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Posts published in “Day: May 31, 2009”

Doing its thing

Jeff Kropf

Lost in a lot of the discussion about the merits of the often large-scale pieces of legislation the Oregon Legislature has been working on - and there is some real scale, and a lot of that scale is monetary - is another point: This has been turning into a steadily productive session. Piece by piece, major slices of legislation have been produced, voted on and - in major cases - passed. If you don't like the legislation, this may not be such a good thing. But this has been a productive session, one of the most productive (along with 2007) over the last few decades.

They kicked off with a massive stimulus program (the value of which we have yet to assess, but which was a big effort). And the legislation has kept on coming. A big transportation bill, and a big health care bill (involving tens of thousands of people covered), major change in taxation, all in recent days. And a string of prospectively tricky pieces of legislation (workplace religious freedom, for instance) handled smoothly. You get the impression of a large factory, with few or no production slowdowns.

They're talking in terms of a wrapup by the end of June, which would make it one of the shortest in recent years. (2007 ended on June 28, but you have to go back to 1995 to find an earlier close.) A few years ago, the idea of this level of productivity with so few hangups would have been almost inconceivable. Worth noting.