The Lege races to the finish line.

As the Lege heads into its final week, there's a whole lot of action going on.

Here's a rundown, mostly from the Statesman-Journal (where they're doing excellent work keeping track of all this stuff):

Meanwhile, the O's Harry Esteve takes a look at the "adjournment fever" that's taking hold at the Lege.

Has it been a good session? You bet. Elections matter.

Labor unions, environmental groups, consumers and teachers are crowing about the cornucopia of favorable bills and budgets this session, thanks to utter Democratic control at the Capitol.

"It's been a great session," gushed Patty Wentz, who represents the union-backed group Our Oregon.

To hear the other party talk, Democrats have run roughshod over not just Republicans, but also farmers, voters, parents and probably little kittens, too.

"The last few days have shown what happens when you get a one-party state," said Senate Minority Leader Ted Ferrioli, R-John Day. "They're misusing the process," Ferrioli complained, as attempt after Republican attempt to quash or resurrect bills fell flat this week.

The silver lining, he said, is that Oregon voters will look at the wreckage next year and end the Democratic monopoly at the Legislature. Hope floats, in the world according to Ferrioli.

Not likely, Ted. Not likely.


  • verasoie (unverified)

    We can add Senate Bill 329, the Healthy Oregon Act, to that list (,

    but we need to get Kitzhaber's SB27, the Oregon Better Health Act, to be included, it is just as vital to reforming our health care system in a sustainable way. Click through below to tell your legislator to give it a hearing:

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    Hey verasoie... there's another post entirely on the health care topic.

  • Larry Mc (unverified)

    "Hope floats, in the world according to Ferrioli."

    Hope is NOT what floats in the world of Ferrioli and his allies but they will never give up trying to convince the voters that what DOES float in their world is "hope."

    They need to be flushed with success next year.

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    Poor Republicans. They just don't know what to do when they're out of power, do they?

    It's not like the Democrats just went down to Salem and overthrew the legislature. The voters had enough of their crap and sent enough of them packing to give Democrats a chance to fix things.

    They talk about the voters whenever they don't get their way. But they seem to purposefully overlook the fact that voters didn't put them back in charge for a reason.

    I think they've had a pretty good start with this session. Of course things that took more than a decade to break will take some time to fix. And with more Democrats elected next year, we'll be able to do even more.

    I encourage everyone to get a hold of their county party, the state party and/or FuturePac to find out what they can do to help. Out where I live, we have four Republican state legislators (House Districts 49-52: Minnis, Lim, Flores, and P. Smith). I'm going to do what I can to help Dems win in the two districts that cover the town I live in- 49 and 50.

    If we can hit 36, then there is a lot more we can do in this state.

  • vera (unverified)

    It's great to see your activism, Jenni, I spent a lot of time volunteering for Brading this past cycle and the previous one, and sure hope he'll run again (I've heard rumors that Minnis is on her way out, in part at the impetus of her party because she did a lot to cost them the majority with her antics), and will help him out again if so.

    I was reading up on Election Day registration, and recall that it was being looked at in the legislature--- anyone know if it got anywhere? Seems like a winning issue for progressives.

    Thanks for the heads-up, Kari. Of course, I had commented here before the next one came up, but I appreciate the focus, SB27 should be a priority for us all and our healthcare system is, to use Kitz' analagy, is a sinking ship and bringing more people on who've fallen overboard a la SB329 is only a temporizing measure--- we need to fix the ship.

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    Here's the status of the bill:

    HJR 43 By Representative ROSENBAUM; Representatives BARNHART, BONAMICI, BUCKLEY, CANNON, CLEM, D EDWARDS, GREENLICK, HUNT, MERKLEY, NOLAN, READ, SHIELDS, TOMEI, WITT -- Proposing amendment to Oregon Constitution relating to voter registration.

    3-5(H) First reading. Referred to Speaker's desk. 3-8 Referred to Elections, Ethics and Rules. 3-21 Public Hearing held.

    Apparently it's still waiting. The last action listed is a public hearing in March, which I attended along with members of the Bus Project. I'm disappointed to hear that it's not come up for a vote yet. I do hope it will come up before the end of the Session. The only objections during the hearing came from the county election/clerk offices (more work for them) and the "head of the Oregon Young Republicans," otherwise known as Rep Thatcher's staff member (she didn't like the bill... "what about illegal aliens," which as many know is her question to anything she dislikes). I won't go into the hearing here, but you can read my post from back in March here.

  • verasoie (unverified)

    (I typed that comment under the name vera, somehow my name got truncated)

    Thanks for the info, I should have suspected that the Bus Project would be actively supporting this.

    More interestingly, why would this be held up? With the Democrats in power by only a small margin, you'd think that they would support things that would promote democracy while ostensibly empowering a sizable Democratic constituency too (young people and the working class who move around a lot and would benefit most from same-day registration)--- sometimes it makes me wonder what these guys are thinking, as you know that if the Republicans held the triumvirate, they'd be doing everything they could to disfranchise people and thereby secure their hold on office.

