Author

Ben Botkin

Ben Botkin

Ben Botkin covers justice, health and social services issues for the Oregon Capital Chronicle. He has been a reporter since 2003, when he drove from his Midwest locale to Idaho for his first journalism job. He has written extensively about politics and state agencies in Idaho, Nevada and Oregon. Most recently, he covered health care and the Oregon Legislature for The Lund Report. Botkin has won multiple journalism awards for his investigative and enterprise reporting, including on education, state budgets and criminal justice.

More than 200 people take their fight against Oregon’s addiction crisis to the statehouse

By: - February 2, 2023

People from around Oregon brought their heartaches and triumphs in the state’s drug and alcohol addiction crisis to the Capitol on Wednesday.  Many stories were shared: A partner lost to a fentanyl overdose. A son forced to move out-of-state to find drug addiction treatment. A legislator who has stayed sober for nearly half a century. […]

day care

Oregon lawmakers seek to expand sorely needed child care facilities

By: - February 1, 2023

With a shortage of child care options in Oregon, state lawmakers want to put $100 million into a new program to increase capacity.  House Bill 3005 is aimed at child care providers who want to expand but cannot get the financing. It would create a new $100 million fund to be available during the next […]

Woman stocking drugs in a pharmacy

Oregon lawmakers propose bills to tamp down prescription costs

By: - January 31, 2023

Oregon lawmakers are considering legislation to rein in soaring prescription drug prices for Oregonians and help rural independent pharmacies stay open. Prescriptions are an expensive part of Oregonians’ health care, especially for specialty or cancer medications necessary to treat life-threatening illnesses. The highest priced drug in Oregon in 2022 was Carvykti, a new drug that […]

Police check for intoxicated driving

Oregon bill would expand state’s intoxicated driving law 

By: - January 24, 2023

A proposal in the Legislature would expand Oregon’s intoxicated driving law to cover all drugs, including legal medications that can be abused and impair drivers.  Oregon is one of four states that fails to include all drugs in its law that dictates when a driver can be charged with driving under the influence of intoxicants. […]

Lawmaker proposes legislation to address opioid overdoses

By: - January 24, 2023

Oregon lawmakers will consider legislation this session aimed at preventing opioid overdoses that kill hundreds of Oregonians each year and account for a growing part of the state’s addiction epidemic.  Opioid overdoses killed 280 Oregonians in 2019, a figure that more than doubled in 2021 with 745 deaths, according to Oregon Health Authority data. National […]

State audit calls on health authority to fix problems with Measure 110 addiction program

By: - January 19, 2023

Oregon’s first-in-the-nation initiative to address the state’s drug addiction crisis with treatment instead of jail had a rocky start, but it’s too soon to gauge whether the program will be successful, state auditors found. The Secretary of State audit, released Thursday, said more time is needed to determine whether Measure 110, which voters approved in […]

Rhesus Macaques at OHSU in 2008

Lawmaker concerned about ‘dangerous’ conditions at OHSU primate center

By: - January 19, 2023

A state lawmaker is calling for more transparency and accountability at the Oregon National Primate Research Center, which conducts medical research for human benefits and has thousands of primates in its care. Rep. David Gomberg, D-Otis, is backing a proposal that would require the center, run by Oregon Health & Science University in Beaverton, to […]

Staff care for a Covid-19 patient at Oregon Health & Science University.

Oregon hospital industry group floats alternatives to nurse staffing bill

By: - January 19, 2023

The Oregon hospital industry wants the Legislature to increase the number of nurses – in part by using  state money for incentive programs to help hospitals hire and train nurses. The Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems, which represents the state’s 62 hospitals, on Wednesday released details of its proposals for addressing the nursing […]

Oregon Legislature will consider hospital nurse staffing levels

By: - January 18, 2023

Oregon’s largest nurses union and the hospital industry are gearing up for a push – and potential fight – in the Legislature to bolster the ranks of nurses that have dwindled over the past three years.  COVID-19 pushed hospitals into a crisis, with nurses reaching a breaking point as the pandemic dragged on. They also […]

Oregon’s attorney general focused on consumer privacy, labor trafficking, crime victims, ghost guns

By: - January 18, 2023

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum wants the Legislature to address consumer privacy, labor trafficking and sales of untraceable firearms this session. Rosenblum released on Tuesday her legislative agenda, which stems in part from task forces on consumer privacy and labor trafficking. Rosenblum also said she wants to ensure abortion rights in Oregon are preserved in […]

inside the state capitol

2023 Oregon legislative preview: What you need to know

By: , and - January 17, 2023

The Oregon Legislature begins its 2023 work in earnest on Tuesday, with just more than five months to pass a budget and tackle pressing issues including homelessness, addiction and a public defender shortage that has left hundreds of people without their constitutionally guaranteed right to an attorney. The 90-member Legislature must end its work by […]

Oregon State Hospital largely passed recent inspection but violations remain

By: - January 11, 2023

Oregon State Hospital largely passed its latest federal inspection but fell short of requirements for cleanliness, food storage and safety and following up on patient grievances, inspectors said in a report.  The 39-page December report, which the Capital Chronicle obtained in a records request, was part of a follow-up to serious violations found earlier in […]