3OfbTxzndi…y4g==]
so taxpayers can learn about the state budget.
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VETERANS UPDATE:

"Welcome Home Vietnam War Veterans Day" [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001HXLQemd6SOnIpSr-ZAUw3pAiFk…XDw==] recognized for the first time March 30th after the 2011 Oregon Legislature created a special designation [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001HXLQemd6SOlH_ioo_SXrg_aqrY…JLQ==]. Next year is the 40th Anniversary of withdrawing combat

troops from Vietnam.

"150 Years of Oregon Veterans"

is a new history book produced by the Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs to raise funds for the Oregon Veterans’ Home. Click here to get a copy. [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001HXLQemd6SOlH7Jk8z_Cogd8BLI…WTQ==] ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"I’m proud to be paying taxes in the United States.
The only thing is — I could be just as proud for half the money."

— Arthur Godfrey

Unfortunately it’s that time of year when we have to pay the piper and sadly our tax burden is getting heavier this year. According to researchers it’s taking Oregonians an extra week to earn enough money to pay their total tax bill this year. Tax Freedom Day falls on April 15th this year in Oregon [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001HXLQemd6SOnIm4f3qEnOP7Z3Z8…lAgOj] compared to April 8th last year. Because the traditional deadline to pay annual income taxes falls on a Sunday and Monday is a holiday in some parts of the country, the deadline for state and federal taxes is April 17th this year. Below are some resources you might find helpful if you’re still working on your family’s tax returns.
I believe it is important for taxpayers to know how we spend their hard earned dollars at the state level so I thought you might like to see a breakdown of the new state budget after the final changes were made during the February Session. This pie chart can be viewed on page 6 of a new report from the Legislative Fiscal Office [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001HXLQemd6SOnLOMUCQvV5yJaMz_…UqA==].
This chart shows the total amount allocated in the current state budget from state tax dollars and lottery funds is around $14.8 billion up nearly 9% from 2009-11. If you add up all funding from federal revenue, fees and other sources the total state budget is closer to $59 billion down 5.5% from the last time around. While you’re thinking about taxes let me know if you feel changes are needed in our state’s tax laws by replying to my "Thoughts for Thatcher" survey below.

Reports about Oregon’s economic picture [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001HXLQemd6SOllaGzpxmjPZUFXwW…LYA==] for the near future remain mixed [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001HXLQemd6SOl4agafEjc2K7_gZS…7hg==]. The news is especially not promising [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001HXLQemd6SOn-gW-vXwtda-mPj1…hCQ==] for the small business sector, the backbone of the state’s economy. Sadly the legislature wasn’t able to enact any significant legislation to help improve the atmosphere for job creation [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001HXLQemd6SOnmOlCaoH3POaKxU5…DQCbV] in the private sector during the February Session.

However, the governor is now taking at least one small step [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001HXLQemd6SOmKCKZOh4mflCC254…5HSU=] to help farmers with irrigation problems in Eastern Oregon. I hope he will join lawmakers in the 2013 Legislative Session on efforts to help improve our business climate in other parts of the state so we can get more people back to work.
Many families around Oregon continue to struggle as we attempt to crawl out of the recession from the past few years. We’ve recently learned that thousands of people will lose unemployment benefits [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001HXLQemd6SOmNWqZ3DqvBc_7ikW…mzw==] in a few weeks and the demand for food stamps and welfare continues to rise [r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?e=001HXLQemd6SOn2CVwngSafDXgzbP…43EmG], now up nearly 60% from three years ago. Below I have listed a few resources that might be helpful for families seeking assistance. If you have specific questions about these programs or other issues my office is always happy to help.
Sincerely,

P.S. Included in my monthly newsletter is information about various government programs paid for with your tax dollars that you may want to know more about. See details below.
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Help for Tax Day 2012

Don’t forget the deadline to get your tax returns finished is Tue

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By Representative Kim Thatcher

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