Oregon

Oregon Governor Kate Brown said the state IT manager who leaked thousands of her predecessor's emails should not be prosecuted.

BLM Proposes Sage Grouse Protection Plans

May 28, 2015
Bureau of Land Management Oregon and Washington

The BLM is proposing actions like improving habitat, managing fire more carefully, and preventing habitat fragmentation.

Dan Morse is with the Oregon Natural Desert Association. He's pleased that the plan calls for protections for two of the state’s most important habitat strongholds.

“Our hope is that those protections will be meaningful. That being said we cannot only focus on those large areas. Because disconnecting sage grouse populations is a sure recipe for their extirpation,” says Morse.

Supporters of a proposal to extend paid sick time to most Oregon workers say the legislation has stalled.

Ore. Governor Declares More Drought Emergencies

May 22, 2015
Bert Kaufmann

Governor Kate Brown declared drought emergencies in eight additional counties around Oregon Friday, bringing the total to 15.

She also released a public service announcement launching #ORdrought.

“It may look green now, but we are going to experience one of the worst droughts in the history of our state. Snow pack is at historic lows and severe water shortages are nearly a certainty in many areas,” says Brown.

Brown added that it’s likely to be a difficult fire season.

Oregon is looking for volunteers for a new pay-by-the-mile tax.

Oregon lawmakers will consider a proposal that would allow women to get oral contraceptives and contraceptive patches without a doctor's prescription.

Oregon could join a national movement to change the way the president is elected.

Oregon economists told lawmakers Thursday that a robust economy means they'll have more money to spend on schools, human services and public safety.

A measure that would require many Oregon employers to provide paid sick leave is poised to advance in Salem.

NOAA

Regional power managers are meeting in Portland this week. One issue they're looking at is how drought conditions across the Northwest may affect the region's supply of hydropower.

Water supply forecasts are looking bleak for many Northwest rivers this year. Snowpack levels in many areas are far below average, and they're not likely to improve.

John Fazio is a power systems analyst for the Northwest Power and Conservation Council. He said that will mean less water in rivers and less hydropower.

The Oregon Supreme Court tossed out much of the state legislature's 2013 attempts to curb pension payouts to retired public workers.

An Oregon judge has proposed awarding a same-sex couple $135,000 in damages after a bakery refused to make a cake for their wedding.

Supporters and opponents of a measure that would require criminal background checks on private gun sales testified at the Oregon Capitol Wednesday.

The battle over raising Oregon's minimum wage will take center stage in the state legislature Monday.

Beth77 / Flickr

Oregon lawmakers decided Wednesday to make it less likely for people who win big at the Oregon Lottery to keep getting public assistance.

The Lottery likes to dangle the possibility of winning big bucks in front of its players. But a 2013 state audit found that in one two-year period, hundreds of Oregonians continued to receive food stamps despite winning lottery payouts of $5,000 or more.

Republican Representative Andy Olson said it went up from there.

"There was one person who won more than $900,000,” Olson said. “So we had a little bit of a problem."

Curtis Perry / Flickr

We know the old saying that "speed kills" applies to people who drive recklessly. But does it also apply to legislation to raise highway speed limits? An interstate speed limit increase in Washington looks dead, but appears to have a chance in Oregon.

Sean Mack / Wikimedia Commons

Oregon's congressional delegation is hoping to secure a two year extension of timber payments to rural counties. The Secure Rural Schools provision is in a bill the U.S. House is voting on this week.

The Secure Rural Schools Act provides payments in lieu of taxes for timber-dependent counties in Oregon and other states.

Oregon Democratic Congressman Peter DeFazio said this bill helps counties while lawmakers try to find a long term solution to funding shortfalls.

The Oregon House is set to vote Monday on a measure that would require a doctor or nurse to be on hand when you donate a pint of blood.

Oregon lawmakers gave initial approval Tuesday to a bill that would ban so-called "conversion therapy" on youth.

You might think that a bill that would outlaw something that doesn't even take place in Oregon might sail through the legislature.

Washington, Oregon and Idaho are trying to figure out how to keep their state driver’s licenses from becoming obsolete in the eyes of the federal government.

Oregon's new governor promised continuity for the most part as she faced the press for the first time since taking the oath of office on Wednesday.

AP Images

The Oregon Senate voted Tuesday to extend the state's low-carbon fuel program. The decision came despite objections from Republicans that the plan is tainted by the ethics scandal surrounding Governor John Kitzhaber and First Lady Cylvia Hayes.

Senate Bill 324 would lift the 2015 sunset on Oregon's low-carbon fuel program. That would ultimately would reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation fuels by 10 percent over a decade.

But the plan has gotten caught up in a swarm of accusations of influence peddling in the governor's office.

Kate Brown has been sworn in as Oregon's 38th governor.

Oregon Seat Belt Blitz

Feb 10, 2015

Police agencies across Oregon are participating in a two-week traffic safety campaign focused on proper seat belt use.

State law requires that children under 40 pounds use a car seat.

Last year, nearly a third of children killed or injured in Oregon crashes were not wearing the proper restraint.

Multnomah County Sheriff’s spokesman Lieutenant Steve Alexander says kids are much safer in car seats.

Oregon lawmakers are set to consider a measure that would raise the wage to $15 per hour.

Paul Eggert / Wikimedia Commons

It's about time... daylight saving time, to be precise. Some Oregon and Washington legislators want to end the yearly practice of springing forward and falling back.

A panel of Oregon lawmakers will take a first look Wednesday at changes to Measure 91 -- the voter-approved legalization of recreational marijuana.

AP Images

The Oregon Dunes National Recreational Area is a 50-mile long sandbox stretching along the coast from Florence to North Bend . Giant dunes reach up to 500 feet tall and rolling hills of open sand can seem to stretch to the horizon.

But the dunes are in trouble. Invasive vegetation is quickly closing in, shrinking the open sand.

A new Forest Service plan addresses how off-road vehicles use the dunes.

It’s a quiet morning at the Oregon dunes. Usually, you’d hear the buzz of off-road vehicles here.

Anne Swoboda / Flickr

Federal regulators said Oregon is not doing enough to protect water quality in coastal areas. A ruling Friday could end up costing the state millions.

More than fifteen years ago, the Environmental Protection Agency told Oregon it needed to tighten regulations on nonpoint source, or runoff-related, pollution. Some changes happened, but not enough. Federal officials said Oregon’s logging rules still don’t do enough to protect fish habitat and drinking water.

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