Oregon State Senate
|Oregon State Senate|
|Partisan control:||Democratic Party|
|2015 session start:||February 2, 2015|
|Website:||Official Senate Page|
|Senate President:||Peter Courtney (D)|
|Majority Leader:||Diane Rosenbaum (D)|
|Minority Leader:||Ted Ferrioli (R)|
Democratic Party (18)
Republican Party (12)
|Length of term:||4 years|
|Authority:||Art IV, Section 6, Oregon Constitution|
|Salary:||$21,936/year + per diem|
|Last Election:||November 4, 2014 (15 seats)|
|Next election:||November 8, 2016|
|Redistricting:||Oregon legislature has control|
- 1 Sessions
- 2 Ethics and transparency
- 3 Elections
- 4 Redistricting
- 5 Senators
- 6 Senate Committees
- 7 History
- 8 See also
- 9 External links
- 10 References
As of May 2015, Oregon is one of 7 Democratic state government trifectas.
Article IV of the Oregon Constitution establishes when the Oregon State Legislature, of which the Senate is a part, 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).
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 through July 9.
- See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions
In 2012, the Senate was in session from February 1 through March 6.
- See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions
In 2011, the Senate 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.
- See also: Oregon State Senate elections, 2014
Elections for the office of Oregon State Senate took place in 2014. A primary election took place on May 20, 2014. The general election was held on November 4, 2014. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was March 11, 2014.
- See also: Oregon State Senate elections, 2012
|2012 Donors, Oklahoma State Senate|
|The Leadership Fund||$959,638|
|Senate Democratic Leadership Fund||$393,062|
|Oregon Democratic Party||$314,886|
|Oregon Health Care Association||$238,484|
|Doctors for Healthy Communities||$174,225|
|Douglas County Physicians Association||$164,975|
|Service Employees Local 530||$160,763|
|Coalition for a Healthy Oregon||$128,841|
|Oregon Small Business Association||$108,533|
The following table details the 10 districts with the smallest margin of victory in the November 6 general election.
|2012 Margin of Victory, Oregon State Senate|
|District||Winner||Margin of Victory||Total Votes||Top Opponent|
|District 25||Laurie Monnes Anderson||9.3%||42,952||Scott Hansen|
|District 5||Arnie Roblan||9.7%||55,322||Scott Roberts|
|District 27||Tim Knopp||18.4%||59,797||Geri Hauser|
|District 12||Brian Boquist||20.3%||56,573||Annette Frank|
|District 14||Mark Hass||23.7%||53,530||Gary Coe|
|District 9||Fred Girod||28.7%||51,729||Steve Frank|
|District 2||Herman Baertschiger, Jr.||30.8%||52,639||Jim Diefenderfer|
|District 17||Elizabeth Steiner Hayward||33.1%||56,424||John Verbeek|
|District 29||Bill Hansell||37.2%||44,527||Antone Minthorn|
|District 18||Ginny Burdick||39%||62,449||Suzanne Gallagher|
- See also: Oregon State Senate elections, 2010
The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was March 9, 2010 (August 24 for Independents). The primary election date was May 18, 2010.
|2010 Donors, Oregon State Senate|
|Oregon Senate Republican Leadership Fund||$1,070,878|
|Oregon Democratic Party||$933,967|
|Senate Democratic Leadership Fund||$723,942|
|Oregon Education Association||$250,846|
|Oregon Public Employees Local 503||$241,151|
|Oregon Health Care Association||$192,361|
|Oregon Trial Lawyers Association||$181,900|
|Doctors for Healthy Communities||$110,995|
|Coalition for a Healthy Oregon||$102,830|
|Douglas County Physicians||$92,000|
- See also: Oregon State Senate elections, 2008
Elections for the office of Oregon's State Senate were held in Oregon on November 4, 2008. A total of 16 seats were up for election.
