Latest News

David Gerstenfeld
June 04, 2020

Interim Employment Department director hears 'clear message' to end mounting backlog

by Peter Wong
David Gerstenfeld, tapped by Gov. Brown, also says agency is fielding more phone calls.
June 03, 2020

Oregon Republicans launch new effort to recall Gov. Brown

by Peter Wong
Their 2019 effort fell short of mark, but GOP chairman counts on resistance to her pandemic orders
Phase 2 of Oregon governor's plan to reopen the economy.
June 03, 2020

Oregon set to lift more covid-19 restrictions Friday

by Gary A. Warner/ for the Oregon Capital Bureau
Bigger gatherings, more sports and work in offices would be allowed under 'Phase 2' reopening to be announced Thursday.
PMG PHOTO: PETER WONG - Kay Erickson via video Saturday, when she and another top Employment Department official were questioned by state lawmakers about the agency's backlog of unemployment claims and public inability to reach the staff. Gov. Kate Brown announced Sunday she asked for and got Erickson's resignation as director.
May 31, 2020

Gov. Brown fires Oregon Employment Department director

by Peter Wong
She names interim leader a day after legislative hearing critical of agency during pandemic downturn.
PMG PHOTO: PETER WONG - A beleaguered Kay Erickson, director of the Oregon Employment Department, as she fielded questions Saturday, May 30, from members of the House Business and Labor Committee during a virtual session about her agency's performance in processing unemployment claims during the coronavirus pandemic.
May 30, 2020

Lawmakers prod officials on backlog of unemployment claims

by Peter Wong
House panel urged direct communication with laid-off workers, not just efforts to reduce totals.
COURTESTY PHOTO: KOIN 6 NEWS - The North Fork Fire was one of 22 fires that broke out in October 2019 east of Molalla. State forestry officials say this would be the wrong time to cut state funding for fire prevention, despite the economic turmoil caused by the pandemic.
May 30, 2020

Oregon forest and ocean conservation, businesses suffer during pandemic

by Gary A. Warner, For the Oregon Capital Bureau
Lost profits and lost revenue drive drop in health of timber, fishing and conservation, lawmakers are told.
PMG PHOTO: PETER WONG - The House Business and Labor Committee heard Wednesday, May 27, from officials at the Employment Department, whose performance in handling unemployment claims has drawn criticism, although more than 90% filed since March have now been processed.
May 28, 2020

Legislators will get second chance to quiz state employment officials

by Peter Wong
Director says 'I do apologize' to thousands as agency undertakes effort to reduce claims backlog.
KARI GREER/USFS - Oregon fire officials face fighting both wildfires and the spread of COVID-19 among crews at a time when the state's budget is being cut.
May 27, 2020

Oregon faces 'worst-worst' case fire scenario

by Gary A. Warner/ For the Oregon Capital Bureau
This summer's fire season requires fighting virus and wildfires amid steep state budget cuts.
COURTESY OREGON LEGISLATURE - State Sen. Rob Wagner of Lake Oswego is the new majority leader of the Oregon Senate. He succeeds Sen. Ginny Burdick of Portland, who announced in March she would give up the position., Portland Tribune - News
May 27, 2020 602

Rob Wagner chosen as new majority leader of the Oregon Senate

Lake Oswego Democrat succeeds Portland's Ginny Burdick, who stepped down but retained her seat.
Knute Buehler
May 23, 2020 1134

Buehler rules out bid for governor

The former Bend lawmaker also backs Trump's reelection despite earlier criticism.
PMG FILE PHOTO - Mark Hass has a slim edge over his Democratic rivals in the bid to be Oregon's next Secretary of State.
May 20, 2020 123

Mark Hass clings to narrowing lead in Oregon Secretary of State race

The senator maintains lead of roughly 2,000 votes over Shemia Fagan for the open statewide position
May 20, 2020 1192

State economists: Oregon budget has a $3 billion gap

Gov. Brown says federal aid must be coupled with spending cuts to cushion blow on vital state services and schools.
Cliff Bentz
May 20, 2020 1108

Bentz wins GOP primary for Congress; Spenser leading Democrats

The race drew 11 Republicans to replace Rep. Greg Walden, R-Hood River, who announced last fall that he would retire after 22 years in Congress.
PMG FILE PHOTO - Rep. Mitch Greenlick has died.
May 18, 2020 548

Portland Rep. Mitch Greenlick dies at age 85

The Democrat, representing Northwest Portland and parts of Washington County, planned to retire at the end of 2020.
May 15, 2020 2239

Brown lifts some limits on 31 counties

More than half the state's estimated 4.22 million population live in counties not covered by Thursday's decisions.
May 13, 2020 860

Oregon Legislature preps for unprecedented special session

The logistics of meeting during coronavirus pandemic are unlike any in its history.
PMG FILE PHOTO - The division of Oregon's 2019-21 budget from the tax-supported general fund ($22.4 billion) and lottery proceeds ($1.3 billion). Agencies have submitted plans for a general-fund cut of 17% in the second year of the cycle; Gov. Kate Brown said she hopes federal aid will cushion the blow from shortfalls in income tax collections.
May 11, 2020 598

Oregon governor prepares spending cuts, hopes for federal aid to cushion them

Agency plans for 17% from general fund 'extremely drastic,' but tax collections expected to be short.
PMG FILE PHOTO - Rep. Diego Hernandez claims that he is being retaliated against for not backing a PERS plan endorsed by legislative leadership.
May 11, 2020 1151

Hernandez plans lawsuit against Legislature, House leaders

The lawmaker's lawyer says an investigation of sexual harassment deprives the Portland Democrat of his rights.
PMG PHOTO: COURTNEY VAUGHN - Students gather in Portland in January 2020 to call for action over climate change.
May 08, 2020 120

DEQ won't impose Oregon governor's greenhouse-gas regulations this year

The governor issued an executive order after the Republican walkouts derailed bills in 2019 and 2020.
PMG PHOTO: JONATHAN HOUSE - The Slammer Tavern boards up their bar due to the stay at home order during the COVID-19 crisis. Members of Gov. Kate Brown's staff addressed business leaders May 8 on how, when and if certain businesses may reopen safely.
May 08, 2020 89

Oregon leaders attempt to clarify rules on when, how, if businesses reopen

Gov. Kate Brown's staff addresses questions on returning safely to bars, gyms, hotels and more.