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Minority Reports
This is a little understood procedural tactic

Minority reports as used in the Oregon Legislature are a tool that allows a group of members -- usually in the minority party -- to present their version of a bill as an alternative to a piece of legislation that is voted out of committee. Two committee members who voted in opposition to a bill coming out of a work session in their committee may subscribe to a minority report which would then accompany the base bill, or committee report, to the floor. Committee members must notify the Chair and the committee staff of their intent to file a minority report within two hours of the adjournment of the committee.

Minority reports may only be applied to measures coming out of policy committees. This means that a minority report may not come out of any of the joint committees, statutory committees, subcommittees, special committees, or conference committees.

Timeline for Minority Reports

1. Potential issues to be included in a minority report are submitted as proposed Legislative Counsel amendments and distributed to the committee for possible consideration. If a work session occurs within 24 hours of the first House public hearing, a minority report may be drafted containing issues that came under discussion on the measure in committee.

2. Two members who vote in opposition to a piece of legislation provide the Chair and Committee staff notice of their intention to file a minority report within two hours of the committee adjourning.

3. For the 2021 session, members giving notice of a minority report have until 5 p.m. on the second business day to deliver the Legislative Counsel draft of the minority report to the committee staff. Minority reports must be filed with committee staff no later than the next business day if the Speaker has declared Sine Die to be imminent.

4. Minority Reports will be filed at the Desk on the same day as the committee report.

Floor Procedures

If the committee report has an accompanying minority report, it will be taken up under Propositions and Motions before the reading of other bills. The carrier of the bill will have 10 minutes to speak to the committee report and then upon a motion to substitute the committee report with the minority report, the carrier of the minority report will also have 10 minutes to speak. Members will each have 5 minutes to speak on whether the minority report should be adopted. The discussion should be limited to why the minority report should replace the committee report and not to the merits of the overall concept.

Because the motion to replace a committee report with a minority report is a parliamentary procedure, the threshold for adoption is only a majority of the members present not a majority of the full body.

Should a motion to adopt the minority report be adopted, it will replace the committee report and immediately move into third readings. Should the motion to replace the committee report with the minority vote fail, the committee report will immediately move into third readings. The House will then take up the measure for a vote.

Unless there is a split in the majority caucus, a minority report is unlikely to prevail. It may be regarded as a messaging tool, by some and therefore may have some value even if it does not prevail.


--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-03-13 18:31:00Last Update: 2021-03-13 18:34:00



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