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.

Long-running case involving defendants and the Oregon State Hospital back in court

By: - November 23, 2022

Oregon State Hospital operations continue to be at the center of a federal case over timely admissions to ensure people are treated before facing criminal charges. The long-running case was back in U.S. District Court in Portland on Monday, with a judge hearing from attorneys representing hospitals, district attorneys and Disability Rights Oregon over a […]

Gun shop owners face brisk sales amid questions about Oregon’s gun control law

By: - November 21, 2022

Firearms shops are enjoying brisk sales following the narrow approval by voters of Measure 114, which will restrict sales of some magazines and require safety training. One example: At Tick Licker Firearms in Salem, customers lined up Friday in front of counters on Friday to inspect firearms and pepper the clerks with questions about the […]

Oregon Health Authority director, behavioral health director are stepping down

By: - November 17, 2022

The Oregon Health Authority’s director, Patrick Allen, told the agency on Thursday morning that he will step down in early January, when Gov. Kate Brown’s term ends. Hours later, he said that Steve Allen, the 66-year-old behavioral health director, is also leaving. The two are not related. Patrick Allen, who’s 59 and earns $253,308 a […]

Oregon voters approve ballot measure that will tighten gun laws

By: - November 16, 2022

Oregon voters passed a ballot measure that will tighten the state’s gun control laws despite deep opposition to it in rural areas. Measure 114 will end a loophole in federal law that allows firearm dealers to sell guns without a background check if it’s not completed within three business days. It also will require anyone […]

Emergency room sign at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center

Oregon will be the first state to make affordable health care a constitutional right

By: - November 15, 2022

Oregon will be the first state in the nation to enshrine the right to affordable health care in its constitution.  Ballot Measure 111 narrowly passed, with nearly 50.7% of voters in favor and 49.3% of voters opposed. The measure’s long-term impact on Oregon health care is unclear because it doesn’t prescribe how the state should […]

Oregon will get $14.8 million from ‘historic’ Google settlement

By: - November 14, 2022

Oregon will receive a $14.8 million settlement from Google as part of a consumer privacy case because the tech giant misled users about tracking their location through their accounts, Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum announced on Monday.  The settlement is Oregon’s share of $391.5 million Google agreed to pay in a case that involves 39 […]

Oregon prepares for a potential surge of Covid-19 cases and other viral infections

By: - November 10, 2022

Oregon public health officials are keeping an eye on a trifecta of illnesses as winter approaches and Oregonians spend more time indoors: Covid-19, a respiratory virus that’s affecting children and influenza.  This will not be a respiratory illness season like the last two, when the focus was on Covid-19, a virus that primarily affects adults. […]

Oregon Senate floor session

Early results indicate that Republicans could pick up 2 seats in the Oregon state Senate

By: - November 8, 2022

Preliminary voting results announced Tuesday night in Oregon showed that two Republican candidates vying for seats in the Oregon Senate were in the lead. Republican Sen. Kim Thatcher, running for the open seat of retiring Democrat Peter Courtney in the 11th Senate District in the Salem area, had 53% of the vote in returns tallied […]

Live coverage: Oregon 2022 general election

By: , , and - November 8, 2022

Oregon voters will decide Tuesday who wins key races that could change the balance of power in the state and nationally.     They will pick a new governor, decide who will be in Oregon’s congressional delegation and cast ballots on several ballot measures, including two that would alter the state’s constitution. Some results may not […]

Lane County Circuit Court race pits state lawmaker against new judge

By: - November 4, 2022

A recently appointed circuit court judge is running against an Oregon state lawmaker to keep her Lane County judicial seat. The two candidates running for the seat in Lane County Circuit Court, Judge Beatrice Grace and longtime state lawmaker Marty Wilde, would bring vastly different backgrounds to the position, which has a six-year term.  Circuit […]

Crime report gives Oregon voters information about trends

By: - November 3, 2022

A nonprofit law firm has released a report on Oregon crime statistics with just one goal: giving voters unfiltered information about trends without the spin of candidates on the campaign trail.  The Oregon Justice Resource Center’s report shows that overall property crimes and violent crimes are down, though  Portland-area homicides have increased. It encourages voters […]

Nurses and staff at Good Samaritan Hospital in Portland

Oregon Nurses Association pushes for stricter hospital staffing law

By: - November 2, 2022

The Oregon Nurses Association is pushing for minimum standards that establish how many nurses hospitals need to operate and meet patients’ needs effectively.  The union, which represents 15,000 nurses, on Wednesday released details of legislation it plans to pursue in the 2023 session. Oregon already has a law that requires hospitals and nurses to develop […]