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Story by Kimberly West - The Oregon Herald Oregon Hera
Published on Tuesday March 2, 2010 - 8:48 AM
 
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Oregon voters will decide this November whether state lawmakers should hold annual legislative sessions. Lawmakers in Salem Thursday approved a plan to ask voters to change the state's constitution to allow annual legislative gatherings. It was one of the final votes of this month's special session, which adjourned Thursday afternoon.

Democratic Senator Diane Rosenbaum said it's time that Oregon catches up with the rest of the country.

Diane Rosenbaum: “I am supporting this today because I think Oregonians want us to join the 45 other states that meet every year.”



If voters approve the change, lawmakers would meet about 5 months in odd-numbered years and just over a month in even-numbered years. That schedule was the subject of a last-minute showdown between the House and Senate, which delayed adjournment by about a day.

If voters approve the change, lawmakers would meet about 5 months in odd-numbered years and just over a month in even-numbered years.

That schedule was the subject of a last-minute showdown between the House and Senate, which delayed adjournment by about a day.

?When the Oregon Constitution outlined how the Legislature would work, Oregon was very much a horse and buggy state,? Devlin said in a statement. ?Times have changed and the Legislature ought to reflect that. (The bill) would allow the Legislature to effectively execute the responsibilities that require ongoing presence, leadership and oversight while making better use of taxpayer dollars.?

Sen. Ted Ferrioli, the senate?s John Day-based minority leader, opposed the measure. After the Senate Rules Committee passed it earlier this week, he called it ?an opportunity to do great evil more often.?

Supporters maintain that regular even-year sessions would help lawmakers avoid unplanned special sessions, sometimes required to address budget issues.