Oregon State Legislature
|Oregon State Legislature|
|2015 session start:||February 2, 2015|
|Website:||Official Legislature Page|
|Senate President:||Peter Courtney (D)|
|House Speaker:||Tina Kotek (D)|
|Majority Leader:|| Diane Rosenbaum (D) (Senate),|
Val Hoyle (D) (House)
|Minority Leader:|| Ted Ferrioli (R) (Senate),|
Mike McLane (R) (House)
|Members:||30 (Senate), 60 (House)|
|Length of term:||4 years (Senate), 2 years (House)|
|Authority:||Art IV, Oregon Constitution|
|Salary:||$21,936/year + per diem|
|Last Election:||November 4, 2014 |
15 seats (Senate)
60 seats (House)
|Next election:||November 8, 2016|
|Redistricting:||Oregon Legislature has control|
- 1 Sessions
- 2 Ethics and transparency
- 3 Senate
- 4 House of Representatives
- 5 History
- 6 Legislators
- 7 Joint Legislative Committees
- 8 Decommissioned Joint Committees
- 9 See also
- 10 External links
- 11 References
The legislature is a citizens' assembly (meaning that most legislators have other jobs.)
As of May 2015, Oregon is one of 7 Democratic state government trifectas.
Article IV of the Oregon Constitution establishes when the Legislature is to meet. Section 10 of Article IV states that the Legislature will meet in regular session once every two years. The section goes on to establish starting dates for these sessions, but these dates have been changed by law (as the section allows). Under current law, sessions convene on the second Monday in January of all odd years.
Section 10 of Article IV also requires the presiding officers of both legislative houses to convene an emergency session of the Legislature when a majority of the members of each house request an emergency session.
- See also: Dates of 2015 state legislative sessions
In 2015, the Legislature will be in session from February 2 through July 11 (Projected).
Major issues in the 2015 legislative session include raising the minimum wage, a transportation package to fix roads and bridges, environmental legislation on the state's low-carbon fuel standard and funding education.
- See also: Dates of 2014 state legislative sessions
In 2014, the Legislature was in session from February 3 through March 10.
Major issues in the 2014 legislative session included marijuana, gun control, liquor in grocery stores, the environment, health, the budget, Oregon Lottery reform and the Columbia River Crossing project.
- See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions
In 2013, the Legislature was in session from February 4 to July 9.
- See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions
In 2012, the Legislature was in session from February 1 through March 6.
- See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions
In 2011, the Legislature was in session from February 1 through June 30.
- See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions
Role in state budget
- See also: Oregon state budget and finances
- Budget instruction guidelines are sent to state agencies from February through May in the year preceding the start of the new biennium.
- State agencies submit their budget requests to the governor in September.
- Agency hearings are held from September through November.
- The governor submits his or her proposed budget to the state legislature in December.
- From January through June, the legislature debates and then adopts a budget. A simple majority is required to pass a budget. The biennium begins July 1.
The governor is legally required to submit a balanced budget proposal. Likewise, the legislature is legally required to pass a balanced budget.
The Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative released a report in July 2013 indicating that cost-benefit analysis in policymaking led to more effective uses of public funds. Looking at data from 2008 through 2011, the study's authors found that some states were more likely to use cost-benefit analysis, while others were facing challenges and lagging behind the rest of the nation. The challenges states faced included a lack of time, money and technical skills needed to conduct comprehensive cost-benefit analyses. Oregon was one of 29 states with mixed results regarding the frequency and effectiveness in its use of cost-benefit analysis.
Ethics and transparency
Following the Money report
- See also: "Following the Money" report, 2014
The U.S. Public Interest Research Group, a consumer-focused nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., released its annual report on state transparency websites in April 2014. The report, entitled "Following the Money," measured how transparent and accountable state websites are with regard to state government spending. According to the report, Oregon received a grade of A- and a numerical score of 93.5, indicating that Oregon was "leading" in terms of transparency regarding state spending.
Open States Transparency
The Sunlight Foundation released an "Open Legislative Data Report Card" in March 2013. Oregon was given a grade of C in the report. The report card evaluated how adequate, complete and accessible legislative data was to the general public. A total of 10 states received an A: Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Kansas, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington.
The Oregon State Senate is the upper house of the Oregon Legislative Assembly. There are 30 members of the State Senate, representing 30 districts across the state. Each member represents an average of 127,702 residents, as of the 2010 Census. After the 2000 Census, each member represented 114,047. Each Senate district is composed of exactly two House districts: Senate District 1 contains House Districts 1 and 2, SD 2 contains HD 3 and HD 4, and so on.
Oregon State Senators serve four year terms without term limits. In 2002, the Oregon Supreme Court struck down the decade-old law, Oregon Ballot Measure 3 (1992), that had restricted State Senators to two terms (eight years) on procedural grounds.
Like certain other upper houses of state and territorial legislatures and the federal U.S. Senate, the State Senate can confirm or reject gubernatorial appointments to state departments, commissions, boards, and other state governmental agencies.
Oregon, along with Arizona, Maine, and Wyoming, is one of the four U.S. states to have abolished the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, a position which for most upper houses of state legislatures and indeed for the U.S. Congress (with the Vice President) is the head of the legislative body. Instead, a separate position of Senate President is in place, removed from the Oregonian executive branch.
