Latest News

January 23, 2020

Parties at odds over intent of short session

by Claire Withycombe, Jake Thomas and Sam Stites/ Oregon Capital Bueau
Proponents say the short session is necessary to fix budget and respond to issues in a timely manner. Critics believe it's morphed into something different than what was pitched to voters in 2010.
PMG FILE PHOTO - Oregon lawmakers plan to hit the ground running on a handful of big issues when the short, 35-day session begins in Februrary.
January 22, 2020

Guns, wildfires and homelessness loom as Oregon lawmakers gather

by Claire Withycombe, Sam Stites and Jake Thomas/Oregon Capital Bureau
February's 35-day legislative sprint could complete unfinished business or pass new laws on key issues.
January 16, 2020

Capital Chatter: Will the GOP walkout?

by Dick Hughes/ For Oregon Capital Insider
All options remain on the table for Senate Republicans as the 2020 legislative session approaches.
PMG FILE PHOTO - Oregon's Democratic Party staff has unionized. Party officials embraced the union.
January 16, 2020

In a nod to base, Oregon Democratic Party recognizes staff union

by Jake Thomas/Oregon Capital Bureau
Unionization of the party's staff follows similar moves by labor-friendly campaigns elsewhere.
OREGON CAPITAL BUREAU/JAKE THOMAS - State Rep. Rachel appears on a screen in a legislative hearing room used to accommodate overflow Wednesday, Jan. 15. The topic was a safe gun storage proposal she plans to introduce in the 2020 legislative session.
January 16, 2020

Oregon lawmakers unholster new gun-safety proposal

by Jake Thomas/Oregon Capital Bureau
Proponents say measure could reduce gun deaths and injuries, but opponents dislike one-size-fits-all approach.
PMG FILE PHOTO - Senate President Peter Courtney missed mid-January's Legislartive Days because of a hip problem. He is being treated at OHSU and expects to return in time for the Feb. 3 session.
January 16, 2020

Hip treatment keeps Courtney from Oregon Capitol

by Claire Withycombe/Oregon Capital Bureau
Senate president skips legislative runup meetings, but expects to be back in action for the February session.
PMG FILE PHOTO - Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum has joined a lawsuit to block Trump administration food stamp changes.
January 16, 2020

Oregon AG joins lawsuit to block food stamp changes

by Claire Withycombe/Oregon Capital Bureau
Federal program helps feed about 586,000 people in Oregon, but about 21,800 could lose benefits under Trump administration's rules.
PMG FILE PHOTO - An attempted cyber attack has thrown a roadblock into mandatory training for thousands of state employees.
January 14, 2020

Cyber attack halts training for thousands of Oregon state employees

by Sam Stites/Oregon Capital Bureau
Christmas Day attack on the state's iLearn web program left thousands unable to access mandatory training.
PMG FILE PHOTO - State Sen. Michael Dembrow of Portland is working on new environmental legislation that could be introduced in the February session.
Jan 09, 2020 950

Lawmakers try to rebuild greenhouse gas proposal

New plan headed to February session hinges on system of emission allowances that can be bought and sold.
Jan 09, 2020 696

Deputy Secretary of State Vial resigns

He has been floated as a possible Republican candidate for secretary of state.
COURTESY PHOTO: HYDRO EXTRUSION USA - Hydro Extrusion USA, a Norwegian company, was hit by a DEQ fine for its aluminum recycling plant in The Dalles.
Jan 09, 2020 82

DEQ hits recycler with largest air quality fine ever

Norwegian aluminum recycler in The Dalles tagged with $1.3 million penalty for processing dirty material.
PMG FILE PHOTO - A federal judge tossed out a lawsuit brought by state Sen. Brian Boquist.
Jan 08, 2020 1148

Finding 'words have consequences,' judge throws out Boquist lawsuit

Legal fight related to GOP walkout alleged that Senate President Courtney and others violated Boquist's rights.
SAM STITES/ OREGON CAPITAL BUREAU - A tractor trailer approaches the scales at the Woodburn port of entry.
Jan 01, 2020 128

Truck accident rate dropping, state data shows

As trucks log ever more miles on Oregon highways, major accidents can create the impression they are getting more dangerous. But state reports show the accident rate has been dropping as state enforcers target education, not punishment.
SAM STITES/ OREGON CAPITAL BUREAU - Tom Avila inspects a tire shown by the tire anomaly detection system to have a problem. The pilot program implemented at the Woodburn port of entry helps prevent accidents by notifying drivers when there's an issue with a tire or axle, something that's not always obvious when they're out on the road.
Jan 01, 2020 501

Truck inspections crucial to ODOT's 'vision zero'

The state wants zero deaths on its roads by 2035, but an increasing number of trucks is taxing inspectors.
OREGON CAPITAL BUREAU - Research shows that students who are taught civics are more likely to vote and be engaged in their communities.
Jan 01, 2020 740

Nonprofits, state office try to fill the gap

Legislative attempts to mandate civic instruction in Oregon classrooms has failed. The Secretary of State's Office has shifted its priorities to promote civic education.
COURTESY PHOTO - Summer Warners job is to help new Oregon state directors fit in to the agencies theyre chosen to lead.
Jan 01, 2020 406

State agency mentorship helps directors overcome rough patches

Summer Warner and her Department of Administrative Services team work to provide support network for new and experienced state leaders.
Dec 26, 2019 567

AFL-CIO boss says young workers are turning to unions

Graham Trainor was elected in September to become president of the Oregon AFL-CIO, a labor federation representing the interests of about 300,000 private and public sector workers.
PMG FILE PHOTO - Beagles like these rescued from Wisconsin, have been used for animal testing in labs across the nation. A new law taking effect Jan. 1 requires the labs to offer animals for adoption before they are euthanized.
Dec 24, 2019 739

Beaverton students learn a civics lesson in saving lives

Elmonica fifth graders behind Oregon's new 'Beagle Bill' will be honored at a Jan. 13 ceremonial bill signing.
PMG FILE PHOTO - Two initiatives promoting clean energy in the state were rejected by the secretary of state's office.
Dec 20, 2019 950

Secretary of state rejects clean-energy initiatives

Bev Clarno turns to constitutional basis to toss two proposals to increase Oregon's reliance on renewable energy.
(Image is Clickable Link) PMG ILLUSTRATION - A screenshot shows the 35-hour extension granted to Oregonians who want to sign up for health insurance through the Oregon marketplace.
Dec 19, 2019 162

Health insurance enrollment deadline extended after website glitch

People who still need to purchase health care through state program have until midnight Dec. 17 to log on and sign up.