Your Legislature, the 78th, will organize tomorrow. That means Swearing In the Members, Electing a Speaker and Speaker Pro Tempore and for the first time in decades a new Clerk of the House. We will adopt rules for the next two years and witness the swearing in of Governor Kitzhaber for his fourth term.
In the afternoon, the assistant the the Clerk will read the titles of the bills, resolutions, and memorials that have been submitted so far, a couple thousand at least for “First Reading”, the constitutionally required public notice to get bills into the process.
After speeches and celebrations, the Legislature will adjourn until February 2. This period is not a holiday. Members and staff will be in the Capitol for required instruction on all manner of things including some policy issues like the Transportation funding issue that will take some of our time during session. After that the Speaker will assign all those bills to committee, committee chairs will plan their first few weeks of hearings and notice of hearings will be posted. All manner of work groups and lobbying (by citizen and professional lobbyists alike) will begin.
If you would like to keep up with session activity, check in at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask to be added to our enewsletter list. We send out one every two weeks or so, sometimes sooner if something big is happening.
Beginning now and continuing until the session adjourns sometime in June or July I will not be accepting campaign contributions. If you send one, I will be required by House Rules to send it back to you. Thanks, but please wait until after session is over.
The beginning of Session is always exciting and full of promise. Tune in to our internet broadcasts at www.oregonlegislature.gov to watch the festivities. Click on the video icon on the top right and then click on the item you would like to watch. That will also be the way to watch committee meeting and floor after February 2.