The latest elections for the Oregon State Senate occurred on November 7, 2006. 15 of the Senate's 30 seats were open for election. The Democratic Party retained their majority, with no loss or gain of seats for any party. Shortly after the 2006 election, Senator Ben Westlund, whose seat was not up for election in 2006, announced his party change from Independent to the Democratic Party. His switch resulted in the current make-up of 18 Democrats, 11 Republicans and 1 Independent.
|Party||As of May 2015|
House of Representatives
The Oregon House of Representatives is the lower house of the Oregon Legislative Assembly. There are 60 members of the House, representing 60 districts across the state. Each member represents an average of 63,851 residents, as of the 2010 Census. After the 2000 Census, each member represented 57,023.
|Party||As of May 2015|
Partisan balance 1992-2013
Oregon State Senate: From 1992-2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the Oregon State Senate for 12 years while the Republicans were the majority for eight years. Oregon was under a Democratic trifecta the final year of the study.
Across the country, there were 541 Democratic and 517 Republican state senates from 1992 to 2013.
Oregon State House of Representatives: From 1992-2013, the Democratic Party was the majority in the Oregon State House of Representatives for five years while the Republicans were the majority for 15 years. Oregon was under a Democratic trifecta for the final year of the study.
Across the country, there were 577 Democratic and 483 Republican State Houses of Representatives from 1992 to 2013.
Over the course of the 22-year study, state governments became increasingly more partisan. At the outset of the study period (1992), 18 of the 49 states with partisan legislatures had single-party trifectas and 31 states had divided governments. In 2013, only 13 states had divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.
SQLI and partisanship
The chart below depicts the partisanship of the Oregon state government and the state's SQLI ranking for the years studied. For the SQLI, the states were ranked from 1-50, with 1 being the best and 50 the worst. Oregon had Democratic trifectas from 2007-2010 and again in 2013. The state's lowest SQLI ranking, finishing 39th, occurred in 2005. Its highest ranking, finishing 18th, occurred in 2011. Both occurred when the government was divided.
- See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries
As of 2013, members of the Oregon Legislature are paid $21,936/year during legislative sessions. Legislators receive $123/day per diem tied to the federal rate.
The Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate receive twice as much salary as other legislators. These salaries have been determined by statute.
When sworn in
Oregon legislators assume office the second Monday in January.
Joint Legislative Committees
- See also: Public policy in Oregon
The Oregon State Legislature has 8 joint committees and 8 joint subcommittees.
- Joint Audits
- Joint Health Insurance Transition
- Joint Implementing Measure 91
- Joint Legislative Administration
- Joint Legislative Counsel
- Joint Oregon State Capitol Foundation
- Joint Tax Credits
- Joint Ways and Means
- Joint Committee on Ways and Means Sub-Committee on Capital Construction
- Joint Committee on Ways and Means Sub-Committee on Education
- Joint Committee on Ways and Means Sub-Committee on General Government
- Joint Committee on Ways and Means Sub Committee on Human Services
- Joint Committee on Ways and Means Sub Committee on Information Technology
- Joint Committee on Ways and Means Sub-Committee on Natural Resources
- Joint Committee on Ways and Means Sub-Committee on Public Safety
- Joint Committee on Ways and Means Sub Committee on Transportation and Economic Development
Decommissioned Joint Committees
- Joint Fujian Sister State Committee, Oregon State Legislature (decommissioned)
- Joint Health Care Transformation Committee, Oregon State Legislature (decommissioned)
- Joint Emergency Board Committee, Oregon State Legislature (decommissioned)
- Joint Justice System Revenues Committee, Oregon State Legislature (decommissioned)
- Joint Online Learning Task Force, Oregon State Legislature (decommissioned)
- Joint Public Education Appropriation Committee, Oregon State Legislature (decommissioned)
- Joint Legislative Audits and Information Management and Technology Committee, Oregon State Legislature (decommissioned)
- Oregon House of Representatives
- Oregon State Senate
- Oregon state legislative districts
- State legislative scorecards in Oregon
- Governor of Oregon
- Oregon Constitution
- Official website of the Oregon State Legislature
- Oregon Legislature on Wikipedia
- Oregon Blue Book information on the Oregon State Legislature
- Oregon State Legislature, "Legislative Process," accessed July 28, 2014
- Oregon Live, "Oregon Legislature by the numbers: What to watch for in 2015," accessed February 2, 2015
- oregonlive.com, "2014 Oregon Legislature: 35 days for guns, pot, booze and a zombie bridge," accessed February 3, 2014
- Statesman Journal, "Immigration issues back in spotlight at Oregon Legislature," January 27, 2013
- Daily Tidings, "Immigration issues on agenda for Ore. Legislature," February 1, 2013
- National Conference of State Legislatures, "2011 Legislative Sessions Calendar," accessed June 6, 2014(Archived)
- National Conference of State Legislatures, "2010 Legislative Sessions Calendar," accessed July 28, 2014(Archived)
- National Conference of State Legislatures, "State Experiences with Annual and Biennial Budgeting," updated April 2011
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "Budget Processes in the States, Summer 2008," accessed February 21, 2014
- Pew Charitable Trusts, "States’ Use of Cost-Benefit Analysis," July 29, 2013
- U.S. Public Interest Research Group, "Following the Money 2014 Report," accessed April 15, 2014
- Sunlight Foundation, "Ten Principles for Opening Up Government Information," accessed June 16, 2013
- census.gov, "Population Distribution and Change: 2000 to 2010," accessed May 15, 2014
- U.S. Census Bureau, "States Ranked by Population: 2000," April 2, 2001
- NCSL.org, "2012 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table," accessed March 18, 2013
State of Oregon
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