Chris Lehman

Salem Correspondent

Chris Lehman covers the Oregon state capitol for JPR as part of the Northwest News Network, a group of 12 Northwest public radio organizations which collaborate on regional news coverage.  Chris graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He began his career producing arts features for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana and has been a reporter/announcer for NPR station WNIJ in DeKalb, Illinois. Chris has also reported from overseas, filing stories from Iraq, Burkina Faso, El Salvador, Northern Ireland, Zimbabwe and Uganda.

Chris is a native of rural Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. He was born in the upstairs bedroom of his grandmother's house, and grew up in a 230-year-old log cabin in the woods. Chris traces his interest in journalism to his childhood, when his parents threatened to take away his newspaper if he didn’t do his chores.

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Politics & Government
6:47 am
Mon April 20, 2015

Oregon Governor Supports Higher Minimum Wage

Oregon Governor Kate Brown said Friday that she supports a higher state minimum wage.
Office of the Governor

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 4:10 pm

The debate over whether to raise Oregon's minimum wage could be headed to the ballot.

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Transportation
6:46 am
Mon April 20, 2015

Oregon Governor Urges Action On Transportation Funding

Oregon Governor Kate Brown delivers her State of the State address at Portland City Club.
Allison Frost

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 5:13 pm

Oregon Governor Kate Brown wants to drive the issue of how to unclog traffic and fix decaying bridges back into the fast lane.

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NPR Story
5:49 pm
Tue April 14, 2015

Oregon Senate Approves Background Check Measure

Augustas Didzgalvis Wikimedia

Originally published on Tue April 14, 2015 4:27 pm

People who buy guns from private sellers in Oregon would have to clear a background check under a bill moving through the legislature.

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Politics & Government
9:46 pm
Fri April 10, 2015

Oregon Lawmakers Want To Ban Gas Vehicles From Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

An electric vehicle is charging up outside of the Oregon capitol.
Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

Originally published on Fri April 10, 2015 4:07 pm

We know it's illegal to park in a disabled parking spot if you don't have a permit. Now, some Oregon lawmakers want to make it a costly infraction to take a spot reserved for electric vehicles.

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Politics & Government
9:46 pm
Fri April 10, 2015

Oregon Lawmakers To Hear Minimum Wage Proposals

Chris Phan Flickr

Originally published on Fri April 10, 2015 5:03 pm

The battle over raising Oregon's minimum wage will take center stage in the state legislature Monday.

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Politics & Government
8:10 pm
Wed April 8, 2015

Oregon Lawmakers: No Food Stamps For Lottery Jackpot Winners

Beth77 Flickr

Originally published on Wed April 8, 2015 4:51 pm

Oregon lawmakers decided Wednesday to make it less likely for people who win big at the Oregon Lottery to keep getting public assistance.

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Environment
10:46 pm
Tue April 7, 2015

Oregon Lawmakers Hear Testimony On Tsunami Preparedness

A major Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake could cause catastrophic damage in the Pacific Northwest.
USGS

Originally published on Tue April 7, 2015 5:49 pm

Oregon lawmakers are turning their attention to earthquake and tsunami preparedness.

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Education
6:13 pm
Mon April 6, 2015

Oregon K-12 Budget Heads To Governor's Desk

Oregon lawmakers have approved a $7.3 billion education spending package.
Shaundd Wikimedia

Originally published on Mon April 6, 2015 4:54 pm

Oregon lawmakers have approved a plan to spend nearly $7.3 billion on public schools. The Oregon Senate voted Monday to send the measure to Democratic Governor Kate Brown.

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Politics & Government
9:33 am
Sat April 4, 2015

Oregon Governor's Office Releases Cylvia Hayes Emails

The Oregon Governor's office has released 94,000 emails that were sent to and from former first lady Cylvia Hayes.
Michael Clapp OPB

Originally published on Fri April 3, 2015 5:11 pm

Oregon Governor Kate Brown's office has released 94,000 emails that were sent to and from former first lady Cylvia Hayes.

