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2020 Legislative Recap
By Bill Perry – Beaver Caucus President
The 2020 Oregon Legislature adjourned abruptly last Thursday when Democratic leaders announced there would be no further floor sessions prior to the constitutionally mandated end of the legislative session on Sunday, March 8 at midnight.
Two weeks ago, Senate Republicans, followed by their colleagues in the House, walked out of the Capitol to protest cap and trade legislation. The Republican walk-out denied majority Democrats a quorum necessary to consider final passage of bills on the House and Senate floors. The denial of a quorum prevented not only passage of the cap and trade bill, but also halted the passage of all other legislation, including bills to fund and support OSU projects and programs.
What was the impact on the Beaver Caucus’ legislative priorities?
OSU and the Beaver Caucus should be extremely proud of what we accomplished. Due to your advocacy, the Ways and Means Committee approved $34.5 million in bonding authority for the Arts and Education Complex on the OSU main campus and $12.9 in general funds for the Student Success Center on the OSU-Cascades campus in Bend. Unfortunately, an agreement to bring the Republicans back to the building was never reached, therefore, preventing final votes on these bills.
Legislative leadership and the Governor are developing plans to call the Legislature back into “special session” sometime in the next 30 days. However, due to new public health and safety measures related to COVID-19 the timing is uncertain. It is also important to note that a special session will likely have the same dynamics if the stalemate over cap and trade has not been resolved. The Governor did take the first step to move carbon decisions away from the Legislature with an Executive Order directing state agencies to implement some of the measures in the cap and trade bill.
Once leadership announces when the legislature will reconvene, we will renew our efforts to ensure continued support for our projects and get them over the finish line (which was, prior to the early end of the session, in sight).
For more information on legislative action related to OSU, please see the OSU Government Relations legislative update.
Thank you for your support. Go Beavs!