Preliminary Election Results
Tuesday was Oregon’s primary election, and there are several races of interest. Many results are not yet in, particularly in Clackamas County, so the recap below is preliminary. You can always check the latest results on the Secretary of State’s website, and we will provide more information in the coming days. An * indicates that the candidate was supported by the OBI Candidate PAC.
Governor – Democrat: Tina Kotek defeated state Treasurer Tobias Read, who had positioned himself as a moderate alternative to the former longtime speaker of the House.
Governor – Republican: Christine Drazan, former House Republican leader, is in the lead of this 19-way primary, likely with enough of a cushion to secure the nomination. Bob Tiernan is in second, approximately 5 points behind Drazan.
Governor – Not Affiliated: As a reminder, candidates for governor who are not affiliated with a party do not appear on a primary ballot. Former longtime state Sen. Betsy Johnson will seek to gain her position on the ballot as a non-affiliated candidate through a signature-gathering process.
BOLI Commissioner: In the nonpartisan race for commissioner of the Bureau of Labor and Industries, Portland attorney Christina Stephenson finished well ahead of Bend restaurateur Cheri Helt*, though the two appear headed for a runoff in November.
Congressional District 4: Labor Commissioner Val Hoyle will be the Democratic candidate for the district, which is an open seat due to Rep. Peter DeFazio’s retirement. She will face Alek Skarlatos, who was uncontested in the Republican primary.
Congressional District 5: On the Democratic side, Jamie McLeod-Skinner enjoys a significant early lead over incumbent Kurt Schrader in the primary for the substantially redrawn district. On the Republican side, Lori Chavez-Deremer has an 11-point lead over Jimmy Crumpacker. This is a race that could be affected significantly by the late tallies in Clackamas County.
Congressional District 6: In Oregon’s new district, state Rep. Andrea Salinas should win the Democratic primary and Mike Erickson should win the Republican primary.
State Legislative Districts: There a lot of legislative contests, and we’ve highlighted just a few below.
- House District 11: Mary Cooke narrowly leads a crowded Democratic primary, and Rep. Jami Cate* has won the Republican primary.
- House District 32: Cyrus Javadi* leads the contested Republican primary, and Logan Laity has won the uncontested Democratic primary.
- House District 38: Daniel Nguyen* has a narrow lead in the Democratic primary while Alistair Firmin has won the uncontested Republican primary.
- House District 51: James Hieb leads Lisa Davidson* in the Republican primary while Walt Trandum has won the uncontested Democratic primary. This is another race that could be affected by the later tallies in Clackamas County.
- House District 58: Incumbent Bobby Levy* has defeated Skye Farnam in the Republican primary. There was no candidate on the Democratic side.
- Senate District 13: Democrat Aaron Woods* leads Chelsea King in the Democratic primary, and Republican John Velez has won the uncontested Republican primary.
- Senate District 26: State Rep. Daniel Bonham* has a sizeable lead over Steve Bates and Michael Nugent in the Republican primary; Raz Mason was uncontested on the Democratic ballot. This is another race with a significant number of Clackamas County votes still to tally.
State Releases ‘Shocking’ Revenue Report
The Oregon Department of Revenue released the June Quarterly Revenue Forecast today. Below is a high-level summary.
Massive Revenue Growth: The June forecast is incredibly strong. It continues with the trends we’ve seen in all quarterly forecasts since September, 2020. Actual results (tax revenues coming into the state) continue to exceed previously forecasted expectations substantially. With this, the baseline general fund revenue outlook has increased another $2.4 billion since the March forecast and $4.0 billion since the 2021 “close of session” forecast, which was used for the state’s two year (2021-23) budget.
Volatility: State economist Josh Lehner called the results of 2021 tax payments “nothing less than shocking.” All major revenue instruments – personal income taxes, corporate and business income taxes, capital gains taxes – have grown tremendously. Oregon’s robust revenue growth is driven largely by an “inflationary boom.” Meanwhile, “bracket creep” (also a result of inflation pushing tax rates higher for many higher-income payers) also has driven up returns. The report noted that high income filers chose to cash in a wide range of assets in 2021, but that this creates huge volatility related to future returns. With recessionary risks rising, the reported noted that a steep revenue decline of the sort Oregon experienced during the technology and housing busts is increasingly likely.
State General Fund and Ending Balances: The gross general fund revenue forecasted for the 2021-23 biennium (which began on July 1, 2021) is now expected to be $27.3 billion. This well exceeds the $23.3 billion forecasted in June 2021 and the $24.9 billion forecast in March. The June forecast now projects a 2021-23 ending balance of $3.12 billion and reserve funds of approximately $1.71 billion, for a total of $4.83 billion in total effective reserves.
Kicker and Future Challenges: State economists now project a personal kicker of $3.03 billion to be credited in 2024 and a corporate kicker of $931 million, which would go into state education reserve accounts. Kicker payouts in 2024 and a smoothing or reversal of the current inflationary boom will create significant downward pressure on expected revenue for the 2023-25 biennium. Also contributing to this dip is the likelihood that high-income taxpayers who chose to cash in and pay capital gains taxes in 2021 may not repeat that behavior in the near future.
Given these factors, the forecast for 2023-25 general fund revenue is $26.1 billion, a decrease of $1.2 billion from the current biennium. This, of course, makes the current reserves of $4.83 billion incredibly important as a mitigating tool.
The full forecast can be found here.
Download our Heat and Smoke Rule Summaries
Oregon OSHA has adopted administrative rules to protect employees from exposure to excessive heat and smoke. Both sets of rules are lengthy and complex, and complying with them will be difficult. Nevertheless, the heat rules will take effect June 15, and the smoke rules will take effect July 1.
We are working to schedule a webinar on the rules for employers. In the meantime, we have distilled the requirements of each set of rules and produced a pair of high-level explainer documents.
Download the basic requirements for the heat rules here.
Download the basic requirements for the smoke rules here.