The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was March 11, 2008. The primary election date was May 20, 2008.
|2008 Donors, Oregon State Senate|
|Senate Democratic Leadership Fund Of Oregon||$249,206|
|Oregon Senate Republican Leadership Fund||$171,606|
|Oregon Health Care Association||$87,304|
|Coalition for a Healthy Oregon||$83,750|
|Northwest Grocery Association||$77,000|
|Oregon Soft Drink Association||$68,130|
|Oregon Beer & Wine Distributors Association||$66,112|
|Oregon Restaurant Association||$62,248|
|Oregon Education Association||$61,522|
|Doctors For Healthy Communities||$61,500|
- See also: Oregon State Senate elections, 2006
Elections for the office of Oregon's State Senate consisted of a primary election date on May 16, 2006, and a general election on November 7, 2006. A total of 15 seats were up for election.
|2006 Donors, Oregon State Senate|
|Senate Republican Leadership Fund||$634,103|
|Senate Democratic Leadership Fund||$511,391|
|Oregon Education Association||$282,649|
|Friends of Ted Ferrioli||$204,850|
|Service Employees Local 503||$156,085|
|Oregon Beer & Wine Distributors Association||$122,607|
|Oregon Health Care Association||$122,500|
|Oregon Forest Industries Council||$110,000|
|Westlund II, Bernard J (Ben)||$104,153|
- See also: Oregon State Senate elections, 2004
Elections for the office of Oregon's State Senate consisted of a primary election date on May 18, 2004, and a general election on November 2, 2004. A total of 17 seats were up for election.
|2004 Donors, Oregon State Senate|
|Senate Democratic Leadership Fund||$1,056,249|
|Senate Republican Leadership Fund||$623,155|
|Oregon Education Association||$314,612|
|Oregon Victory Cmte||$180,000|
|Service Employees Local 503||$141,119|
|Roger Beyer for Senate||$135,500|
|Oregon Health Care Association||$130,446|
|Oregon Beer & Wine Distributors Association||$129,901|
|Northwest Grocery Association||$116,844|
|Oregon Restaurant Association||$103,063|
- See also: Oregon State Senate elections, 2002
Elections for the office of Oregon's State Senate consisted of a primary election date on May 21, 2002, and a general election on November 5, 2002. A total of 15 seats were up for election.
|2002 Donors, Oregon State Senate|
|Senate Democratic Leadership Fund of Oregon||$496,913|
|Senate Republican Leadership Fund of Oregon||$412,569|
|Oregon Education Association||$347,166|
|Oregon Trial Lawyers Association||$168,925|
|Service Employees Local 503||$144,409|
|Oregon Restaurant Association||$121,692|
|Oregon Forest Industries Council||$111,000|
|Democratic Congressional Campaign Cmte||$110,250|
|Associated Oregon Industries||$104,000|
|Oregon Victory Cmte||$92,250|
- See also: Oregon State Senate elections, 2000
Elections for the office of Oregon's State Senate consisted of a primary election date on May 16, 2000, and a general election on November 7, 2000. A total of 15 seats were up for election.
|2000 Donors, Oregon State Senate|
|Senate Democratic Leadership Fund of Oregon||$602,496|
|Senate Republican Leadership Fund of Oregon||$414,678|
|Friends Of Gene Derfler||$257,246|
|Oregon Education Association||$256,098|
|Oregon Forest Industries Council||$139,350|
|Oregon Victory Cmte||$120,000|
|Associated Oregon Industries||$100,660|
|Service Employees Local 503||$100,242|
|21St Century Fund||$90,000|
- No person shall be a Senator or Representative who at the time of election is not a citizen of the United States; nor anyone who has not been for one year next preceding the election an inhabitant of the district from which the Senator or Representative may be chosen. However, for purposes of the general election next following the operative date of an apportionment under section 6 of this Article, the person must have been an inhabitant of the district from January 1 of the year following the reapportionment to the date of the election.
- Senators and Representatives shall be at least twenty one years of age.
- No person shall be a Senator or Representative who has been convicted of a felony during:
- The term of office of the person as a Senator or Representative; or
- The period beginning on the date of the election at which the person was elected to the office of Senator or Representative and ending on the first day of the term of office to which the person was elected.
- No person is eligible to be elected as a Senator or Representative if that person has been convicted of a felony and has not completed the sentence received for the conviction prior to the date that person would take office if elected. As used in this subsection, “sentence received for the conviction” includes a term of imprisonment, any period of probation or post-prison supervision and payment of a monetary obligation imposed as all or part of a sentence.
