Oregon

Govs Tout Clean Energy, Avoid Climate Change | 02-19-2016

A bipartisan group of 17 governors signed off last week on a pledge to work together toward increasing the use of renewable power, integrating electricity grids across state lines and ramping up the number of alternative fuel cars on their roadways (For...

Energy - February 22 2016 | 02-19-2016

The OREGON House approves HB 4036, which would eliminate the use of coal power in Oregon by 2030. The measure, which would also require the state’s largest energy providers to obtain 50 percent of their energy from renewable sources by 2014, moves...

Environment - February 22 2016 | 02-19-2016

Environment in WI The WISCONSIN Senate approves AB 603, which would limit the kinds of waterways that can be protected from development as areas of special natural resource interest and give final say over those designations to the Legislature rather...

Governors In Brief - February 22 2016 | 02-19-2016

Snyder Seeks Expanded Medicaid for Flint MICHIGAN Gov. Rick Snyder (R) is seeking federal approval to expand Medicaid benefits in the city of Flint to include residents up to 21 years old and pregnant women who have been receiving water from the city’s...

States Still Divesting from Iran | 02-12-2016

Twenty-two states and the District of Columbia have laws on the books prohibiting at least some state pension or retirement funds from investing in companies that do a certain amount of business in Iran. Ten of those states also have laws on the books...

Brown Changes OR Min Wage Proposal | 02-04-2016

Bowing to pressure from business leaders, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) released a revised minimum wage plan Friday that scales back proposed increases but offers workers a raise as soon as this summer. Brown’s original proposal would have raised the...

All-Mail Elections Alone May Not Increase Voter Turnout | 01-08-2016

Oregon became the first state to conduct elections entirely by mail with a voter-approved initiative (Measure 60) in 1998. Washington made the switch via legislative action in 2011. And Colorado followed suit in 2014. The nation’s most populous...

New State Laws Diverge on Guns and Voting Rights | 01-08-2016

Among the state laws taking effect this year are new gun restrictions in California tightening that state’s existing ban on firearms on school grounds and allowing individuals to request the temporary seizure of weapons from relatives who may pose...

Governors In Brief - December 21 2015 | 12-18-2015

Brown Seeks OR Education Innovation OREGON Gov. Kate Brown (D) announced the creation of an education innovation officer position on her staff. The position, which will not be an executive appointment, will be tasked with helping Brown better assess...

Airbnb Pays Hotel Taxes in Several U.S. Cities and Three States | 11-06-2015

Airbnb collects and remits transient occupancy taxes, also known as hotel taxes, on behalf of its hosts in a dozen U.S. cities and the District of Columbia, according to the company’s website. Occupancy and sales taxes are also collected and remitted...

Governors In Brief - October 12 2015 | 10-09-2015

CO Gov Issues Mascot Order COLORADO Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) issued Executive Order B 2015 006, which will create a commission to discuss American Indian high school mascots. Commission members will include tribes, local community members and state...

Budgets In Brief - October 12 2015 | 10-09-2015

OR Tax Refund Kicking In OREGON will give taxpayers $402 million in rebates on their 2015 returns, thanks to the state’s kicker law, which requires the state to give taxpayers their money back whenever revenues exceed the forecast made at the...

Governors In Brief - October 5 2015 | 10-02-2015

Brown to Run OREGON Gov. Kate Brown (D) announced she will seek to retain her job in next fall’s election to select someone to fill the remaining two years in the term of Gov. John Kitzhaber (D), who resigned in February amid corruption charges...

Pre-election voting restricted in many states | 09-18-2015

In most states eligible voters can cast their votes before Election Day, either by going to the polls during designated early voting periods or by voting via absentee ballot. But 30 states have no early voting period, although 13 of those states allow...

Governors In Brief - September 14 2015 | 09-10-2015

KY Marriage Licenses Legal KENTUCKY Gov. Steve Beshear (D) said marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples in Rowan County are legal in spite of not being signed by the clerk who was jailed for refusing to issue them to those couples. Beshear reiterated...

Crime & Law Enforcement - August 24 2015 | 08-21-2015

OREGON Gov. Kate Brown (D) signs SB 844, which allows someone convicted of a marijuana crime to seek expunction for an act that, if committed by an adult, would constitute criminal possession of marijuana (LEXISNEXIS STATE NET).

