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Legislature Adjourns Sine Die – Now, What’s Next?

It’s difficult to put a hashtag on the end of any legislative session, and Oregon’s 80th Legislative Assembly was certainly no exception. This year, an election cycle brought the democratic party a super majority in both chambers, in addition to the governor’s office.  With these physical numbers and a set of legislative priorities, the LOC advocacy team had a significant challenge in front of it heading into the session.  In the end, the League had several successes, including improved public contracts, additional funding for 9-1-1 services, improved enforcement of transient lodging tax, PERS reforms, and a record year for housing assistance funding.  A more substantial summary of the LOC’s work will be coming later this summer.

The 2019 session was driven by a combination of a legislative agenda controlled at times by the democrats, as well as by the republicans pushing back using numerous procedural steps to delay legislation from moving. These steps included: requiring legislation to be read on the floor word-for-word; floor motions sending bills back to committee; and two walkouts that denied the Senate a quorum of 20 senators to conduct legislative business. One of the hallmark pieces of legislation that garnered significant attention was HB 2020 (carbon bill) – it did not survive the second walkout.  This was a significant setback for democratic leadership and advocates of a carbon “cap and invest” bill.

So, “what’s next” for the LOC?  In addition to the forthcoming session summary, the LOC will be developing legislative strategies in advance of 2020, focusing on legislation that was critical for cities this session but did not advance. In addition, the LOC team will be downloading the session with members throughout the state as part of the third quarter Small Cities Network meetings,  where discussion will also focus on how to improve the dialogue and contact between cities and legislators.

Contact: Jim McCauley, Legislative Director – jmccauley@orcities.org

Last Updated 7-5-19

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