- Notwithstanding sections 11 and 15, Article IV of this Constitution:
- The office of a Senator or Representative convicted of a felony during the term to which the Senator or Representative was elected or appointed shall become vacant on the date the Senator or Representative is convicted.
- A person elected to the office of Senator or Representative and convicted of a felony during the period beginning on the date of the election and ending on the first day of the term of office to which the person was elected shall be ineligible to take office and the office shall become vacant on the first day of the next term of office.
- Subject to subsection (4) of this section, a person who is ineligible to be a Senator or Representative under subsection (3) of this section may:
- Be a Senator or Representative after the expiration of the term of office during which the person is ineligible; and
- Be a candidate for the office of Senator or Representative prior to the expiration of the term of office during which the person is ineligible.
- No person shall be a Senator or Representative who at all times during the term of office of the person as a Senator or Representative is not an inhabitant of the district from which the Senator or Representative may be chosen or served on represent. A person shall not lose status as an inhabitant of a district if the person is absent from the district for purposes of business of the Legislative Assembly. Following the operative date of an apportionment under section 6 of this Article, until the expiration of the term of office of the person, a person may be an inhabitant of any district.
| How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures |
If there is a vacancy in the senate, the Board of County Commissioners representing the vacant seat must select a replacement. This can only be done when the senate is in session or the vacancy happens more than 61 days before the next scheduled general election. The board must select a person the political party that last held the vacant seat. Three candidates who are members of the party that last controlled the seat must be considered by the board. A replacement must be selected within 30 days of the vacancy. Persons selected to fill a senate seat serve until the next scheduled general election.
The Oregon State Legislature is responsible for proposing and passing new legislative maps. Should a plan not be passed by the deadline, or if one is vetoed or struck down by a court, the Oregon Secretary of State then assumes responsibility. Historically, the Secretary was involved in each redistricting process in the centuty prior to 2011.
Oregon's population increased by 12 percent from 2000-2010, exceeding the national average of 9.7 percent. Noting the even partisan split and the lack of a Legislature drawn plan in a hundred years' time, the Legislature proposed and passed a new plan quickly without major controversy. Governor John Kitzhaber (D) signed the plan into law on June 13, 2011, six days after its original proposal. This is the first time Oregon enacted a redistricting plan without the involvement of the Secretary of State in 100 years. No major litigation was filed against the plan.
- 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.
- See also: Partisan composition of state senates
|Party||As of May 2015|
List of current members
The Oregon Senate has 10 standing committees:
- Business and Transportation
- Environment and Natural Resources
- Finance and Revenue
- Health Care
- Human Services and Early Childhood
- Veterans and Emergency Preparedness
Partisan balance 1992-2013
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.
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.
- Oregon House of Representatives
- Oregon State Legislature
- Oregon state legislative districts
- State legislative scorecards in Oregon
- Governor of Oregon
- Oregon Constitution
- 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
- Oregon State Legislature, "Oregon Constitution, Article 4, Section 4," 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
- Follow the Money, "Oregon State Senate 2012 Campaign Contributions," accessed May 23, 2014
- Follow the Money, "Oregon State Senate 2010 Campaign Contributions," accessed May 23, 2014
- Follow the Money, "Oregon State Senate 2008 Campaign Contributions," accessed May 23, 2014
- Follow the Money, "Oregon State Senate 2006 Campaign Contributions," accessed May 23, 2014
- Follow the Money, "Oregon State Senate 2004 Campaign Contributions," accessed May 23, 2014
- Follow the Money, "Oregon State Senate 2002 Campaign Contributions," accessed May 23, 2014
- Follow the Money, "Oregon State Senate 2000 Campaign Contributions," accessed May 23, 2014
- OregonLaws, "Filling vacancies in Legislative Assembly," accessed December 18, 2013(Referenced Statute 171.051, (1) (a)-(c))
- OregonLaws, "Filling vacancies in Legislative Assembly," accessed December 18, 2013(Referenced Statute 171.051, (2)-(6))
- NCSL.org, "2012 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table," accessed March 18, 2013
- Oregon State Legislature, "Oregon Senate Leadership," accessed July 28, 2014
- Oregon State Legislature, "Oregon State Senate Democratic Leadership," accessed July 28, 2014
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