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Democrat Devlin named as co-chair of tax committee

To be filed under “completely enthralling political news du jour:”

Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney of Salem, has appointed fellow Democrat and Tualatin representative Richard Devlin as co-chair of the Joint Ways and Means Committee.

Before you get too excited, the Joint Ways and Means Committee has nothing to do with joints, although it is pretty important. Essentially, it deals with state-imposed taxes and the budget. That means he’ll be instrumental in figuring out what to do about Oregon’s $3.2 billion budget shortfall.

District 19, which he represents, includes Durham, Lake Oswego, Tualatin, Rivergrove, West Linn, and parts of southwest Portland and Tigard. Devlin was born in Eugene, and holds a Bachelor of Science in Administration of Justice from Portland State University, and a Master of Arts from Pepperdine University in Management. Before his first political run for Tualatin City Council in 1985, he was a private investigator.

Devlin isn’t a surprise pick by any means. He stepped down as Democratic majority leader last week, and now he’s returning to the committee, which he served on during the 2003, 2005 and 2007 legislative sessions. (Those are consecutive sessions, lest we forget that Oregon, until now, had a legislature that only met every other year.)

His appointment to the tax committee is likely to raise some eyebrows from some conservatives, though. Taxpayer Association of Oregon, the anti-tax PAC started by Don McIntire (homeboy of nutjob Bill Sizemore) made the claim that Devlin raised taxes by $1 billion in one day. The statement is true-ish, and center around his votes on the controversial Measures 66 and 67, but it leaves out a lot of details, which are outlined pretty well here by PolitiFact.

His top contributors have been mostly from the health and labor industries, with names like the Oregon Health Care Association and the Oregon Public Employees Local 503 topping the list. He has also received support from the lobbyist group the Oregon Trial Lawyers association. Wal-Mart did too, although they contributed considerably less. There’s more info on his campaign contributions here.

There’s no word yet as to who his co-chair will be, but considering the even split in the state legislature, here’s to hoping we see some bipartisanship. They’ve got a lot on their plates, and there’s no time for bickering.

  1. claudiahoe says:

    You guys should stop complaining because, one the health care we have now isnt as good as it was supposed to be. also the law has just been signed so give it some time. so if u want to say u have the right to choose tell that to ur congress men or state official. If you do not have insurance and need one You can find full medical coverage at the lowest price check .If you have health insurance and do not care about cost just be happy about it and trust me you are not going to loose anything!

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