Senator Jeff Merkley

Bradley Parks / OPB

Oregon delegates continue to react to the occupation at the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Harney County. Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley was in Eugene Friday and said the occupation has been a tremendous cost to the State, and federal government because of the FBI time and local community expenses.

Desmond

Oregon Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley stopped by the Falling Sky Delicatessen in Eugene, Friday, to discuss retirement savings plans for small businesses.

Karen Richards

Both of Oregon's U.S. Senators were on the University of Oregon campus today (Monday) to hear from college students about how to deal with the rising cost of school. They called it a "listening session."

Tiffany Eckert

President Barak Obama is greeted by Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy at Mahlon Sweet Field Airport. Friday, October 9, 2015.Credit Tiffany EckertEdit | Remove

istock

A number of states have legalized medical and recreational marijuana, but it remains illegal in the eyes – and the laws – of the federal government. Senators from Oregon and Colorado say it's nearly impossible for marijuana businesses to access banks, which follow federal regulations. New legislation aims to ease the banking restrictions.

Corinne Boyer

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

Devil's Staircase
Rachael McDonald

Oregon U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley introduced a bill last week to expand wilderness in the state. The legislation has failed to pass 3 times in Congress.

The bill would designate more than 200 thousand acres of land as wilderness or national recreation areas. The bill creates the Devils Staircase Wilderness in the Oregon Coast Range southwest of Eugene. It also expands the Wild Rogue Wilderness. Josh Laughlin with the conservation group Cascadia Wildlands says he's hopeful public support can help get the bill passed this time.

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.

Tiffany Eckert

About forty percent of the children eligible for head start programs in Lane County can’t get in. Today (Tuesday), Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley visited a head start center in Eugene. While there, he criticized cuts to early childhood education in a recent U.S. senate budget.

At the Whiteaker Head Start Center a classroom of pre-kindergarteners welcome Senator Merkley with a song.

(kids and teacher sing:”Mr. Merkley’s here today! We’ll all clap our hands because Mr. Merkley’s here today!”)

Then, he sits in a little chair with a classic children’s book.

www.merkley.senate.gov

Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley will host town hall meetings in Benton, Linn, and Lane counties this weekend. The Senator visits each of Oregon's 36 counties every year, inviting residents to talk about their concerns and suggest ideas to bring to Congress. Merkley will also update residents on his work in Washington, D.C. He will visit Corvallis, Halsey, and Eugene on Saturday, March 14th. 

Details are on Merkley's website, here.

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