ON THURSDAY, MARCH 7, Commissioner Amanda Fritz's push for paid sick leave in Portland is set to inch a bit closer toward approval. Commissioners are expected to debate an amended version of a proposal Fritz first put forward in January and possibly add some revisions of their own. Fritz's initial plan was already worked over by a labor and business task force, whose members argued for making workers wait longer before qualifying for sick time, among other changes. But the guts are the same: up to 40 hours of sick leave per worker, a first in Oregon. The hearing, expected to be a long one, starts at 3 pm. A vote won't happen until later this month. DENIS C. THERIAULT


A week after the Oregon House of Representatives threw in overwhelmingly for the state's $450 million share of the Columbia River Crossing I-5 bridge over the Columbia, the state Senate joined the lower house with a less impressive 18-11 vote on Monday, March 4. The funding legislation for the $3.5 billion highway project—derided by critics as an environmental and financial boondoggle, and dogged by dubious numbers and insider politics—now heads to the welcoming arms of Governor John Kitzhaber. DCT