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PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: JAIME VALDEZ - Gov. Kate Brown enters the House of Representatives on Jan. 14. Lawmakers say citizens who raise their voices through letters or committee testimony can have a big influence on bills and state policies.
January 18, 2019

Citizens' voices can have a big impact in Capitol

by Claire Withycombe/Oregon Capital Bureau
Interest groups, lobbyists and big business spend big money to do it, why not you too?
PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: JAIME VALDEZ - Oregon labor unions are hoping the Democrats' big majorities in both the state House and Senate could lead to a pro-worker agenda for the 2019 legislative session.
January 18, 2019

Unions push Democrats to support 'bold' pro-worker agenda

by Aubrey Wieber/Oregon Capital Bureau
Labor leaders want action from lawmakers as unions face challenges from court rulings, dwindling membership
PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP FILE PHOTO - Legislative leaders hope to meet with a mediator to settle BOLI's workplace harassment complaint.
January 14, 2019

Legislative leaders hope to settle BOLI harassment complaint

by Claire Withycombe/Oregon Capital Bureau
A mediator could host meetings as lawmakers get a headstart on workplace reforms to head off future problems
JAIME VALDEZ/PORTLAND TRIBUNE - Laura McGinnis, a spokeswoman for the Oregon Child Welfare Division, and Jennifer Sorenson, a hotline manager.
January 14, 2019

State works to consolidate child abuse call centers

by Paris Achen/Oregon Capital Bureau
Flaws in the child abuse hotline system have been known to state officials for a decade.
JAIME VALDEZ/PORTLAND TRIBUNE - Gov. Kate Brown is sworn in Monday by Martha Lee Walters, chief justice of the Oregon Supreme Court, during a ceremony at the Capitol.
January 14, 2019

Brown calls on Oregon to be ambitious, speed help for homeless

by Aubrey Wieber/Oregon Capital Bureau
In her state of the state address, Gov. Kate Brown told legislators in Salem that she thinks it's time for Oregon to use its success to solve major challenges.
January 14, 2019

Harassment investigation hangs over swearing in of Oregon's 80th legislature

by Paris Achen, Aubrey Wieber and Claire Withycombe/Oregon Capital Bureau
More than a week after the release of a report on sexual harassment in the Oregon Capitol, the fallout continues .
PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP FILE PHOTO - Oregon state government is hoping to avoid budget complications from the ongoing federal government shutdown.
January 13, 2019

Three weeks into shutdown, state government weathering the storm

by Aubrey Wieber/Oregon Capital Bureau
Deep impacts could mean future funding for welfare programs and some state agencies is uncertain
PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP FILE PHOTO - A 2018 law trying to curtail opioid prescriptions has so far produced little results.
January 10, 2019

State law does little to ease opioid crisis pain

by Claire Withycombe/Oregon Capital Bureau
Legislators put little teeth into a 2018 law that requires doctors to register for a program that monitors drug prescriptions
COURTESY PHOTO: OREGON YOUTH AUTHORITY - John, a youth mentor at MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility, helps 18-year-old Zack understand the  personalities of facility staff. John works in the STEPS program, an alternative to isolation, which John uses several times each week.
Jan 07, 2019 31

MacLaren takes STEPS to cool down young offenders

Under the old system, incarcerated youth would be locked away; a new process lets them gradually release their emotions.
PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: JAIME VALDEZ - State Rep. Diego Hernandez, who respresents parts of East Multnomah County, said a report on harassment at the state Capitol was wrong when it accused him of ranking some staff on a list.
Jan 07, 2019 48

Hernandez: BOLI report threw lawmaker 'under the bus'

Several people with knowledge of allegations against state represenative were not interviewed by BOLI investigators
Speaker Tina Kotek
Jan 04, 2019 34

Kotek responds to BOLI report on Capitol harassment

Speaker Kotek vows to act following report detailing poor response to sexual abuse, but says report was rushed.
Jan 03, 2019 1100

Investigation determines legislative leadership ignored harassment claims

A report released Thursday by the Bureau of Labor and Industries found legislative leadership knew about sexual harassment issues in the Capitol as early as 2011, but failed to act swiftly or effectively.
Chris Garrett
Dec 24, 2018 72

Former lawmaker promoted to Supreme Court

Chris Garrett, former state representative, went on to rule on the landmark Sweet Cakes by Melissa discrimination case while on the Oregon Court of Appeals.
COURTESY PHOTO: DREAMSTIME - Lawmakers are working on new legislation to reduce gun violence across the state.
Dec 21, 2018 74

Gun storage bill at bullseye of firearm safety proposals

Lawmakers line up a handful of measures for the 2018 session they hope will reduce gun violence.
STATE OF OREGON - A graph from a presentation Gov. Kate Brown's staff made to the legislative committee overseeing cap and trade shows how the policy is projected to impact pollution levels.
Dec 21, 2018 56

How much wiggle room will polluters get if Oregon taxes carbon emissions?

Groups on both sides of the cap and trade issue lobby for what concessions should be made for the largest polluters.
COURTESY PHOTO: RANDY GREEN - The way Oregon battles wildfires is costing the state millions in both firefigthers and lost tourist dollars. Gov. Kate Brown has created a council to look at better ways to fight the annual scourge.
Dec 20, 2018 63

Governor hopes to shift way Oregon fights wildfires

Changing firefighting tactics and funding could aid the state in annual battle of the blaze.
PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP FILE PHOTO - Oregon lawmakers are expected to push for more internal auditors to work with state agencies.
Dec 17, 2018 68

Lawmakers say humbug to agencies' lack of internal auditors

Governor's budget could add more than a dozen new auditor posts to fulfill state requirements.
Secretary of State Dennis Richardson
Dec 17, 2018 60

Richardson withdraws plan to delegate Land Board position

Dennis Richardson has taken back his request to delegate his position on the Land Board after the Attorney General disagreed with him on his authority to do so.
Sen. Brian Boquist, R-Dallas.
Dec 16, 2018 89

Senator's anonymous delivery under doors triggers Capitol worries

The Oregon Legislature's chief lawyer has warned state Sen. Brian Boquist, a Republican from Dallas, that his recent conduct borders on workplace harassment.
OREGON CAPITAL BUREAU - Advocates say Oregon's DNA evidence laws need to be changed to make it easier for the wrongly convicted to be freed.
Dec 14, 2018 60

Advocates hope to change restrictive DNA evidence law

Critics argue argue that state law makes it impossible to get DNA testing that could exonerate the wrongfully convicted.