Jusuf Nurkic Breaks a Leg: Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic broke his left leg in the second overtime of a playoff-clinching victory against the Brooklyn Nets on Monday night. The compound fracture of his tibia and fibula brings a sudden end to the best season of Nurkic's career. The injury is the latest in a string of late-season leg injuries that Blazers fans can recite like a litany—Greg Oden, Brandon Roy, Wesley Matthews—but players talked about their personal alarm for Nurkic, 24. "That's my little big brother," said point guard Damian Lillard.
No Clarity on New Taxes: The state's two biggest companies, Nike and Intel, back new tax plans in Salem—but not the same one. A month ago, the Coalition for Common Good, led by Nike and the state's public employee unions, proposed raising $2 billion in new revenue through some form of a business activities tax, effectively a sales tax on businesses. Companies with big manufacturing operations in Oregon, such as Intel and Gunderson, are leery of such taxes. They favor a "value-added tax," which is rarely applied in the U.S. A third group, the Revenue Roundtable, which represents progressive organizations, proposes just tweaking the current tax structure to maximize revenue. "It may come down to what polls best and is most defensible at the ballot," says Daniel Hauser, an analyst at the Oregon Center for Public Policy who has been involved in the discussions.
Court Rules on Tax Breaks: On March 21, the Oregon Tax Court ruled against Senate Minority Leader Herman Baertschiger Jr. (R-Grants Pass) and Sen. Brian Boquist (R-The Dalles), who last year sued the state after the passage of Senate Bill 1528. That bill disconnected Oregon from part of the federal tax code, effectively closing a tax loophole and raising about $200 million a year in new revenue. The senators argued the bill, which passed with a simple majority, violated Oregon's constitutional requirement that a three-fifths supermajority vote is required to raise new taxes. The tax court ruled the legislation merely broadened the tax base rather than increasing tax rates. Boquist says he's disappointed but not surprised. Senate Majority Leader Ginny Burdick (D-Portland) cheered the ruling. "We felt confident that we passed Senate Bill 1528 appropriately during the 2018 session," she said, "and we are pleased the court affirmed our belief."
Burgerville Backs Off Worker Crackdown: Last week, WW detailed allegations of union-busting made by workers at the Convention Center Burgerville ("Laborville," WW, March 20, 2019). Employees described a workplace where, less than 72 hours after demanding voluntary union recognition, they were written up for petty violations, such as not wearing name tags correctly. Hours after the story was published, Burgerville announced it would rescind all disciplinary actions handed out after the union went public, and give back pay to suspended workers. "We did not intend for the actions to be anything other than following standard procedures," the company said in a statement to WW. "And we understand that given the timing of the upcoming union elections, our actions may have created mistrust."