As the State Turns

stateturnssymbolAnother Tuition Increase, Hoorah!
That’s what absolutely no University of Oregon students are saying. Well, some might be saying it, but they’re the kind of jerks that raved after the premiere of CSI: Cyber, also known as the worst, most dumbest stupid show ever. In the world.

Anyway, the board of trustees (maybe they need a name change…) just voted to increase tuition for state residents by 3.8% and that of out-of-staters by 3.7%. This brings the local costs to about $8,500 a year and runs it up the flagpole (runs it right up their #%@) for everyone else to about $30,240. Each year the former generates $74 million for the school, while the latter comes out to around $227 million. Money money money money… money!

While I can’t comment on the intricacies of this sort of thing—mainly because we have interns for that nonsense—what I can tell you is that the final vote was 11-2, so you poor bastards never had a chance. We’ve already managed to develop an entire generation that will be in debt until they die… what’s next, a race to see if people will stop going altogether before the student loan bubble pops and the entire economy falls apart? Wait, I’m getting something in on the wire… yes. Yes. As it turns out, folks, that actually is what’s next.

Remember, kids—if you’re going to be in debt forever, school loans are the best way to go. You’re fairly safe from having the men in black come take all of your possessions, and at least 30% of degrees come with jobs you may hate less than using a spatula to remove gum from the floor of your local bowling alley.

Jeanne Atkins, Come on Down
Right around a month post-Kitzhaber, and we’re starting to dry our tears. I’ve rolled off the couch, changed out of my pajamas, and just threw away the shirt I had been wearing, as it had become stained with bon bons, snot, and armpit sweat. To prove that the government can still function without our Mustache in Chief, she has appointed the apparently wonderfully credentialed Jeanne Atkins as her successor to the Secretary of State Throne.

Unlike Brown, Atkins won’t be next in line to take the governorship if Brown botches some kind of health care exchange and then pulls strings for her fiancé. No siree! That’ll be Oregon state Secretary of Somethin’ or Other, Ted Wheeler. Let me get a “hell yeah” for Ted. No? Fair enough.

In all related interviews, words like “diligent,” “values,” and “impeccable” were uttered to great political extent. Cake was likely served when Atkins was sworn in yesterday, and everyone lived happily ever after. Unless they were a University of Oregon student.

Good News for Allegedly Bad Folks
Representatives from Salem have introduced a bill designed to repair Oregon’s broken post-conviction DNA testing law. Long criticized for setting too high a bar for who can be accepted, only two inmates have ever managed to get a judge to order testing. The first thing they’re actually required to do is completely prove to a judge that DNA on a specific piece of evidence would exonerate them. The last time I checked, the defendant wasn’t supposed to be doing law enforcement’s job. Especially not without getting paid, or other sweet benefits like a rad light on their car or discounted drinks at a cop bar.

The revision of the law, known by the catchy slogan “HB 3206,” will relax the entire process. Defendants will only be required to provide a basic theory that a favorable DNA test could have proven them innocent if it had been done before the trial. Not perfect, but we’re trying to get the cop bar discount thrown in there somewhere.

Other changes include a provision that will allow those convicted of crimes not including murder or sex-related violations to use the service. Additionally, one could now use it to clear their name even if they have already served their entire sentence. The judge would even be required to give a reason for rejecting a motion, which somehow doubles as common sense and a brand new idea. The list goes on and on (really, it does… I read it), but the important thing is that we may be able to now get some of the people out of prison who shouldn’t be there.

Nothing is more satisfying than watching government work, I tell you. Except for maybe a cool, refreshing Yoo-hoo chocolate drink.

By Johnny Beaver