“Governor, unlike Elvis, you never left the building.”
Senate President Peter Courtney welcomes Governor Kate Brown to her new role. Brown has served as House Representative, State Senator and Secretary of State over the last 24 years.

News of the week

Secretary of State Kate Brown was inaugurated as governor in a short ceremony in the House chamber on Wednesday, February 18. Past Governors Barbara Roberts and Ted Kulongoski were in attendance as well as all members of the legislature. Here’s a link to her speech: http://www.oregon.gov/newsroom/Pages/NewsDetail.aspx?newsid=607

Governor Brown has made a few key hires, the most notable being her temporary successor. Her deputy Robert Taylor will take over day-to-day responsibilities until she chooses a permanent successor. Senate Majority Leader Diane Rosenbaum and House Majority Leader Val Hoyle are named in the press as possible contenders for the position. 

Other key hires: Brian Shipley, chief of staff, Benjamin Souede, general counsel, Kristen Grainger, communications director, Gina Zejdlik, senior policy advisor. Here’s a link to bios: http://www.oregon.gov/newsroom/Pages/NewsDetail.aspx?newsid=608

 

March Budget Forecast

The latest budget forecast projects a potential $349 million “kicker” rebate to personal income taxpayers. This could have implications to the co-chairs’ $18.8 billion dollar budget. The final determination won’t come until after the end of the biennium on June 30. Here’s a link to the forecast: http://oregoneconomicanalysis.com

 

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 was heard 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 testified in support of this bill. Here’s a link to the testimony from the hearing: https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2015R1/Measures/Exhibits/SB132

SB 71, which allows the Oregon Health Authority to establish by rule the time frame for pharmacies reporting to the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program had a public hearing on 2/16.

SB 1, the bill to disband Cover Oregon, passed the Senate floor on Thursday, February 19. The bill now heads to the House. 

HB 2294, Oregon Health Information Technology bill, which will help facilitate projects such as the Emergency Department Information Exchange, is up for a vote on Friday, February 20.

Thing to Know: How long is Governor Brown’s term as Governor? Four years or two?

Governor Brown steps in just 38 days after Governor Kitzhaber started his fourth term in office. The constitutional mandate requires that voters weigh in at the General Election in 2016 to determine who will fill the remaining two years of Governor Kitzhaber’s term.

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

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