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.

Students in Oregon would learn more about the history and culture of the state's Native American tribes under a proposal being considered by state lawmakers.

Discussions are under way in Oregon's capitol over whether to change or delay implementation of a voter-approved ballot measure on high school education.

Oregon lawmakers are considering a measure that would ban the use of solitary confinement in Oregon Youth Authority facilities. Leaders of the agency testified in favor of the bill Wednesday.

Some Oregon farming groups want state lawmakers to allow counties to regulate or even ban genetically engineered crops. The legislature took away that right in 2013 during a special session. At the time, opponents of genetically engineered crops were told that a statewide policy would be forthcoming.

Oregon lawmakers are considering proposals aimed at making sure women are paid the same rate as men for similar work. Two measures were introduced this week.

A joint House and Senate panel of the Oregon Legislature is getting down to work this month on crafting a massive transportation funding package.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown issued an executive order Thursday meant to counteract President Trump's recent directives on immigration. The Democrat also announced a possible lawsuit against Trump’s actions.

The legal age to purchase and use tobacco in Oregon would rise from 18 to 21 under a measure under consideration in the legislature. A similar measure is under consideration in Washington state this year.

The 2017 session of the Oregon Legislature kicks off Wednesday. Talk of how to bridge a budget gap of roughly $1.8 billion will dominate this year's session.

And the answer to that question likely won't be known for months.

Oregon state Rep. Vic Gilliam, a Republican from Silverton who is battling ALS, announced Monday that he's stepping down. His resignation is effective Wednesday, the first day of the 2017 legislative session.

A Portland program meant to recruit more foster parents in Oregon is expanding statewide.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said it's not clear what effect President Trump's executive order on sanctuary cities will have on state government. But the Democrat said she's committed to protecting the human rights of undocumented Oregonians.

Legislative leaders in Oregon are reacting to President Trump's executive order that threatens to withhold federal funding from cities that don't enforce immigration laws.

The Oregon Department of Agriculture said it's recorded the largest Japanese beetle infestation in the state's history. But officials hope to stop the pest from spreading with an aggressive eradication program.

The chief budget-writers for the Oregon Legislature have released a spending proposal that includes cuts to state programs. The proposal issued Thursday outlines how lawmakers might bridge an expected budget gap.

On Friday morning, Donald Trump will become president of the United States. The backlash against his election was intense in places like Portland and Seattle -- cities that overwhelmingly voted for Hillary Clinton. But east of the Cascades, where support for Trump was widespread, opponents of the president-elect are working more quietly.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has declared a state of emergency for all of Oregon. It comes as communities around the state struggle with heavy snow and potential flooding.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown took the oath of office and delivered an inaugural address before a joint session of the Oregon Legislature Monday. In her speech, she signaled that she'll make a strong push toward getting a transportation funding package through the state legislature.

Members of the 2017 Oregon Legislature gathered in Salem Monday to take the oath of office. The five-month session kicks off February 1.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown will take the oath of office and deliver an inaugural address Monday.

Brown, a Democrat, became governor when John Kitzhaber resigned in February 2015. She was elected in November to serve the remaining two years of Kitzhaber's term.

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