Editorial: On the ballot this year

It’s easy and it’s obvious: Vote yes on Measure 49. The measure will save farmlands, forests and water supplies.

Save our Oregon

It’s easy and it’s obvious: Vote yes on Measure 49.

The measure will save farmlands, forests and water supplies. Passing 49 would make it harder to turn Oregon’s unique countryside into the strip mall suburbs and overpriced subdivisions that are slowly taking over our state. Oregon’s peaceful countryside is a 10-minute drive from downtown in almost any direction–a benefit that is rare to find anywhere else in the United States.

This legislation would fix Measure 37, which made it too easy for large firms to change these lands into massive housing developments.

If passed, 49 will do what 37 was supposed to do: Make it so small landowners–who will not affect farmlands, forests and water supplies–can legitimately alter their properties according to legal standards. It will stop faceless corporate developers from changing Oregon for the worse. With 49, small landowners will still be able to file claims for small developments as easily as they could with Measure 37.

Measure 37 also made it easy for large developers to make land–change claims. And the alteration to Oregon’s beautiful countryside is evident: Take a drive out to one of the outskirt towns near Portland, such as Estacada, and you’ll see housing subdivisions springing up left and right.

A no vote on this measure is bad for Oregon and bad for Oregonians. Vote yes on Measure 49.

A necessary solution

It may be a shortsighted solution to a massive social problem, but right now, Oregonians must vote yes on Measure 50.

Healthcare coverage in the United States is dismal and pathetic, especially for those who are underprivileged. Any legislation that will cover children, low-income adults and those Oregonians who lack medical attention is necessary and must be implemented immediately.

Beyond this tax, however, the State Legislature, lobbyist groups and advocacy organizations everywhere must keep pushing for better healthcare in Oregon and the rest of the United States.

This tax targets smokers, in part forcing them to make up for health dilemmas that smoking causes. It also intends to make a better healthcare system for the citizens who have the fewest opportunities. Ideally, Oregon’s budget would cover healthcare costs for everyone. Right now, an 84.5-cent tax to smokers is regrettably our only solution.

Unfortunately, this tax will harm low-income smokers more than their wealthy counterparts. Even so, it is necessary to start fixing a broken system immediately, despite a few minimal problems with the tax.

Our elected officials–and if not them, the citizens of the United States–must immediately find a solution to the quagmire that is the U.S. healthcare system. Until they do, we will have to continue to make small changes by passing laws like Measure 50.