Oregon Gov. Kate Brown proposed a $23.6 billion budget on Wednesday, Nov. 3 for the 2019-2021 biennium, a 12.4 percent increase from the 2017-2019 budget during her first term. The budget suggested a $2 billion tax increase for a longer K-12 school year, as well as reduced class sizes and expansion of “technical education in high schools,” according to The Oregonian. The budget also suggests setting aside 200 million for state employee raises and 224 new jobs for child welfare caseworkers, supporting the recently re-elected governor’s platform on education and minority rights.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler proposed a “new policing pilot program” to City Council, slated for approval on Dec. 5, 2018. The Public Safety Support Specialists, known as PS3s, will be unsworn, unarmed officers responsible for responding to non-emergency calls such as property crimes and break-ins, according to Wheeler. Wheeler cut the Mounted Police Program in 2017 to raise funds for a non-sworn force in Portland. City Council has set a deadline of Jan. 1, 2019 to implement the PS3s, though the Portland Police Bureau said none of the officers will have been hired by that time.
President Donald Trump’s former lawyer and advisor, Michael Cohen, admitted to lying to the United States Senate about the negotiation of a tower in Moscow during the 2016 presidential election on Nov. 29. In August, Cohen pled guilty to violating federal campaign finance laws in front of the Senate. Cohen previously said plans for the Moscow tower did not extend into the beginning of Trump’s campaign, but now contradicts that statement. “I had asserted that all efforts concerning the project had ceased in January of 2016 when, in fact, they had continued through June of 2016,” he said. Cohen stated the prior false statements were “consistent with [Trump’s] political messaging.”
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security on Nov. 30 formally requested an extension to the mission of “active-duty troops on the southwest border” through January, according to the New York Times. The request, sent to the Pentagon, would require Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to sign off on an extension to the presence of U.S. Troops on the U.S.–Mexican border through the holiday season. As reported by The Washington Post, Mattis defended border deployment earlier in November by claiming the executive order made by President Donald Trump was a “moral and ethical mission to support our border patrolmen.”