Oregon’s First Official Even-Year Session Starts
By Oregon Farm Bureau
On February 1st, the Oregon Legislature convened its first 35-day session under the new voter approved constitutional change. Majority of bills were pre-session filed and introduced on the first day. To stay in play through the process bills must pass out of the committee of origin by February 14. This deadline is making the first couple of weeks busy for those working in the Capitol.
During a short session, most organization’s legislative priorities are narrow and focused. Oregon Farm Bureau has picked four bills to prioritize this year. The issues relate to irrigation water, farm worker housing, productive state forestlands and controlling wolves that kill livestock. To read Farm Bureau’s legislative agenda click here.
A large focus for legislators this session is balancing the state budget. Due to work done in the previous full session, agencies were required to hold back 3.5% of their budget to create a reserve fund. This reserve fund and pre-session agreements have created a balance budget plan. However the next revenue forecast will be released on February 9th, a continued downturn in state revenue could make the budget work done to date only a fraction of the budget issues, forcing for the Ways and Means Committees to cut more agency budgets.
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