Supporters of $337 Million Capitol Renovation "Appalled" That It's Not Happening: Updated

Veteran politicos angered at lawmakers' decision


The Oregon State Capitol Foundation, a nonprofit established to safeguard the building that houses the Legislature, governor, secretary of state and treasurer, is reacting angrily to news that lawmakers will not include money to begin a proposed $337 million seismic upgrade of the building. As WW reported in May, the price tag on the project has risen, and critics say that many other public buildings, ...   More
Friday, July 3, 2015 NIGEL JAQUISS

Oregon Legislature Democratic Leaders Call for Gov. John Kitzhaber to Resign

UPDATE: State Treasurer Ted Wheeler also calls for Kitzhaber's resignation


The leaders of the Oregon Legislature's Democratic caucuses are preparing to call for Gov. John Kitzhaber's resignation, three sources tell WW.Senate President Peter Courtney (D-Salem) and House Speaker Tina Kotek (D-Portland) are drafting a statement saying Kitzhaber's immediate resignation is necessary amid a growing influence-peddling scandal surrounding him and First Lady Cylvia Hayes.Courtney ...   More
Thursday, February 12, 2015 Nigel Jaquiss and Aaron Mesh

Sen. President Peter Courtney Wants to Dissolve Cover Oregon


Oregon's most senior lawmaker, Senate President Peter Courtney (D-Salem), who first won election to the Legislature in 1980, usually gets what he wants, especially with Democrats in control of both legislative chambers and the governor's office. Today, Courtney said he wants Cover Oregon, the state's scandal-plagued health insurance exchange, to disappear, and he will introduce legislation next year ...   More
Friday, September 5, 2014 NIGEL JAQUISS

Senate President Peter Courtney Talks Up $200 Million for School Seismic Retrofits

The announcement follows criticism of Courtney's $252 million plan to refit and remodel the State Capitol


In his race for re-election, Senate President Peter Courtney (D-Salem) has taken heat from his opponent for his push to proceed with a $252 million seismic upgrade and renovation of the Oregon Capitol. As WW has reported, Courtney’s plans could come at the expense of making more than 1,000 high-risk schools safe from earthquakes.Since that story, his Republican opponent, former Marion County Commissioner ...   More
Tuesday, August 19, 2014 KATE WILLSON

Port of Portland Rallying Support For CRC Hearing


Port of Portland lobbyist Annette Price convened a meeting of leading business lobbyists yesterday to plan strategy ahead of a Jan. 14 legislative hearing on the proposed Oregon-only Columbia River Crossing project. The Legislature's approval for the project has expired, and Gov. John Kitzhaber is hoping lawmakers will revive the CRC in the upcoming February legislative session.Price's email lays out ...   More
Thursday, January 9, 2014 NIGEL JAQUISS

Sen. President Courtney: No CRC Special Session


Senate President Peter Courtney (D-Salem) issued a statement today expressing his desire for hearings on the Oregon-only version of the Columbia River Crossing project championed by Gov. John Kitzhaber and House Speaker Tina Kotek (D-Portland). Courtney has been far less enthusiastic than the other two about the project since Washington lawmakers refused to match Oregon's $450 million contribution ...   More
Wednesday, October 16, 2013 NIGEL JAQUISS

Legislative Leaders Explain CRC Vote


Last night marked a giant leap forward for proponents of the $3.5 billion Columbia River Crossing project, which will include a new Interstate 5 bridge between Portland and Vancouver, an extension of light rail to Vancouver, a fix for five major freeway interchanges. Lawmakers on a special CRC committee voted 14-2 to move House Bill 2800 to the floor of both chambers for votes. The bill commits $450 ...   More
Tuesday, February 19, 2013 NIGEL JAQUISS

What Happens If Both Legislative Chambers Are Equally Divided?

Although last night's results are not final, it appears that Democratic super-majorities in both houses (36 to 24 in the House and 18 to 12 in the Senate) will morph into deadlocks in both chambers. The Oregon House has never before been deadlocked. The Oregon Senate has been tied 15-15 just two times since Oregon became a state (1957, 2003). In the 2003 legislative session, Republicans and ...   More
Wednesday, November 3, 2010 NIGEL JAQUISS

Legislature Heats Up ... With Bob Tiernan's Help

Judy Hall has worked in the Oregon Senate Secretary's office for 28 years but she says until Jan. 30, she'd never seen a conflict-of-interest complaint filed against a senator. "I like to think the Senate is a pretty civil place to work," says Hall, who became the Senate's secretary, or top administrator, in 1994. "This is the first complaint I remember seeing." But last Friday, Bob Tiernan, ...   More
Tuesday, February 3, 2009 NIGEL JAQUISS

Oregon Legislative Leaders at City Club Discuss Tax Increases and Saving Private Ryan

With an election battle likely over tax increases passed by the Oregon Legislature on corporations and the wealthiest state residents, four of the Legislature's most powerful lawmakers came to City Club of Portland today to discuss the session that wrapped up last month. Unsurprisingly, the Democrats defended the tax increases and Republicans attacked them in a precursor of the debate to come, ...   More
Friday, July 31, 2009 Aaron Mendelson


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