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.

The future of a possible corporate tax hike is in doubt at the Oregon Capitol after a flurry of activity Monday yielded no progress on the issue.

As Oregon lawmakers continue to debate whether to change the way the state taxes businesses, some public employee unions are threatening to take the question to voters.

It's part of a battle at the State Capitol over how to bridge a $1.4 billion budget gap.

CHRIS LEHMAN / NORTHWEST NEWS NETWORK

A proposed $8 billion transportation spending package in Oregon includes a tax on the sale of bicycles. It's a funding idea that's often talked about but has rarely been implemented nationwide.

SHAUNDD / WIKIMEDIA - TINYURL.COM/JY9UKRB

A measure aimed at protecting Oregon renters is moving ahead in the State Capitol. But not before lawmakers took out a portion aimed at slowing the rise of rent.

A proposed $8 billion transportation spending package in Oregon could include a tax on the sale of bicycles. It's a funding idea that's often talked about but has rarely been implemented nationwide.

Several Oregon lawmakers hailed the victims of Friday's stabbing on a Portland light rail train as "heroes."

Two people died and a third was seriously injured when they intervened to protect two teenage girls from a man making threatening, racist comments.

Oregonians could be getting a kicker when they file their taxes next year. State economists said Tuesday that revenues for the current budget cycle are on track to exceed projections by a wide enough margin to trigger Oregon's unique kicker law.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown's Office/Flickr

The Federal Emergency Management Agency turned down a request by Oregon for relief funds to assist farmers and other people hard hit by winter storms.

The May revenue forecast is a critical piece of information for lawmakers as they decide how to spend taxpayer dollars during the next two-year budget cycle.

Supporters of a proposal to cover the medical costs of all Oregon children rallied at the state Capitol Friday. A pair of bills under consideration in Salem—HB 2726 and SB 558—would extend Oregon Health Plan coverage to include kids who are in the country illegally.

The Oregon Supreme Court will be majority female for the first time in the state's history starting next month. That distinction will come when Rebecca Duncan takes her seat next month.

The Oregon Department of Human Services will have a new director this fall. Gov. Kate Brown announced Friday that she's appointing the head of another state agency to take the helm at DHS.

Oregon lawmakers are expected to reveal details Monday of a proposed transportation funding package. The initial roll-out will almost certainly be a first draft. The final version, if approved, will reflect a dizzying mix of competing priorities for precious transportation dollars.

Oregon House Democrats pitched a plan to overhaul the way the state taxes businesses Thursday. The proposal is part of an effort to bridge a $1.6 billion shortfall in the upcoming budget.

Oregon lawmakers are trying to clear out a huge backlog of bills awaiting votes. Ahead of Wednesday's floor sessions, the House and Senate had a combined 84 measures awaiting action.

Oregon lawmakers are one step closer to banning the use of all handheld electronic devices while driving.

The Oregon House approved a measure Monday that would clarify that the state's ban on cell phone use while driving applies to all functions of a smart phone, not just texting and talking.

Oregon Supreme Court Justice David Brewer will step down at the end of June. He will become the second judge on Oregon's highest court to resign this year.

Oregon lawmakers have unveiled a proposed business tax that’s meant to help bridge a $1.6 billion budget shortfall.

The new tax would be a “gross receipts tax,” and would replace the existing corporate income tax. Unlike an income tax, the gross receipts tax would be levied on a company’s overall sales, not its profits.

Oregonians could petition a court to revoke the gun rights of a household member in crisis under a bill approved Monday in the Oregon Senate.

Red-light cameras in Oregon could soon be also nabbing drivers for speeding. The Oregon House could vote as soon as Monday on a bill that would allow cities to use the cameras to issue speeding tickets.

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