Oregon House of Representatives
|Oregon House of Representatives|
|2014 session start:||February 4, 2013|
|Website:||Official House Page|
|House Speaker:||Tina Kotek (D)|
|Majority Leader:||Val Hoyle (D)|
|Minority leader:||Mike McLane (R)|
| Democratic Party (34) |
Republican Party (26)
|Length of term:||2 years|
|Authority:||Art IV, Oregon Constitution|
|Salary:||$21,936/year + per diem|
|Last Election:||November 6, 2012 (60 seats)|
|Next election:||November 4, 2014 (60 seats)|
|Redistricting:||Legislature redraws boundaries|
- 1 Sessions
- 2 Ethics and transparency
- 3 Elections
- 4 Partisan composition
- 5 Redistricting
- 6 Representatives
- 7 Current members
- 8 Standing committees
- 9 History
- 10 External links
- 11 References
The Oregon legislature is termed as a "citizens' assembly" (meaning that most legislators hold other jobs.) Its regular sessions occur in odd-numbered years, beginning on the second Monday in January. Oregon is one of only 6 states which do not hold annual sessions.
In Oregon, representatives serve two-year terms with no limit on consecutive terms.
As of December 2014, Oregon is one of 14 Democratic state government trifectas.
Article IV of the Oregon Constitution establishes when the Oregon State Legislature, of which the House of Representatives 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 2013 state legislative sessions
In 2013, the Legislature will be in session from February 4 through June 21 (estimated).
Major issues for 2013 include in-state tuition and driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants. Both measures have been hotly debated in recent sessions but have not passed. They are also expected to take up background checks for guns.
- See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions
In 2012, the House was in session from February 1 through March 6.
- See also: Dates of 2011 state legislative sessions
In 2011, the House was in session from February 1 through June 30. 
- See also: Dates of 2010 state legislative sessions
Ethics and transparency
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 is 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 following table details the 10 districts with the smallest margin of victory in the November 6 general election.
|2012 Margin of Victory, Oregon House of Representatives|
|District||Winner||Margin of Victory||Total Votes||Top Opponent|
|District 40||Brent Barton||1.3%||27,818||Steve Newgard|
|District 52||Mark Johnson||3.4%||27,751||Peter Nordbye|
|District 30||Joe Gallegos||4.8%||24,836||Shawn Lindsay|
|District 37||Julie Parrish||5.4%||20,561||Carl Hosticka|
|District 51||Shemia Fagan||5.8%||23,783||Patrick Sheehan|
|District 29||Ben Unger||7.2%||21,100||Katie Eyre|
|District 22||Betty Komp||7.5%||14,002||Kathy LeCompte|
|District 12||John Lively||7.8%||22,655||Joe Pishioneri|
|District 49||Chris Gorsek||8.8%||21,061||Matthew Wand|
|District 24||Jim Weidner||10.9%||27,065||Kathy Campbell|
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.
In 2010, the candidates for state house raised a total of $14,996,656 in campaign contributions. The top 10 donors were: 
|2010 Donors, Oregon House of Representatives|
|Future PAC House Builders||$1,818,536|
|Promote Oregon Leadership PAC||$628,525|
|Oregon Education Association||$462,227|
|Oregon Public Employees Local 503||$425,634|
|Oregon Health Care Association||$246,496|
|Oregon Nurses Association||$222,892|
|Oregon Beer & Wine Distributors Association||$200,280|
|Oregon Lodging Association||$194,027|
|Oregon Victory PAC||$175,000|
|Oregon Trial Lawyers Association||$170,068|
- 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 has been appointed to 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 House, the Board of County Commissioners representing the vacant seat must select a replacement. This can only be done when the Legislature is in session or the vacancy happens more than 61 days before the next scheduled general election. The board must select a person from 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. The person selected to fill the seat serves for the remainder of the unexpired term.
- See also: Partisan composition of state houses
|Party||As of December 2014|
The tie in the Oregon House of Representatives led to the creative decision to have co-speakers, one from each party. As of June 2011, the arrangement had worked relatively well and the House functioned smoothly. Other chambers have faced the problem of tied party membership in the past, including Oregon's State Senate after the 2002 elections.
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.
The Speaker of the House is the presiding officer of the body. 
The Oregon House has 15 standing committees:
Partisan balance 1992-2013
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 have divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.
- Official Website of the Oregon House of Representatives
- Official list of the current members of the Oregon House of Representatives
- Oregon State Assembly Maps
- Population in 2010 of the American states
- Population in 2000 of the American states
- 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
- 2011 Legislative Sessions Calendar, NCSL
- 2010 session dates for Oregon Legislature
- Sunlight Foundation, "Ten Principles for Opening Up Government Information," accessed June 16, 2013
- Oregon Secretary of State "Elections Calendar for 2012"
- Follow the Money: "Oregon House 2010 Campaign Contributions"
- OregonLaws "Oregon Election Law(Referenced Statute 171.051, (1) (a)-(c))
- OregonLaws "Oregon Election Law(Referenced Statute 171.051, (2)-(6))
- Governing, "How Tied Chambers Affect States," June 9, 2011
- NCSL.org, "2012 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table," accessed March 18, 2013
- "Oregon State Legislature: Frequently Asked Questions," 2011
- Oregon House Leadership
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