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.

Secular groups could perform weddings under a measure up for a committee vote Monday in the Oregon legislature.

Oregon lawmakers gave final approval Thursday to a measure that would ban so-called conversion therapy for youth.

A measure that would require many Oregon employers to provide paid sick leave is poised to advance in Salem.

A bill that would require criminal background checks for private gun sales in Oregon is on its way to the governor's desk. The Oregon House narrowly passed the measure Monday.

An attorney for Cylvia Hayes told a judge in Salem Friday that the former Oregon first lady is a private citizen and should not be required to hand over her emails to the press.

Chris Lehman/Northwest News Network

Starting in July, adults in Oregon can legally use recreational marijuana.

But thousands of Oregonians will still have criminal records for marijuana offenses that would have been legal under the new law. Now, Oregon lawmakers are considering a proposal to wipe the slate clean for people convicted of certain marijuana offenses.

Details of the measure are still being negotiated but it's likely to apply only to people who did things that will be legal once the voter-approved Measure 91 takes effect.

The Oregon Supreme Court tossed out much of the state legislature's 2013 attempts to curb pension payouts to retired public workers.

Anyone who drives through Oregon knows that the state doesn't let people pump their own gas.

Convicted criminals in Oregon would not have to disclose their criminal history on job applications under a measure moving through the legislature.

An Oregon judge has proposed awarding a same-sex couple $135,000 in damages after a bakery refused to make a cake for their wedding.

Supporters and opponents of a measure that would require criminal background checks on private gun sales testified at the Oregon Capitol Wednesday.

State lawmakers are considering a measure that would ask voters in 2016 to approve limits on a campaign contributions.

Oregon lawmakers are rushing to beat a Tuesday deadline for legislation to advance. But there's an old saying around the state capitol: No bill is truly dead until the final gavel falls.

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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