The Oregon Legislature's special session is done as of mid-afternoon, a day later than most members had hoped but still three days ahead of the deadline. It was a special session not because it was called for emergency business - which ordinarily is supposed to be what even-year sessions, when they occur, are about - but as an experiment to see if even-year sessions can work reasonably well.
Evidently they can. The final hangup (and not one between parties but between House and Senate) had to do with how long the sessions in an annual-session scheme should run; those deadlines would be built into a constitutional amendment to set up annual sessions henceforth. On Wednesday (after Senate President Peter Courtney decided against giving up and adjourning), they resolved the impasse. As the Salem Statesman-Journal noted, "The total time of 195 days over a two-year cycle would be shorter than the 211 days that lawmakers have met on average over the past decade, counting the current session in its 25th day."
A call to cut session length might be an overall voter winner in November.
They can add that to a considerable batch of legislation approved in these last three and a half weeks. The list form the House speaker's office included these (and it's a partial list): (more…)