Author

Dirk VanderHart, OPB

Dirk VanderHart, OPB

Dirk VanderHart covers Oregon politics and government for OPB. Before barging onto the radio in 2018, he spent more than a decade as a newspaper reporter -- much of that time reporting on city government for the Portland Mercury. He’s also had stints covering chicanery in Southwest Missouri, the wilds of Ohio in Ohio, and all things Texas on Capitol Hill.

Rep. E. Werner Reschke represents Klamath Falls in the Oregon House.

In interview, Oregon lawmaker suggests non-Christians are unfit for elected office

By: - January 29, 2024

A conservative Oregon lawmaker suggested earlier this month that Muslims, atheists and other non-Christians are unfit to serve in elected office. State Rep. E. Werner Reschke, R-Malin, made the remarks Jan. 17, in an appearance on “Save The Nation.” Streamed on Facebook, the daily talk show is affiliated with the National Association of Christian Lawmakers, of […]

House Speaker Dan Rayfield, D-Corvallis, calls the House to order on June 25, 2023.

Oregon House Democrats plan to choose their next speaker Monday, in unusual vote

By: - January 19, 2024

Democrats in the Oregon House are planning to make a highly unusual decision Monday evening: Who should be the state’s next powerful House speaker once the February legislative session is wrapped up? In a move that bucks the normal timeline for leadership elections, Democrats are hoping to solidify their choice for speaker ahead of the […]

Hundreds of educators, parents and students joined a rally Nov. 1. 2023 at Roosevelt High School in northeast Portland to support striking teachers who want better pay, smaller class sizes and more planning time among other demands. (Alex Baumhardt/Oregon Capital Chronicle)

State money isn’t coming to end Portland teachers strike, lawmakers say

By: - November 2, 2023

As Portland Public Schools teachers strike for a second day in a row, key Democratic lawmakers say not to expect Salem to come to the rescue. Legislators responsible for crafting Oregon’s education budget say they’ve been caught in the middle in recent weeks, as Portland teachers fight for pay increases and class size reductions, and […]

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Republican senators sue Oregon secretary of state over reelection bids

By: - August 25, 2023

Republican state senators who walked away from this year’s Oregon legislative session to block votes on abortion rights and gun safety say they should be allowed to run for reelection next year, regardless of a voter-approved law aimed at ending their legislative careers. Now they’re suing for that right. In a case with weighty implications […]

Oregon Legislature Capitol building under construction

Oregon Capitol construction almost $100 million over budget. No one told the public

By: - August 8, 2023

Oregon lawmakers quietly OK’d a $90 million cost overrun for a massive Capitol renovation project this year, ratcheting up spending by nearly 25% without so much as hinting they planned to do so. The new expenses, tucked away in budget bills passed late in the legislative session, were not mentioned in committee hearings or outlined […]

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A recall election looks likely for one of Oregon’s top House Democrats

By: - July 10, 2023

One of Oregon’s largest labor unions is on the verge of forcing a recall election on one of the state’s most labor-friendly lawmakers, and Lane County voters should prepare for political fireworks. United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555 has submitted petitions containing more than 6,600 signatures in favor of recalling state Rep. Paul Holvey, […]