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Education
4:20 pm
Fri April 3, 2015

Oregon Lawmakers Set To Sign Off On K-12 Budget

Wikimedia

Originally published on Fri April 3, 2015 3:28 pm

The Oregon Senate could give final approval Monday to a $7.3 billion spending plan for public schools.

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Education
7:22 pm
Thu April 2, 2015

Oregon Senate Votes To Lower 'Compulsory' School Attendance Age

File photo. The Oregon Senate voted to require six-year-olds to attend school.
Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Robert Stirrup US Navy

Originally published on Thu April 2, 2015 5:33 pm

The Oregon Senate voted Thursday to lower the age that children have to enroll in school from age seven to age six.

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Politics & Government
8:17 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

Oregon Lawmakers Hear From Public On Background Check Bill

Tensions ran high at a hearing about expanding criminal background checks for gun transactions. Here, a state trooper looks on as a member of the audience accuses committee chair Floyd Prozanski of favoring supporters of the measure.
Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 3:40 pm

Oregon lawmakers appear to moving ahead on a measure that would require criminal background checks on most private gun sales.

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Politics & Government
6:25 pm
Tue March 31, 2015

Oregon House Approves K-12 Budget On Party Line Vote

File photo of the Oregon House chamber. The Oregon House approved a $7.3 billion spending plan Tuesday.
Cacophony Wikimedia

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 4:06 pm

The Oregon House debated more than two hours Tuesday before voting to fund public schools.

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Travel & Transportation
5:45 pm
Mon March 30, 2015

Ridership Drops On Oregon Trains As Officials Ponder Funding Options

An ODOT sponsored Amtrak Cascades train pulls away from the station in Oregon City.
Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

Originally published on Mon March 30, 2015 5:32 pm

Passenger rail advocates came to the Oregon capitol Monday to ask lawmakers to preserve state support for Amtrak trains.

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Politics & Government
7:06 am
Mon March 30, 2015

Three Oregon Lawmakers File Initiative To Make English Official State Language

M.O. Stevens Wikimedia

Originally published on Fri March 27, 2015 3:04 pm

Three Republican state lawmakers filed an initiative petition this week to make English the official language of the state of Oregon.

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Politics & Government
9:04 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Firearm Background Check Bill Surfaces In Salem

A bill in the Oregon legislature would require criminal background checks for most private gun sales.
Augustas Didzgalvis Wikimedia

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 4:18 pm

Oregon lawmakers are gearing up for another round of debate over firearm regulations.

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Politics & Government
5:09 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Oregon Lawmakers Consider Stronger Confidentiality Laws For Rape Victims

Sexual assault survivor Brenda Tracy speaks with reporters following a rally at the Oregon state capitol in Salem.
Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 4:07 pm

Oregon lawmakers want to make it easier for survivors of sexual assault on college campuses to get the support they need.

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Politics & Government
5:08 pm
Wed March 25, 2015

Transportation Package Stalls In Oregon Legislature

Beaverton Mayor Denny Doyle inspects the underside of a bridge over Fanno Creek.
Chris Lehman Northwest News Network

Originally published on Wed March 25, 2015 3:04 pm

Oregon lawmakers came into the session revved up about the need for new revenue to pay for improvements to roads and bridges.

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Health
8:42 pm
Fri March 20, 2015

Oregon Blood Drives Could Soon Require More Medical Oversight

A bill in the Oregon House would require that a doctor or nurse to be on hand for all blood donations.
illinois-state-homecoming Flickr

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 4:47 pm

The Oregon House is set to vote Monday on a measure that would require a doctor or nurse to be on hand when you donate a pint of blood.

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Health
7:25 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

Oregon Lawmakers To Schools: Let Kids Use Sunscreen

Some Oregon school districts currently don't allow kids to use sunscreen because it's considered an over-the-counter drug.
Joe Shlabotnik Flickr

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 4:54 pm

Spring is just around the corner, and with it comes more opportunities to be outside. Oregon lawmakers want children to slather on the sunscreen when they hit the playground.

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