Oregon Legislature Approves Redistricting Before End of Session

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Last week the Oregon Legislative Assembly gave approval to a measure redrawing the boundaries of the 60 House and 30 Senate districts to reflect population changes in the 2010 census.  Senate Bill 989 passed the Senate 27-3 and the House on a 47-10 vote a short time later. The measure now goes to governor’s desk where it is likely to be signed into law. This is the first time since 1981 that a politically divided legislature has been able to agree on a redistricting plan.

“Everyone said it couldn’t be done. They said it wouldn’t be done. Some people even said it shouldn’t be done. But this legislature didn’t take a pass,” said Senate President Peter Courtney. “The redistricting committees in the Senate and House didn’t listen to the naysayers. They accepted the ‘mission impossible’ and got the job done.”

“I am extremely proud of the work the House and Senate Redistricting Committees did throughout the session to get to this point,” said House Co-Speaker Bruce Hanna (R-Roseburg). “Redistricting is a politically-charged effort that I still believe is better suited to an independent effort outside of the legislative process, but reaching an agreement is a testament to the cooperative spirit of our members and the session as a whole and I am grateful for their work.”

“We’ve worked well together all session and we’ve accomplished more than anyone thought possible in a 30-30 House,” said Co-Speaker Arnie Roblan (D-Coos Bay). “Credit goes to our chairs for being willing to work together to get this very tough job done.”

Senate Bill 989 is based on hours of public testimony taken in a series of public hearings held throughout the state by the House and Senate Redistricting Committees. It honors the obligation of the legislature to complete a plan by June 30. Maps of the House and Senate districts approved in SB 989 can be found here.

2012 Oregon Legislative Dates
The legislative session is coming to an end, however, leadership has already set meeting dates and deadlines in preparation for the 2012 legislative session. The legislature’s presiding officers have established the following calendar for the remainder of 2011 in preparation for the 2012 session. The deadlines to request and file measure drafts are:

  • Monday, December 5, 2011 – Measure requests are due to Legislative Counsel;
  • Monday, January 9, 2012 – Measure drafts will be returned from Legislative Counsel; and
  • Monday, January 23, 2012 – Measures must be filed by 5:00 p.m.

The following measure limits have also been established for both the House and the Senate for the 2012 legislative session, which will begin in early February. All measures will be subject to the deadlines noted in the calendar.

  • Each member will be allowed two measures;
  • Each interim committee will be allowed five measures;
  • The Executive Branch will be allowed five measures (at the request of the Governor); and
  • The Judicial Branch will be allowed five measures (at the request of the Chief Justice).

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