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.

A new report Thursday from the Oregon Secretary of State says lax enforcement has allowed hundreds of de facto casinos across the state. Non-tribal casinos are banned by the state constitution.

The state of Oregon is getting ready to send $402 million back to taxpayers. State economists Wednesday announced the first so-called kicker rebate since 2007.

The state of Oregon has stopped taking applications for permits to grow industrial hemp. The Oregon Department of Agriculture said the suspension will last until at least next spring.

Oregonians could buy recreational marijuana from stores starting in October under a measure approved Thursday by the Oregon House.

Oregon's legislative session opened in January with words of hope and optimism from Governor John Kitzhaber. But when the final gavel falls, Kitzhaber won't be among those celebrating at the capitol.

Recreational marijuana will be legal in Oregon starting July 1. And with it comes a host of new business opportunities.

July 1 will be a big day in Oregon for adults who like to use marijuana. That's when the state's voter-approved legalization of recreational pot takes effect.

Oregon lawmakers are moving ahead with a plan that would change the way recreational marijuana is taxed.

Efforts to raise Oregon’s gas tax this year appear to have fizzled out in the legislature.

Oregon drivers could pay an additional four cents per gallon in state taxes. That's part of a massive transportation package unveiled Wednesday by Oregon lawmakers.

An Oregon legislative panel has signed off on a plan that would ensure the state's passenger rail service will run at least two more years along the I-5 corridor.

Cigar smokers in Oregon could soon have to pay more in taxes.

Oregonians could be able to buy marijuana for recreational use much sooner than anticipated.

Oregon farmers could soon be more likely to use a mediator to help settle their disputes with neighboring farmers.

Recreational marijuana will soon be legal to use in Oregon and the state Tuesday unveiled a public education campaign meant to help people understand the new law.

Chris Lehman/Northwest News Network

When you buy gas for your car, you're paying a flat, per-gallon tax. But Oregon is starting a new program July 1 that would change things.

Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek said she thinks the state's minimum wage should rise to $13 per hour.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed into law Monday the first ethics bill to reach her desk since she took office in February.

Oregon will become the first state in the nation to let patients get up to a year's worth of prescription birth control at a time.

Oregon state Rep. Knute Buehler, R-Bend, has introduced a measure that would try to protect government whistleblowers.

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