Three sources tell WW that Gov. Kate Brown will name Sens. Richard Devlin (D-Tualatin) and Ted Ferrioli (R-John Day) to the Northwest Power & Conservation Council as soon as Monday.
Doing so will bring major changes to the Oregon Senate, where Devlin serves as the co-chairman of the Joint Ways and Means Committee, which writes the state budget.
Devlin first won election to the House in 1996 and moved up to the Senate in 2002. He served as Senate majority leader from 2007 to 2010. His knowledge of the arcane budgetary process is unmatched in the Legislature. He ran unsuccessfully for Secretary of State in 2016 and the Oregonian reported earlier this week he might be leaving for the Power & Conservation Council.
Ferrioli, the Senate minority leader, serves the state's largest Senate district, which covers more than 36,000 square miles. First elected to the Senate in 1996, the retired public relations executive has served in the Senate longer than any of his colleagues except Senate Majority Leader Ginny Burdick (D-Portland), who was also elected to her seat in 1996.
Both Devlin and Ferrioli have held leadership positions within their caucus for many years and so their departures—likely to be Jan 1. of next year—will set off a scramble among aspiring replacements.
The Northwest Power & Planning Council included two appointees each from Oregon, Washington, Montana and Idaho. Oregon's current representatives are former Secretary of State Bill Bradbury and Henry Lorezen, a lawyer and wheat farmer from Pendleton.
The Council is responsible for formulating a 20-year power plan for the region and for developing a parallel fish and wildlife plan. Appointments to the body come with six-figure paycheck —one of the relatively few commission appointments available to Brown that have that benefit.
Neither Devlin nor Ferrioli nor Brown's spokesman, Chris Pair, was available for comment.