Peter Courtney
SJR 41 would refer to voters a constitutional amendment establishing fixed-length, annual sessions for the state. The Legislature would meet for approximately 135 days in odd-numbered years and 45 days in even-numbered years, and for no more than 180 days over a two year period. The referral would appear on the ballot during the November 2010 election.
1. Let me read two statements about the proposal to have the Oregon State Legislature meet in a regular session each year. Please tell me which one statement comes closer to your point of view. (ROTATE A&B, ACCEPT ONE RESPONSE) Response Category N=500 A. The problems facing the state are much more complex than they were when the law relating to legislative sessions was first put in place. It will be much easier for state legislators to deal with Oregon's problems, and react to them, if they have the opportunity to meet every year. OR 45% B. Having Oregon state legislators meet on an annual basis will just mean more and bigger government, without any guarantee that things will get better. The problem is not that the Legislature isn't meeting often enough; the problem is that they are doing a poor job of dealing with our problems when they do meet. 45% (DON'T READ/VOLUNTEERED) Neither 4% (DON'T READ) Don't know 5%
“If the last two special sessions have been ‘trial runs' for annual sessions, they have failed the test for the following reasons: o Prohibition of minority reports in the House of Representatives in the first ‘trial run' o Moved significant pieces of legislation without public hearings in both ‘trial runs' o Limited public input by going to one hour hearing notices in week two of ‘trial run' o Formed ‘work groups' which excluded interested parties such as legislators serving in the minority o Will limit not just time but the number of issues legislators will take up in the special session o Institutionalizing a “hurry up” mentality, increasing the probability of unintended consequences o Concentrating power not in the assembly, but in the majority party rulers o Done nothing to increase transparency, accountability and inclusion In summary, annual sessions appear to be nothing more than an opportunity to do great evil more often.”