Bend-La Pine School Board Discusses $500M Budget

Tonight the Bend-La Pine School Board met to discuss a potential $505 million budget

If passed, the budget would add 14 new staff positions within the district, half of which would be teachers in an effort to reduce class sizes and would include approving budgets for the new high school. $14 million from the budget will go towards the public employees retirement system, or PERS. The PERS budget is up nearly $5 million from last year due to ricing PERS rates across the state.

Regardless of whether or not the school board approves the budget at tonight’s meeting, the district doesn’t have a budget from the Oregon State Legislature, which could make things tricky for next year’s school board members if the state’s budget is lower than expected.

GOP Walkout Sparks Local Protests

Republican senators have been missing from the Oregon legislature for nearly a week after holding a walkout in response to House Bill 2020.

Both local democrats and republicans held rallies today in downtown Bend, each with opposite views on whether or not state senators should return to Salem to vote on the ‘Cap and Trade’ bill. The bill would require companies in the utility, transportation and industrial sectors to buy emission allowances to cover each metric ton of pollution that their operations emit.

Eleven republican senators left the state to deny democrats a quorum for a vote on the bill, but democrats say these senators were elected to represent more than a million Oregonians across the state and have a responsibility to return to the capitol to do just that.

On the other side republicans say the bill is useless and is just an excuse to raise taxes across the state. They’re also praising senate republicans for doing, what they say, “needs to be done.”

Senate President Peter Courtney did announce on the Senate floor this morning that the bill does not have enough votes to pass because not enough democrats support the bill.

Republicans could return to the capitol as early as Thursday but want confirmation that the bill will not pass before they return.

Kaylee’s Law in Action: Security Changes at COCC

Nearly three years after the death of a local bend woman, the Central Oregon Community College has begun implementing changes required by the law that bears her name.

Central Oregon Daily’s Anyssa Bohanan sat down with Bend Police Chief Jim Porter, who was outspoken about his criticism of the way COCC campus security operated in the past, about what he thinks of the changes.

Bend Police Fight to Stop Child Predators Online

Child luring cases in Deschutes County rose between 2017 and 2018, and half a dozen cases have already been charged this year.

Central Oregon Daily’s Anyssa Bohanan sat down with Bend Police to discuss the ways law enforcement is going after child predators online and how parents can protect their children from the worst-case scenario.

Red Cross Tackles Blood Donation Shortage with New Campaign

Only three out of over 100 people in the US give blood each year but the American Red Cross is looking to change that with a new campaign urging donors to donate some of the most needed blood types this summer.

Central Oregon Daily’s Anyssa Bohanan has more on this year’s “Missing Types” campaign and how you can help.

New Bill Would Require Permits for Deschutes River

A new waterway bill that’s passed both the Oregon State Senate and House, will require people using any non-motorized watercraft longer than ten feet to pay a fee to use them on the Deschutes River. That would include kayakers and stand up paddle boarders if they’re craft is over 10 feet in length.

Central Oregon Daily’s Anyssa Bohanan has the latest details.

District Attorney’s Office Plans Cuts

The Deschutes County Budget Committee has agreed to give more money to the Deschutes County District Attorney’s Office, but only enough for half the amount of staff that was originally asked for.

The six positions District Attorney John Hummel hopes to have filled by the end of the summer include two new attorney positions, administrative support positions, a victim’s rights advocate and an office manager.

However, three DA Office programs will be impacted by the new cuts, as well as a victim’s impact panel will end after the august session. Two of the biggest prosecution changes coming in July will be probation violations, which will now primarily be handled by probation officers rather than the DA’s Office, and misdemeanor driving while suspended charges, which will be handled primarily by law enforcement in traffic court.

Central Oregon Daily’s Anyssa Bohanan sat down with Hummel this afternoon and has more.