States Bringing Public-Style Pension Plans to Private Sector | 08-21-2015

At least 25 states have either passed or considered legislation aimed at bringing the efficiencies of public retirement systems to new pension plans for workers in the private sector, according to the Pension Rights Center. Illinois, Oregon and Washington...

Feds Ease State Efforts to Create New Private Sector Pensions | 08-21-2015

As a young man, California resident Scott Kirchner was admittedly not concerned with saving money for retirement. “Until I was probably 31, the idea of saving any money for anything was foreign to me,” he says. Now, at age 56 and...

OR Needs Impeachment Process | 08-21-2015

In a guest viewpoint appearing in The Register-Guard of Eugene, Oregon last week, retired teacher and counselor Gary Crum advocates for the adoption of a proper impeachment process in the state “to address serious transgressions by state officials...

Education - August 24 2015 | 08-21-2015

OREGON Gov. Kate Brown (D) signs SB 932, a bill that allows qualifying unauthorized immigrants who were brought to the United States as minors to receive state financial aid for college (EASTERN OREGONIAN [PENDELTON]).

Health & Science - August 2015 | 08-21-2015

National Drug Control Policy to Focus on Heroin Epidemic The U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy announces it will hire public safety and public health coordinators for five areas in the northeast hit the hardest by a growing epidemic of heroin...

Health & Science - August 3 2015 | 07-31-2015

OR Signs SB 460 OREGON Gov. Kate Brown (D) signs SB 460, which allows Beaver State medical marijuana dispensaries to begin also selling recreational weed on October 1, three months earlier than expected. Under the law, adults 21 and older may purchase...

Business - July 20 2015 | 07-17-2015

States Allowed to Require Employee Retirement Savings President Barack Obama announces the U.S. Department of Labor will develop new rules that allow states to require some employers to offer a retirement savings plan or automatically enroll workers...

Crime & Law Enforcement - July 20 2015 | 07-17-2015

OR Signs HB 2002 Gov. Kate Brown (D) signs HB 2002, which creates a system for citizens to report incidents of possible police profiling and requires law enforcement agencies to pass formal profiling bans by Jan. 1 of next year (PORTLAND OREGONIAN...

Business - July 13 2015 | 07-10-2015

The OREGON House approves SB 460, which allows the Beaver State to begin selling recreational marijuana by Oct. 1, a year earlier than originally allowed under the measure that voters approved to legalize recreational weed use. It is now with Gov. Kate...

Governors In Brief - July 13 2015 | 07-10-2015

OR Water Conservation Review Faced with worsening drought conditions, OREGON Gov. Kate Brown (D) directed all state agencies to review their water usage, implement conservation plans and report their progress to the state Water Resources Department...

Health & Science - July 13 2015 | 07-10-2015

OR Approves HB 2300 The OREGON House approves HB 2300, which would allow doctors to prescribe experimental medications not yet approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to terminally ill patients with less than six months to live. It is now...

Governors In Brief - July 6 2015 | 07-02-2015

New Gun Permit Regulation for NJ Reacting to the death of a NEW JERSEY woman stabbed to death by an ex-boyfriend, Gov. Chris Christie (R) announced a new state regulation to require applications for gun permits for victims of domestic violence, other...

Health & Science - July 6 2015 | 07-02-2015

CA Rejects SB 323 and Signs SB 277 The CALIFORNIA Assembly Business and Professions Committee rejects SB 323, a bill that would have allowed nurse practitioners to treat patients without the supervision of a doctor (SACRAMENTO BEE). Also in CALIFORNIA...

Business - June 22 2015 | 06-19-2015

CO Court Upholds Medical Marijuana Card Holder Ruling The COLORADO Supreme Court upholds a lower court’s ruling that employers can fire workers for using medical marijuana even if they do it during off hours. The plaintiff, a quadriplegic medical...

Business - June 15 2015 | 06-12-2015

OR Approves SB 454 The OREGON Senate approves SB 454, a bill that would require all Beaver State businesses with 10 or more employees to offer workers at least five days of paid sick leave each year. It moves to the House (PORTLAND OREGONIAN). VT...

OR Test Driving 'Prius Tax' | 06-12-2015

The popularity of hybrid, electric and alternative-fuel vehicles may be good for the environment but not for states that rely on gas taxes to fund the maintenance and construction of their roads and bridges. Oregon, however, is about to launch a program...

