oregon legislature

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.

Oregon's State Forest Sale Moves Closer

Feb 14, 2017
Oregon Department of Forestry / FLICKR Creative Commons

Two new members of Oregon’s State Land Board voted Tuesday to move forward with the controversial sale of a state forest. The vote came in spite of opposition from Gov. Kate Brown.

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.

Oregon lawmakers are considering proposals aimed at making sure women are paid the same rate as men for similar work. Two measures were introduced this week.

The legal age to purchase and use tobacco in Oregon would rise from 18 to 21 under a measure under consideration in the legislature. A similar measure is under consideration in Washington state this year.

M.O. STEVENS / WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

The 79th session of the Oregon legislature kicks off Wednesday with a flurry of activity. It's the first day of a session that's expected to last through early July.

Oregon state Rep. Vic Gilliam, a Republican from Silverton who is battling ALS, announced Monday that he's stepping down. His resignation is effective Wednesday, the first day of the 2017 legislative session.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown took the oath of office and delivered an inaugural address before a joint session of the Oregon Legislature Monday. In her speech, she signaled that she'll make a strong push toward getting a transportation funding package through the state legislature.

Office of the Governor / Flickr

Oregon Governor Kate Brown will take the oath of office and deliver an inaugural address Monday.

A new law this year in Oregon requires insurance companies to cover a 12-month supply of prescription birth control. The law took effect earlier this year, but its backers say some insurers haven't gotten the message.

Oregon lawmakers are returning to the State Capitol Monday for a final round of prep work before the new legislative session begins. The list of meetings gives a glimpse into what lawmakers will discuss during 2017.

Even though party control isn't shifting at the Oregon State Capitol, there will be a lot of new faces. Nearly a quarter of Oregon House members decided not to seek re-election this year. But very few seats in the Oregon Legislature changed party hands during Tuesday's election.

Courtesy of the Governor's Office

Schools are on the Oregon ballot in a big way. The corporate tax initiative, Measure 97, would raise billions - much of it for schools. Scan down a little further and Measure 98 would direct state funding to high school programs - dropout prevention, college readiness and career training. It would not raise taxes. But as Rob Manning reports, Measure 98 is raising some concerns. 

Democrats are in firm control of both chambers of the Oregon legislature. But in the state House, nearly one-quarter of the current members won't be returning to the capitol next year. That's led to a number of hotly contested races for open seats.

And many of those battleground districts are in the suburbs.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has appointed Margaret Salazar as the new head of the state agency that handles works to provide affordable housing. The announcement was made as lawmakers gear up to tackle housing issues during next year's legislative session.

Brett Rowlett

The Oregon legislature passed the bill, which appropriates 10 million dollars in tuition grants for residents freshly graduated from high school or its equivalent. Candidates must also be pursuing a degree or certificate from any community college within the state.

Oregon Senate Democrats / Northwest News Network

The Jackson County Board of Commissioners Tuesday appointed a temporary replacement for Medford state Senator Alan Bates, who died in early August. Democrat Kevin Talbert will serve until January, when the winner of the November election will take office.

Ryan Johnson / FLICKR Creative Commons

A new state-sponsored retirement plan for private-sector workers in Oregon has cleared a key federal hurdle. The U.S. Department of Labor finalized rules that allow Oregon's plan to debut next July.

Michael Saechang / Flickr

A coalition of groups and lawmakers is calling for legislation banning military-style assault weapons in Washington and Oregon.

Some Oregon corporations will likely change their structure and behavior to lessen the impact of a tax hike headed for the November ballot. That's according to a report from revenue analysts at the Oregon Legislature.

Oregon voters may get the chance to ban the sale of items made from certain wildlife species this November. Backers of an initiative that would do just that submitted signatures Thursday in an attempt to get their measure on the November ballot.

Oregon employers have new guidance from the state on how much to pay their employees when the state's minimum wage goes up next month. The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries released rules Wednesday meant to clear up one of the questions surrounding the legislatively-approved minimum wage hike.

Keep your kicker or donate it?

Oregon taxpayers have the chance to donate their kicker rebate to fund state schools as they fill out their tax forms this year. But hardly anyone is choosing to do that. So far this tax season, less than one-half of one percent of Oregonians are choosing to donate their kicker.

When Tim McClure was 42 years old, he was convicted of illegally growing marijuana on his ranch near The Dalles, Oregon. And at this time last year, McClure was living with the shame of being a felon.

"I don't think it's the measure of me as a man,” McClure said 2015.

During her second State of the State address Friday, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown renewed her call for the legislature to approve a massive transportation funding package.

Oregon lawmakers are heading home Thursday after closing the books on a contentious four-and-a-half week long session. House Speaker Tina Kotek brought down the final gavel just after 1 p.m. Thursday.

Last November, a long-time Oregon state representative announced he is facing a "likely diagnosis" of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Vic Gilliam said he would continue to serve as long as his conditions allowed.

Republicans in the Oregon legislature are taking advantage of a little-used procedural move to force bills to be read out loud in their entirety. It's adding up to some lengthy floor sessions.

Voting in Oregon could get even easier -- and cheaper. Lawmakers are considering a measure that would require the state to pay the postage when voters return their ballots through the mail.

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