Oregon Politics Roundup: gun control in the crosshairs of D.C., Salem
Jan 30, 2013 (Menafn - The Oregonian - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in a mass shooting in Arizona in 2011, urged Congress to act on gun control at a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee this morning, it's first on the issue since the December mass shootings in Oregon and Connecticut.
A flurry of new proposals to roll back access to the type of semi-automatic rifles and high-capacity magazines used in the Newtown and Clackamas Town Center shootings have been proposed by Democratic lawmakers.
National polling suggests that some reforms, like universal background checks, have broad public support. But gun control is often a flashpoint, drawing strong opposition from gun rights advocates.
Oregon state Sen. Ginny Burdick, D-Portland, has so far led the charge in the state for increased gun regulations. Burdick has or plans to introduce bills relating to guns in schools, high-capacity magazines and universal background checks.
But she drew criticism from gun rights advocates for comments she made at a recent Portland State University event where she chuckled about a man who shot himself "in the butt" after bringing a gun to a theater after the Aurora movie theater shooting where 12 were killed.
Burdick told The Oregonian that her comments were insensitive.
"You're right, it's not funny," she told The Oregonian's Jeff Mapes.
With the Oregon Legislature set to start in earnest Monday the debate over gun control has only just begun.
Immigration reform: President Barack Obama has made immigration reform a priority for his second term and Oregon businesses are encouraged by what they see. Peter Muller, director of government relations at Intel, penned a blog post Tuesday praising the bipartisan Immigration and Innovation Act as a "positive message to business." The Oregonian's Eric Mortensen reports the Main Street Alliance of Oregon is calling for "common sense" immigration reform.
Nike land speculation: The city of Beaverton is considering expanding its enterprise zone to include land in Washington County that Nike owns. The Oregon-based sportswear company secured a contract with the state locking in the single-sales factor method of tax collection for 30 years in December after a one-day special session on the issue. The company plans to expand in Oregon, investing 150 million and creating at least 500 jobs. But where Nike might build is a matter of intense speculation among Oregon's political chattering class.
Three sites were under consideration by the company ahead of the December special session: its Washington County headquarters, land owned by Con-way in Northwest Portland and land owned by the Zidell family in Portland's South Waterfront. Nike's headquarters is the last site to be included in an enterprise zone, making all three sites eligible for the workforce development tax break. According to a Nike official, the company still hasn't decided where to locate its expansion.
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