House and Senate Dems announce their agendas

Carla Axtman

With the 2014 legislative session set to get underway in early February, the Senate and House Democrats jointly released their respective agendas this morning.

Both chambers are keen to emphasize their efforts to help small business, make higher education more affordable and to address government accountability.

Here's the released Senate agenda.

Here's the released House agenda

I'm working to get more information on specific legislation to address these broad agendas. Keeping in mind that this session is just a few weeks long and is generally very budget-oriented, I'd expect specific bills to fit rather tightly under the budget umbrella.

Update: 12:45pm: Anna Staver at the Statesman Journal has some info on specific bills:

Democrats plan to introduce a bill that would require third party oversight on contracts with the state whose value is more than $1 million.

“Is Cover Oregon brining this forward? Absolutely, but it’s something we have been working on,” Hoyle said.

The state’s beleaguered health care exchange hasn’t functioned as promised since it rolled out Oct. 1.

Hoyle said the state should ensure that contracts with third-party vendors are not just worded correctly but are in the best interest of the state.

Rosenbaum talked about a proposal to increase the amount of money that small businesses in Oregon can apply for in loans from $75,000 to $100,000.

“The availability of affordable credit can mean the difference between hiring on one hand and cutting those jobs on the other,” said Tu Casa realtor Jose Gonzalez, who appeared at the press conference.

Those plans are in addition to a series of controversial issues being proposed by lawmakers that includes expanding background checks for gun sales, passing a referral to voters to legalize recreational marijuana and approving bond sales for building a bridge to Washington across Interstate-5 called the Columbia River Crossing.

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