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.

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A bipartisan group of Oregon lawmakers unveiled a proposal on Friday to reel in state spending during the upcoming budget cycle. The plan calls for a two-year hiring freeze on "non-essential positions."

The state of Oregon has announced a new round of taxpayer-funded grants to help schools and other public buildings better withstand a major earthquake.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has ordered a two-month hiring freeze for state government jobs. The Democrat is ordering state agencies not to fill any job vacancies during the months of May and June.

Budget writers at the Oregon Legislature are warning of deep cuts to health care and education. The Democrats in charge of putting together a two-year spending plan released a list of potential cuts Monday.

Oregon lawmakers heard public testimony Monday on a set of bills to regulate guns.

Austin Jenkins / Northwest News Network

Oregon lawmakers are gearing up for a pair of hearings Monday on a set of bills to regulate firearms. The measures would do a variety of things.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

Oregon lawmakers won't vote on a measure that would create a new crime called "militia terrorism." That announcement came from a key lawmaker Wednesday during a hearing on the bill, which drew plenty of opposition.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown is leaning on the state's public college and universities to curb tuition increases.

Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson wants to restore ballot access to some Oregonians whose voter status has been changed to "inactive."

People who legally buy marijuana in Oregon would enjoy a greater level of privacy under a measure headed for Gov. Kate Brown’s desk. The Oregon House Monday approved a bill that would stop cannabis retailers from recording personal information such as a customer's name, age or address.

Lobbyists in Oregon would have to publicly disclose their positions on bills they're trying to influence under a measure approved by the state House Thursday.

Oregon politicians aren't allowed to hold duels. It says so in the state constitution. But one state lawmaker Wednesday made his case for ending that ban.

The Oregon House narrowly voted Tuesday to ban most no-cause evictions and to allow cities to pass local rent control ordinances.

The Oregon House could vote as soon as Tuesday on a measure that would ban most no-cause evictions in the state.

Gas stations in eastern Oregon could offer self-service gas around the clock under a measure that passed the Oregon House 56-0 Thursday. For decades, Oregon and New Jersey were the only states that banned most drivers from pumping their own fuel. Two years ago, Oregon lawmakers backed away from that ban, but only for rural counties and only at night. The idea was to prevent drivers from getting stranded in a small town where the only station had closed for the day. The new law would allow those rural stations to offer self-serve around the clock.

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Oregon businesses would have to offer employees paid time off to care for children or family members under a bill being considered in Salem. The measure would require employers to pay into a fund that workers could use for up to 12 weeks per year, or more in the case of parental leave.

Education advocates made their case for increased school funding in front of Oregon lawmakers Thursday. The subcommittee that focuses on education heard testimony from people who want lawmakers to boost K-12 funding from the $7.8 billion proposed in a preliminary budget framework.

Oregon lawmakers are advancing a measure that would make it easier for transgender people to change their identity on government documents.

The mortgage interest tax deduction collectively saves Oregonians about a $500 million per year on their state income taxes. But Oregon lawmakers are considering scaling it back.

The measure under consideration would still allow the deduction for many taxpayers but would end it for higher income households.

Lawmakers in Salem and Olympia are debating measures intended to crack down on distracted driving.

With Oregon’s biggest cities in a housing crunch, lawmakers are considering a measure that would require landlords to give specific reasons for evicting a tenant.

An Oregon court will hear arguments Thursday in a case involving a bakery owner who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown is urging the Trump administration to view marijuana as an economic opportunity. Her comments came as Attorney General Jeff Sessions hinted Tuesday at a federal crackdown on recreational cannabis.

A measure under consideration in the Oregon Legislature would allow juries to award unlimited damages in lawsuits alleging negligence.

Juries can already award unlimited damages that are tied to actual economic harm done to victims. But the state has a $500,000 cap on non-economic damages, sometimes referred to as "pain and suffering."

Transgender people in Oregon would have an easier way to change their identity on government documents under a bill being considered by Oregon lawmakers.

Members of the Oregon House are considering a proposal to ban the long-accepted practice of allowing members to introduce bills anonymously.

Some Oregon lawmakers want to create a task force to examine whether the state should try to take control of federal lands. Supporters acknowledge there's no clear path to transferring federal lands to state ownership. This bill would create a task force that would study the feasibility and cost of pursuing such transfers.

Oregon lawmakers are considering making lobbyists provide more information about the bills they're working on. The House Rules Committee heard testimony on the measure Tuesday.

The debate over whether to increase taxes on Oregon businesses is heating up this week at the state Capitol.

Oregonians will have their chance to weigh in on the state's spending plan during a series of public hearings around the state. The Joint Committee On Ways and Means, the legislature's budget-writing committee, is seeking input on ways to bridge a roughly $1.8 billion shortfall in the upcoming budget cycle.

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