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Oregon Lawmakers Attempt To Clear Out Backlog Of Bills

A view of the west side of the Oregon State Capitol in Salem.
OregonDOT
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A view of the west side of the Oregon State Capitol in Salem.

Oregon lawmakers are trying to clear out a huge backlog of bills awaiting votes. Ahead of Wednesday's floor sessions, the House and Senate had a combined 84 measures awaiting action.

The bulk of those bills are in the House, where Speaker Tina Kotek warned earlier this week that if lawmakers didn't get moving, they might actually have to come in and work on Friday.

Aside from a handful of committee hearings, the legislature has been mostly quiet on Fridays this session. But even though lawmakers have until early July to finish up their work, there is some motivation to clear through their backlog now. That's because bills that have been approved in the first chamber need to be scheduled for a committee vote in the opposite chamber by June 2.

The legislative deadlines apply primarily to policy bills. Most spending and revenue measures can be approved right up until adjournment.

Copyright 2017 Northwest News Network

Chris Lehman graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He landed his first job less than a month later, producing arts stories for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana. Three years later he headed north to DeKalb, Illinois, where he worked as a reporter and announcer for NPR–affiliate WNIJ–FM. In 2006 he headed west to become the Salem Correspondent for the Northwest News Network.