Oregon Legislative Week in Review

Committee Deadline Cut-Off. Thursday, April 21, was the last day for a work session for first chamber measures. Bills that did not pass out of their original committee by the deadline are considered dead. The deadline does not apply to Ways & Means, Revenue, Rules Committee, and committees dealing with redistricting. The Association is currently tracking 125 Oregon bills of interest to credit unions, and has successfully worked to pass, defeat, or change several bills this session. 

Public Budget Hearings. The co-chairs of the Joint Ways & Means Committee plan to hold four community budget hearings around state over the next few weeks. Rep. Peter Buckley (D-5), Rep. Dennis Richardson (R-4) and Senator Richard Devlin (D-19) will seek public input from Oregonians in Portland, Bend, Medford and Newport.

How An Idea Becomes Law. Although the legislative process is long and complex, all laws begin as ideas. An idea for a law can come from anyone—an individual or group of citizens, a legislator or legislative committee, the executive or judicial branch, or a lobbyist. By statute, state agencies must file their bills before the legislative session. During session, only a legislator or a legislative committee can introduce a measure for legislative consideration.

Types and Purposes of Legislative Measures. The legislature may take action through a bill, a memorial, or through a resolution.

Bills. A bill may be introduced in either house; however, revenue-raising bills may be introduced only in the House of Representatives. (See Section 18, Article IV of the Oregon Constitution.) A bill may be amended, passed or rejected by either house. If passed by both houses, the bill is submitted to the Governor. A measure intended to have the effect of statutory law must be enacted as a bill and be passed by both houses of the Legislative Assembly. A bill is used to:

  • Create a new law;
  • Amend or repeal an existing law;
  • Appropriate money;
  • Implement fees;
  • Transfer functions from one agency to another; or
  • Provide penalties.

Memorials. A memorial is adopted by either the House or the Senate and is not submitted to the Governor. If a memorial is to be adopted by both houses of the legislature, it is called a Joint Memorial. A memorial is used to make a request of, or express an opinion to, Congress, the President of the United States, or other officials or agencies. It is not used to commemorate the dead.

Resolutions. A resolution is adopted by a single house of the legislature and is not submitted to the Governor. If a resolution is to be adopted by both houses of the legislature, it is called a Joint Resolution or Concurrent Resolution.

A resolution is used to:

  • Take an action affecting its own concerns or procedures, such as appointing a committee of its members; or
  • Express an opinion or sentiment on a matter of public interest.

A joint resolution is used to:

  • Propose Constitutional amendments;
  • Create interim committees;
  • Provide for the printing of legislative publications;
  • Give directions to a state agency or officer;
  • Express legislative approval of an action taken by someone else, or to authorize some kind of temporary action to be taken; and
  • Authorize expenditures out of the legislative expense appropriations.

Posted in Advocacy News.