Latest News

PMG FILE PHOTO - Lawmakers are working on a plan to give paid family leave to employees from most businesses.
June 14, 2019

Paid family leave bill tries to avoid political tug of war

by Mark Miller/Oregon Capital Bureau
As HB 2005 inches through process, business and labor groups offer support, others see trouble for small firms.
CLAIRE WITHYCOMBE/OREGON CAPITAL BUREAU - Log truck drivers rallied at the Capitol on Wednesday, June 12, to protest House Bill 2020, which will implement a cap and trade program. Despite their presence, the bill passed out of its final committee 13-8. It will get a vote in the House June 17.
June 13, 2019

Air horns of protest can't stall action on climate bill

by Aubrey Wieber/Oregon Capital Bureau
An environmental plan that will dramatically change industry in Oregon cleared a key hurdle in Salem.
PMG FILE PHOTO - Lawmakers have approved a bill to ban single-use plastic bags usually given at grocery store check-out counters.
June 11, 2019

Lawmakers say so long to single-use plastic bags

by Mark Miller/Oregon Capital Bureau
Plastic straws? Gone. Plastic bags? Gone. Polystyrene boxes for takeout food? Still hanging around.
PMG FILE PHOTO - Bills to ease criminal convictions for marijuana offenses, and to allow export of Oregons cannabis, could find their way to Gov. Kate Browns desk.
June 11, 2019

Post-conviction relief for marijuana crimes gets legislative OK

by Aubrey Wieber/Oregon Capital Bureau
A second bill allows the governor to work with other states to export Oregon's weed.
PMG FILE PHOTO - People whose driver's licenses are suspended because they can't pay some traffic fines could get a break under a bill stalled in the Legislature.
June 07, 2019

Lawmakers want to park suspended licenses for unpaid tickets

by Claire Withycombe/Oregon Capital Bureau
Some worry state practice hits poor people with an expensive legal double-whammy.
PMG FILE PHOTO - Tick tock? Oregon lawmakers approved a plan to put the state on permanent Daylight Saving Time.
June 06, 2019

What time is it? Permanent DST, lawmakers say

by Mark Miller/Oregon Capital Bureau
If California joins Oregon and Washington, Congress must let the three states abandon Pacific Standard Time.
PMG FILE PHOTO - Oregon could join a national movement to turn away from the electoral college under a proposal approved by lawmakers.
June 05, 2019

Legislature endorses Oregon's move to national popular vote

by Aubrey Wieber/Oregon Capital Bureau
A bill to join other states in ignoring the Electoral College now goes to Gov. Kate Brown's desk.
PMG FILE PHOTO - Secretary of State Bev Clarno's new audit says changes in the state's foster care system could take time, bu they should improve things for hundreds of foster children.
June 05, 2019

Audit: Foster care changes need time, more staff

by Claire Withycombe/Oregon Capital Bureau
A month before lawmakers adopt a budget, DHS hasn't said how many workers it needs to make things better.
COURTESY PHOTO - Wildfires consumed thousands of acres in Oregon last year. Some lawmakers want the state to put more resources into fighting fires this year.
Jun 04, 2019 17

Lawmakers call for more resources as wildfire season looms

With fires burning longer, larger and hotter, lawmakers in vulnerable districts say the state isn't reacting quickly enough to changing climate.
PMG FILE PHOTO - House Speaker Tina Kotek helped whip up votes Thursday, May 30, to pass PERS reforms.
May 31, 2019 95

PERS reform passes after Speaker whips last-minute votes

After an initial vote, Speaker Tina Kotek was two votes shy of passing her bill. But some late politicking got the job done.
PMG FILE PHOTO - Gov. Kate Brown is trying to work out a deal to cap the 'kicker' tax rebates to $1,000 a person. Republicans don't support the plan.
May 31, 2019 28

Brown weighs plan to squeeze 'kicker' rebate

Capping the amount taxpayers could receive is one idea being floated to fund housing and infrastructure projects.
PMG PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - State Sen. Jackie Winters, here with Gov. Kate Brown, died Wednesday, May 29. She was known for her work on criminal justice reform and her attempts to build consensus among lawmakers of both parties.
May 30, 2019 990

Colleagues remember Jackie Winters as 'fierce fighter for truth'

Elected to the Legislature in 1998 as the state's first African-American Republican, Winters was an icon and leaves a legacy for all Republicans.
PMG PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Jennifer Patterson, Oregons new state librarian, says she is still finding her way around the shelves of historic material in the library.
May 30, 2019 377

New state librarian settling in among stacks of history

Jennifer Patterson is anxious to become part of Oregon's library community as she learns her way around state and its connection to books.
PMG FILE PHOTO - A Senate suicide-prevention bill named for Adi Staub, a transgender student who died by suicide, was approved by the House and should be signed by the governor.
May 24, 2019 27

Suicide-prevention bills try to shield youth from trauma

'Our schools have become the de facto social service providers of our communities, yet we hadn't really been funding them that way.'
OREGON CAPITAL BUREAU: CLAIRE WITHYCOMBE - Students from March For Our Lives, a group advocating for tighter gun laws to prevent school violence, were at the Capitol Thursday to voice their disappointment over the failure of SB 978, which would have increased state restrictions on guns.
May 24, 2019 27

Gun bill demise angers students in 'fight for our lives'

Young people try to negotiate obstacles as they lobby hard for changes to make their schools safe from gun violence.
COURTESY PHOTO - Oregon State Police Trooper Nic Cederberg received the National Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor May 22 at a White House ceremony.
May 23, 2019 285

Cederberg awarded nation's highest police honor

State Trooper is first Oregonian to receive Medal of Valor from President Trump after surviving a harrowing Christmas Day 2016 shootout.
COURTESY PHOTO: AUBREY WIEBER/OREGON CAPITAL BUREAU - Rep. Karin Power, D-Milwaukie, and Sen. Michael Dembrow, D-Portland, leaders of the cap-and-trade proposal, speak at a rally outside the Capitol.
May 23, 2019 488

Cap-and-trade bill takes step toward reality

Landmark carbon pricing proposal moved out of committee on a party-line vote after months of hearings and amendments.
PMG FILE PHOTO - Sen. Jackie Winters, a Salem Republican, says her health has prevented her from returning to the Capitol. She's 'working hard' to get back into the political fray, Winters said.
May 23, 2019 406

Winters' cancer battle keeps her off Legislature's front lines

Veteran Marion County lawmaker says she's 'working hard' to get back to work at the Capitol.
May 22, 2019 36

Measure 11 reform, other criminal justice bills move forward

Criminal justice policies are Legisalture's theme of the week, including bill to reform how juveniles accused of violent crimes are tried and sentenced.
May 20, 2019 66

Lawmakers wrestle with plans for kicker 'windfall'

Paying down PERS debt is one strategy, and others want to 'sock it away' for a rainy budget day