Resources

Glossary of Legislative terms

A-Engrossed
An engrossed (meaning "to make a final fair copy of") bill is a bill that is printed with its amendments. If a bill is so engrossed, it will be printed as "SB____, A-eng.," meaning "Senate Bill____, including its amendments." A bill may be amended more than once; in that case, the bill will be printed "B-eng.," and so on.

Administrative Rule
Any agency directive, standard, regulation or statement of general applicability that implements, interprets or prescribes law or policy, or describes the procedure or practice requirements of any agency. (ORS 183.310{8})

Agenda
The official work plan for a committee meeting.

A & R Tables
Officially known as the "Table of Sections Amended, Repealed, or Added To" printed in the Weekly Cumulative Index to Legislative Measures and in the final calendar. These printed tables show all Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS), Oregon Rules of Civil Procedure (ORCP), session law, and Constitution provisions amended, repealed, or "added to" by introduced measures. These tables are useful when researching changes made to particular pieces of legislation over the years.

Act
A bill which has been made law by passing both houses of the Legislature, and which either has been signed by the Governor, filed without the Governor's signature, or passed by both houses of the Legislature over the Governor's veto. Advance Sheets: The compilation of laws enacted and selected memorials and resolutions adopted during a single legislative session, issued periodically in paperback volumes before the publication of the Oregon Laws.

Amendment
An alteration made or proposed to be made to a measure. Measures may be amended more than once. (See also "gut and stuff")

Appropriation
A sum of money designated for a particular purpose by an Act. For example: an appropriations bill funds a state agency over the upcoming biennium.

Bar
The Bar is the railing along the sides of the House and Senate chambers which separates the chamber floor (see Floor) and the side aisle. Only legislators and certain legislative staff may be within the bar; only invited guests and staff may occupy the side aisles. The press is allowed both within the bar (in the press area) and in the side aisles.

Bicameral
A body made up of or having two houses, branches, or chambers. Oregon, for example, has a bicameral Legislature.

Biennial
Occurring every two years. The Legislature meets biennially. NOTE: Biannual means "occurring every six months."

Biennium
A two-year period. The Legislature meets once per biennium.

Bill
A measure that creates new law, amends or repeals existing law, appropriates money, prescribes fees, transfers functions from one agency to another, provides penalties, or takes other action.

Bill Back (blue/green back)
The cover of the measure, showing the bill number, title, and sponsors. It is also used on resolutions and memorials. The covers are green, and are sometimes referred to as "green backs." They are also referred to as "blue backs," despite the fact that they are not blue.

Blue (pink) Sheet
Blue sheets list those measures which are eligible for floor debate that have been filed with the desks. Published by the Chief Clerk of the House and the Secretary of the Senate, Blue Sheets signify House measures eligible for floor debate, and Pink Sheets signify Senate measures.

Call of the House/Call of the Senate
A Call of the House or Senate is a means of compelling all members (unless they are excused) of that chamber to present themselves for a vote on a particular matter. If it comes time for a vote, and it appears to members that other members are not present in the chamber, a motion from the floor directs the presiding officer to issue a call of the House or Senate. The Call empowers the Sergeant at Arms to lock the chamber, preventing those present from leaving, and requires the Sergeant at Arms to bring in absent members-under arrest, if necessary-for the vote.

Capital
Refers to the capital city of the state: Salem is the capital of Oregon.

Capitol
The Statehouse, or Capitol Building. Its address is: 900 Court St. NE., Salem, OR, 97310.

Capitol Use Services
The unit of the Legislative Administration Committee (LAC) which provides Capitol tours and manages room reservations in the Capitol. Sometimes known as Visitor Services.

Carrier
The Representative or Senator assigned by the Committee Chair to explain and speak in favor of a measure on the floor of the House or Senate and to answer questions about it. The Carrier does not have to be a member of the committee in which the bill was heard. If, for example, a particular Representative or Senator is known to be knowledgeable or interested in a bill's issue, the Committee Chair, as a courtesy, might ask that member to carry the bill.

