Morning Roundup

Equal Pay Act progresses, 86,000 Medicaid recipients deemed ineligible and proposed bill could legalize public marijuana consumption.

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Legislature approves equal pay bill

The bill requires compensation decisions to be based solely on job-related factors, the Statesman Journal reports. The bill was deemed necessary after a study found women in Oregon are only paid 82 cents for every dollar men earn. The bill, known as the Oregon Equal Pay Act, also bans screening of job applicants based on salary history. It strengthens wage discrimination penalties and creates a method for workers with pay disparity to act.

Secretary of State says 86,000 Medicaid recipients may not be eligible

The average monthly cost is $430 per person, or $37 million a month paid to ineligible Oregonians. Sec. Dennis Richardson revealed the program flaw as an example of cost savings within the budget, the Statesman Journal reports. With limited time remaining to fix the $1.6 billion deficit, Oregon Republicans are demanding a review of the program to save money. 

Bill seeks to legalize public marijuana consumption 

The original bill allowed indoor cannabis cafes and provided an option to license an event where marijuana is consumed on site. The now watered down bill allows licensed retailers to create a specified consumption area on site, the Bend Bulletin reports. The bill has the support of Portland’s Mayor Ted Wheeler and Commissioner Chloe Eudaly, who champion the tourism benefits of allowing social consumption outside of the home.

Forth unveils new EV showroom

The venue is part of a larger effort to transform mobility in the Northwest, says executive director Jeff Allen. The downtown facility opened yesterday.

Portland launches new parking meter app — featuring cats

The mobile app, known as Parking Kitty, allows users to pay for street parking via phone instead of using the curb-side kiosks, the Oregonian reports. Why cats? Portland wants to make the app memorable by capitalizing on Portlanders’ love of felines.

Willamette Angels doles out $1 million to startups 

The Corvallis conference invested $1 million in five different startups, as well as $200,000 to new investment fund W2 Fund, the Portland Business Journal reports. This is the second year Willamette Angels has been able to hit the $1 million mark.

Oregon at Work — Isis Harris

Check out the fifth installment of our video series featuring an electrical apprentice.