Legislative plans could repair roads in rural Oregon, promote energy efficiency, help the homeless

BY: - February 21, 2022

With two weeks left in the legislative session in Oregon, lawmakers are finalizing their plans for spending hundreds of millions of dollars in unexpected revenue. The Democratic leadership has identified seven priorities, including spending money on rural communities, behavioral health, public safety, homelessness, workforce development, energy efficiency, education and help for low-income Oregonians. If their […]

Legislative leaders agree on 7 spending plans on energy efficiency, rural areas and more

BY: - February 21, 2022

Democrats and Republicans lawmakers have been working behind the scenes to devise spending packages for rural communities, energy efficiency programs, homeless services and education. House SpeakerDan Rayfield, D-Corvallis, said $100 million will be devoted to rural infrastructure. That package came out of meetings last week among Republican and Democratic lawmakers. “Rural Oregon was an area […]

STATUS CHECK: Where key legislative bills are on week 3

BY: - February 18, 2022

The five-week session of the Oregon Legislature kicked off with lawmakers filing more than 200 bills. Those have been whittled down by House and Senate committees. Bills that didn’t pass out of committee by the end of the day on Feb. 14 died. Those that require the use of state funds must be considered by […]

Oregon cattle grazing

Trust gives $500,000 to Sustainable Northwest for regenerative ranching

BY: - February 17, 2022

One of the largest charities in the Northwest has awarded nearly $500,000 for a ranching project to protect the environment and help ranchers earn more money. M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, based in Vancouver, said Wednesday it is giving nearly $489,000 to Portland-based Sustainable Northwest for a regenerative ranching program. Regenerative ranching involves using certain grazing […]

Proposal to pay farmworkers overtime overcomes first hurdle in Legislature

BY: - February 14, 2022

A controversial plan to require overtime pay that would affect the 86,000 farmworkers in Oregon advanced on Tuesday along partisan lines. All seven Democrats on the House Committee on Business and Labor voted for House Bill 4002, which would require owners to pay farmworkers time and a half for hours over a 40 hour workweek, […]

Dutch Bros founder’s Grants Pass gambling plans violate Oregon Constitution, attorney general says

BY: - February 11, 2022

The Oregon Constitution won’t allow the billionaire co-founder of a drive-thru coffee chain to add a casino-like resort to a Grants Pass horse track he owns, the state Justice Department said in a legal opinion released Friday. The 9-page opinion by Renee Stineman, chief counsel in the department’s General Counsel Division, responded to an inquiry […]

Proposal for luxury sales tax dies

BY: - February 10, 2022

A proposal to add a 3% sales tax on snowmobiles, handbags, jewelry and firearms, among other luxury items over a certain price didn’t last long in the legislative session. House Bill 4079, sponsored by Rep. Brad Witt, D-Clatskanie, was pulled from the agendas for the House Committee on Human Services meeting on Tuesday this week […]

Oregon Capitol generic

Oregon economic forecast: More money for lawmakers to spend, tax credits likely in two years

BY: - February 9, 2022

Higher wages for workers and more income for businesses is driving up state tax collections, creating the prospect for even more state government spending and then credits in two years for those paying income taxes, state economists announced Wednesday. The economists described a robust Oregon economy that they now project will put $1.5 billion more […]

Online hearing on farmworker OT

Farmworkers plead for overtime pay as ag industry warns of harmful impacts

BY: - February 9, 2022

Emotional and passionate testimony stretched into the night Tuesday during a legislative hearing on a proposal to require overtime pay for Oregon’s farmworkers. Legislation put forward by two Democratic lawmakers would pay farmworkers time and a half after working 40 hours a week and would include tax credits for companies to help them adjust. Overtime […]

day care

Oregon lawmakers looking to make child care more affordable, available

BY: - February 9, 2022

As Portland resident Jasmine Casanova-Dean spoke to legislators at a hearing about child care last week, her 67-year-old grandmother watched her 2-year-old daughter in another room.  Casanova-Dean can only afford professional child care two days a week, so every other day she’s left to shift her work schedule, seek help from family or friends or […]

Push to pay overtime to Oregon’s farmworkers up against strong industry opposition

BY: - February 8, 2022

A fight is brewing in the Oregon Legislature over a proposal to give farmworkers overtime pay after 40 hours a week. Democratic supporters say the change is long overdue and that extending overtime pay to a group of essential workers who toil long hours, do difficult work and earn low wages is a matter of […]

Oregon would drop remaining limits on self-service fueling, leaving drivers with choice

BY: - February 8, 2022

Oregonians throughout the state would have the option to pump their own gas under provisions of House Bill 4151. The bill, introduced in the 2022 Oregon Legislature, isn’t expected to affect the price of gas and is meant to address labor shortages, with self-service allowing stations to open earlier and close later.  Chief sponsors are […]