Hill to Hall July 15–19

July 15 Oregon GOP files recall against Gov. Brown  

Due to a number of laws Governor Kate Brown passed in the 2019 legislative session, Chairman Bill Currier of the Oregon Republican party has filed to recall the governor, according to AP News. This included the recently passed bill that would allow undocumented immigrants to possess legal drivers licenses, according to OregonLive. Currier claims Oregon voters rejected a similar measure in 2014. If the organizers manage to gather at least 280,050 signatures from voters, then a special election could be scheduled in November. 

July 17 Oregon public employee unions negotiate pay raises 

After contract negotiations with public employee unions and the state, state workers have won an increase in pay up to 15% over the next two years, according to OregonLive. Advocates for the raise say it was necessary to keep Oregon attractive to workers as well as compensate for the state’s growing cost of living. OregonLive also reported that the state’s salary survey, conducted in 2018, suggests that Oregon is already competitive. Gov. Kate Brown supported the pay raise as part of her promise to support workers in foster care, transportation, public safety and health service professions, according to Statesman Journal.

July 17 Bill requires study on the influence of wifi in children 

Senate Bill 283 will require the Oregon Health Authority to look over scientific studies of the effects of microwave radiation in schools, including that of wireless internet. Sen. Laurie Monnes Anderson (D–Gresham), who sponsored the bill, faced criticism and mockery but insisted a study was necessary. If the OHA finds any evidence of harmful radiation, the bill also requires the Oregon Department of Education to respond, according to KDRV

July 19 Oregon ethics commission to investigate former PSU President 

The Oregon Government Ethics Commission voted to investigate former Portland State University President Rahmat Shoureshi, who resigned in May after 21 months in office. His resignation came after The Oregonian reported on his use of university funds and services for his own purposes as well as allegations of staff mistreatment. Shoureshi maintains he has done nothing wrong and has violated no ethics laws.