Seventy-fourth Oregon Legislative Assembly


Seventy-fourth Oregon Legislative Assembly

Infobox Legislative Session
name = 74th Oregon Legislative Assembly


imagesize = 250px
caption = Renovations of the Capitol Building during the session
body = Oregon Legislative Assembly
country = United States
state = Oregon
meeting_place = Oregon State Capitol
term = 2007-2008
before = 73rd Legislative Assembly
after = current
website =
chamber1 = Oregon State Senate
membership1 = 30 Senators
control1 = Democratic Party
chamber1_leader1_type = Senate President
chamber1_leader1 = Peter Courtney
chamber1_leader2_type = Majority Leader
chamber1_leader2 = Kate Brown
chamber1_leader3_type = Minority Leader
chamber1_leader3 = Ted Ferrioli
chamber2 = Oregon House of Representatives
membership2 = 60 Representatives
control2 = Democratic Party
chamber2_leader1_type = Speaker of the House
chamber2_leader1 = Jeff Merkley
chamber2_leader2_type = Majority Leader
chamber2_leader2 = Dave Hunt
chamber2_leader3_type = Minority Leader
chamber2_leader3 = Wayne Scott,
Bruce Hanna
The Seventy-fourth Oregon Legislative Assembly was the Oregon Legislative Assembly (OLA)'s period from 2007 to 2008. (The Legislative Assembly is the legislative body of the U.S. state of Oregon, composed of the Oregon State Senate and the Oregon House of Representatives.) There was a regular session in 2007, and a shorter special session in 2008.

The 74th was the first Oregon legislature since 1989 in which both its houses were controlled by the Democratic Party of Oregon, [ [http://www.osbar.org/_docs/lawimprove/capinsider/ci_061114.pdf Capitol Insider article] , Oregon State Bar] which won a one seat majority in the House in the 2006 elections. (Democrats had previously taken control of the Senate in 2004, and retained it in the 2006 elections.)Fact|date=August 2008 Democrats took credit for addressing a number of issues, and for adjourning a day before a self-imposed deadline (and before Independence Day, for the first time since 1995).cite news
title=Session over with money, time saved
first=Dave
last=Hogan
work=The Oregonian
date=June 29, 2007
url=http://docs.newsbank.com/openurl?ctx_ver=z39.88-2004&rft_id=info:sid/iw.newsbank.com:NewsBank:ORGB&rft_val_format=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:ctx&rft_dat=11A18B06754BFB60&svc_dat=InfoWeb:aggregated5&req_dat=8CE642B8CA5C4083BE84A2539D6E1A73
] Republican legislators, however, noted that there were no tax reforms to accompany the $15.1 billion (21%) increases in spending over the prior two-year budget. Democratic Governor Ted Kulongoski did not veto any bills during the session, and expressed general approval of the session, [ [http://docs.newsbank.com/openurl?ctx_ver=z39.88-2004&rft_id=info:sid/iw.newsbank.com:NewsBank:ORGB&rft_val_format=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:ctx&rft_dat=11A1DF02A3CFD8C0&svc_dat=InfoWeb:aggregated5&req_dat=8CE642B8CA5C4083BE84A2539D6E1A73 photo caption from "The Oregonian"] , June 30, 2007] though he did veto one bill in August which would have allocated $4.6 million in Portland General Electric ratepayers' fees to pay off a loan on behalf of the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. [cite news
title=Disputed OMSI bailout vetoed
first=Janie
last=Har
work=The Oregonian
date=August 10, 2007
url=http://docs.newsbank.com/openurl?ctx_ver=z39.88-2004&rft_id=info:sid/iw.newsbank.com:NewsBank:ORGB&rft_val_format=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:ctx&rft_dat=11AF647990949D18&svc_dat=InfoWeb:aggregated5&req_dat=8CE642B8CA5C4083BE84A2539D6E1A73
]

The "Statesman Journal" praised Kulongoski for being more engaged with the legislative process than he had been in the past.cite news
title=2007 Legislature: Winners and losers
work=The Statesman Journal
date=June 29, 2007
] The paper also criticized the legislature for failing to take action on two critical issues, instead referring them to popular vote.