Caucus
"Caucus" is used as both a noun and a verb. A caucus, n., is a group of people who share something in common (e.g. they are members of the same political party, such as the Senate Republican Caucus or the House Democratic Caucus, or come from the same area of the state, such as the Coastal Caucus or the Eastern Oregon Caucus, or share something else in common, such as the Freshman Caucus or the Women's Caucus).When these people caucus, v., they meet to address their group's policy questions and to select political candidates for office, or political party leaders. Both major party caucuses have meeting rooms in the Capitol Building.

Chair
The legislator appointed by the Speaker of the House or the President of the Senate to preside over an individual committee; for example: the Chair of the Ways and Means Committee.

Chairperson, Committee
See above.

Chief Clerk of the House
The chief administrative officer of the House of Representatives. The Chief Clerk is elected by all the members of the House, and is responsible for keeping records of the proceedings of the House, supervising House employees, acting as parliamentarian of the House and advising members on parliamentary procedures, and preparing all House publications for printing.

"Christmas Tree" Bill
A "Christmas Tree" bill is generally passed late in a legislative session and contains funding for particular projects. It gains its name from the "ornaments" that are attached to attract votes.

Committee Administrator
The staff "manager" of a committee, responsible for bill management, meeting logistics, assembling background materials and information, and bill analysis.

Committee Counsel
Another name for a Committee Administrator who is an attorney. Some committees, such as the Judiciary Committee, require that their administrators be licensed attorneys.

Committee Records
Located in Room 349 of the Capitol, the Committee Records Office responds to requests for information by providing copies of minutes, exhibits and audio tapes of legislative committee meetings.

Committee Report
A one page report made to the Speaker of the House or the President of the Senate by a standing, special, or conference committee, which recommends further action on a measure, or reports the measure without recommendation.

Concurrent Resolution
A measure affecting actions or procedures of both houses of the Legislature. A concurrent resolution is used to express sympathy, commendation, or to commemorate the dead.

Conference Committee
A committee usually consisting of two or three members of each house, appointed by their respective presiding officers. A conference committee is appointed when one house refuses to concur with amendments to a measure adopted by the other house. Its goal is to prepare a version of the measure acceptable to both houses. A conference committee does not actually have to meet.

Conflict
A conflict occurs when two or more bills amend or repeal the same ORS section, although there may be no substantive conflict in the proposed legislation. The Oregon Constitution allows the compilation of more than one amendment unless the amendments conflict in purpose.

Constituent
A citizen residing within the district of a legislator (or other elected official.)

Current Service Level
A budgetary term that refers to any budget proposal which requests future funding for service provision "at the current level." The current service level will reflect changes due to inflation, labor contract changes, caseload changes, and any other changes required to continue to provide the same level of service.

Desk
The station of the Chief Clerk of the House or the Secretary of the Senate and assistants at the front of the Senate or House chamber. This term also refers to the offices of the Chief Clerk of the House and the Secretary of the Senate.

Desk Personnel
The people who work at the Desks: the Secretary of the Senate, the Chief Clerk of the House, and their staffs, which include, for example, the Journal Editor, Reading Clerks, and Calendar Composer.

Digest
The brief measure summary found at the top of a bill. The Digest is written by Legislative Counsel.

District
A geographical area designated for representation by a Senator and/or Representative. Legislative districts are drawn to ensure that a nearly equal number of constituents reside in each legislator's district, and are re-drawn by a specially-appointed Legislative committee every ten years to accurately reflect changes in population.

Do Pass
The recommendation by a committee for passage, abbreviated "DP." (Note: sometimes incorrectly written as "due pass.") "DPA" means "do pass with amendments."

Drop
Refers to submitting a committee report to the appropriate desk, as in "I dropped the bill at the desk at 6:20 p.m."

Effective Date
The normal effective date of an Act that is not referred to the people (See Referendum Clause) is the 91st day after adjournment sine die, unless the Act contains special provisions, such as an emergency clause or a special (delayed) effective date.

Emergency Board
The joint committee of Senators and Representatives that meets during interim periods to address state fiscal and budgetary matters.

