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An Idea For Fair Testifying
Republican Girod offers a solution

Currently in Oregon, the public is still banned from participating in the legislative process at the State's Capitol building in Salem, supposedly due to safety protocols to prevent the possible spread of Covid-19.

The Super-majority party, the Democrats, are taking this opportunity to quickly pass policy legislation that would be slowed down by the presence of the people of Oregon. An imperfect system of remote participation has been hailed as efficient enough replacement by the Democrat leaders, although many critics disagree. The remote process may also be seen as fair and progressive to providing Oregonians a chance to participate and lobby their representatives from a distance.

Now, with the recent announcements of the CDC changing it's guidelines and the lifting of restrictions, many retailers are finally finding ways to go back to normal in a post pandemic Oregon.

The State legislature is slow to react to the news, still barring the people of Oregon from in-person participation. It might be truly progressive now for the state's leader's to let the people of Oregon return to normal, and integrate the traditional legislative process with what we have learned from the remote processes adopted over the last year or so.

A proposal from the Senate Minority Leader, Fred Girod (R-Lyons) would help to potentially restore balance and confidence in Oregon's legislative testifying opportunities.

SCR 19 would require the legislative committee chairs to conduct public hearings on legislative measures so that witnesses testify in specified order.

It would essentially require those committee chairs to conduct public hearings on legislative measures so that, to greatest extent practicable, witnesses alternate between those in favor of measure and those opposed to measure, except that witnesses who have traveled more than 100 miles to testify must be given priority. Nothing in the rules prohibit public hearing from proceeding if only witnesses remaining to testify are those in favor of or opposed to measure

This approach seems to be a logical proposal in a state where political tensions remain high, possibly due to aggravated statements from the Democrat leaders, who seem to condone the political polarization.

It currently awaits further action in the Senate Committee On Rules.

--Bruce Armstrong

Post Date: 2021-05-14 16:30:59Last Update: 2021-05-14 17:02:18

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