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Hill to Hall Jan. 28–Feb. 1

Jan. 28: Former Portland mayor joins Ted Wheeler’s team

Former Portland Mayor Sam Adams has officially rejoined City Hall under current Mayor Ted Wheeler’s administration, Wheeler announced on Thursday. Adams was brought on as the director of strategic innovations for the mayor’s office, according to OPB, and began work Monday. Previously, Adams had served as the chief of staff to another former mayor, Vera Katz, during her administration, before taking office himself in 2009. During his term, Adams was accused of having a sexual relationship with a legislative intern, who was a minor at the time. According to The Oregonian, prosecutors investigated the claim, but found it to be false and didn’t press charges. Adams then declined to run for a second term. 


Jan. 30: Oregon Senate bill would allow prisoners to vote

A new bill in the Oregon Senate seeks to allow Oregon prisoners to vote while incarcerated. If passed, the bill would make Oregon the third state—not counting Washington D.C., which has also passed a similar law—to do so. According to Willamette Week, the bill allows prisoners to vote in the county that they last lived in. The bill is sponsored by eight state senators, all of whom are Democrats. Oregon was one of the first states to restore voting rights to those with felonies, and is one of 18 states that automatically restore rights to vote after leaving prison. 


Feb. 1: Oregon officially becomes the first state to decriminalize drugs 

Measure 110 officially goes into effect Monday, making Oregon the first state to decriminalize hard drugs. Instead of being a criminal offense, the possession of small amounts of drugs—such as meth, heroin, LSD and others—will garner a civil citation and either a $100 fine or a health assessment for addiction counseling. According to AP News, the money for new addiction treatment centers formed under the new measure will come from the money Oregon earns from its legalized marijuana industry, diverting some of that money from other programs.