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And they’re done, for now

since die

Representative Arnie Roblan at one of the last debates/Oregon Channel

Oregon House Speaker Dave Hunt had remarked that he hoped to adjourn for the year by sundown today. He missed that mark, but by less than an hour – a close bit of timing, indicative of the kind of tight operation the Oregon Legislature (moreso in the House, but largely too in the Senate) has had this year.

There are a number of familiar complaints from the not distant past you can’t make about this session. You can’t say it was unproductive; this may have been the most productive session in a generation (probably moreso than 2007, which also delivered a lot of substance). You can’t say it was an especially bitter session; there were occasional scrapes, but the House particularly seemed (at least so far as we could tell) to run without excess conflict. Did it address the issues before the state? It clearly did.

The big unanswered point is what Oregonians will make of all that productivity. Were the answers – most notably on taxes, but maybe on some other subjects as well – acceptable? Did the controlling Democrats, in other words, overreach?

The initial guess here is, probably not; the tax measures and a lot of the most sensitive legislation generally seemed pretty carefully trimmed and crafted to survive attack. But it’s a close call. Ballot issues are in the wind, and they may provide a good indicator of what the 2010 voters have to say about the makeup of the next legislature. And other offices too.

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