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PMG FILE PHOTO - Prison cells at the Oregon State Penitentiary are being occupied more by elderly prisoners. Lawmakers are considering a budget proposal to renovate and operate a special facility for the older inmates.
April 18, 2019

State weighs costs of aging prison population

by Claire Withycombe/Oregon Capital Bureau
Lawmakers could end up spending millions to renovate and operate a facility for elderly prisoners.
PMG FILE PHOTO - Oregon senators approved a bill that could change the way juveniles are charged under the state's Measure 11 rules.
April 16, 2019

Senate passes Measure 11 reform on slimmest of margins

by Aubrey Wieber/Oregon Capital Bureau
If it were pass the House, the bill would be the most comprehensive reform to Oregon's mandatory minimum sentencing law to date.
COURTESY PHOTO: DREAMSTIME - A new lawsuit says the state's foster care system failed to protect children.
April 16, 2019

Lawsuit targets state's foster care debacle

by Claire Withycombe/Oregon Capital Bureau
Ten foster children, representing the roughly 8,000 children in the state's care, want a federal court to fix longstanding issues at the Department of Human Services.
PMG FILE PHOTO - Gov. Kate Brown lays out a proposal Friday, April 12, to reduce the impact of employee retirement costs on local school districts around the state.
April 13, 2019

Brown tries to wrangle $2 billion more to ease PERS costs

by Claire Withycombe/Oregon Capital Bureau
Governor's proposal spends more in next decade to offset retirement increases taking a big bite out of local budgets.
OREGON CAPITAL BUREAU - A revenue proposal released Thursday by legislators will tax businesses just under one-half of 1% of their gross receipts over $1 million while cutting Oregonians' income tax rates by one-quarter of a percent for all but the top bracket.
April 12, 2019

Long-awaited business tax proposal unveiled

by Mark Miller/Oregon Capital Bureau
The proposal will tax businesses just under one-half of 1% of their gross receipts over $1 million while cutting Oregonians' income tax rates by one-quarter of a percent for all but the top bracket.
EO MEDIA GROUP - A package of five bills to raise taxes on nicotine products received public testimony this week, with medical professionals speaking in favor of the tax increases and business owners condemning them.
April 11, 2019

Nicotine taxing bills face opposition from vaping and tobacco retailers

by Aubrey Wiber/Oregon Capital Bureau
Five bills received public testimony this week, with medical professionals speaking in favor of the tax increases and business owners condemning them.
PMG ILLUSTRATION - Cities and counties across the state are among some of the most prolific lobbyists, according to state records.
April 10, 2019

Your tax dollars at work: cities, counties spend big for bills, policies

by Claire Withycombe/Oregon Capital Bureau
Portland, the state's big dog, sits atop a list of jurisdictions trying to influence legislative action.
AUBREY WIEBER FOR SALEM REPORTER - Sen. Michael Dembrow, D-Portland, promotes the idea of allowing for a popular vote in presidential elections.
April 09, 2019

Slave states? Political strife? Popular vote bill debate heats up

by Aubrey Wieber/Oregon Capital Bureau
Lawmakers pass measure, but not before Sen. Dennis Linthicum, R-Klamath Falls, sparks outcry by defending a 'three-fifths' compromise.
PHOTO BY CLAIRE WITHYCOMBE/OREGON CAPITAL BUREAU - Secretary of State Bev Clarno gives a speech at her swearing in April 3. Behind her, (middle) Nike lobbyist Julia Brim-Edwards looks on. Brim-Edwards orchestrated the press event as part of her volunteer position with the office.
Apr 09, 2019 379

Portland schools official who disputed state audit aids Clarno

PPS board member, Nike lobbyist could see conflicts of interest while advising Secretary of State
PMG FILE PHOTO - Former Gov. Ted Kulongoski is working with former state Sen. Chris Telfer on a ballot measure that could alter the state's PERS system.
Apr 08, 2019 19

Business-backed PERS reforms aim for ballot

Former Gov. Kulongoski and state Sen. Telfer file petitions for 2020 election they say could save billions in retirement costs.
Apr 04, 2019 803

Daylight Saving bill passes Oregon Senate

If Senate Bill 320 becomes law, all but one of Oregon's 36 counties would spring forward and never fall back.
CAPITAL BUREAU PHOTO: CLAIRE WITHYCOMBE - People sign up to testify against Senate Bill 978, which would allow gun retailers to raise minimum ages, impose secure storage requirements on gun owners and prohibit untraceable ghost guns printed by 3-D printers.
Apr 03, 2019 49

Gun law changes hit political crosshairs

Hundreds line up to testify on bills that could restrict gun sales, impose tough storage rules on gunowners.
PMG FILE PHOTO - Oregon's lawsuit against opioid makers is continuing, even though some states have settled with the drug makers.
Apr 01, 2019 29

Oregon OxyContin lawsuit remains on track amid massive settlement

Oregon is one of several states suing Purdue Pharma for alleged misleading marketing tactics leading to the opioid epidemic.
COURTESY KLAMATH COUNTY MUSEUM - Capt. Jack in leg irons with his second-in-command, Schonchin John.
Mar 28, 2019 1453

A long-ago execution and a modern apology from Oregon

A state senator surprises Klamath Tribes with move to 'regret' the military execution of four Modoc Indians more than a century ago.
PMG FILE PHOTO - Marion County's Coventa waste-to-energy facility could be affected by proposed carbon cap legislation.
Mar 27, 2019 47

Carbon bill revised with nod to rural Oregonians

Oregon's cap-and-trade policy would regulate polluters and transform Oregon's economy. Proposal's architects say the new version will be a cleaner, more effective bill.
WIKIPEDIA PHOTO - The Oregon State Capitol is shown here.
Mar 27, 2019 60

Public defenders seek reform of 'unconstitutional' system

Oregon is only state contracting out its trial-level services, says Office of Public Defense Services
PMG FILE PHOTO - The time on the Union Station clock could stay at daylight saving time if lawmakers in Oregon, Washington and California can make it happen.
Mar 26, 2019 634

Oregon not ready to 'spring forward' on its own

Lawmakers could make the switch to year-round daylight saving time with other West Coast states
PMG FILE PHOTO - Val Hoyle, new Bureau of Labor and Industries commissioner, plans to ask lawmakers Tuesday, March 26, for a budget increase to boost bureau services.
Mar 26, 2019 40

Hoyle's BOLI budget plan spotlights core services, changes

New state labor commissioner hopes to make office accessible to everyone who needs help.
PMG ILLUSTRATION - An email phishing scheme discovered in January exposed the private information of thousands of Oregonians who receive services through the Department of Human Services.
Mar 21, 2019 359

DHS data breach exposes private info of thousands

An email phishing scheme hit in January, but agency took months to sort out the impact and whose information was stolen.
COURTESY PHOTO - Lore Christopher, the Legislature's HR director, stepped down in March to a temporary state job paying her $12,000 a month. The former Keizer mayor is shown here in a screenshot from her 2014 exit interview with the Keizertimes newspaper.
Mar 21, 2019 2115

Legislature's HR director retires with $12,000-a-month gig

Lore Christopher was identified in BOLI harassment investigation as an official who failed to react to complaints.