Emergency Clause
A statement added to the end of a measure which causes the Act to become effective before the accustomed date (the 91st day after adjournment sine die). An emergency clause either sets a specific date or is effective immediately, which means that the measure will take effect on the date of its signature into law. NOTE: emergency clauses may not be attached to bills which would raise revenue.

Employee Services
The unit of LAC which manages personnel and payroll, including recruitments, for LAC, the Assembly, Fiscal, Counsel and Revenue.

Engrossed Bill
A measure that is printed with its amendments included. Such a bill will have "A (or B or C, etc.) Engrossed" printed at the top, which is a signal to legislators before a vote that the bill before them has changed from its original version.

Enrolled Bill
A final copy of a bill which has passed both houses of the Legislature and has been specially reprinted in preparation for the signatures of the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House. .After these confirmatory signatures, the enrolled bill goes to the Governor.

Exhibit
Anything submitted for the record which supplements a witness' oral testimony. An exhibit can also be a copy of a witness' oral testimony.

Facility Services
The unit of LAC which maintains the Capitol ,including heating and cooling, custodial service, and ongoing maintenance, as well as telephone service, supplies and distribution services.

Financial Services
The unit of LAC which manages finances and accounting for LAC and the Assembly, as well as member service and supply accounts. Responsible for preparation of LAC and Assembly budgets.

First Reading
The recitation on the chamber floor of the measure number, title, and sponsor by the Reading Clerk upon introduction of a measure in either house (sponsor name is read only in the Senate; the House reads just measure number and title). After the first reading, the measure is referred to committee by the Speaker or President. According to House rules, a bill must go to a relevant substantive committee.

Fiscal Impact Statement
A statement that estimates future costs resulting from the passage of a bill. Fiscal impact statements are prepared by the Legislative Fiscal Office and the Oregon Department of Administrative Services. House and Senate rules require committees to have a Legislative Fiscal Office fiscal impact statement before they take final action on a measure, unless the bill is going to the Ways and Means Committee.

Floor
The area within the bar in both the House and Senate Chambers.

Floor Personnel
This term refers to staff who work in either the Senate or the House chamber. Floor Personnel include the Sergeants-at-Arms, the Distribution Manager, pages, and doorkeepers.

Form and Style Manual for Legislative Measures
The manual that explains the official, uniform system for preparation of all legislative measures. Both houses of the Oregon Legislative Assembly follow this uniform system set out in the manual, and it has been adopted by reference in the standing rules of both houses.

General Election
An election involving most or all constituencies in a state (or nation) in choosing candidates for office and voting on ballot measures. In Oregon, the general election is held on the first Tuesday following a Monday in November.

Germane-ness
"Germane" means "appropriate, relevant, pertinent." As the term is used in the Oregon Legislature, "germane-ness" refers to whether or not a concept or idea fits into a bill. It is a different way of talking about Oregon's "one-subject" rule, which states that bills may only address one subject. (See Relating-to Clause.)

"Gut and Stuff"
A slang term which refers to removing the text of a measure and inserting entirely new language which, while it may change the nature of the bill completely, still falls under the measure's "relating-to" clause.

Hand-engrossed
A "hand-engrossed bill" is one that has had its amendments manually inserted (by physically cutting out the amended sections of the bill and writing or pasting in the new amendments) by the Committee staff. This is done to allow committee members to see clearly which parts of a bill under consideration have been amended.

Hearing
A public meeting of a legislative committee held for the purpose of taking testimony concerning proposed legislation.

House of Representatives
The legislative body of 60 members, called Representatives, each of which represents a district of approximately 47,000 Oregon citizens.

"Indefinitely Postponed"
A motion from the floor to postpone further consideration of a bill, without identifying a time certain for further consideration. In the majority of cases, bills that are indefinitely postponed are not heard again.

Information Systems
The unit of LAC which manages all computer and media systems, including closed circuit television, within the Capitol. Formerly known as "OLIS," but not to be confused with the OLIS 2000 computer system.

Interim
The period of time between two sessions of the Legislative Assembly.

Interim Committee
A legislative committee authorized by the Legislative Assembly to study a particular subject or subjects between sessions. Interim committees are appointed by leadership at some time after the end of session.

