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

The chief budget-writers for the Oregon Legislature have released a spending proposal that includes cuts to state programs. The proposal issued Thursday outlines how lawmakers might bridge an expected budget gap.

Kevin Mooney / Northwest News Network

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has declared a state of emergency for all of Oregon. It comes as communities around the state struggle with heavy snow and potential flooding.

Office of the governor

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown took the oath of office and delivered an inaugural address before a joint session of the Oregon Legislature Monday. In her speech, she signaled that she'll make a strong push toward getting a transportation funding package through the state legislature.

Chris Phan / Flickr - tinyurl.com/juowxrh

Members of the 2017 Oregon Legislature gathered in Salem Monday to take the oath of office. The five-month session kicks off February 1.

Oregon House Democrats

This year's state legislature will be among the most diverse in Oregon history. Among the new crop of lawmakers is Teresa Alonso Leon, who immigrated from Mexico as a child and became a U.S. citizen just five years ago.

Oregon governor's office

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown will take the oath of office and deliver an inaugural address Monday.

Brown, a Democrat, became governor when John Kitzhaber resigned in February 2015. She was elected in November to serve the remaining two years of Kitzhaber's term.

Oregon Legislature

Oregon has a new state treasurer. Democrat Tobias Read took the oath of office Friday afternoon at the State Capitol. He replaces Ted Wheeler, who was term-limited and could not seek re-election.

Office of the Governor / Flickr

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown is looking for a new chief of staff heading into the 2017 legislative session. The governor's office announced Tuesday that Kristen Leonard will resign at the end of January.

W. Robert Howell / Flickr - tinyurl.com/jjyuhop

Two people were killed in separate traffic crashes in Oregon Tuesday. That means 2016 is now the deadliest year on Oregon's roads in more than a decade.

Harvey214 / Wikimedia - tinyurl.com/jn6yfcr

The new year means a new slate of 18 laws will take effect in Oregon. That's a relatively small number because the 2016 legislative session was just five weeks long. Most of the bills that were passed during the session have taken effect already.

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