Annual sessions measure moves forward to Oregon ballot

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February 26, 2010

SALEM, Oregon: After much debate and revision of the proposed Legislature Annual Sessions Amendment, on February 25 the Oregon Legislature approved the measure for the November 2, 2010 statewide ballot. The final draft of the measure calls for a 160 day session in odd-numbered years and a 35 day session in even-numbered years. Previous versions included 160 day odd-numbered year sessions and 45 day even-numbered year sessions or 135 days in odd-numbered years and 35 days in even-numbered years.[1]

Oregon is currently one of five states that allows for lawmakers to meet every other year. However, in the most recent past Oregon legislators have opted to meet in "off years" for 2008 and 2010. According to reports, odd-year sessions last about six months but lasted a month or two longer in 2003 and 2005.[2]

In 1990 voters rejected a similar annual sessions proposal. Since then lawmakers have not been able to agree on a measure for the ballot. According to reports, a 2005 proposal died in the House. In 2006 a commission proposed a 120 day session in odd-numbered years and 60 day sessions in even-numbered years, but the proposal never made the ballot.[3]

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