legislature

Lobbyist-Paid Meals
4:06 pm
Tue July 23, 2013

Washington's Legislative Ethics Board To Investigate Lobbyist-Paid Meals

Cacophony Wikimedia

Originally published on Thu January 23, 2014 1:56 pm

Washington’s Legislative Ethics Board has launched an investigation into lobbyist-paid meals for lawmakers.

The inquiry follows our reporting with the Associated Press on lawmakers who dine out the most with lobbyists. The investigation was triggered by a formal citizen complaint filed last month – a complaint that’s just now coming to light.

It alleges five Republican state senators violated Washington’s ethics law by eating out regularly at lobbyist expense. They were the top five on our list of frequent diners.

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Oregon Legislature
4:29 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Oregon Legislature Falls Short Of 'Game-Changing' Mental Health Investment

Virginia Alvino Northwest News Network

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 3:26 pm

This year in the Oregon legislature, there was a big push to dramatically boost funding for mental health programs. The effort was spurred on by mass shootings in Connecticut and Oregon. But mental health advocates say in the end, the legislature fell far short of the game-changer they hoped for.

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Washington Legislature
4:10 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Conflict Of Interest Lines Blur In Citizen Legislature

Washington Legislature

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 8:55 am

Washington lawmakers have departed the Capitol and are getting back to their normal lives. For most of them, that means going back to their regular jobs as farmers, lawyers, nurses, business owners. It’s the essence of a citizen legislature.

But this dual existence – one job as a lawmaker and another job back home - can invite conflicts of interest.

Family Matters

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Oregon Legislature
4:34 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

Oregon Lawmakers Close Out 2013 Session

Cacophony Wikimedia

Originally published on Mon July 8, 2013 4:43 pm

Oregon lawmakers have adjourned their 2013 legislative session. The final gavel fell just before 3 p.m. Monday.

House Speaker Tina Kotek carefully calibrated the final gavel to time it just right with her Senate colleague on the other side of the capitol rotunda. She then said to cheers, "The 77th legislative assembly is hereby adjourned Sine Die."

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Oregon Legislative Session
6:51 am
Mon July 8, 2013

2013 Oregon Legislative Session Filled With Disappointments, Victories

The Senate Chamber at the Oregon state Capitol in Salem.
Credit Cacaphony / Wikimedia Commons

Oregon lawmakers had hoped to finish up their legislative session over the weekend. But it didn’t work out that way. Instead, the final gavel is expected to fall sometime Monday. Democrats control both chambers and the governor’s office, and they claimed a series of victories. But many of the highest-profile agenda items didn’t go as planned. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman explains.

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Texting and Driving
6:43 am
Mon July 8, 2013

Oregon Lawmakers Vote To Increase Fines For Texting, Cell Phone Use

It could soon be a lot more expensive to be caught texting while driving in Oregon. State lawmakers voted Sunday to double the maximum fine for texting behind the wheel to $500.

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Oregon Legislative Session
4:51 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

Tax Measure Fails in Oregon Legislature, Democrats Table Pension Cut

Cacophony Wikimedia

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 4:46 pm

It was dubbed the "Grand Bargain." But the carefully crafted deal to raise taxes and cut public pensions crashed and burned in the Oregon legislature Tuesday. 

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Oregon Legislative Session
5:31 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Oregon Legislature To Adjourn... But When?

Cacophony Wikimedia

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 5:07 pm

It's still not clear when the Oregon legislature will wrap up its work for the year. Lawmakers could vote as soon as Tuesday on a controversial package that would raise some taxes and cut benefits to retired public employees.

But lawmakers have other work to do, such as finalizing budgets for several large state agencies.

One might expect that they would be in a great hurry to get out of here before the Fourth of July but remember, their original adjournment target was last Friday, June 28th. So they've already blown through that deadline.

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Oregon Legislative Session
6:54 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Oregon Lawmakers Head Into Final Days Of Session

Oregon lawmakers are heading into the home stretch of their legislative session Monday. The closing days could include some high stakes votes over taxes and public pension cuts. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

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Gas Tax
3:30 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

On Second Try, Washington House Passes Gas Tax Measure

Cacophony Wikimedia

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 3:18 pm

The Washington House has approved a $10 billion transportation package that includes a 10.5 cent gas tax increase over two years. The vote Thursday follows a failed effort Wednesday to approve the same measure.

It was a rare do-over vote on the House floor. And State Representative Marko Liias, a Democrat, acknowledged as much. He said, “As a House we rarely reconsider our decisions. You know when we make a decision, it’s pretty final. But this is a singular moment. This is a time when inaction is a loss of competitiveness.”

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