Latest Oregon State Legislative Assembly News

Supreme Court stops Oregon redistricting ballot measure

Aug. 11, 2020 4:00 PM EDT

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An effort to alter how Oregon draws its legislative and congressional districts has been halted by the U.S. Supreme Court. Oregon Public Broadcasting reports that in a ruling Tuesday, the court granted an emergency stay that will stop, for now, a push by government watchdog groups and...

The House works to adopts rules during a special session of the state Legislature at the Capitol in Salem, Ore., Monday, Aug. 10, 2020. Oregon lawmakers discussed unemployment benefits and police reform bills as they returned to the Capitol for a special session that was largely supposed to be focused on the state's $1 billion budget hole due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Brian Hayes/Statesman Journal via AP)

Cuts, reserve funds help lawmakers balance Oregon budget

Aug. 11, 2020 11:40 AM EDT

Oregon lawmakers cut hundreds of millions of dollars from state agencies and tapped emergency reserves to help plug a $1 billion budget deficit due to COVID-19 shutdowns and also further restricted police choke holds during a testy, day-long special session. Some leading lawmakers had hoped to focus the special...

The House works to adopts rules during a special session of the state Legislature at the Capitol in Salem, Ore., Monday, Aug. 10, 2020. Oregon lawmakers discussed unemployment benefits and police reform bills as they returned to the Capitol for a special session that was largely supposed to be focused on the state's $1 billion budget hole due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Brian Hayes/Statesman Journal via AP)

Lawmakers adjourn special session, restrict choke holds

Aug. 11, 2020 2:36 AM EDT

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A measure further restricting the use of choke holds by police passed the Oregon Legislature by wide margins Monday night as lawmakers concluded a special session called to fix a billion-dollar budget deficit due to COVID-19. House Bill 4301 prohibits the use of choke holds by police or...

FILE - In this June 29, 2019 file photo, children play in fountains at the Oregon State Capitol in Salem, Ore. Lawmakers return to the Capitol for the second special session of 2020. But the question remains if the session, which begins Monday, Aug. 10, 2020, will be solely dedicated to rebalancing the state budget thrown out of whack because of the COVID-19 pandemic or if bills altering policy will be considered. ( AP Photo/Andrew Selsky, File)

Oregon lawmakers return to big deficit, police questions

Aug. 7, 2020 5:29 PM EDT

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Legislature will meet for its second special session of 2020 beginning Monday to try to fix a $1.2 billion revenue hole due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. While some lawmakers predict the session could be completed within a day or two, that time frame could be lengthened...

Close prisons, save schools? OR faces tough budget options

Jul. 16, 2020 3:28 PM EDT

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The state's top budget writers have proposed closing two Oregon prisons as lawmakers try to balance a huge budget shortfall created by the COVID-19 pandemic and business shutdowns. In May, state economists predicted that a hit to income taxes, lottery revenue and business sales could...

Lawmakers OK $3.6M for water fixes in Warm Springs

Jul. 15, 2020 5:33 PM EDT

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — As the Warm Springs reservation goes without safe drinking water into the fourth week, Oregon state lawmakers have approved millions in emergency funding for repairs. The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs issued a boil water notice June 25 after drinking water system failures left some...

FILE - In this July 4, 2020, file photo, protesters gather near a fire in downtown Portland, Ore. Oregon's largest city is in crisis as violent protests have wracked downtown for weeks. The mayor can't bring the council along on cracking down because of very liberal council members and no matter what he does, the city gets sued anyway. Meanwhile, downtown businesses are being destroyed on top of the pandemic and the rank-and-file police are increasingly venting their frustration. (Beth Nakamura/The Oregonian via AP, File)

Chaotic protests prompt soul-searching in Portland, Oregon

Jul. 15, 2020 4:28 PM EDT

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Nearly two months of nightly protests that have devolved into violent clashes with police have prompted soul-searching in Portland, Oregon, a city that prides itself on its progressive reputation but is increasingly polarized over how to handle the unrest. President Donald Trump...

Lawmakers OK $50M for struggling arts/culture organizations

Jul. 15, 2020 12:02 PM EDT

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — State lawmakers have voted to distribute $50 million in federal relief funds to Oregon arts and culture organizations still struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic. Legislators voted Tuesday to direct $24 million to individual organizations including the Oregon Shakespeare Festival...

$500 relief checks OK'd for people waiting for benefits

Jul. 14, 2020 8:01 PM EDT

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon legislative committee on Tuesday unanimously approved the distribution of one-time $500 relief checks to people who are still waiting for unemployment benefits. But, when and how the payment program will operate is still a work in progress. The $35 million program, which could...

FILE - In this March 29, 2020, file photo, a protester faces police officers in downtown in Portland, Ore. Portland, Oregon, a liberal city with a reputation for full-throated and frequent protests, is reeling from the nightly chaos in its streets and on Wednesday, June 3, 2020, its visibly frustrated police chief appealed to residents to help stop

Oregon House speaker slams Portland police use of tear gas

Jul. 1, 2020 9:03 PM EDT

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — More than two dozen protesters were arrested on charges including disorderly conduct, interfering with a police officer, riot and assault on a police officer during protests that stretched into the early morning hours of Wednesday, Portland police said. Authorities said protesters...