Sessions

Oregon is one of only six states where the legislature meets only once every two years. The Public Commission on the Oregon Legislature, established during the prior legislative session, recommended that the state move to annual sessions after 2009. In preparation for that change, the legislature scheduled a session for 2008. This was technically a special session, but lawmakers referred to it as a supplemental session to the 2007 session.cite news
title=Lawmakers set schedule for February
first=Peter
last=Wong
work=Statesman Journal
date=December 30, 2007
]

The 2007 regular session lasted 172 days, and the 2008 session was scheduled for February 4-29, but was adjourned February 22, for a total of 19 days.cite news
title=Successes for region in special session, but some legislators are unimpressed
first=James
last=Sinks
work=The Bulletin
date=February 24, 2008
] During the 2007 portion of the session, a total of 2,744 bills were introduced, with 910 passing and becoming Oregon law.Kenagy, David R. “The Oregon Law Commission at Ten: Finding Vision for the Future in the Functions of the Past.” 44 "Willamette L. Rev." 169., Winter 2007. Willamette University College of Law]

Both chambers took measures to limit the number of bills introduced in the 2008 session; the Senate limited individual members to introducing a single bill, and the House permitted only committee-sponsored bills.

The Oregon Constitution dictates that the legislature must meet only in biennial regular sessions, and that special sessions must be held only in response to a specific emergency. Senator Larry George sought an injunction based on this law. The Marion County Circuit Court judge who considered the case agreed that there were some concerns, but determined that the session was legal. [cite news
title=Who calls special session?
author=editorial
work=The Register-Guard
date= February 3, 2008
]

Bills

2007 regular session

The Healthy Oregon Act (Senate Bill 329) was passed.http://www.hopeforahealthyoregon.com/info.php] Proposed by the Senate Commission on Health Care Access & Affordability (co-chaired by Alan Bates and Ben Westlund), the act also included amendments promoted by former governor John Kitzhaber and the Archimedes Movement. [cite news
title= Health bills work their way through Legislature
first=Don
last=Jepsen
work=The Mail Tribune
date=May 27, 2007
url=http://www.mailtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070527/NEWS/705270319
] It is intended to lay a foundation for lower costs, improved quality of health care, and availability of low-cost health insurance for all Oregonians. (Senate Bill 27 of 2007, known as Oregon Better Health Act and promoted by the Archimedes Movement, did not pass.Fact|date=August 2008)

Updated ethics rules, which increased the financial disclosure requirements on local officials and commission members, proved controversial; 239 officials around the state resigned their positions the following April, when the rules took effect. Legislators and Governor Kulongoski are exploring ways to reform the ethics rules in the 2009 session. [cite news
title=Resignations over ethics rules topic of meeting
date=August 12, 2008
first=James
last=Sinks
work=The Bend Bulletin
url=http://docs.newsbank.com/openurl?ctx_ver=z39.88-2004&rft_id=info:sid/iw.newsbank.com:NewsBank:BULB&rft_val_format=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:ctx&rft_dat=12286F0380A2C010&svc_dat=InfoWeb:aggregated5&req_dat=8CE642B8CA5C4083BE84A2539D6E1A73
]

The state ethics commission was allocated funds to hire an investigator and a trainer, and its budget will no longer be overseen by the legislature.

A new law will eliminate the "worst" junk food from public school vending machines and cafeterias.

The legislature established a rainy-day fund, but did not raise the corporate minimum tax, which the "Statesman Journal" called "absurdly low."

The legislature passed several new protections against identify theft.

The legislature allocated $33.5 million to offices and parking facilities at the Oregon State Capitol.

A modification to the Oregon Bottle Bill, adding water bottles to the list of containers with mandatory deposits, was passed. This was the first modification to the Bottle Bill since it was first passed in 1971.cite news
title=A new look at the bottle bill
date=July 26, 2008
first=James
last=Sinks
work=Bend Bulletin
] The legislature also formed a task force that will explore further modifications to the bill.

