Local News That Matters

POLITICS

Government, politics, elections

RSS

FreeOREGON NEWS Feb. 7
Anti-tax activist Bill Sizemore seeks GOP nod for Oregon governor
Republican Bill Sizemore said he didn’t see any Republicans with a shot at winning the governor's race in the fall so he's now in the running.
FreeOREGON NEWS Feb. 4
Luxury sales tax proposed for Oregon to help low-income parents, former foster youth
An Oregon legislator is proposing a 3% sales tax on certain goods to fund help for Oregonians in need. Voters have consistently rejected a state sales tax.
FreeOREGON NEWS Feb. 3
In final State of the State address, Brown touts victories, pushes spending plan
Brown urged the Legislature to approve about $700 million for job training, housing and child care during a speech from her office.
FreeOREGON LEGISLATURE Feb. 1
Oregon legislators begin 2022 session with optimistic speeches, mask protests
Lawmakers have 35 days to pass bills and figure out how to spend $1.5 billion.
Feb. 1
AGENDA: Marion County commissioners consider support services, mentoring for people in criminal justice system
SALEM CITY GOVERNMENT Feb. 1
A quiet force working behind the scenes, Steve Powers heads for retirement
Salem Reporter sat down with outgoing City Manager Steve Powers to hear his thoughts on six years at the City of Salem, homelessness and communication.
FreeOREGON NEWS Jan. 31
Oregon 2022 legislative preview: What’s ahead that could affect your life as legislators gather
Job training is top of mind for most lawmakers and Gov. Kate Brown. The session opens on Tuesday, Feb. 1, and while the Capitol is open, much of the action will remain virtual.
FreeOREGON NEWS Jan. 30
Most money, media attention flows to few candidates, but many are running for governor
They seek to be the next governor of Oregon. You might not have heard of some of those who want your vote. Meet candidates who don't get top-tier political billing.
STATE POLITICS Jan. 29
What Salem's legislators want from the 2022 session
Several new representatives will join the region's delegation at the Capitol for the session, which kicks off Feb. 1.
FreeOREGON LEGISLATURE Jan. 25
Brown, Democrats outline big spending plans as GOP calls for limited action in short session
The governor wants legislative leaders to approve hundreds of millions in one-time investments, but Republican leaders said the 35-day session should be more restrained.
FreeOREGON NEWS Jan. 25
Two House Democrats urge Oregon Supreme Court to keep Kristof out of governor’s race
Reps. Andrea Valderrama, Wlnsvey Campos and four other women of color say Kristof’s presence on the ballot would reverse progress toward equity.
FreeOREGON POLITICS Jan. 23
Casey Kulla drops out of governor’s race to run for labor commissioner
He started thinking about the switch when the current labor commissioner, Val Hoyle, announced her run for Congress.
FreeOREGON NEWS Jan. 21
State attorneys urge Oregon Supreme Court to keep Kristof off ballot
As he awaits court decision, Nick Kristof continues campaigning and raising money in his bid for the Democratic nomination for Oregon governor.
OREGON GOVERNMENT Jan. 20
Oregon Capitol beefs up security, expects to spend $500K on security guards
New screening will begin Jan. 27, four days before the legislative session starts.
FreeOREGON NEWS Jan. 17
Running for governor, Kristof defends residency claim to Oregon Supreme Court
Gubernatorial candidate Nick Kristof submitted a filing Friday to the Oregon Supreme Court, reasserting his contention that Oregon has been his home for the required time. State attorneys this week are expected to present Secretary of State Shemia Fagan’s case to bar him from the ballot.
FreeOREGON POLITICS Jan. 7
Kristof appeals residency decision to Oregon Supreme Court
The lawsuit argues his disqualification puts a fair election at risk.
FreeOREGON POLITICS Jan. 6
House Speaker Tina Kotek to step down, focus on bid for governor
Her announcement comes the day after Senate President Peter Courtney told colleagues he will retire at the end of his term, and means a shakeup in leadership for the Legislature.
FreeOREGON POLITICS Jan. 6
Oregon elections officials: Kristof ineligible to run for governor
The former New York Times columnist doesn’t meet constitutional residency requirements, election officials determined.
FreeOREGON NEWS Jan. 6
With Oregon residency in question, Kristof won’t share documents
Democratic candidate Nick Kristof claims tax records, other documents will establish his qualifications to run for governor in Oregon.
SALEM COMMUNITY Jan. 6
Thousands sign petition to save Salem mural as city leaders say they’re not trying to remove it
Salem in early December issued a notice to Valley Roofing and Exteriors that it would need to get approval from the Public Arts Commission after an artist painted a large mural depicting the raising of the U.S. flag on Iwo Jima. A code officer citation said the business could be fined, but no fines have yet been issued.
