A group of volunteer advisors to the Oregon Health Authority has voted Tuesday to make the state the third in the nation to seek federal approval for a basic health program.
Oregon is seeking fed approval for a basic health program. Learn more here.
OHA advisors say yes to free health care for adults at 138-200% of the poverty level
Photo Credits: The emergency wing of the Legacy Good Samaritan Medical Center in Northwest Portland on July 28, 2023. Caden Perry / OPB
Oregon’s new paid family leave program begins in September. Learn more here.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Why it matters: Lack of paid family leave often forces workers to choose between paying the bills and caring for a loved one.
State of play: The program allows employees to take up to 12 weeks of paid time off to care for a new child, a seriously ill family member or their own health or personal safety. It will cover the entire paycheck of a minimum wage worker and scales down as income climbs.
- Oregon is now one of a dozen states where most workers will have this benefit regardless of employer.
- It’s one of five that include “affinity” relationships in the definition of family.
How it works: Both employees and employers have been paying into the Paid Leave Oregon fund since the beginning of this year. Sept. 3 is the earliest that benefits can start.
Gov. Kotek signed bills that will address Oregon’s mental health. Learn more here.
KGW8, SALEM, Ore. — Gov. Tina Kotek vowed to make meaningful strides for behavioral health in Oregon on Tuesday. She signed into law six bills that aim to strengthen the state’s response to mental health and substance abuse issues.
“The bills I am signing mark progress towards building a behavioral health continuum of care that incorporates harm reduction, suicide prevention, stronger tools against substance abuse among youth and adults, and improvements to the implementation of Measure 110,” Kotek said to a group of lawmakers and advocates.
Among the bills signed into law, two focus on preventing overdose deaths. House Bill 2395expands the access of short-acting opioid overdose reversal medications like Narcan and naloxone, making them more readily available in public buildings, stores, police departments and schools.
The second bill, Senate Bill 1043, requires hospitals, sobering and detox facilities to provide two doses of opioid overdose reversal medication to patients when they’re discharged.
“The goal is to help people be healthy and stay alive,” Kotek said.
Then there’s the bill to fix issues with Measure 110, or HB 2513. The governor’s office said it will strengthen Measure 110 by increasing staffing and improving application processes to speed up approval and get funds out the door, centralizing the support hotline to get people connected to services more efficiently, and improving program data collection and accuracy.
Portland police prevented 138,000 fentanyl pills from hitting the streets in a recent bust. (Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office)
Deputies in Oregon made the largest fentanyl bust in their county history last week, seizing tens of thousands of pills and powder packed into gallon-sized plastic bags, authorities said.
The bust happened Tuesday as investigators were watching a wanted person in Portland’s Goose Hollow neighborhood, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office said. Deputies took the person into custody “at the opportune time” after watching him walk to a vehicle.
Deputies with the sheriff’s Special Investigations Unit obtained a search warrant for the individual’s car and apartment, finding gallon-sized plastic bags stuffed with fentanyl pills and fentanyl powder, a manual-operated pill press, a commercial grade pill press, $5,000 in cash and a stolen handgun, the sheriff’s office said.
The bags held approximately 58,000 individual fentanyl pills and 16 pounds of fentanyl powder, according to authorities.
Deputies determined that 10 of the 16 pounds of powder was ready to be pressed into an estimated 50,000 pills using the machines. The remaining six pounds of powder, which would have yielded about 30,000 additional pills, was meant to be sold in powder form, officials said.
In total, deputies estimate that their effort prevented approximately 138,000 pills from hitting Portland-area streets. The combined street value of the seizure was estimated to be between $320,000 and $400,000.
The minimum wage is set to increase July 1st. Learn more here.
PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Anyone who works a minimum wage job in Oregon will get a raise starting July 1.
In all parts of the state, the minimum wage will increase. However, in Oregon, the minimum wage is not equal across the state.
Oregon’s minimum wage is divided into three areas: the Portland metro area, the “standard” area, and the non-urban area.
In the Portland metro area, minimum wage will top $15 per hour for the first time. On July 1, 2023 it will jump from $14.75 to $15.45 per hour.
The standard minimum wage will increase from $13.50 to $14.20.
The non-urban minimum wage will increase from $12.50 to $13.20.