Oregon’s Legislators Collaborate to Progress Housing, Drug Policy, Campaign Finance Bills

In what some regard as a historic session, Oregon lawmakers ended this year’s short but impactful 35-day session by pushing through a set of bipartisan bills that will address housing shortages, campaign finance limits, and drug policy adjustments. Not all bills were passed, but the cooperation marks an about-turn from last year’s legislative stand-off.


Legislation Passed By Oregon Lawmakers

With the surprising triumph in campaign finance reform secured towards the end of legislative work- a move previously not anticipated to gain traction, lawmakers also passed legislation that will see an overhaul of Oregon’s decriminalization of drugs and endorsed a housing package aimed at addressing the state’s pressing shortages. Governor Tina Kotek is ready to stamp her approval on the measures, specifically Measure 110 revisions.

Last-minute drama marred a session that was predominantly marked by a sense of achievement and mutual satisfaction across the aisle, as Republicans used delay tactics to terminate two bills, on corporate healthcare and book bans as the session drew to a close. This was a rare clash of wills in an otherwise harmonious proceeding. As the house adjourned swiftly, legislators from both ends of the political spectrum have reflected on the significant strides in the sitting, and some have already handed out press releases with insights on the session’s proceedings and outcomes.


Turnaround from Republican Walkout In Oregon

The unusually productive session stands in stark contrast to the drama that unfolded last year, as Republican lawmakers staged the longest walkout in Oregon history. Although progress was effectively halted by the walkout, lawmakers took pride in overcoming past disagreements this year and the limited scope of this year’s short sessions seems to have played a role. Oregon Rep. Rob Nosse said, “If that’s the case, this legislative body did not get that memo.”

Senate Minority Leader Tim Knopp, R-Bend credited the walkout for resulting in a more cooperative atmosphere this year. He said that in terms of the atmosphere in this legislative session,  the walkout paid dividends, with Democrats coming into the session with a mindset of collaboration. The bipartisan efforts culminated in progress on significant policies on the table that have now been fast-tracked to the desk of Oregon Governor Tina Kotek. House Speaker Rep. Dan Rayfield and Kopp agreed that this session of the legislature was “one of the most historic.”

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