Oregon Legislature Meets for One-Day Special Session

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber called a special session last Friday to ask lawmakers to pass the Economic Impact Investment Act of 2012.

H.B. 4200A is designed to assure companies planning massive expansions that the state’s current tax structure will not change for a specific period of time determined by the governor and the company. The bill would give the governor the authority to enter into agreements with companies planning expansions with a capital investment of at least $150 million that would create a minimum of 500 jobs. I passed the House by a vote of 50-5 and the Senate by a 22-6 margin, with support and opposition to the bill coming from both sides of the aisle.

“I’m proud of many important changes made to HB 4200 that provide accountability and fairness for Oregon taxpayers,” said Senate Majority Leader Diane Rosenbaum (D-Portland). “Under the leadership of Joint Committee Co-Chair Burdick, many of the suggestions heard in public hearings this week have been addressed – a much shorter sunset date of Jan. 1, 2014, stronger assurances for job creation, and a public reporting process that promotes transparency. Passing HB 4200 today will create jobs, but the amendments we’ve fought for ensure that Oregonians will have the opportunity for a robust discussion in 2013 about the best methods of job creation.”

Oregon House and Senate Leadership

The Oregon House will see many new faces in leadership positions for the 2013 legislative session, while the Oregon Senate will again be led by Senate President Peter Courtney of Salem.

Democrat Tina Kotek will lead the Oregon House as the speaker for the 2012 session. Kotek has represented a liberal district in the heart of Portland since 2007. She became the No. 2 leader in the Oregon House in 2011 when her Democratic colleagues ousted her predecessor after a legislative session that left many of them frustrated by Republican successes. She oversaw campaign efforts that helped her party pick up four House seats on Nov. 6 and grab the majority in the chamber. Oregon Democrats also chose Rep. Val Hoyle of Eugene to be majority leader, the No. 2 position in the House.

After losing four seats in the recent election, the Oregon House Republican caucus on Thursday chose Rep. Mike McLane of Powell Butte to serve as the new minority leader. McLane won the post after House Co-speaker Bruce Hanna, R-Roseburg told caucus members he would not seek the seat. Hanna was minority leader in the 2009 session and orchestrated the Republican pick-up of six House seats in 2010 that led to an evenly divided chamber for the last two years.

“After serving over six years in various leadership positions, I look forward to handing the reins to the new team,” Hanna said in a press release after House Republicans met in a closed-door caucus in the Capitol. “I’m confident they will effectively lead our caucus into the next session and into the future.”

Rep. Julie Parrish (R-West Linn) was chosen to be the new deputy Republican leader, and Rep. Vicki Berger (R-Salem) will be the new Republican whip.

The Senate Democrats elected the following leaders for the 2013 legislative session:

  • Senate President: Peter Courtney (D-Salem/Woodburn/Gervais)
  • Senate President Pro Tempore: Ginny Burdick (D-Portland/Tigard)
  • Senate Majority Leader: Diane Rosenbaum (D-Portland)
  • Senate Deputy Majority Leader: Alan Bates (D-Ashland)
  • Senate Majority Whip: Mark Hass (D-Beaverton)
  • Senate Majority Whip: Arnie Roblan (D-Coos Bay)

In the 2013 session, Democrats will again hold a 16-14 majority in the Senate and selected its leadership during meetings at Salishan Resort on the Oregon Coast Friday.

“I am honored to be re-elected by my Democratic colleagues to serve as Senate Majority Leader,” Rosenbaum said. “I look forward to working in the upcoming 2013 session to focus on the right priorities: jobs, quality education and standing up for middle class Oregonians and small businesses.”

Courtney, who was first elected president in 2003, will officially be nominated for a sixth term on the first day of the 77th Oregon Legislative Assembly, January 14, 2013, when the full Senate will elect its President.

“I have always believed that the Senate President is president of the entire Senate,” Courtney said. “We will face difficult challenges in the next session and it has never been more important for Democrats and Republicans to work together to address the issues that matter most to the people of Oregon.”

Senate Republicans will be again led by Ted Ferrioli of John Day, serving as Minority Leader.


Questions? Contact a member of the Association’s Legislative Affairs team:

Jennifer Wagner, Vice President of Legislative Advocacy
Mark Minickiello, Vice President of Legislative Affairs
Pam Leavitt, Policy Advisor

Posted in Advocacy News.