The head of Cover Oregon is acknowledging the troubles of the health insurance exchange. But Rocky King described the system as “unfinished”, rather than “broken.” Oregon lawmakers are questioning King Wednesday in hearings on why Cover Oregon has failed to sign up even one customer. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman says despite the troubled rollout, King's job doesn't appear to be in immediate jeopardy.

Oregon’s online health insurance exchange won’t be up and running in time for people to get covered by the beginning of the year.

Oregonians Can Keep Health Insurance

Nov 15, 2013
Elizabeth Allen / Wikimedia Commons

Oregon’s insurance commissioner is giving insurance companies the option to extend their health plans through the end of next year, even if they don't comply with the federal health care law.

Homemade Bomb Damages Jackson County DA’s Office

Nov 13, 2013

A homemade bomb caused an early morning explosion outside the offices of the Jackson County District Attorney’s office in southern Oregon. The local police chief is calling the blast an act of domestic terrorism.

Chris Lehman

You've seen those safety posters marking so many days since a workplace injury. Oregon's state capitol building could have one that says "75 years without burning to the ground!" The original two went up in flames. Now, a series of events scheduled next week will mark the 75th anniversary of Oregon's third and longest standing state capitol. The celebration comes as lawmakers consider a $300 million overhaul.

Falling Tree Kills Firefighter In Central Oregon

Aug 2, 2013
Mary R Bernsen

Authorities are identifying the wildland firefighter who was killed Thursday outside the town of Sisters as John Hammack of Central Oregon. Another firefighter was injured in the accident and was taken to a local hospital. 

What Happened To Astoria, Oregon? It Got Better

Jul 25, 2013

Thirty years ago, many viewed Astoria, Oregon as a grim, drug-infested and alcohol-infused place, down on its luck following the exodus of the canneries and lumber mills that once densely populated its riverfront. Back then, most travelers to Oregon’s North Coast passed through town along Highway 30 without stopping.

Oregon wildlife managers approved a plan Friday to allow ranchers and wildlife enforcement officers to once again kill wolves that prey livestock. EarthFix reporter Aaron Kunz explains.

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.

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.

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.

Oregon Lawmakers Head Into Final Days Of Session

Jul 1, 2013

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.

Oregon lawmakers have given the initial approval to a sweeping measure aimed at checking the growth of the state's prison population. The House Thursday passed a bill that reduces some sentences for non-violent crimes. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

The Senate Natural Resources Committee approved a 1 year extension of timber payments Tuesday. The payments help out counties with large national forests: land that isn’t on local tax rolls. Amelia Templeton reports.

The Democratic-controlled Oregon Senate is scheduled to act Monday on the largest single portion of the state spending plan: Money for K-12 schools. But there's a chance the vote will be delayed. That's because a single Democrat has come out against the proposal, throwing a monkey wrench into the process.

This would be the second time the schools budget is held over to another day. With less than two weeks left before the scheduled adjournment, Democratic state Senator Chris Edwards continues to hold out for more money for schools.

Anna King

There’s been a lot of speculation but few answers so far about how genetically modified wheat ended up in an Oregon field.

An Oregon man convicted of killing a police officer more than 20 years ago will stay behind bars for at least a few more months. The Oregon Board of Parole said Tuesday that it will re-examine its decision to release Sidney Dean Porter. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman has details on the case.

Oregon and Washington have signed mitigation agreements with two of the three industrial companies whose business would be disrupted by the Columbia River Crossing. April Baer reports from Oregon Public Broadcasting.

After last December’s mass shootings in Oregon and Connecticut, Democrats and Republicans in the Oregon legislature called for increased funding for mental health care. Now, there’s a proposal under discussion that would expand such programs in a big way, but it remains caught up in a debate over how to fund it. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman spoke with one lawmaker for whom mental health care is a very personal issue.

Oregon Teen Faces Charges In School Attack Plot

May 27, 2013

An Oregon teenager will be in court Tuesday on charges that he was planning to set off bombs at his high school. The court appearance comes on the same day that students return to West Albany High School for the first time since police uncovered the alleged plot. Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

Voters in two Southwest Oregon counties have defeated short-term property tax increases that would have raised revenue for public safety. Amelia Templeton reports.

Pew Poll Finds Support For Protecting O&C Forests

May 22, 2013

A majority of Oregon voters favor protections for the so called O and C forest lands in Western Oregon. That’s according to a new poll commissioned by the Pew Charitable Trusts. Amelia Templeton of Earthfix reports.

The Oregon House voted Monday to remove a statue of pioneer missionary Jason Lee from a prominent place in the U.S. Capitol. In its place they propose to put a statue of former Oregon Republican governor and U.S. Senator Mark Hatfield.

Each state gets two spots in the the U.S. Capitol's Statuary Hall. Supporters of the change say it's time to honor a more modern and prominent figure in Oregon's history.

The University of Oregon softball team is going to the “NCAA Super Regional” after winning the Regional final Saturday in Eugene. The Ducks defeated Big 10 Conference Champions Wisconsin. KLCC's Jes Burns has more.

A key Oregon state lawmaker could return to the capitol as early as this week. Democratic Senator Betsy Johnson broke her pelvis in a car accident last month. Her absence has delayed some potentially close votes. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports.

Oregon lawmakers are considering a measure that would make it easier for people who were adopted as children to access court records about their biological family. A House committee could vote to advance the measure Tuesday.

Oregon Senate Bill 623 is what is sometimes called a housekeeping bill. It's pretty boring, really. The measure clarifies who gets access to certain kinds of paperwork and how they go about getting it.

Leaders and representatives of Oregon’s nine federally recognized tribes gathered at Oregon’s State Capitol in Salem this week for tribal nation’s day.

Federal authorities say they’re working on the release of Kenneth Bae – the University of Oregon graduate believed to be in a North Korean prison. Government-run news outlets in North Korea say Bae has received as much as a 15-year sentence from the country’s Supreme Court for allegedly undermining the government.

Chris Lehman

Oregon lawmakers will find out later this month how much money will be available to spend in the upcoming budget cycle. So right now, there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes maneuvering in the budget-writing process. Education, as usual, is in line for the biggest piece of the pie. But human service advocates say after years of budget turmoil, this year could be their chance to restore funding for Oregon’s social safety net. Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman reports:

Judge's Order Questions DOMA, Oregon's Measure 36

Apr 26, 2013

A judge on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has decided that a Portland lesbian couple has a right to federal health benefits. April Baer reports.