FreeOREGON NEWS Dec. 31
Slowing effects of climate change among priorities for Oregon’s new watersheds director
Lisa Charpilloz-Hanson will oversee more than $170 million to pay for projects enhancing state waterways and protecting critical species.
SALEM CITY GOVERNMENT Dec. 28
Chris Hoy enters Salem mayor’s race
The Salem city councilor and recently appointed state representative is entering the race for mayor with a focus on homelessness, climate action and downtown revitalization.
FreeOREGON NEWS Dec. 23
Oregon election officials want Kristof to prove residency for governor's race
Kristof campaign says he considered Oregon home even when he lived in New York. The Oregon secretary of state wants to know more about that.
FreeOREGON NEWS Dec. 17
Governor, health experts brace Oregonians for a serious impact from Omicron by February
In a surprising development, state officials said Friday that hospitalizations for Omicron could soon end up dwarfing cases from earlier Covid variants.
SALEM CITY GOVERNMENT Dec. 17
Changes to Salem’s code would allow for managed camping, more duplexes and more chickens
The Salem City Council will vote on the proposed changes toward the end of January.
FreeOREGON NEWS Dec. 14
Oregon legislators extend eviction protection, approve $400 million for landlords, farmers
Oregon tenants waiting for state aid with past-due rent will remain safe from eviction until Sept. 30. Legislators also sent relief to rural Oregon for farmers, ranchers, water users.
FreeOREGON NEWS Dec. 13
Legislators on Monday will decide millions to help Afghans resettle in Oregon
An $18 million package waiting for emergency legislative approval has been pushed to the front of the special session agenda that had been focused on rental assistance.
FreeOREGON NEWS Dec. 13
With thousands facing eviction from their homes, Oregon Legislature coming to the rescue
In a special session Monday, the Oregon Legislature will consider providing $100 million to landlords for tenants’ back rent.
OREGON POLITICS Dec. 10
Commissioners choose St. Paul resident Jessica George to fill House District 25 vacancy
Republican Jessica George was chosen Friday, Dec. 10 during a joint session of commissioners from Marion, Yamhill and Washington counties. George will replace Bill Post, who resigned on Nov. 30, and will serve until January 2023.
SALEM CITY GOVERNMENT Dec. 10
NW Natural opposes Salem’s proposed ban on new natural gas hookups
Salem’s Climate Action Plan recommends banning new natural gas hookups over the next three to five years in an effort to reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions. In a letter from its attorneys, NW Natural said it wants more opportunities to share its views before the council adopts the plan.
SALEM POLITICS Dec. 8
Salem councilor Chris Hoy appointed to vacant Oregon House seat
The Marion County Board of Commissioners selected Hoy Wednesday afternoon from among four nominees to replace Rep. Brian Clem. Hoy said he intends to keep his seat on the city council while serving out the final year of Clem's term in the legislature.
SALEM GOVERNMENT Dec. 7
Chane Griggs steps into Salem mayor’s race
Griggs is president of the city’s planning commission and the Rotary Club of Salem. She’s the second candidate to publicly announce her bid for mayor of Salem after the incumbent Chuck Bennett recently announced he won’t seek a fourth term.
FreeOREGON NEWS Dec. 7
Investments needed in higher ed, job training to recover from pandemic, Oregon leaders say
At a meeting of business leaders Monday, Gov. Kate Brown and state’s higher education director said the state needs to bolster career training.
FreeOREGON NEWS Dec. 7
Brown calls for $200 million in workforce spending, offers few details
Gov. Kate Brown urged business leaders to push legislators to support the spending package.
SALEM CITY GOVERNMENT Dec. 6
City manager Steve Powers will retire Feb. 28
In his six years at the city of Salem, Powers oversaw the hiring of a new police chief, a seismic retrofit of the library and the city's response to Covid. He is returning to Michigan to spend time with his family.
Dec. 6
AGENDA: Salem City Council meets Monday to consider comprehensive plan update, waiving fees to install airport charging stations
FreeOREGON NEWS Dec. 5
Brown returns from international climate summit energized to push Oregon’s plans ahead
The governor sees even more possibilities for offshore wind-generated power to serve Oregon’s needs – and create coastal jobs.
FreeOREGON PEOPLE Dec. 2
After more than three decades, U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio is done with Congress
DeFazio said he’s ready to throttle back and hike in Oregon, but other leaders say the state will feel his loss in the House.
