Capitol Currents

Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon. Chris Lehman is the Salem Correspondent for the Northwest News Network. Contact Chris at 503-689-1182 or clehman@opb.org. On Twitter @capitolcurrents.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

Backers of an initiative aimed at boosting Oregon's high school graduation rate submitted a final round of signatures Thursday to the Oregon Secretary of State's office.

Cacophony / Wikimedia - tinyurl.com/jk2a8tl

Oregon school districts are preparing to test for the presence of lead as a result of new rules proposed by Gov. Kate Brown. Members of the Oregon Board of Education Thursday signaled a desire to move quickly on the proposal.

Campaign photos

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said she won't debate her Republican challenger until September at the earliest. The incumbent Democrat's announcement Wednesday came days after she turned down an appearance at the traditional opening debate of the campaign season.

Shaundd / Wikimedia - tinyurl.com/jy9ukrb

Oregon schools could soon be required to test for the presence of lead in drinking water, paint and even dirt. That's according to a set of rules proposed Tuesday by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown. It adds to a list that already included radon and other chemicals.

National Weather Service

Oregon is getting some federal aid to help pay for damages sustained during a series of strong winter storms. The severe weather included strong winds and heavy rains that triggered flooding and mudslides over the course of two weeks last December.

Campaign photo

If it's an election year, Mark Callahan's name is probably on the ballot in Oregon. Since 2010, he's run -- and lost -- in races for county commission, school board, state House and U.S. Senate.

But this year, Callahan stunned political observers when he came out on top of a four-way contest to win the GOP nomination to face incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Ron Wyden this fall.

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

The old adage that every vote counts was especially true in Oregon this year. A tie in the Independent Party primary for a suburban Portland seat in the Oregon House was broken Friday with a roll of the dice.

Kevin Mooney / Northwest News Network

Not a single school district has told the state of Oregon how it plans to test for radon gas. Every district in the state is required to do so by September 1.

Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries

Oregon employers have new guidance from the state on how much to pay their employees when the state's minimum wage goes up next month. The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries released rules Wednesday meant to clear up one of the questions surrounding the legislatively-approved minimum wage hike.

Oregon Dept. of Forestry / Flickr - tinyurl.com/jn9gpkj

Four county governments in Oregon are still struggling enough that the state should continue to monitor their financial condition. That's according to a state audit released Tuesday.

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