Politics In Brief - June 1 2015 | 05-29-2015

CO Signs HB 1057 COLORADO Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) has signed a bill (HB 1057) requiring citizen petitions for constitutional amendments to include estimates of the proposals’ fiscal impact. Currently such estimates aren’t required until...

Social Policy - June 1 2015 | 05-29-2015

CA Approves AB 2175 The CALIFORNIA Assembly approves AB 2175, a bill that requires so-called “crisis pregnancy centers” to provide women with information about reproductive services available elsewhere, including abortion, and to disclose...

Pension Reforms Struck Down In States | 05-15-2015

Twice in two weeks courts have rejected state pension reform laws. On April 30, Oregon’s Supreme Court ruled that the reductions the state made to cost-of-living adjustments in 2013 were unconstitutional. And last week Illinois’ Supreme Court...

Potpourri - May 18 2015 | 05-15-2015

IN Vetoes HB 1270 Gov. Mike Pence (R) vetoes HB 1270, a bill that would have allowed state residents to use advance deposit wagering to bet on horse races. Advance deposit wagering allows bettors to deposit funds into an account and then place pari...

Social Policy - May 11 2015 | 05-08-2015

MO Overrides Veto of SB 24 The MISSOURI Legislature overrides a veto by Gov. Jay Nixon (D) of SB 24, legislation that cuts the lifetime limit for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program from five years to three years and nine months and...

Potpourri - May 11 2015 | 05-08-2015

OR Approves SB 941 The OREGON House approves SB 941, which requires that a background check be conducted on a buyer who is purchasing guns from a private party. The bill, which requires private sellers to conduct transactions through a registered gun...

Business - May 4 2015 | 05-01-2015

MN Rejects Amendment to Liquor Bill The MINNESOTA House rejects a proposal to allow local municipalities to decide for themselves whether to allow Sunday liquor sales. The proposal was an amendment to an omnibus liquor bill that did garner House approval...

Governors In Brief - April 20 2015 | 04-17-2015

In an effort to combat air pollution in southern OREGON, Gov. Kate Brown (D) announced she will authorize the use of state funds to pay for residents in two downstate counties to swap out their old woodstoves and fireplaces for newer, more efficient models...

Governors In Brief - April 13 2015 | 04-10-2015

OR Declares Drought Emergency Citing an ongoing lack of rainfall and snowpack, OREGON Gov. Kate Brown (D) declared a drought emergency in three southern and central Beaver State counties. Similar declarations have been made by governors in CALIFORNIA...

Health & Science - April 13 2015 | 04-10-2015

ID Approves SB 1146 The IDAHO House approves SB 1146, a bill that allows the use of cannabis oil to treat children suffering from seizure disorders. The measure is now with Gov. Butch Otter (R) for review (BOISE WEEKLY). SC Approves SB 426 The...

OR Passes Property Tax Exemption For Data Centers | 04-03-2015

The Oregon Legislature has passed a bill -- SB 611 -- that would exempt Apple, Comcast and other data-center operators from the state’s unusual method of assessing property taxes, known as “central assessment.” Dating from the 19th century...

OR Adopts Automatic Voter Registration | 03-20-2015

Last week Oregon became the first state in the nation to adopt automatic voter registration when Gov. Kate Brown (D) added her signature to a bill providing for the provisional registration of unregistered Oregonians to vote when they obtain or renew...

Social Policy - March 23 2015 | 03-20-2015

Oregon Approves HB 2307 The OREGON House approves HB 2307, which would ban the use of so-called “gay conversion” therapy on minors. The bill moves now to the Senate (OREGONLIVE.COM). SB 296 Signed in Utah UTAH Gov. Gary Herbert (R...

Health & Science - March 16 2015 | 03-13-2015

Washington House Approves HB 5381 The WASHINGTON House approves HB 5381, which would allow Evergreen State police officers to alert mental health experts after reports of an attempted suicide or a suspected suicide attempt even if that incident does...

Environment - March 9 2015 | 03-06-2015

Georgia Approves SB 139 The GEORGIA Senate approves SB 139, a bill that would bar Peach State cities from banning single-use plastic bags at grocery and other retail stores. The measure moves to the House (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION). Washington...