Free Nov. 30
Oregon House Republicans pick Vikki Breese-Iverson as new caucus leader
Breese-Iverson said she was proud of the work the caucus has done over the past few years to stand up to Democrats’ one-party control over state government. The Prineville Republican has been been one of a small group of Oregon legislators raising doubt about the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.
FreeAROUND OREGON Nov. 30
Medical professionals want mental health program extended to Oregon nurses
The Oregon Wellness Program now offers free and confidential therapy sessions to doctors, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, podiatrists and dentists.
FreeOREGON NEWS Nov. 26
More power, better restrooms and new visitor centers – Oregon parks to get major upgrades
With $50 million from state bonds, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department tackles upgrades next spring.
FreeOREGON NEWS Nov. 25
Panel of judges upholds Oregon congressional maps, dismisses gerrymandering claims
The ruling follows an earlier decision that redrawn legislative maps don’t unfairly favor Democrats.
FreeOREGON NEWS Nov. 24
House Republican leader Christine Drazan will run for governor
Christine Drazan of Canby plans to officially launch her campaign by the end of the year.
FreeSALEM CITY GOVERNMENT Nov. 23
Salem City Council chooses new ward boundaries that plan for future growth in west, south Salem
The new map will shift some Salem residents to new city council wards ahead of the 2022 election, when voters will weigh in on four council seats and the mayor’s race.
FreeSTATE POLITICS Nov. 22
Oregon Supreme Court upholds new state legislative districts
A separate challenge to new congressional districts must be decided by Wednesday.
FreeOREGON NEWS Nov. 18
Environment Commission issues historic mandate for cleaner trucks on Oregon roads
Truck manufacturers, who had opposed the rules, will need to begin to manufacture more electric vehicles and cleaner diesel trucks by 2025.
FreeOREGON NEWS Nov. 18
Oregon economic forecast: Higher wages drive state revenue, workers feel inflation
Portland is lagging the rest of the state in economic recovery as the Covid pandemic’s effects linger.
FreeOREGON NEWS Nov. 17
Oregon aims to bolster mobile mental health crisis units
State agency will use $1 million federal grant to help Oregon expand units responding to mental health crises.
FreeSALEM CITY GOVERNMENT Nov. 16
Mayor Chuck Bennett doesn’t plan to seek fourth term
The 73-year-old is about to enter his sixth year as mayor but said it’s time to step away. In his last year he hopes to push for a bond measure, more police officers and a better relationship with Cherriots leaders.
FreeOREGON NEWS Nov. 16
‘Sense of urgency’ in Oregon should follow passage of infrastructure bill, DeFazio says
The Oregon congressman expects the $1.2 trillion package to help drive up wages for American workers.
FreeOREGON NEWS Nov. 15
Oregon tenants urged to get bid in for state rent help before Dec. 1 cutoff
Gov. Kate Brown said she’s working with legislators on plans for a future special session.
FreeOREGON NEWS Nov. 9
A year after the 2020 election, Oregon county clerks still fighting back fraud allegations
Several legislators have added their voices to the chorus calling to investigate the 2020 election.
Nov. 8
AGENDA: Salem City Council meets Monday to consider new ward boundaries, body camera funding
FreeIN OREGON Nov. 8
Oregon transportation officials already at work planning to spend new billions
Oregon will have about 30% more for its bridge work because of the federal infrastructure bill. Potholes, too, will get more attention.
FreeOREGON NEWS Nov. 7
Democrats in Oregon delegation applaud infrastructure passage, lone Republican silent
The passage of the infrastructure bill on Friday means billions will flow to Oregon for roads, bridges, broadband and more.
FreeSTATE POLITICS Nov. 3
Restaurant tax coming to Cannon Beach, southern Oregon dam gets repair money in Tuesday’s vote
Most school, fire districts with taxing measures on Tuesday’s ballot won approval in the special election. One county considers a move to Idaho.
FreeOREGON NEWS Nov. 2
Salem Democrat Brian Clem becomes latest Oregon representative to resign
Clem announced Friday evening that he would leave the Legislature to care for his elderly mother.
FreeAROUND OREGON Oct. 29
Calvin Mukumoto selected as new state forester
He would lead the department following the departure of the former state forester over reports of mismanagement.
FreeAROUND OREGON Oct. 27
Governor's race gets more crowded as New York Times columnist jumps in
NIck Kristof, a native of Oregon who long worked as a columnist, on Wednesday made formal what was expected - he's running as a Democrat for Oregon governor.
Oct. 26
AGENDA: Marion County commissioners consider wildfire housing, contracts for storm debris removal
FreeAROUND OREGON Oct. 26
Two lawsuits challenge Oregon’s new legislative boundaries
One suit asks the Supreme Court to get rid of the Legislature’s plan entirely, while the other alleges Democrats punished one of their own.
