The next steps for Portland's bedeviled arts tax will be sketched out starting Wednesday, July 24, when city commissioners, at a city hall work session, are expected to examine four distinct scenarios for improving the $35-per-income-earner levy. One of those scenarios amounts to leaving it as is. Another would make modest changes. But two others would attempt to make the tax more progressive—taking Portlanders' incomes into account and, as a bonus, raising more money. Commissioners aren't sure how they're leaning, but one thing does seem clear: No one wants to monkey with the tax so much that it returns to voters. As of early this month, collections were more than a $1 million off target. DENIS C. THERIAULT

The US Department of Justice's civil rights case against the Portland Police Bureau—accused of using excessive force against people with mental illness—is now headed for a bench trial next summer. US District Judge Michael Simon had been hoping the city, the feds, the Portland Police Association (PPA), and the Albina Ministerial Alliance Coalition for Justice and Police Reform (AMA) would have agreed on a settlement agreement by last Thursday, July 18—in a case that's been developing since September 2012. The PPA, however, couldn't get on board, claiming changes in training and discipline and policy would unfairly affect its contract with the city. The city's agreement with the AMA is up for a council vote on Wednesday, July 24. DCT

TriMet, in its ongoing dispute with its operators' union over a now-expired contract, received some bad news on Friday, July 19: The Oregon Employment Relations Board (ERB) decided the transit agency broke state law. In a 47-page ruling, the ERB said TriMet went astray in two ways: by switching up its proposal for employee benefits changes too late during an arbitration over the agency's and union's competing contract proposals, and by attempting to stop paying into two employee funds—the Employee Assistance Program and the Recreation Trust Fund. TriMet has made worker benefits a top target as it endures budget challenges and service cuts. DIRK VANDERHART