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    It may be that they're planning to bring forward some of these more straightforward items towards the end. I should contact Rep. Rosenbaum's office to see what I can find out.

    The Bus Project was definitely actively supporting it. Things worked out well for me to be able to go and testify, as I worked in the Mult Co Elections office in 2004. And I personally told a good number of people they couldn't vote. Why? Because they missed the deadline.

    A number of them were young and didn't get interested until close to the election, and the rest had mainly moved in from other states.

    It made me feel just plain awful to tell people they couldn't vote. And I was just one of dozens of workers.

  • verasoie (unverified)


    I'm looking forward to reading about it, please be sure to post it here (if you can... Kari?).

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    I'll definitely let everyone know. I just shot off an e-mail to her, and I'll try to give the office a call. However, I'm leaving tomorrow and won't be back until sometime on Wednesday. We're celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary this week, so we're heading to one of our favorite places - the coast. We've not been to Lincoln City yet (well, I canvassed there, but that doesn't count), so that's where we decided to visit.

    I was hoping to have a laptop before we left, but doesn't look like that's going to pan out.

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    I found out the status and just sent in a guest column to Kari.

    In short, the bill is apparently dead this session. Not enough support to go forward.

  • LT (unverified)

    "I encourage everyone to get a hold of their county party, the state party and/or FuturePac to find out what they can do to help."

    Thanks, Jenni, but it seems to me that the way to get to 36 is to admit that just maybe the residents of currently Republican districts might know more about their districts and who would make a good state rep. than the state party or FP.

    And if FP is setting out concrete benchmarks for who to support (often seems like whim) then they should be serious about it and not just claim money is all that matters. If there is a min. "seed money" which shows a candidate is "serious", then it shouldn't be an amount larger than what Sal Peralta and Jim Gilbertson reported on their April, 2006 C & E's.

    Brading's report that month dwarfed Gilbertson and Peralta's reporting. But who came closer to winning?

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    Oh, I definitely think that the residents of those districts know a lot about who would make a good state rep. I didn't say they didn't.

    However, the fact is that a lot of the support in these races comes from Future PAC and the state/county parties. Which is why people should get involved in their parties now, helping them to locate those great candidates. Help get those campaigns going now, not in January.

    Future PAC and the party are looking for candidates now. They'll get even more serious about that work as soon as the Session ends. And by getting involved in your county party now, you can start working with them on a plan for the county, getting their volunteers out there working the district, etc. To get to 36 it's going to take all of us working together. This us vs. the party vs. FP has to stop. Sure we don't all agree on how things should be done, but our goal is the same. And the more support the party and FP get, and the earlier we can all get working on these races, the more support all the candidates can get.

    I can tell you right now that the DPO's Campaign Committee is working on projects that will help all our Democrats who are running for office. I'm a member of that committee, as are many candidates who ran last year (in non-targeted races) and lost. Our main goals all surrounded ensuring that all candidates get at least some minimum level of support, and hopefully even more than that.

    I'd encourage as many people as possible to get involved in that committee. While yes, there are a limited number of "voting positions" per Congressional District, it is a working committee. We expect to do lots of work and very little voting. Which means we need lots of people to be able to take on these projects and goals we've decided to do before next year's election cycle gets into full swing.

    And while yes, Brading did get a lot of money and support, but still lost, the fact is that a million dollars went into Minnis' race, as opposed to $600-700K going off into other races. Minnis and Scott were kept pretty busy in their home districts and weren't able to do as much as they could for other districts. Yes, I wish we'd won HD 49 - it happens to be the district I moved to in December. However, keeping Minnis busy at home and not working in other races was a big part in getting us to 31.

  • JPJ Eugene (unverified)

    I'm astounded. Legislative leadership won't allow a public hearing on SB 27! What the...?

    (SB 27 is the Health Care reform measure proposed by former Gov. John Kitzhaber and the "We Can Do Better" coalition.)

    Oregon Legislative leaders have crippled the democratic process with this action. Citizens deserve to know on the record exactly which corporate special interests are opposing SB 27!

    House and Senate elected leaders: You must NOT stifle debate on this critical health care reform measure. You must not stumble under pressure from big pharma and medical insurance giants.

    Problem corporate interests include the multinational pharmaceutical and out-of-control insurance companies, but also AARP's profit-making subsidiary which sells health insurance. AARP has strongly opposed SB 27. Most voters are unaware of that fact.

    Legislators: Don't allow your honor to be shamed by the greedy and the powerful.

    Convene a hearing. Let supporters and opponents of SB 27 come forward in a balanced legislative hearing to present testimony. You owe this to the people of Oregon.

    Extend the legislative session if necessary.

    Don't close the doors on democracy!

  • Eric J. (unverified)

    Ferrioli is spewing the same viperous propaganda that all R's spew here in Oregon. Doesn't he have something better to do than whine? Don't listen to it!

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    I'd submitted a guest column on Saturday on the topic. However, since it's now Thursday and it isn't up here, I posted it over on my blog:

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