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Oregon Democrats May Try to Delay 2021 Legislative Session
Fears about future sessions associated with COVID-19

Oregon Senator Brian Boquist (R-Dallas) has called out Governor Kate Brown and the Democrats for proposing to delay the 2021 legislative long session in a statement:

“After a summer of Democrat-controlled special sessions that excluded Oregonians from the legislative process, they are now claiming Oregonians should be involved and that the session ought to be delayed. They fear working in proximity to other people without a vaccination, when the governor and Oregon Health Authority have admitted Oregon has one of the lowest COVID-19 mortality rates in the country.

“Led by Governor Brown, Democrats are ignoring the will of the people. Oregonians have been begging for the Capitol, schools, businesses, and the economy to be opened now. Enough tyranny under the guise of COVID-19.

“The arbitrary decisions that have shattered the economy are based on what generates income for the state. Marijuana and liquor stores have stayed open during the political pandemic; both of which fund state programs. Public university dorms are open and generate revenue for the state, yet public schools remain closed, unless they are used for child care, that parents must pay for, despite paying property tax for public education.

“Democrats prioritize the rights of violent anarchists rioting in Portland night after night, over all Oregonians whose lives are impacted by legislation crafted in the marble walls of the Capitol. It is imperative the session is not delayed.”

The Oregon Constitution provides that the long session duration is 160 days, regardless of when it begins, but it must begin on the day provided by law:

Article IV, Section 10. Annual regular sessions of the Legislative Assembly; organizational session; extension of regular sessions. (1) The Legislative Assembly shall hold annual sessions at the Capitol of the State. Each session must begin on the day designated by law as the first day of the session. Except as provided in subsection (3) of this section:

(a) A session beginning in an odd-numbered year may not exceed 160 calendar days in duration; and

(b) A session beginning in an even-numbered year may not exceed 35 calendar days in duration.

(2) The Legislative Assembly may hold an organizational session that is not subject to the limits of subsection (1) of this section for the purposes of introducing measures and performing the duties and effecting the organization described in sections 11 and 12 of this Article. The Legislative Assembly may not undertake final consideration of a measure or reconsideration of a measure following a gubernatorial veto when convened in an organizational session.

(3) A regular session, as described in subsection (1) of this section, may be extended for a period of five calendar days by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of the members of each house. A session may be extended more than once. An extension must begin on the first calendar day after the end of the immediately preceding session or extension except that if the first calendar day is a Sunday, the extension may begin on the next Monday.

While the full effects of a delay are not clear, holding session with COVID-19 regulations in place may slow the pace of legislation. Delaying the session until some or all of the COVID-19 regulations are lifted may speed the pace of legislation.


--Ben Fisher

Post Date: 2020-10-10 09:23:12Last Update: 2020-10-10 09:28:53



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