Chris Lehman

Salem Correspondent

Chris Lehman graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He landed his first job less than a month later, producing arts stories for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana. Three years later he headed north to DeKalb, Illinois, where he worked as a reporter and announcer for NPR affiliate WNIJ-FM. In 2006 he headed west to become the Salem Correspondent for the Northwest News Network.

Chris is a native of rural Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. He was born in the upstairs bedroom of his grandmother's house, and grew up in a 230-year-old log cabin in the woods. Chris traces his interest in journalism to his childhood, when his parents threatened to take away his newspaper if he didn’t do his chores.

In addition to working full time in public radio for the past decade, Chris has also reported from overseas on a freelance basis. He's filed stories from Iraq, Burkina Faso, El Salvador, Northern Ireland, Zimbabwe and Uganda. He lives in Salem with his wife and children.

Ways to Connect

The Oregon Senate voted Monday to extend health insurance coverage to children who are in the country illegally. The $36 million plan would enroll those children in the state's Medicaid program.

The legal age for buying tobacco products in Oregon could soon rise from 18 to 21. A measure to make that change cleared a key legislative hurdle Monday.

Oregon lawmakers have approved the nation's first statewide law on predictable scheduling for employees.

Oregon lawmakers are moving ahead with a measure that would require railroads to explain how they'd deal with hazardous spills. A legislative budget subcommittee voted Tuesday to advance the measure.

Oregon lawmakers narrowly approved an $8.2 billion spending plan Tuesday for K-12 schools. It’s an 11 percent increase over the previous budget cycle.

But many lawmakers said it still wasn't enough.

Oregon is one step closer to complying with a 12-year-old federal law that governs the security of drivers' licenses. The Oregon Senate approved a bill Monday that would allow the Oregon DMV to issue licenses that meet federal approval.

The Oregon House has narrowly passed a measure meant to scale back a tax break intended for small businesses. The measure cleared the chamber Friday over the strong objections of Republicans.

Democrats in the Oregon Legislature and Gov. Kate Brown say they are giving up trying to increase taxes on corporations during this year's legislative session.

Oregon lawmakers gave final approval Wednesday to a tax increase meant to ensure continued health care coverage for low-income Oregonians. The $670 million package raises an existing tax on hospital revenue and enacts a new tax on some health insurance premiums.

Oregon lawmakers want to make it harder for federal immigration agents to find people living in the country illegally.

The future of a possible corporate tax hike is in doubt at the Oregon Capitol after a flurry of activity Monday yielded no progress on the issue.

As Oregon lawmakers continue to debate whether to change the way the state taxes businesses, some public employee unions are threatening to take the question to voters.

It's part of a battle at the State Capitol over how to bridge a $1.4 billion budget gap.

Oregon lawmakers are moving forward with a key piece of the upcoming state spending plan. A legislative budget panel Thursday approved an $8.2 billion budget for K-12 schools.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown will sign a bill Thursday that aims to make sure women are paid the same as men. Advocates say the measure will also help ensure disabled people are paid fairly.

Several Oregon lawmakers hailed the victims of Friday's stabbing on a Portland light rail train as "heroes."

Two people died and a third was seriously injured when they intervened to protect two teenage girls from a man making threatening, racist comments.

The Oregon Youth Authority; oregon.gov

 

Oregon lawmakers have approved a measure that would stop children under 18 from being physically restrained during juvenile court proceedings.

The Oregon House voted unanimously in favor of the measure Thursday, sending it to Gov. Kate Brown.

The bill would require restraints, such as shackles or handcuffs, to be removed before a court hearing begins.

Don Ryan / Associated Press

The Oregon House approved a measure Wednesday that would create a process to impeach the state's governor.

Oregon lawmakers got their first look Tuesday at a bill to overhaul the way the state taxes corporations. The short version of the plan: Businesses would be taxed on the sales they have in Oregon each year, instead of on their profits.

The 111-page document leaves out some of the details, including how much corporations would actually be taxed under the plan.

Oregon lawmakers have signed off on a measure to ensure that women will be paid the same as men. The Oregon House approved the bill Monday.

Oregonians could be getting a kicker when they file their taxes next year. State economists said Tuesday that revenues for the current budget cycle are on track to exceed projections by a wide enough margin to trigger Oregon's unique kicker law.

The May revenue forecast is a critical piece of information for lawmakers as they decide how to spend taxpayer dollars during the next two-year budget cycle.

Oregon lawmakers have signed off on a bill that would make it easier for transgender people to change their identity on state government documents like a drivers license or birth certificate.

The Senate voted 23-6 Wednesday to approve the bill, which now heads to the governor's desk.

In a year when Oregon lawmakers are grappling with a $1.6 billion budget shortfall, even some legislative leaders are having trouble gaining traction for their priorities.

The Oregon Department of Human Services will have a new director this fall. Gov. Kate Brown announced Friday that she's appointing the head of another state agency to take the helm at DHS.

Oregon House Democrats pitched a plan to overhaul the way the state taxes businesses Thursday. The proposal is part of an effort to bridge a $1.6 billion shortfall in the upcoming budget.

Oregon Supreme Court Justice David Brewer will step down at the end of June. He will become the second judge on Oregon's highest court to resign this year.

Oregon lawmakers have unveiled a proposed business tax that’s meant to help bridge a $1.6 billion budget shortfall.

The new tax would be a “gross receipts tax,” and would replace the existing corporate income tax. Unlike an income tax, the gross receipts tax would be levied on a company’s overall sales, not its profits.

Oregonians could petition a court to revoke the gun rights of a household member in crisis under a bill approved Monday in the Oregon Senate.

One of the largest state workers unions rallied in front of the Oregon Capitol Friday. Members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees said budget-balancing discussions by Oregon lawmakers unfairly target public employees.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has signed an executive order aimed at improving the way the state negotiates with its unionized workers.

The order establishes that money set aside for collective bargaining will now include salary increases and health care costs.

Pages