Funding for legislative staffing between sessions was doubled from the $4.2 million previously allocated. [cite news
title=Inside the Capitol: Nepotism, new offices: Membership has its privileges
first=Harry
last=Esteve
date=June 29, 2007
work=The Oregonian
url=http://docs.newsbank.com/openurl?ctx_ver=z39.88-2004&rft_id=info:sid/iw.newsbank.com:NewsBank:ORGB&rft_val_format=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:ctx&rft_dat=11A18B06754BFB60&svc_dat=InfoWeb:aggregated5&req_dat=8CE642B8CA5C4083BE84A2539D6E1A73
]

Starting in January 2009, smoking will no longer be permitted in most bars.

Drivers under age 18 may be fined for talking on cell phones.

Three million dollars were allocated to Oregon Public Broadcasting to upgrade equipment serving rural areas.

The "Register-Guard" praised the legislature for increasing funding for higher education. [cite news
title=A banner session
date=June 29, 2007
work=The Register-Guard
url=http://docs.newsbank.com/openurl?ctx_ver=z39.88-2004&rft_id=info:sid/iw.newsbank.com:NewsBank:ERGB&rft_val_format=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:ctx&rft_dat=11A564BC9DA4E5D0&svc_dat=InfoWeb:aggregated5&req_dat=8CE642B8CA5C4083BE84A2539D6E1A73
]

The "Bend Bulletin" criticized the legislature for failing to pass mandatory audits for local school districts, a measure advocated by the Chalkboard Project, which works for education policy reform. [cite news
title=Audits a must
date=June 22, 2007
work=The Bend Bulletin
url=http://docs.newsbank.com/openurl?ctx_ver=z39.88-2004&rft_id=info:sid/iw.newsbank.com:NewsBank:BULB&rft_val_format=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:ctx&rft_dat=119EEC95438254A8&svc_dat=InfoWeb:aggregated5&req_dat=8CE642B8CA5C4083BE84A2539D6E1A73
]

The legislature referred two bills to popular vote: a law that would have increased the tobacco tax to provide health insurance for children, and Measure 49, a law amending 2004's Measure 37, which had limited land use regulation.Fact|date=August 2008

2008 supplemental session

The supplemental, or special, session of 2008 opened with little fanfare in the Senate, but with charges of partisan gamesmanship in the House. [cite news
title= Speedy session must not come at cost of fairness
work=The Statesman Journal
date=February 5, 2008
url=http://docs.newsbank.com/openurl?ctx_ver=z39.88-2004&rft_id=info:sid/iw.newsbank.com:NewsBank:SSJB&rft_val_format=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:ctx&rft_dat=11EA6D7A270CE320&svc_dat=InfoWeb:aggregated5&req_dat=8CE642B8CA5C4083BE84A2539D6E1A73
] The legislature was criticized for preparing bills in secrecy, without posting draft legislation on its web site. [cite news
title= Legislature should post bills for public
work=The Bulletin
date=February 7, 2008
url=http://docs.newsbank.com/openurl?ctx_ver=z39.88-2004&rft_id=info:sid/iw.newsbank.com:NewsBank:BULB&rft_val_format=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:ctx&rft_dat=1223D5EF2D2E48C0&svc_dat=InfoWeb:aggregated5&req_dat=8CE642B8CA5C4083BE84A2539D6E1A73
] Senate President Peter Courtney expressed satisfaction with the session's work, citing laws benefitting senior citizens, children in foster care, people with disabilities, and patients at the Oregon State Hospital. [cite news
title= It was no 'Seinfeld' session after all
date=February 23, 2008
work=The Oregonian
url=http://docs.newsbank.com/openurl?ctx_ver=z39.88-2004&rft_id=info:sid/iw.newsbank.com:NewsBank:ORGB&rft_val_format=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:ctx&rft_dat=11F0FDEAE66A4E08&svc_dat=InfoWeb:aggregated5&req_dat=8CE642B8CA5C4083BE84A2539D6E1A73
]