Initiative
A system of direct legislation by the people. Approved in 1902, it allows the citizenry of Oregon to propose new laws or change the State Constitution through a general election ballot measure. To place an initiative on the ballot, supporters must obtain a specified number of signatures from registered voters. The number required is determined by a fixed percentage of the votes cast for all candidates for governor at the general election preceding the filing of the petition. Initiative petitions for statutory enactments require six percent, currently 73,261 signatures. (See also: Referendum)

Joint Committee
A legislative committee composed of members of both houses. NOTE: Committees may also meet jointly: that is, two committees may meet simultaneously, for example, to hear testimony on matters of interest to both committees. Such a meeting does not constitute a joint committee.

Oregon Legislative Guide
A directory listing the names and office locations of all members, names and room locations of all committees, a Capitol floor plan, telephone numbers, and other pertinent Legislative information.

Joint Legislative Schedule
A document published daily during Legislative sessions identifying planned committee meetings, locations, and bills scheduled to be discussed.

Joint Memorial
A measure adopted by both houses and used to make a request of or to express an opinion to Congress, the President of the United States, or both. It is not used to commemorate the dead.

Joint Resolution
A measure used for proposing constitutional amendments, creating interim committees, giving direction to a state agency, expressing legislative approval of action taken by someone else, or authorizing a kind of temporary action to be taken. A joint resolution may also authorize expenditures out of the legislative expense appropriations.

Journal
The edited record of all the proceedings on the floors of both houses, published after each legislative session.

LC Draft
"L.C." refers to "legislative concept": a draft of an idea for legislation, prepared by Legislative Counsel. Each LC draft has its own number-LC 345, for example-but if the draft is introduced as a measure, it assumes a new bill number. So in our example, LC 345, if introduced in the House, would then become HB 2000, or whatever number it is assigned.

Leadership
The presiding elected officers of each house: the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House. (See also Legislative Leadership) They are elected by all the members of each chamber when the body organizes for a legislative session following a general election. On occasion, "leadership" also refers to the Majority and Minority Leaders, who are elected by their respective caucuses.

Legislative Administrator
The chief administrative officer of the Legislative Administration Committee who coordinates service functions-visitor services, personnel and payroll, facilities, financial services, information systems, committee staffing, and mail and distribution, -for the Legislative Assembly.

Legislative Counsel/LC
The bill drafter for and legal adviser to the Legislative Assembly, and the chief administrative officer for the Legislative Counsel Committee. The Legislative Counsel office also publishes and distributes Oregon Laws and edits, indexes, annotates, and publishes the Oregon Revised Statutes. Note that "LC" also refers to "legislative concepts," which are bill drafts that have not yet been introduced.

Legislative Fiscal Officer
The statutory fiscal advisor to the Legislative Assembly, and chief administrative officer for the Emergency Board, the Joint Ways and Means Committee, the Joint Legislative Audit Committee and the Joint Information Management and Technology Committee. In addition, the Legislative Fiscal Office prepares fiscal impact statements for all proposed bills.

Legislative Leadership
The presiding elected officers of each house: the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House. (See also Leadership)

Legislative Library
Located in Room 347 of the Capitol, the Legislative Library maintains a collection of catalogued documents on legislative issues; periodicals and newspapers; legislative committee minutes, measures and measure analyses from recent sessions and interims; and legislative measures -- status reports, journals, and laws from past sessions. The library collection and research services are available to legislators and legislative staff, committees and committee staff, and the general public.

Legislative Publications and Distribution Services
A section of Facility Services popularly known as "distribution" or "the bill room, "this legislative service unit receives all printed measures, measure status reports, and digests from the State Printer and distributes these publications to legislators and members of the public on call or by mail upon request. A small supply of basic office supplies is stocked for purchase by Capitol occupants.

Legislative Revenue Officer
The statutory chief revenue analyst for the Legislative Assembly and chief administrative officer for the interim revenue committees and the separate standing House and Senate Committees on Revenue. In addition, the Legislative Revenue Office prepares revenue impact statements for all proposed bills.

Lobbyist
A person who is employed by an organization to represent its interests before the Legislature.

