Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber resigns, effective Wednesday, February 18.

Link to the full resignation letter: http://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/politics/2015/02/13/governor-john-kitzhaber-oregon-pressure-to-resign/23360431/

Secretary of State Kate Brown will be sworn in as Oregon’s 37th Governor and will hold the position until the General Election in 2016. She will appoint her successor. 

Here’s a snapshot of her career from Oregon Public Broadcasting: 

Brown was elected as the secretary of state in 2008. Before that, she spent 17 years as a state legislator. She was appointed to the state House of Representatives in 1991 and was elected to the Oregon Senate in 1996. In 2004, she became the first woman to serve as Senate majority leader in Oregon.

While the spotlight was on the controversy surrounding the Governor, it was a busy week at the Capitol. A vote to disband Cover Oregon was taken on February 12. Senate Bill 1, abolishes the Oregon Health Insurance Exchange Corp. and transfers its duties to the Department of Consumer and Business Services. This bill now heads to the Senate floor for a vote.

 

Deadlines

February 25 is the deadline for legislators to submit bills to the Chief Clerk or the Secretary of the Senate. Over 1,800 bills have been introduced to date. 

 

Bill hearings and other activities

SB 132, the Violence Against Health Care Workers bill is up for a hearing and possible work session in the Senate Health Committee on Monday, February 16 at 3 pm. This bill would expand the crime of assault in the third degree to include physical injury to health care providers in hospitals. OCEP will testify in support.

HB 2697, requires OHA to adopt consistent, uniform payment policies for the provision and reimbursement of physical and mental health services in the medical assistance program. A hearing has been scheduled for Wednesday, February 18 in the House Health Care Committee at 1 pm. 

HB 2825 Requires OHA to seek and apply for funding for (and appropriates General Fund) to pay for crisis intervention services and residential care for individuals with mental illness. The hearing is scheduled Friday, February 20 in the House Health Care Committee at 1 pm.

Thing to Know: Line of succession for Governor

Oregon is one of few states that doesn’t have the position of lieutenant governor. If the governor is not able to serve or resigns, the secretary of state is next in line. After that, it’s state treasurer, senate president and speaker of the house. 

For more information about the legislative process, please contact Katy King.

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