Oregon’s People

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 […]


Oregon workers earning the lowest wages would benefit hugely from one-time state help

BY: - February 21, 2022

The experience of the current pandemic has taught us some valuable public policy lessons. One of those is that cash payments work. Providing cash directly to low-wage families struggling to make ends meet eases economic hardship and improves well-being. The Oregon Legislature now has an opportunity to apply this lesson and lift up underpaid Oregonians. […]

Republican legislators serving large portions of Oregon have tough time advancing their agenda

BY: and - February 15, 2022

Two weeks into Oregon’s legislative session, Democrats are moving forward with plans to pay overtime to  farmworkers, create job training programs targeted at people of color and protect school officials from being fired for following government mandates. If Republicans instead controlled the Legislature, the past two weeks would instead have been dominated by talk of […]

Oregon legislators propose big boost in their pay – and they have community support

BY: and - February 7, 2022

SALEM – Oregon legislators would get a significant pay increase and qualify for $1,000 a month for child care under a proposal supported by minority advocates, a leading state union and a Portland business group as a way to increase diversity in the Oregon Legislature. Under provisions of Senate Bill 1566, the base annual salary […]

Syringe and opioid pills

Addiction to drugs, alcohol deepens in Oregon, report shows

BY: - February 7, 2022

Oregon has the worst drug addiction rate in the country, federal data show. The latest National Survey on Drug Use and Health said that 9% of teens and adults were addicted to drugs in 2020. About 12% of Oregonians aged 12 and older said they had an alcohol problem. That compares with nearly 7% in […]

Oregon Legislature gets to work with speeches, flowers and courtesy

BY: - February 2, 2022

Legislators returned to Salem on Tuesday to start the 2022 legislative session. The House elected a new speaker, Corvallis attorney Dan Rayfield, who was first elected in 2014. Rayfield urged his colleagues to work to understand each other’s motivations and recognize that they all want to do good for Oregon. Two new representatives – Democrats […]

Julie Siepmann waiting on the phone

Callers face long waits on Oregon’s child abuse hotline

BY: - February 2, 2022

Julie Siepmann waits until she gets home to call the state to report a child who appears to be in danger. A clinical social worker who interviews children suspected of being abused, she’d prefer to call when she’s at work but the wait times for the child abuse hotline are too long. Reaching a screener […]


Legal help for undocumented workers would benefit them – but also Oregon’s economy

BY: - February 1, 2022

A little over a year ago, when much of the economy remained shut due to the Covid pandemic, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a memo outlining the jobs “essential” to the nation’s “critical infrastructure.” When researchers examined those categories, they discovered that undocumented workers are much more likely to perform essential work than […]

Most money, media attention flows to few candidates, but many are running for governor

BY: , and - January 28, 2022

When Oregon’s registered Democrats and Republicans receive their primary ballots this spring, they’ll likely see about a dozen candidates for governor. Chances are, they’ll only recognize a few of the names.  With nearly four months to go before the primary election, candidates have already fallen into two groups. There are the frontrunners, those with high-profile […]

Oregon Health Authority director hospitalized after fall

BY: - January 25, 2022

The Oregon Health Authority’s director, Patrick Allen, was hospitalized on Sunday after a “serious” fall, according to a news release from the agency. It said he is being evaluated for subsequent heart issues and would be discharged soon. The release said Allen does not have Covid-19. “Director Allen has helped Oregon get through the COVID-19 […]

Colt Gill, Education Department director

Oregon’s state education director a quiet, collaborative force in the turbulence of pandemic

BY: - January 3, 2022

Colt Gill gets up at 2:30 every morning, thinking about his duty to the principals, teachers, students and school staff in Oregon’s 216 school districts and education service districts.  The director of the state Education Department is in action, answering emails, conferring with his deputy director Carmen Urbina and responding to text messages from school […]

Slowing effects of climate change among priorities for Oregon’s new watersheds director

BY: - December 29, 2021

Lisa Charpilloz-Hanson learns best out in the field, which is how the new director of the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board found herself, first month on the job, standing over a bridge in Tillamook watching salmon and steelhead swim upstream. In her new role, Charpilloz-Hanson now has a hand in how to spend $170 million each […]