Majority Leader
A legislator elected by his or her peers to lead the party having the majority in his or her house. The majority leader is responsible for the development and implementation of the caucus agenda.

Mason's Manual
The source document for legislative parliamentary procedures. It is used in Oregon only in instances which are not provided for in the Oregon Constitution or the rules of either house.

Measure
A written document used by the Legislative Assembly to propose a law or to express itself as a body. A measure may be a bill, a memorial, or a resolution.

Measure Status Report
A document published daily during a Legislative Session listing the measures introduced to date, the action taken on each measure, the dates of hearings and work sessions, and other legislative information. After adjournment, a compilation of every measure introduced during the session is published in the Final Legislative Measures -- Status Report. Measure status information for the current and previous session is available on-line through the OLIS 2000 information system. (See OLIS 2000)

Memorial
A measure adopted by either the House or the Senate (a measure adopted by both is a joint memorial) to make a request of or express an opinion to Congress or the President of the United States, or both. It is not used to commemorate the dead. (See Concurrent Resolution)

Minority Leader
A legislator elected by his or her peers to lead the party in the minority in his or her house. The minority leader is responsible for the development and implementation of the caucus agenda.

Minority Report
A minority report is a committee report (See Committee Report) written by at least two committee members who are in the minority on the issue in question on a particular bill (NOT necessarily in the political minority party) for the purposes of officially stating their position on the issue.

Minutes
A written record of the proceedings of a committee. By Oregon statute, the official record of a meeting is the tape recording of its proceedings; the written record accompanying it serves as an index to the contents of the tapes.

Motion
The formal way of directing debate on the floor. It is the way, for example, that a member introduces a measure for debate on the floor.

"Note from Mother"
A requirement from Legislative Counsel of any person who wishes to work with Legislative Counsel on a bill or its amendments. A "note from mother" is actually a note from any legislator(not just the Chair of the committee hearing the bill) authorizing someone to work with Legislative Counsel on a bill or its amendments.

OLIS 2000
An on-line, integrated information system that includes the history of each measure, schedule of committee meetings, a general legislative summary, executive appointments, and conflict information. It is compiled by both the Senate and House desks, the Office of the Legislative Counsel, and the Policy and Research Office. OLIS 2000 also provides measure tracking functions to members, legislative staff, and caucus offices. Information maintained in OLIS 2000 is the source for many session publications.

Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR)
A compilation of the administrative rules of Oregon state agencies, compiled, indexed, and published by the Secretary of State's Office.

Oregon Laws
The collected laws and selected memorials and resolutions of a legislative session. (See Advance Sheets)

Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS)
The codified laws of the State of Oregon. The ORS is published every two years to incorporate each session's new laws. The most recent version of the ORS will have the date of the most recent Legislative session.

Original Bill Folder
The file folder that contains official bill documentation: a copy of the bill, committee reports, staff measure summary, and fiscal and revenue impact statements. The original bill file is distributed to committee staff when the bill is referred to committee and is returned to the desks with official documentation when the bill is reported out of committee. The House uses blue folders and the Senate yellow folders for original bill folders.

Page
A person who works on the chamber floors, and occasionally in committees, to distribute materials, open doors, pass notes, and generally facilitate the legislative work flow. Honorary pages are guests of members who serve as pages for a day.

Parliamentary Inquiry
An inquiry of the Committee Chair, in committee, or of the presiding officer on the floor, concerning parliamentary process.

Passage
Favorable action on a measure before either house.

Per diem
"For the day:" an allowance made to legislators for travel expenses when on Legislative business.

Point of Inquiry
A motion from the floor or from a committee member in order to ask a question. Typically, such questions are about such issues as parliamentary procedures or agenda items under consideration.

Point of Order
A motion from the floor or from a committee member calling attention to a breach of order or a breach of rules.

Point of Personal Privilege
A way in which a legislator can get the attention of the presiding officer on the floor of either chamber. It is used, for example, when a legislator wants to introduce a guest or acknowledge someone.

Policy Analyst
The "lead worker" in a particular policy area in the Policy and Research Office. Provides research support and policy analysis on a non-partisan basis to the Legislative Assembly, and serves as a Committee Administrator during regular legislative sessions.

