Pledge of Allegiance
6:17 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

Lawmakers Vote For Daily Public School Pledge

Oregon lawmakers want to give students the chance to recite the Pledge of Allegiance every day.

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Shipping And Handling
4:39 pm
Wed April 17, 2013

Oregon Lawmakers Want Shipping And Handling Charges Disclosed

Alan Levine Flickr

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 4:05 pm

Oregon lawmakers want to make sure you know how much you'll ultimately pay for those nifty gadgets hawked on TV. The Oregon House Wednesday passed a measure that would require companies to fully disclose shipping and handling charges in advance.

Ever drift off to sleep on your couch and wake up to this type of pitch?

"Order during this commercial and we'll give you a complete second set of Samurai Shark and Shears absolutely free of charge. Just pay the shipping and handling!"

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Principal Veto Power
5:21 pm
Fri March 29, 2013

Washington Educators Pan Bill Aimed At Teacher 'Dance Of the Lemons'

Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri March 29, 2013 4:54 pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. – It’s an idea that’s catching on around the country: give school principals the power to reject a teacher assigned to their building. Giving principals veto power has already passed the Washington Senate. But at a public hearing in the House Friday the idea faced opposition – and not just from teachers.

In the education documentary “Waiting For Superman” they talk about the dance of the lemons.

Waiting For Superman: “Principals have their lemons. These are teachers who are chronically bad: they know it, the other teachers know it …”

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Undercover IDs
7:28 am
Wed March 27, 2013

False IDs For Cops? Washington's Unauthorized Program Faces Scrutiny

Austin Jenkins Northwest News Network

Originally published on Tue March 26, 2013 7:51 pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. – For decades, police officers in Washington have been able to obtain false driver licenses for undercover work. But this quasi-secret program inside the Department of Licensing only recently came to light. It turns out the confidential ID program was never approved by the legislature. Now two state lawmakers are calling for more oversight to prevent possible abuses.

As a street cop in the early 1980s, Mitch Barker went undercover to work drugs and vice. The Washington Department of Licensing helped him assume a fake identity.

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Undercover Driver's Licenses
5:55 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

GOP Lawmakers Have Concerns About Undercover Driver’s License Program

Two Washington state lawmakers are raising questions about a quasi-secret program inside the state’s Department of Licensing. For decades, the agency has issued false IDs to undercover police officers. But the legislature never approved the program.

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Public Pension Proposal
5:42 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Oregon Democrats Prepare For Backlash Against Public Pension Proposal

Oregon State Capitol in Salem
Credit Jessica Paterson / Flickr

Democrats in the Oregon legislature are bracing themselves for a backlash against a public pension cost cutting proposal they released Monday. The plan would create a sliding scale to cap cost of living increases for retired public workers. Budget-writers hope to apply the savings to education funding.

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Lobbying Report
6:37 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Washington Teachers' Union Top Lobbying Spender In Olympia So Far

Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 4:45 pm

OLYMPIA, Wash. – New disclosure reports are out on money spent for lobbying in Olympia. Who tops the list? So far Washington’s teachers’ union is spending the most to influence state lawmakers this legislative session.

The Washington Education Association has five top priorities for the 2013 legislature. The list includes more money for schools as directed by the Washington Supreme Court. The union is also pushing for competitive salaries and benefits for teachers and support staff.

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Oregon Legislature
6:02 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Critics Deride 'Nanny State' Measures, Supporters Say Laws Are Justified

Shannon Holman, Dept of Transportation and Alexandra Kocik

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 6:01 pm

SALEM, Ore. – Some of the fiercest debates this year in the Oregon legislature have revolved around something critics call the “nanny state.” These are bills to regulate personal behavior. The issues may change, but it’s a conversation that’s been going on for decades.

Let's start with a recent example. A measure that would ban smoking in cars when there are children present. Republican Oregon state Senator Jeff Kruse is a smoker, but that’s not why he opposes the bill.

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Oregon County Clerks
5:46 pm
Mon March 18, 2013

County Clerks Could Be Appointed Instead Of Elected

A case of ballot tampering occurred in Clackamas County last fall.
Credit Northwest News Network

County clerks in Oregon would be appointed rather than elected under a measure in the Oregon legislature. A Committee in Salem heard testimony today on a proposed constitutional amendment.

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Oregon Lawmaker
6:53 am
Fri March 8, 2013

New Mom Is Also New State Lawmaker

Shemia Fagan

Originally published on Thu March 7, 2013 3:43 pm

SALEM, Ore. - Shemia Fagan has a new baby and a new job. Like most working moms she has to balance the pressures of taking care of a newborn with the demands of the workplace. But unlike most new mothers, Fagan also has to consider the needs of her constituents. She’s serving her first term in the Oregon legislature.

The first day of the legislative session is chaos. The Capitol is filled with suits hustling about. Among the legislators sworn in was Democratic State Representative Shemia Fagan. Age 31.

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