Hill to Hall: Jan. 2–7

Jan. 2: Oregon’s only women’s prison grants tampons to inmates

Coffee Creek Correctional Institution, Oregon’s only women’s prison, now gives tampons to inmates who request them. Previously, only sanitary pads were provided for free, with tampons only available in limited brands at the prison commissary for premium prices. A federal policy is in place to provide both products to incarcerated inmates who require them, but it is not applicable to states, making Oregon one of the only states to offer tampons for free, according to The Oregonian.The Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association will begin to offer tampons to those in custody in county jails.

Jan. 4: No end in sight for government shutdown, president announces

After a resolution to end the government shutdown passed by majority in the House on the first day of the new congressional session but stalled by Republicans in the Senate, President Donald Trump announced parts of the government could be shut down for “months or even years,” according to Associated Press. Washington Post reports the government shutdown initiated on Dec. 21st affects 400,000 workers across six departments, including the departments of Homeland Security, Justice and Agriculture. Currently over 400,000 federal employees are going without pay, with one government agency sending out form letters furloughed workers could use to explain to landlords, creditors and mortgage companies why they were unable to pay their bills.

Jan. 4: Portland Mayor’s Chief of Staff resigns

Michael Cox, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler’s chief of staff, resigned on Friday. His duties ended on Jan. 7, 2019, with Deputy Chief of Staff Kristen Dennis taking on his role in the interim. News of Cox’s resignation follows his disclosure of a relationship with a subordinate, as reported by The Oregonian on Dec. 15. According to a memo sent to the mayor from City Attorney Tracy Reeve, the relationship did not “violate [Portland]’s human-resource rules.”

Jan. 7: Women to hold landmark majority of elected offices in Oregon state legislature
A majority of statewide elected executive offices will be held by women for the first time in Oregon history, according to an announcement from the office of Oregon Gov. Kate Brown on Jan. 4. When Val Hoyle, previous Oregon House Representative D–Eugene, is elected labor commissioner on Jan. 7, three of five executive offices will be held by women. Sworn in by Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum and Gov. Brown, Hoyle will be responsible for responding to the results of an investigation released Thursday that found evidence of sexual harassment in the Oregon State Capitol.