Policy and Research Office
The unit of LAC which provides non-partisan, ongoing staff research, policy analysis, and committee staff support to the Legislative Assembly.

President of the Senate
The presiding officer of the Senate, elected by all members of the Senate when the Senate organizes for a regular Legislative session.

President Pro Tempore
President "for a time": a Senator elected to serve as the temporary President in the absence of the President of the Senate.

Primary Election
A preliminary election in which only the registered voters of a political party nominate candidates for office. A political party may allow registered independents to vote in a primary election.

Propositions and Motions
A customary, traditional order of business on the floor where legislators may make a motion if they wish. Otherwise, motions cannot be made until the Third Reading of a bill.

Quorum
The number of members required to be present before business can be transacted in the House, Senate, or a committee. In the House, 40 members must be present; in the Senate, 20 members; and in committees a constitutional majority constitutes a quorum. (NOTE: according to House and Senate Rules, if a quorum is not present, the Chair can convene the committee as a subcommittee for the purposes of taking testimony ONLY.)

Reconsideration
Taking a second vote on a measure after a motion to do so. A bill may be reconsidered by a committee after being voted out of committee, if it has not yet been dropped at the Desk. A vote on a bill may also be reconsidered on the floor.

Refer
To direct a bill to a committee: HB 2000 was referred to the Ways and Means Committee. Bill referrals are made by the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House.

Referendum
The submission of a law, proposed by the Legislature or already in effect, to a direct vote of the people. In Oregon, both houses of the Legislature must vote to refer a statute or constitutional amendment for a popular vote. Such referrals cannot be vetoed by the governor. In addition, to place a referendum on the ballot, supporters must obtain a specified number of signatures from registered voters. The number required is determined by a fixed percentage of the votes cast for all candidates for governor at the general election preceding the filing of the petition. Referendum petitions require four percent, currently 48,841 signatures. (See also: Initiative)

Referendum Clause
A clause added to the end of a measure which causes the Act to be referred to the people for their approval or rejection before it takes effect. The Act then goes on the ballot for a vote at the next general election, unless the Legislative Assembly calls a special election for it.

Relating-to Clause
The clause found just underneath the title of a bill identifying its subject matter: for example, HB 2000, relating to charter schools. In Oregon, a bill may only address one subject, and for this reason the relating-to clause becomes an important element of the bill. Relating-to clauses may be broad or narrow.

Remonstrance
A protest. It is a Constitutional right of legislators that "any member of either house shall have the right to protest, and have his protest, with his reasons for dissent, entered on the journal."(Oregon Constitution, Article IV, Section 26)

Report Out
To return a measure from a committee to the Senate or House Desk with or without recommendation as to further action.

Resolution
A measure used by the House or the Senate (a measure used by both would be a joint resolution) to take an action that would affect only its own members, such as appointing a committee of its members, or expressing in opinion or sentiment on a matter of public interest.

Revenue Impact Statement
An analysis of a bill done by the Legislative Revenue Office which identifies any potential state or local revenue changes that might result from the bill's passage.

Roll Call
A recitation by the Reading Clerk of each legislator's name, done at the beginning of a floor session, or during a Call of the House or Senate, for the purposes of identifying those present.

Rules
The guidelines by which the Senate, the House of Representatives, or a committee governs its meetings. Rules are formally adopted at the first convening of the Legislative Assembly or of a committee, and require a vote (with at least a quorum of members present) for official adoption.

Second Reading
Like the First Reading, a recitation of the measure's number, title, and sponsor by the Reading Clerk (in the House, just the measure number and title are read). Second Reading occurs after the measure has been referred to committee, worked on, and reported back to the floor (in the house where it originated) for a vote.

Secretary of the Senate
The chief administrative officer of the Senate. The Secretary of the Senate is elected by all the members of the Senate, and is responsible for keeping records of the proceedings of the Senate, supervising Senate employees, acting as parliamentarian of the Senate and advising members on parliamentary procedures, and preparing all Senate publications for printing. Senate: The legislative body consisting of 30 members, called Senators, each representing districts of approximately 94,000 Oregon citizens.

