"I'm delighted to meet you," Vladimir Putin tells Donald Trump, as they sit down for their first face-to-face meeting, a half-hour affair that has become the main event of the ongoing G-20 summit in Hamburg. Not much news yet about the substance of their chat.
So let's turn to the Oregon Legislature, which is convening this morning in hopes of gaveling this year's regular session to a close (though not ruling out a special session). The big news from the pell mell rush to go home yesterday: Legislators FINALLY passed a transportation package—something they'd been talking about since 2015, at least. Via gas tax hikes, increases to registration fees, and lots more, the new revenue package is supposed to raise $5.3 billion for transportation causes.
BikePortland has a rundown of some takeaways from the 167-page House Bill 2017. The site also notes the bill makes Oregon the first state in the nation to pass a tax on bicycle sales: $15 for new, adult bikes that cost more than $200. It's a controversial nod to the oft-spouted red herring that cyclists don't pay for road improvements.
What else in Salem? The legal age for buying tobacco is about to go up. I'm sure those kids won't get their grubby hands on smokes now!
The legislature's passage of law enshrining protection and funding for abortions and other reproductive health care is getting national attention.
Lawmakers also passed a law making it easier to take guns away from people in potential mental health crisis, and ensured that any vote on rolling back a $550 million health care "provider tax" will be held in January 2018—a source of considerable ire between Republicans and Democrats in Salem.
Moving on: A heartening story for once. A South Korean bike tourer visiting Portland had his bicycle stolen by some asshole or another. Locals are rallying to get him back on the road.
The O discovers that Oregon Department of Transportation officials don't take some relatively simple steps to see if contractors they hire for state work have spotty safety records.
A woman in Corvallis decided it was a good idea to fiddle with a bat that was acting erratically. It is not a good idea to fiddle with a bat that is acting erratically. You know where this is headed.
Kansas Sen. Jerry Moran—a possible Republican holdout in the effort to repeal and replace Obamacare—had the fortitude to hold a town hall yesterday, and heard a lot more reasons not to go with the Senate proposal.
And finally, people who work in national security are pretty sure the Trump Administration is monitoring everything they print out at work these days.
Summer: humming right along.