Gov. Tina Kotek talks to the Oregon Capital Chronicle in the ceremonial office of the state library in Salem on May 17, 2023. (Michael Romanos/Oregon Capital Chronicle)

Kotek allows more than 10,000 Oregonians to reinstate driver’s licenses 

BY: - December 5, 2023

Gov. Tina Kotek on Tuesday issued new orders to forgive unpaid traffic fines for more than 10,000 Oregonians, making them eligible to get their driving privileges reinstated.  Those Oregonians should have been eligible to apply for reinstatement of their driver’s license nearly a year ago. In December 2022, former Gov. Kate Brown issued an order […]

Oregon state Rep. Maxine Dexter joins race to replace Blumenauer in Congress

BY: - December 5, 2023

State Rep. Maxine Dexter, a physician who led recent legislative efforts around housing and opioids, will join a growing field of Democrats vying to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer.  Dexter, who turned 51 on Tuesday, told the Capital Chronicle she has planned to run for Congress since she was 20, taking pre-med classes and […]

With federal money running out, states are scrambling to ensure families have child care.

Early child care shortages in Oregon costing parents jobs, survey finds

BY: - December 5, 2023

Public funding to boost early child care options in Oregon has grown by millions during the past few years, but options are still limited for many parents who are forced to choose – and lose – jobs, according to a survey from Portland State University. More than 40% of parents said they or their partner […]

The White House is asking Congress to approve additional Ukraine aid.

White House points to defense spending in states in new plea for Ukraine aid

BY: - December 4, 2023

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is warning Congress that without more funding for Ukraine, the United States will no longer be able to provide that country with military assistance — and emphasizing the multiple states from Arkansas to Michigan to Pennsylvania where businesses already have benefited from earlier aid. Cutting off U.S. funding would not […]

Cherry harvest in the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon.

Farmers and growers seek leeway under new agriculture overtime law

BY: - December 4, 2023

Agricultural workers in Washington will attain a historic milestone next month when, for the first time in state history, they will earn overtime pay if they work more than 40 hours in a week. The achievement is the result of 2021 legislation negotiated by labor advocates, agricultural producers and lawmakers that erased language in state […]

A snow plow works on clearing Oregon 11 between Pendleton to Washington state

Winter road maintenance will continue with $19 million promise from Kotek, Oregon Legislature

BY: - December 4, 2023

Oregon’s top elected officials pledged to spend millions of dollars on winter road maintenance after dire warnings from the state Department of Transportation that highways would go unplowed because of a budget shortfall.  Gov. Tina Kotek, Senate President Rob Wagner and House Speaker Dan Rayfield announced Monday that the state would commit $19 million to […]

Oregon Sens. Sollman, Thatcher to revive veteran income tax break proposal

BY: - December 4, 2023

A bipartisan pair of Oregon state senators will try again to give retired veterans an income tax break after running out of time in the most recent legislative session. Sens. Janeen Sollman, D-Hillsboro, and Kim Thatcher, R-Keizer, said Wednesday they plan to revive a bill they introduced this spring to allow veterans aged 62 or […]

Portland Police Sgt. Kristi Butcher, supervisor of the Portland Police Bureau’s Human Trafficking Unit, speaks to a woman in a pink dress she suspects suspects is a victim of sex trafficking. The photo is shot through a car door, concealing the woman's face.

Sex traffickers evade justice as child victims openly walk Pacific Northwest streets

BY: - December 2, 2023

Prosecutor Ben Gauen recognized all the signs. He knew that the teenager who’d been screaming for help in the middle of a spring day on Aurora Avenue North — the “epicenter of sex trafficking in Seattle,” according to Gauen — was a victim of sex trafficking. Witnesses, still “physically shaking” from what they saw that […]

Sandra Day O’Connor, who made history as the first woman on the Supreme Court, dies at 93

BY: - December 1, 2023

WASHINGTON — The first woman to serve on the nation’s highest court is dead at 93. Sandra Day O’Connor, a groundbreaking justice on the U.S. Supreme Court, died Friday in Phoenix, Arizona of complications related to advanced dementia, probably Alzheimer’s, and a respiratory illness, according to an announcement from the court. President Ronald Reagan nominated […]

Salinas, Harshbarger introduce bipartisan bill to expand telehealth services for rural Americans

BY: - December 1, 2023

U.S. Rep. Andrea Salinas is asking Congress to pass a bill that would expand telehealth services and provide mental health care to people in rural regions.  Salinas, an Oregon Democrat, introduced a bill on Thursday that would provide $10 million annually in grants for telehealth services in rural areas, with the goal of offering mental […]

New York Republican George Santos expelled by U.S. House in bipartisan vote

BY: - December 1, 2023

WASHINGTON — New York Republican George Santos on Friday became the sixth lawmaker in history and the first member of the GOP to be expelled from the U.S. House of Representatives. The 311-114 bipartisan vote, which required two-thirds support, followed months of scandal that culminated in a federal criminal indictment and a damning report from […]

Solar panels atop storage units in rural Virginia were funded by a Rural Energy for America program grant. (U.S. Department of Agriculture)

USDA grows solar power in rural Oregon despite limited transmission, assistance

BY: - December 1, 2023

More farmland across the U.S. will need to host power-generating solar panels for the country to decarbonize the electric grid and meet targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, according to the U.S. Departments of Energy and Agriculture. But that’s not the sell that officials at the USDA’s Rural Development office use to entice Oregon farmers […]