Oregon lawmakers eye more than $3.5 billion in school improvements

A legislative committee that spent the summer and fall combing the state for ways to improve Oregon schools learned Thursday evening how much it would cost to enact all their best ideas: more than $3.5 billion. That staggering sum was not completely unexpected. No one expected Oregon would go for the entire wish list. Source: […]
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Dennis Richardson says brain cancer not slowing him down in video update

Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson says the brain cancer discovered earlier this year has not spread and that his mind remains sharp. “The three most recent MRIs show the tumor has not grown,” Richardson said in a video posted Thursday afternoon on his agency’s YouTube channel, noting that the tumor is “small.” Source: Dennis […]
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Secretary of State Dennis Richardson gives update on his brain cancer

Oregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson released a video statement Thursday updating Oregonians on his treatment for a brain tumor. Richardson had announced in June the presence of a “small, cancerous brain tumor.” Since then, he said the “three most recent” MRIs show the tumor has not grown. Source: Secretary of State Dennis Richardson gives update on […]
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Oregon hemp industry poised for big growth after feds sign off

Hemp now has something marijuana doesn’t: federal approval. A provision of the $867 billion farm bill Congress approved this week removes hemp from the list of federally controlled substances and treats the low-THC version of the cannabis plant like any other agricultural crop. Source: Oregon hemp industry poised for big growth after feds sign off

Oregon lawmakers get a taste of possible tax hikes in 2019

Democrats in the Oregon Legislature are gearing up to raise billions of dollars in taxes next year to boost school spending and cover ballooning public pension costs. During interim hearings in Salem this week, lawmakers are pulling back the curtain on some of the ideas they might consider. Source: Oregon lawmakers get a taste of […]
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Oregon may require middle, high schoolers undergo annual mental health exams

The pervasiveness of mental health issues and child suicide rates leads Oregon to rank as the worst state in the country for the prevalence of mental illness. And the state’s lack of child psychiatrists and school counselors leaves families waiting for months to get help. Source: Oregon may require middle, high schoolers undergo annual mental health exams

Report: Many changes needed to prevent sexual harassment at Oregon Capitol

The Oregon Legislature needs to make a number of structural and cultural changes to ensure the Capitol building is a workplace free from harassment, according to a commissioned draft final report presented to legislative leaders Thursday. Source: Report: Many changes needed to prevent sexual harassment at Oregon Capitol

Schools should track violence and share it

A serious problem like increasing violence in schools cannot be adequately addressed if it is not adequately understood — and it can’t be adequately understood if it is not adequately tracked and the information shared with parents and the public at large. Unfortunately, local schools are hampering access to public information rather than embracing 21st-century […]
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Washington governor proposes funds to relaunch Interstate Bridge replacement

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee wants to reopen an office dedicated to studying how to replace or retrofit the Interstate Bridge, the aging span over the Columbia River between Portland and Vancouver. Inslee’s proposed 2019-21 budget released Thursday morning included $17.5 million to “reopen an Interstate 5/Columbia River Bridge project office.” Source: Washington governor proposes funds […]
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Editorial: BOLI botches pay equity implementation

As of Jan. 1, Oregon will have one of the most comprehensive pay equity laws in the country. But state labor regulators just finalized the rules and have done an inadequate job of explaining them to employers. Source: Editorial: BOLI botches pay equity implementation