Economy

Oregon Economy
1:00 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Report On Pay Inequality In Oregon To Be Presented Monday

Credit Oregonlegislature.gov

State Senator Chris Edwards of Eugene authored and passed a bill last year to examine wage inequality in Oregon. He will present the results of the study tonight (Monday).

Senator Edwards believes dealing with income inequality is critical to boosting Oregon's economy. He says the new report is revealing. For example:

Edwards: "Even here in Oregon, women still only earn 79 cents for every dollar a man earns, for the same work, even though they have the same qualifications."

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Oregon Forest
7:46 am
Thu January 23, 2014

Oregon Truffles Reflect The Bounty Of Oregon

Kris Jacobson and her dog Ilsa
Rachael McDonald

Oregon truffles don't have the allure or high price-tag of their European cousins and have had a less than stellar reputation in the past. Local food advocates are trying to change that. The founder of the Oregon Truffle Festival says using dogs to search out the underground fungus can improve the quality of the truffles and he's researching ways to make them easier to find. Oregon truffles are gaining cache among chefs.

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Economy
2:02 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

The Loss Of Employment Benefits Makes A Tough Situation More Dire

Congressman Peter DeFazio met with unemployed Lane County residents at Worksource Lane in Eugene.
Credit Rachael McDonald

Oregon Congressman Peter DeFazio met with unemployed Lane County residents Wednesday at Worksource Lane in Eugene. He's frustrated with fellow lawmakers who allowed federal extended unemployment benefits to expire between Christmas and New Years.

Congressman DeFazio says in Oregon there are an average of at least 5 unemployed people applying for each open position.

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Transportation
5:00 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

RV Retail Industry Adapting To Changing Demographics

Credit Desmond O'Boyle

Lane County's RV industry was once thriving, until the Great Recession hit in 2008. Since then, major manufacturers have laid-off thousands of employees, scaled down production, and re-structured ownership. But, the retail industry is starting to see a comeback.

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Budget
4:40 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Tack Sale Hopes To Keep 4-H On Track

Credit KVAL News

Enrollment resumed for Lane County’s 4-H Program in October following a three year hiatus. The return of the *Tack Sale this Saturday (tomorrow/today) seeks to raise funds to keep the program going.

Lane County cut funding to its 4-H Extension Program in 2010. During that time, interested youth had to go to Benton County to participate. Program Coordinator Kate Hammarback says for the past three years, they’ve been gauging interest in bringing 4-H back to Lane County.
 

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Minimum Wage
4:05 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Senator Merkley Proposing $10.10 Minimum Wage

Senator Merkley speaks at Kiva Grocery in Eugene.
Credit Amanda Butt

Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley spoke to constituents outside Kiva Grocery in Eugene today (Friday) to talk about the country’s income gap. He hopes to fight growing inequalities with a couple of pieces of legislation.

Senator Merkley hopes to raise the federal minimum wage. He says he’s co-sponsoring a bill that would increase it to $10.10 an hour over two years. The law would also include a yearly cost of living increase, which the senator says is critical:

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Foreclosures
4:35 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

New Rules Slow Foreclosures In 2013

Credit oregonlive.com

For the forth consecutive month, court foreclosure filings decreased in 20 Oregon counties. The trend was a reflection of activity in 2013, but a swell in foreclosures might be ahead for this year. 

The Oregon Legislature passed changes to judicial foreclosures in August. That slowed down the process for lenders. Eugene based Gorilla Capitol purchases distressed real estate and tracks Oregon's home foreclosure market. CEO John Helmick says the changes include sending out "pre-foreclosure" notices to homeowners.

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Benefit Companies
3:13 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Oregon Exceeds Expectations For Benefit Company Registrations

Rogue Valley Creamery. One of the 29 businesses that registered as a Benefit Company on January 2, 2014.
Credit TripAdvisor.com

Environmentally sustainable or socially conscious companies in Oregon can now register as “Benefit Companies.” On the first day of the new law, the number of companies that enrolled exceeded projections.

Benefit companies, or B-Companies, are for-profit businesses that offer environmental or social benefits. The Oregon legislature passed House bill 2296 last year allowing B-Company registrations to begin January 2. Secretary of State Spokesman Tony Green says Oregon is the only state that allows both corporations and limited liability corporations to register as B-Companies.

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City of Eugene
5:43 am
Mon December 30, 2013

Six Scenarios to Solve Eugene Budget Shortfall

Credit City of Eugene

The City of Eugene Budget Committee has come up with six options to cope with a 3 million dollar shortfall anticipated in fiscal year 2015. They're hoping people will join the discussion at a series of public meetings in January.

Laura Illig is Chair of the City of Eugene budget committee. She says they considered a range of options for dealing with the shortfall and were able to narrow down the scenarios to 6.

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Labor and Wages
2:42 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

Oregon's Minimum Wage Set To Increase in 2014

Credit www.oregon.gov

Nearly 100,000 Oregonians will see an increase in their wages beginning January 1st. Those making the current $8.95 will soon be making $9.10 an hour.

Legislation passed in 2002 matches the State’s minimum wage to the Consumer Price Index. The increase is projected to generate more than $20 million in new economic activity. Charlie Burr is the Communications Director for Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries. He says most small business owners don’t complain about the increase.

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