During the special session, lawmakers established a tax force to explore ways to reform Oregon's medical liability limits, in response to a December 2007 Oregon Supreme Court ruling. The task force will be headed by Senator Floyd Prozanski and Representative Suzanne Bonamici. [cite news
title= Task force will study medical liability caps
date=February 21, 2008
first=Janie
last=Har
work=The Oregonian
url=http://docs.newsbank.com/openurl?ctx_ver=z39.88-2004&rft_id=info:sid/iw.newsbank.com:NewsBank:ORGB&rft_val_format=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:ctx&rft_dat=11EFAD00B8127A18&svc_dat=InfoWeb:aggregated5&req_dat=8CE642B8CA5C4083BE84A2539D6E1A73
] [cite news
title= Price of surrender for the Legislature
date=June 26, 2008
work=The Bend Bulletin
url=http://docs.newsbank.com/openurl?ctx_ver=z39.88-2004&rft_id=info:sid/iw.newsbank.com:NewsBank:BULB&rft_val_format=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:ctx&rft_dat=122296EBE9B9BB70&svc_dat=InfoWeb:aggregated5&req_dat=8CE642B8CA5C4083BE84A2539D6E1A73
]

A bill seeking to limit the use of medical marijuana in the workplace met with opposition from Associated Oregon Industries and "The Oregonian's" editorial board, and was not passed. [cite news
title= Pot bill in Oregon gets smoked in special session
work=Daily Journal of Commerce
date=February 21, 2008
first=Libby
last=Tucker
url=http://docs.newsbank.com/openurl?ctx_ver=z39.88-2004&rft_id=info:sid/iw.newsbank.com:NewsBank:PJCB&rft_val_format=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:ctx&rft_dat=11EF9850D0A19D38&svc_dat=InfoWeb:aggregated5&req_dat=8CE642B8CA5C4083BE84A2539D6E1A73
]

The legislature passed a law requiring proof of residence in order to obtain an Oregon drivers license, in order to comply with the Federal Real ID law. The legislature was criticized, however, for failing to take on an idea, previously advanced by Governor Kulongoski, to provide for an alternate "driving only" card. [cite news
title=Taking license with reality
work=The Register-Guard
date=February 15, 2008
url=http://docs.newsbank.com/openurl?ctx_ver=z39.88-2004&rft_id=info:sid/iw.newsbank.com:NewsBank:ERGB&rft_val_format=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:ctx&rft_dat=11EF8FE3A61AC6A8&svc_dat=InfoWeb:aggregated5&req_dat=8CE642B8CA5C4083BE84A2539D6E1A73
]

The legislature referred a bill to voters, a toned-down alternative to a Kevin Mannix-backed bill establishing mandatory minimum sentences for property crimes. [cite news
title=Salem surrenders
work=The Bend Bulletin
date=February 14, 2008
url=http://docs.newsbank.com/openurl?ctx_ver=z39.88-2004&rft_id=info:sid/iw.newsbank.com:NewsBank:BULB&rft_val_format=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:ctx&rft_dat=1223D5FB8A932358&svc_dat=InfoWeb:aggregated5&req_dat=8CE642B8CA5C4083BE84A2539D6E1A73
] [cite news
title= Crime measures will fight it out come fall
date=February 23, 2008
first=Ashbel S.
last=Green
work=The Oregonian
url=http://docs.newsbank.com/openurl?ctx_ver=z39.88-2004&rft_id=info:sid/iw.newsbank.com:NewsBank:ORGB&rft_val_format=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:ctx&rft_dat=11F0FDEAF9C882D0&svc_dat=InfoWeb:aggregated5&req_dat=8CE642B8CA5C4083BE84A2539D6E1A73
]

Three bills passed by the legislature related to land use, including restoring funding for the Big Look Task Force, and addressing funding in light of the passage of Measure 49. [cite news
title= Commentary: Supplemental session goes smoothly
work=Daily Journal of Commerce
date=April 10, 2008
first=Ed
last=Sullivan
url=http://docs.newsbank.com/openurl?ctx_ver=z39.88-2004&rft_id=info:sid/iw.newsbank.com:NewsBank:PJCB&rft_val_format=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:ctx&rft_dat=11FFBA7846818700&svc_dat=InfoWeb:aggregated5&req_dat=8CE642B8CA5C4083BE84A2539D6E1A73
]

Senate members

The Oregon State Senate, which had been controlled by Democrats since 2005, had a Democratic majority ranging between 17 and 19 of its 30 members during the 2007 and 2008 sessions (due to the party changes of two senators).

Senate President: Peter Courtney (D-11 Salem)
President Pro Tem: Margaret Carter (D-22 Portland)
Majority Leader: Kate Brown (D-21 Portland)
Minority Leader: Ted Ferrioli (R-30 John Day)


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