Oregon Legislature may finish its work by Friday
Although the Oregon Legislature was scheduled to finish 2012 session by the end of today (Feb. 29), that's not expected to happen. Negotiations continue over some of Gov. John Kitzhaber's top legislative priorities, including education reforms and setting up state-level health care exchanges for individuals and small businesses. Most observers now expect the session will conclude Thursday or Friday.
Some key matters:
- A bill to provide additional winter water storage in the Columbia River Basin is still alive, but chances it will pass during this session are iffy. The OAN has been active in the discussions that have framed this issue. If the bill doesn't pass now, the key players are expected to keep talking and work toward passage in 2013.
- Both parties and the governor have agreed on a revised state budget that accounts for less revenue, while still protecting core functions for the Oregon Department of Agriculture.
- Likewise, potential bills harmful to the nursery industry have been prevented this session.
- Member leaders on the board and in the Government Relations Committee have played a key role in evaluating legislation. OAN's legal counsel, Jordan Ramis P.C., has also been very helpful.