Category Archives: My Columbia Basin

Johnson concerned about Oregon’s revenue

One of the Oregon Legislature’s chief budget writers is very worried about the state’s lack of revenue due to COVID-19. State Senator Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose) said when bars and restaurants are closed, the state also loses money. Source: Johnson concerned about Oregon’s revenue | My Columbia Basin

Special session would deal with more than COVID-19

Gov. Kate Brown has said she will call a special session of the Oregon Legislature due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but has not given a date for that event. One of the three chairs of the Joint Ways and Means Committee, Sen. Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose), says one of the items that could be discussed is […]
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Smith refuses pay while he’s absent

State Rep. Greg Smith (R-Heppner) walked out with his Republican peers in the House of Representatives Tuesday, joining senators who left Monday over the controversial cap and trade bill. Smith lost a subcommittee chairmanship when he did not attend an earlier evening cap and trade meeting, and he says he’s prepared to lose more. Source: […]
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OR universities want big bucks for buildings

Oregon’s universities are asking the legislature for more than $500 million dollars to pay for buildings. The Higher Education Coordinating Commission has a list of 21 projects that need state funding. More than 32 percent are greater than 50 years old,” HECC Executive Director Ben Cannon said. “Almost half are greater than 30 years old.”Cannon […]
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Two cities work for more housing

Hermiston’s population may be booming, but it could be even larger. Assistant City Manager Mark Morgan says the workforce issue is causing some large employers to locate elsewhere. “Our biggest constraint continues to be supplying labor to some of the larger job creators that come into the area,” Morgan said. “You can’t attract them if […]
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Oregon Legislature considers changes to tax on businesses

The Oregon Legislature considers changes to a tax on businesses that bring in more than $1 million a year. Source: Oregon Legislature considers changes to tax on businesses

State tosses the Ziemlak transport ball to the county

The state of Oregon will not be transporting escaped psychiatric patient Thaddeus Ziemlak back from Pasadena, California after all. In spite of telling Pendleton Police Chief Stuart Roberts that late last week, now the state says it’s up to Umatilla County to bring him back. Source: State tosses the Ziemlak transport ball to the county […]
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Oregon updates radon map

The Oregon Health Authority has updated maps of where radon is found in the states. OHA is also urging residents to test for radon in their homes. In certain locations, including Pilot Rock, Adams, Athena, Boardman, and Hermiston, free tests are offered by the state. Source: Oregon updates radon map | My Columbia Basin

Bill asks Congress to take steps toward campaign finance reform

A bill is asking Congress to convene a constitutional convention on campaign finance reform will go before the 2020 Oregon Legislature. The bill invokes Article 5 of the U.S. Constitution that Oregon legislative counsel Dexter Johnson said the state can ask Congress to convene a convention to amend the Constitution to include campaign finance rules. […]
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OR wildfire response bill only deals with state lands

A bill to beef up Oregon’s response to wildfires that is on tap for the 2020 session will be expensive, and how to pay for it has not been determined. Gov. Kate Brown’s Wildfire Response Council has issued a long list of recommendations, but something is missing. Sen. Herman Baertschiger (R-Grants Pass) said there is […]
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