FreeSTATE POLITICS Oct. 13
OREGON NEWS: Oregon Republicans sue over new congressional districts
Former Secretary of State Bev Clarno and three others allege maps are a Democratic gerrymander.
OREGON POLITICS Oct. 12
State Rep. Bill Post to resign at the end of November
With 15 months left in his current term, District 25 Rep. Bill Post announced Monday night that he would be resigning from his position effective Nov. 30 after moving to Nevada in late September.
FreeAROUND OREGON Oct. 8
OREGON NEWS: With lines still uncertain, congressional hopefuls slow to announce campaigns
OREGON NEWS: Oregon has a new district, but most candidates are waiting for lawsuits over redrawn boundaries.
OREGON POLITICS Oct. 8
State representative from Keizer sells house in district, moves to Nevada
OREGON NEWS: State Rep. Bill Post, who has represented District 25 since 2014, announced Sept. 27 that he had sold his house in Keizer and moved to Nevada. Post plans to continue in his role for now, but hasn't decided yet if he will resign in 2022.
STATE POLITICS Oct. 6
Salem gets new House seat on redrawn congressional district map
Redrawn congressional boundaries put Salem in the newly-created sixth district, Oregon’s only U.S. House seat with no incumbent. Two Portland-area Democrats have expressed interest in the seat, and Salem’s longtime state representative has stayed quiet on his plans.
FreeOREGON NEWS Oct. 6
Dr. Dean Sidelinger: Big-picture team player in Oregon public health
The state epidemiologist’s calm demeanor and untiring public safety message belie the toll of the pandemic
FreeSTATE NEWS Oct. 5
Oregon's rural counties on their own if Covid vaccine mandate causes staff shortages
Cities and counties are declaring emergencies, fearing the state’s vaccination deadline will cause teachers, health care workers and first responders to quit in droves. State officials say they can’t step in to help unless local governments are overwhelmed.
FreeOREGON POLITICS Oct. 5
Oregon governor’s race starting to take shape
Treasurer Tobias Read, House Speaker Tina Kotek and 2016 GOP nominee Bud Pierce are the biggest names in the open race so far.
OREGON POLITICS Sep. 29
Rep. Brian Clem says his “spirit is wounded” about state of politics as he plans to retire
The south Salem Democrat, who’s been in office since 2007, made a surprise announcement on the House floor Monday that he would not seek re-election. Clem, 49, made the decision to focus on being a caregiver for his mother, but said he hopes to re-engage in the city’s civic life in the future.
FEDERAL POLITICS Sep. 24
Rep. Schrader instrumental in shutting down drug cost reform bill
Congressman Schrader voted against a bill that would have allowed the government to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies for lower prescription drug costs. Schrader talked with the Keizertimes about his decision and his own bill that looks to address the issue.
Sep. 9
State Rep. Bill Post of Keizer will retire at end of term in 2022
STATE GOVERNMENT Aug. 12
State workers demand to bargain over Gov. Brown's vaccination mandate
Some 41,000 state employees, many of them working in Salem, are covered under Gov. Kate Brown's order that executive branch workers get a Covid vaccine. About 70% of state workers are already vaccinated, and unions said their members should have a say in the policy.
Jul. 27
Nearman pleads guilty for role in allowing demonstrators into Capitol
OREGON LEGISLATURE Jul. 20
Courtney, once fearing another walkout, said 2021 session helped every corner of Oregon
The veteran legislator from Salem has presided over the Oregon Senate since 2003, navigating increasingly harsh political rhetoric. But in an interview with Salem Reporter, state Sen. Peter Courtney gives high marks to what legislators from both political parties did for Oregonians in the 2021 session.
Jul. 12
AGENDA: Salem City Council to consider fireworks ban, land purchase for stream restoration
Jul. 12
Oregon Capitol reopens to the public, with tours resuming
SALEM LEGISLATORS Jul. 8
Blending ministry with policy, Sen. Deb Patterson finishes 2021 session with wins on health care affordability
New to the Oregon Legislature and to politics, Salem's Sen. Deb Patterson took on an unusual role for a freshman senator - chairing the Senate Committee on Health Care. Despite the challenges of Zoom hearings, she notched several significant legislative accomplishments, including a bill intended to lower prescription drug prices for Oregonians.
Jul. 7
Nearman staffer Anna Scharf will replace ousted representative in Salem
STATE GOVERNMENT Jul. 2
Here's what Salem area lawmakers say they accomplished during the 2021 legislative session
The Salem area will see an infusion of state cash to help with projects concerning homelessness, health care and wildfire recovery. Local lawmakers also touted bills aimed at improving higher education for disadvantaged students, reforming the state's emergency response system and improving access to medicine.
