Latest News

COURTESY ILLUSTRATION - Gov. Kate Brown wants funding for a state Shake Alert earthquake warning system.
February 20, 2020

Governor wants $7.5 million for earthquake early warning system

by Sam Stites/Oregon Capital Bureau
Bill also creates a program to improve readiness for a quarter-million Oregon households in quake zones.
PMG/EO MEDIA/SR
February 18, 2020

Legal changes advance to help Oregon's mentally ill defendants

by Sam Stites/Oregon Capital Bureau
Legislation to clarify options and process for judges dealing with those found unfit to stand trial passes Senate, moves to the House for final approval.
February 18, 2020

Republicans take a walk, stalling legislative action

by Claire Withycombe, Jake Thomas and Sam Stites/ Oregon Capital Bureau
Republicans in the Oregon House took the night off from a floor session Tuesday, making a public point about their unhappiness.
COURTESY PHOTO: DREAMSTIME - Legislation to require guns be locked is still moving through committee. Other legislation has been sidetracked.
February 17, 2020

Pile of bills still rolling as Legislature hits week three

by Jake Thomas/Oregon Capital Bureau
Lawmakers are at the halfway point, with some proposed legislation spiked, others moving through the committees.
OREGON CAPITAL BUREAU - Tina Kotek
February 14, 2020

Kotek sponsors bill to help homeless

by Jake Thomas/ Oregon Capital Bureau
A key bill would give cities a lifeline on homelessness. But one provision has some worried.
PMG FILE PHOTO - The scenic Crooked River near Central Oregon's Bowman Dam is among the places people visit each year. An audit of the state's tourism agency, Travel Oregon, said it needed to spend its money more wisely.
February 13, 2020

Audit: Tourism agency should be more transparent

by Claire Withycombe/Oregon Capital Bureau
Secretary of state auditors say Travel Oregon needs to strengthen contracting controls to stretch its budget.
OREGON CAPITAL BUREAU FILE PHOTO - Students and others were part of a June 2019 rally outside the Capitol to support carbon-reduction legislation. Another rally is planned Tuesday, Feb. 11, to support a similar bill.
February 11, 2020

Climate activists take their case to state Capitol

by Claire Withycombe/Oregon Capital Bureau
Organizers expect hundreds of people to push for climate legislation that drew ire of Timber Unity rally.
OREGON CAPITAL BUREAU: SAM STITES - More than 1,000 people attended the climate action rally Tuesday, Feb. 11, at the Oregon state Capitol, according to Renew Oregon, the group that organized the event.
February 11, 2020

Climate activists swarm Oregon Capitol to support cap-and-trade bill

by Claire Withycombe and Sam Stites/Oregon Capital Bureau
Hundreds of demonstrators raise their voices and signs to urge legislators to act on greenhouse gas emissions.
OREGON CAPITAL BUREAU: CLAIRE WITHYCOMBE - Gov. Kate Brown, Greg Miller, representative of the timber coalition, and Bob Van Dyke of the Wild Salmon Center, announce the "historic" deal between logging and environmental interests Monday, Feb. 10.
Feb 10, 2020 792

Historic Oregon timber agreement a 'new approach'

Gov. Brown, environmentalists and forestry groups endorse a breakthrough political deal to reform forest practices.
PMG FILE PHOTO - Oregon lawmakers could provide money for more state troopers on state highways under a funding bill making its way through the Legislature.
Feb 10, 2020 535

Funding bill could give troopers a ride on Oregon highways

Despite its hefty cost, legislation has broad support among lawmakers and groups representing law enforcement.
PMG FILE PHOTO - Oregon lawmakers passed a deadline Friday, Feb. 7, for action on a number of bills.
Feb 07, 2020 59

Oregon lawmakers say adios to a pile of proposed bills

Legislators whittle legislation as the short legislative session passes deadline for action.
COURTESY PHOTO - Oregon lawmakers are wrangling a bill to help the state fight wildfires. Some legislators think the issue is too difficult to tackle in the short legislative session.
Feb 06, 2020 120

Fixing wildfire issues may be too tough in short session

Sen. Baertschiger, an advocate for how Oregon fights wildfires, suggested reforms were too ambitious.
JAIME VALDEZ/PORTLAND TRIBUNE - Sen. Kim Thatcher, R-Keizer, announced Thursday that she is running for secretary of state.
Feb 06, 2020 571

Thatcher announces run for secretary of state

The Keizer lawmaker becomes the first Republican to enter the race to replace Bev Clarno.
JAIME VALDEZ/PORTLAND TRIBUNE - For the second year, Timber Unity held a large rally Thursday on the Capitol steps in hopes of defeating climate legislation.
Feb 06, 2020 946

Rural Oregon makes its voice heard

For the second year, Timber Unity Thursday held a large rally on the Capitol steps in hopes of defeating climate legislation
COURTESY PHOTO - Nora Lehmann, an artist, teacher and mom from Portland, and a member of PDX Families for a Livable Climate, urged lawmakers Tuesday, Feb. 4, to adopt a new climate action bill.
Feb 05, 2020 766

Oregonians to lawmakers: climate bill a 'panic' or essential for a livable future

Dozens testify, hundreds submit letters on modified cap-and-trade proposal as Legislature begins early grind on tough issue.
PMG FILE PHOTO - A Marion County judge said Senate President Peter Courtney did not improperly withhold public records from state Sen. Brian Boquist.
Feb 04, 2020 584

Judge rejects Sen. Boquist's public records lawsuit

Legal fight with legislative leader Peter Courtney was part of a political feud in Senate.
OREGON CAPITAL BUREAU: SAM STITES - U.S. Attorney Billy Williams (center) addresses the media regarding cyber and disinformation threats to the security of Oregon's electoral process during a press conference at the Oregon Capitol Tuesday, Feb. 4. Steve Trout (right), Oregon Elections Division Director, and Renn Cannon (left) FBI Portland division special agent in charge, also spoke on how government partnerships are protecting the integrity of Oregon's elections system.
Feb 04, 2020 63

Elections Division says Oregon's electoral process is secure

Elections Director Steve Trout and U.S. Attorney Billy Williams tout government partnerships protecting voters rights.
OREGON CAPITAL BUREAU: SAM STITES - Former Lake Oswego City Councilor Jeff Gudman filed Feb. 3 to run for state treasurer.
Feb 04, 2020 215

LO's Gudman jumps into state treasurer race

Former city councilor seeks Republican nomination to challenge Treasurer Tobias Read in rematch of 2016 race.
PMG FILE PHOTO - Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney has proposed a new bill to reduce the blood alcohol level needed for a DUII arrest. The bill was proposed to reduce crashes, like this one in Clackamas County, involving impaired drivers.
Feb 03, 2020 67

Courtney takes another shot at DUII bill

Legislation would lower blood alcohol level, affecting who gets stopped for driving under the influence.
PMG FILE PHOTO - A June 2019 Capital rally by members of Timber Unity helped cement the end of a cap-and-trade bill opposed by rural constituents.
Jan 30, 2020 929

Big business throws support behind West Coast cap-and-trade plans

Nike, Uber and Microsoft among the large companies that encouraged Oregon lawmakers to adopt a system to cut carbon emissions.