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OREGON CAPITAL BUREAU: CLAIRE WITHYCOMBE - Oregon's Public Records Advocate Ginger McCall led a Friday, Sept. 13, meeting of the state Public Records Council. McCall resigned Sept. 9, citing pressure from the governor's office.
September 13, 2019

Public records council wants independent advocate

by Aubrey Wieber and Claire Withycombe/Oregon Capital Bureau
Moves are a first step to clearing up gray areas in 2017 law creating the public records advocate.
PMG FILE PHOTO - Ginger McCall was hired in early 2018 as the state's first public records advocate. She will resign Oct. 11.
September 11, 2019

Oregon's public records advocate squeezed by politics, resigns

by Claire Withycombe/Oregon Capital Bureau
Ginger McCall, hired a year ago to improve transparency, wrote that governor's office wanted to control agenda of new records council.
COURTESY PHOTO: DREAMSTIME - A U.S. Supreme Court ruling could change Oregon's nonunanimous jury rules. The state has submitted a friend-of-the-court brief in a case that might alter the state's system.
September 11, 2019

High Court jury ruling could scuttle decades of Oregon convictions

by Aubrey Wieber/Oregon Capital Bureau
AG Ellen Rosenblum is urging the U.S. Supreme Court to rule split decisions are constitutional, saying overturning existing laws would throw the state's court system into chaos.
Kris Strickler
September 10, 2019

Commission taps Strickler to lead ODOT

by Claire Withycombe/Oregon Capital Bureau
Head of the highway division replaces Matt Garrett, who stepped down in June after leading agency for 14 years.
PMG FILE PHOTO - SEIU 503 members rallied outside the Capitol in late May during negotiations for a new state contract. The union representing university workers could strike in late September if a new contract isn't approved.
September 04, 2019

Union: Spend more on staff, not university presidents

by Claire Withycombe/Oregon Capital Bureau
SEIU report fuels contract talks as strike threat looms; universities' spokeswoman questions comparisons
PMG FILE PHOTO - Oregon's Department of Human Services is sorting more than 5,000 applications for 300 jobs to help foster children across the state. Caseworkers and clerical staff will be hired to, among other things, keep foster children in school.
September 04, 2019

Oregon DHS overwhelmed by applications for child welfare jobs

by Claire Withycombe/Oregon Capital Bureau
Agency says more than 5,400 people want to fill 313 new jobs to help place foster children in new homes.
PMG FILE PHOTO - State Sen. Mark Hass of Washington County says he is running for secretary of state.
September 03, 2019

Hass makes it official: He's running for secretary of state

by Aubrey Wieber/Oregon Capital Bureau
Washington County senator says statewide office 'needs someone strong there.'
CLAIRE WITHYCOMBE/ OREGON CAPITAL BUREAU - Oregon State Fair visitors sign a petition to recall Gov. Kate Brown at the booth organized by Flush Down Kate Brown.
August 29, 2019

Two efforts seek to recall Kate Brown

by Claire Withycombe and Aubrey Wieber/ Oregon Capital Bureau
Petition signers interviewed struggled to articulate exactly why such unprecedented action needs to be taken.
PMG FILE PHOTO - A cell at a state prison shows living conditions for most prisoners. A bill approved by the 2019 Legislature altered the way the state's death penalty was applied, causing confusion and possible unintended consequences.
Aug 28, 2019 433

Special session looms to fix death penalty changes

Lawmakers said legislation would not apply to previous cases, but DOJ said it might affect 30 inmates on Oregon's death row.
OREGON CAPITAL BUREAU: CLAIRE WITHYCOME - Jackson Stalley, library technician at Western Oregon University, is one of about 220 classified workers there who could walk off the job in September.
Aug 22, 2019 201

Oregon university workers could start school year on strike

About 5,000 union employees and higher education leaders at an impasse on new contract's big issues: pay increases, benefits and time off.
PMG FILE PHOTO - Gov. Kate Brown says she could use executive action to establish a cap-and-trade program.
Aug 21, 2019 460

Brown warms up executive action to limit greenhouse gas emissions

Documents show that starting in 2017, the governor started talking with agency leaders about finding an alternative route to lower Oregon's carbon footprint.
PMG FILE PHOTO - A new Trump administration rule limiting green cards to immigrants who do not access public benefits iis causing some Oregon immigrants to avoid the public health plans. Many immigrants are getting their care through local emergency rooms.
Aug 19, 2019 134

Oregon's immigrants see trouble in new Trump green card rules

State sues to block changes; officials worry some people may avoid public benefits even if they need them.
PHOTO BY: JAIME VALDEZ - Although abortion in among the services that Planned Parenthood provides, it represents a small fraction of the reasons that patients seek care there., Clackamas Review - News  Planned Parenthood reopens in Clackamas County
Aug 19, 2019 462

Oregon dumps federal health care funds in Trump rule change skirmish

State weighs legal and political options as federal appeals court takes up proposed barriers to some reproductive care for low-income women.
COURTESY PHOTO: ODOT - ODOT crews inspect the Yaquina Bay Bridge in Newport. The Lincoln County city pushed back an attempt to veto state funds to replace two local dams.
Aug 14, 2019 794

With dams at risk, Lincoln County pushes back planned veto

Coastal community turns politics on its head as it rallies support to keep governor from spiking state money for critical projects.
PMG FILE PHOTO - Reyna Lopez of Oregon's PCUN Latinx political group says she and others are concerned the El Paso shooting that targeted Mexicans and Hispanics.
Aug 09, 2019 314

'I think El Paso was a culmination of hateful rhetoric'

Oregon's Latinx leaders worry that Texas and Ohio shootings could be prelude to more attacks on Hispanics.
PMG FILE PHOTO - Public union employees are asking the Oregon Supreme Court to review legislative changes to PERS.
Aug 09, 2019 887

Oregon public unions want top court to block PERS changes

Lawsuit challenges changes that tweak savings plan and cap salary number used to determine retirement benefits.
PMG FILE PHOTO - Oregon lawmakers and civic groups plan to push for gun law changes on the ballot and in the Capitol.
Aug 07, 2019 712

Advocates see tough fight ahead for Oregon gun law changes

Weekend shootings in Texas and Ohio offer a grim backdrop to a political battle that includes civic groups, lobbyists and legislators.
COURTESY PHOTO - State Rep. Mike Nearman — one of the Legislature's most conservative members — is the new state director of the anti-union group Freedom Foundation.
Aug 07, 2019 177

Conservative Rep. Nearman takes Freedom Foundation job

Olympia group focuses on labor issues, and former lawmaker is expected to fit right in ideologically.
PMG FILE PHOTO - The urban/rural split came to a head in June when loggers and farmers from across the state rallied in front of the Capitol to protest environmental legislation they said would hurt their industries.
Aug 05, 2019 848

Urban/rural divide puts lawmakers at loggerheads

Experts say it might not be that bad: cities and small towns take different political approaches to meeting their needs.
PMG FILE PHOTO - Gov. Kate Brown plans to veto several bills by the end of the week.
Aug 05, 2019 141

Gov. Brown warms up veto pen for several bills

On Sunday, Gov. Kate Brown announced her veto considerations, including money for dam retrofits, wetland deregulation and funds for urban growth boundary adjustments.