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Bill to Make it Illegal to Cut Hours to Avoid Paying Health Benefits to Get Hearing

 – By Steve Benham, KATU: Feb 10, 2014

SALEM, Ore. – Concerns about colleges and universities cutting faculty hours to avoid paying health benefits under the new federal health care law has prompted state Sen. Michael Dembrow, D-Portland, to introduce legislation to make the practice for all Oregon employers illegal.

Senate Bill 1543 is scheduled to get a hearing before the Senate Health Care and Human Services committee today at 3:00 p.m.

Dembrow, who has taught English at the Cascade campus of Portland Community College for years, told KATU last week he’s heard “through the grapevine” and has read news reports that some community colleges “have been advised to reduce their teachers’ hours” in order to get out of paying health benefits to some employees.

Under the new health care law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (also known as “Obamacare”), companies that employ 50 or more employees are required to provide their workers with health insurance if they work an average of 30 hours or more a week…

Our Response & Your Comments



By Steve Buckstein


Imagine a world where we buy our groceries in government stores. We can only shop at the store nearest our house.
If we want to shop somewhere else, we're forced to move our family into another neighborhood--if we can afford it.


Do you think lawmakers should be exempt from PERS?

PORTLAND - Oregon's newest lawmakers will have to decide by Feb. 12 whether they want to participate in a state retirement system already $14 billion in the red.

Only three of the state's 90 state lawmakers opted out of the Oregon Public Employees Retirement System or other state retirement options last year despite an obvious conflict of interest: lawmakers benefit from a system they control.


Cash becomes a player in school races

By Edward Russo
The Register-Guard

Seven of the 11 candidates for Eugene district board positions are raising and spending campaign money.

Appeared in print: Saturday, May 14, 2011, page B1

Eugene School Board elections typically are low-key contests. Candidates often don't have opponents and there's little need to spend much money to get elected.