GOVERNMENT Jun. 29
Marion County plans to sign new three-year contract with garbage burner
The Marion County Board of Commissioners meets Wednesday to consider signing another contract with Covanta, the trash incinerator in Brooks. The new contract will shed some of the county’s costs, but also its revenues.
AROUND OREGON Jun. 28
Malheur Enterprise sues Ontario School Board for records leading to censures
Following a series of denied public records requests, the Malheur Enterprise has filed a lawsuit against the Ontario School Board with the goal of getting documents related to the investigations into board member Eric Evans and former board member Derrick Draper.
STATE HOSPITAL Jun. 22
State hospital authorizes up to $1.2 million to pay National Guard to care for patients
The number of nursing employees on leave because of Covid-related childcare problems has declined, but staffing shortages continue to plague the Oregon State Hospital. Thirty members of the National Guard will help with patient care through the end of July.
Jun. 16
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: Oregon legalizes human composting
STATE GOVERNMENT Jun. 14
Mike Nearman has been expelled from the Legislature. Here's what comes next
The Republican Salem area lawmaker was kicked out of the Legislature for letting demonstrators into the Capitol building last year. While residents of his district won't have a state representative for the session, they'll still have someone around to help. A process is already underway to pick his replacement.
Jun. 11
State Rep. Mike Nearman expelled from Legislature over involvement in Capitol riot
ON THE AIR Jun. 10
ON THE AIR: Saphara Harrell discusses where Salem will put 60,000 people
Listen for local news weekday mornings on community radio station KMWV (98.3 FM) with "In Case You Missed It - With Salem Reporter." One of our reporters joins radio station manager Lisa Walz to discuss a story or two of the day.
Jun. 10
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: Bill directing local governments to decriminalize homelessness passes Oregon Legislature
ON THE AIR Jun. 9
ON THE AIR: Jake Thomas explores the saga of state Rep. Mike Nearman
Listen for local news weekday mornings on community radio station KMWV (98.3 FM) with "In Case You Missed It - With Salem Reporter." One of our reporters joins radio station manager Lisa Walz to discuss a story or two of the day.
Jun. 7
Oregon legislative panel convened to consider expulsion of state Rep. Mike Nearman
Jun. 4
Bill would ban "vaccine passports" in Oregon
STATE GOVERNMENT Jun. 3
Demonstrators intentionally let into Capitol by state Rep. Mike Nearman, report finds
A report from an independent investigator hired by the Oregon Legislature to look into the Salem area lawmaker’s role in a Dec. 21 riot at the Capitol reveals new details about the incident. The report reveals how staff felt unsafe as demonstrators attempted to force their way into the Capitol building.
STATE GOVERNMENT May. 28
State hospital shifts managers to nursing work to get through holiday weekend
Oregon State Hospital leaders are relying on managers from other departments to cover nursing duties to get through Memorial Day weekend. They’ve still received no response on deploying the National Guard to aid with a staffing crisis, but the Oregon Office of Emergency Management is seeking civilians to help.
May. 28
Oregon legislative staff vote to unionize
OREGON GOVERNMENT May. 27
With thin staff and others working double shifts, state hospital calls for National Guard help
As a staffing crisis has worsened, Oregon State Hospital has increasingly mandated overtime for the employees caring for about 500 patients on its Salem campus. Since April 1, hospital employees were ordered on 546 occasions to work a total of 2,851 overtime hours.
STATE HOSPITAL May. 27
Oregon State Hospital situation ‘dire,’ National Guard asked to help staffing
The share of nursing staff on Covid-related leave at the state hospital in Salem has grown to an unprecedented 33%, prompting hospital administrators this week to seek help from managers in other state agencies and the National Guard.
May. 26
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: Bill closing vape loophole passes Oregon Legislature
HOMELESSNESS May. 25
Managed camps and new shelter options could be coming online soon as parks camping ends
Salem city officials during a meeting Monday night alluded to several shelter options that councilors will be asked to fund during June 14 meeting. They include managed camps run by Church at the Park and partially funding the purchase of a motel for shelter.
May. 24
LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: Bill that would count ballots after Election Day passes Oregon House
HOMELESSNESS May. 24
Camping in Salem parks could end after Monday night city council vote. But questions remain over timeline
The Salem City Council will vote on winding down homeless camping at two city parks during a meeting Monday night. Councilors have expressed concerns that unhoused people will return to living on downtown streets if camping abruptly comes to an end.