The committees have begun the process of working through the bills which were filed pre-session - almost 1700 bills 9000 pages - amazing!! I am guessing that by the time session is in full swing we will have 4000 to 5000 bills to work through this Legislative Session.
Many of you are aware as to how an idea becomes law. The idea is submitted to Legislative Council - they make sure the idea isn't already law and whether or not the idea can become law. Once the idea is in draft form, signatures are gathered for support from other Legislators, the bill is submitted; a number assigned; and then the bill is assigned to a committee for a hearing.
If the bill makes it through a hearing - then it is on to the House Floor for a vote - passes - on to the Senate. It is assigned to a Senate Committee - same process as in the House Committee and then on to Senate Floor for a vote. Then the stop at the Governors office for a signature (he can veto it also!!)
Are we done? Well not quite yet. There is one more step and that is a stop at Administrative Rules. This division writes the rules whereby the law will be driven. Oft times the rules do not agree with the legislative intent of the original legislation passed.
So - one bill that I have ready to go is a bill that will require an amendment to the Oregon Constitution. With the passage of this bill and through a positive vote from the people, the legislature would have one more opportunity to review the legislation and the rules written by the Administrative Rules Department. During this process corrections could be made to the newly written rules, if necessary, before it becomes enforceable.
I have been very pleasantly surprised at the bi-partisan support I have gathered for this bill. Several Representatives and Senators have asked to sign on to the bill with great enthusiasm. I believe we will have an issue come to the public at the end of session - this is truly a needed change and wonderful to be working across the aisle on an issue that affects all Oregonians in the end.
Some stories you may like to follow:
Senators Thomsen and Olsen on Clean Fuel Bill S324
I look forward to your calls and emails - we will do our best to send you alerts whenever we can - come on up and visit us here in your Capitol.