Politics & Government

Politics & Government

Chris Kirzeder/Alzheimer's Association.

Funding for caregiver training and networking has been preserved in the recently concluded Oregon legislative session.

Rachael McDonald

The Eugene City Council Monday decided to put a 5-year property tax levy on the November ballot to fund expanded library services.

The $2.7 million levy would add back hours to Sunday mornings at the downtown library. It would also restore 22 hours a week at the Bethel and Sheldon branches.

City of Eugene

Student housing projects will no longer be eligible for a property tax waiver in Eugene.

The City Council suspended MUPTE or the Multi-Unit Property Tax Exemption a couple of years ago after granting the waivers to two large student housing projects near downtown.

Rachael McDonald

All Oregon school districts now have access to funds allowing them to purchase locally grown food. The Oregon Legislature voted to provide an additional 3.3 million dollars to the Farm to School Program.

Eighty percent of the total funding will be accessible for any school district to buy food. The rest will be part of a competitive grant program for farm, food and garden based education.

Farm to School program director Megan Kemple says some Lane County schools currently participate in farm education programs.

Oregon Democrats Choose New Majority Leader

Jul 9, 2015
statesmanjournal.com

In a caucus election held Thursday the party chose Representative Jennifer Williamson from Southwest Portland.  The post has been held for the past 4 years by Junction City Democrat Val Hoyle, who stepped aside to explore a bid for Oregon Secretary of State, which comes up for election in 2016.  Williamson takes over the Majority Leader position August 1st.

Corinne Boyer

Oregon’s US Senator Jeff Merkley was in Eugene on Tuesday to discuss a study which measured human exposure to toxic chemicals.

Cannabis Industry Flexes Its New Political Muscle

Jun 25, 2015
Alan Sylvestre / OPB

As the marijuana industry grows around the county, its political clout is growing, too. For members of Congress who are constantly fundraising, the industry offers new, high yield donors. But it also raises questions about the money’s source and what those donors expect in return.

It was a classic political fundraiser -- semi-formal, with chicken, potatoes and salad on the menu.

Three hundred plus donors sipped gin cocktails and Oregon pinots at the Left Bank Annex on Portland's East Side earlier this month.

Recorded on: June 19th, 2015

Air Date: June 22nd, 2015

Most states, including Oregon, elect judges to serve on all of their courts. There are, however, those who suggest that the electoral process has problems. When judges must solicit campaign contributions from lawyers who could appear before them it can create the appearance of impropriety.

columbiariverreview.com

Oregon U.S. Senator Ron Wyden pushed for increased and long term highway funding during an address to a congressional committee, last week.

A recent report from the American Society of Civil Engineers asserts the U.S. needs to invest 3.7 trillion in infrastructure by 2020 just to reach satisfactory conditions. Senator Wyden accused Congress of limping from one short term funding package to another without a long term solution.

Kari Greer / U.S. Forest Service

The federal government is one step closer to changing the way it pays to fight wildfires. Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley said the preliminary legislation was approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee Thursday.

Wildfires are not treated the same as other natural disasters, such as floods and hurricanes. This forces the U.S. Forest Service to take money intended for fire prevention efforts, like thinning, and use it to fight fires. Under the new system, Senator Merkley explains the wildfire budget would be based on the 10-year average cost.

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