Sergeant at Arms
A non-legislator elected by each house to maintain order within that chamber.

Session
The period of time in which the Legislative Assembly officially convenes. The regular session begins on the second Monday in January of every odd-numbered year. Special sessions may be convened at the call of the Governor or of a majority of the members of the Legislative Assembly.

Session Laws
Officially called the Oregon Laws, the session laws are a compilation of laws enacted and selected memorials and resolutions adopted during a single session. They are published in bound volumes with tables and an index. (NOTE: the Oregon Laws are not the same as the ORS: the ORS is the codified set of all current Oregon laws.)

Sine Die
"Without fixing a day for a future meeting": the last day of a legislative session.

Speaker of the House
The presiding officer of the House of Representatives, elected by all members of the House when it convenes for a regular Legislative Session.

Speaker Pro Tempore
Speaker "for a time": a Representative elected to serve as the temporary Speaker in the absence of the Speaker of the House. Special (select) committee: A committee authorized by Senate or House Rules to study a limited subject.

Special Session
A convening of the Legislature called by the Governor or a majority of the members of the Legislative Assembly, at a time other than during a regular session. Typically, special sessions of the Legislature are called for the purpose of addressing a specific state problem or issue.

Sponsor
The legislator(s), state agency, or legislative committee which introduces a measure. The name of this person or committee is printed at the top of the measure.

Staff Measure Summary
A brief, impartial description of a measure that must accompany the measure when it is reported out of committee.

STAIRS
The on-line statutory reference system which contains the text of the ORS and measures for the current legislative session.

Standing Committee
A permanent committee during a session authorized and named by Senate or House Rules.

Statute
A codified law. (NOTE: "Codify" means "to arrange laws systematically." A codified law is one that has been incorporated into that section of the ORS that it amends, modifies, or accompanies.)

Statutory Committee
A Legislative committee established by statute.

Subcommittee
A subordinate committee composed of members appointed by the Chair (or by House or Senate leadership) from the full committee. A subcommittee will consider a narrower range of topics than the full committee, and generally is authorized only to make recommendations to the full committee.

Subsequent Referral
When the Speaker or President designates a bill to go to two committees, one after the other: for example, a tax measure might first be referred to a committee to consider the substantive issues, and then to the Revenue committee to consider the revenue issues.

Substitute Measure
A measure submitted by a standing committee as a substitute for a measure referred to it. It is treated in the same manner as is an amendment if it is germane to the title and subject of the original measure.

Summary
The measure summary or digest found printed near the top of a bill.

Sunset Clause
A statement added to the end of a measure which causes the act to "sunset," or become ineffective, after a certain date.

Table
"Table" is used as both a noun and a verb. Tables, n., are found at the back of the calendars, and display legislative information in a variety of ways. Table, v., is used in reference to stopping bills from further action in committees or on the floor: a bill is tabled by a vote, after a non-debatable motion from a member.

"Tap-tap" Hearing
On occasion, leadership in one or both houses will instruct committee chairs to discontinue hearings on new bills after a certain date. A "tap-tap hearing" refers to a hearing in which a committee chair schedules a large number of bills to be heard in one meeting prior to the cut-off date. In rapid succession, the chair opens(with a gavel drop) and closes (with a gavel drop) public hearings on the bills: hence the "tap tap" moniker.

Task Force
A legislative committee authorized by legislative leadership to study a specific subject for a specified period of time. A task force may contain lay members, and is different from a committee in that it typically considers a narrow subject within a broader topic area: a task force would consider mental health in Oregon rather than health issues in Oregon.

Third Reading
As in First or Second Readings, a recitation of a measure's number, title, and sponsor (in the House, just the measure number and title are read) by the Reading Clerk on the floor before consideration by either house, usually done before a final vote.

Third Reading Calendar
A publication devoted exclusively to listing all measures on the agenda for Third Reading and final passage on a given day. It lists the measures in subject order, and includes measures scheduled for consideration under Propositions and Motions (see above) and, in the Senate, action on Executive Appointments.

Time Certain
A means of designating a definite time for a certain activity, for example, to hear a particular bill.

Veto
An action of the Governor in disapproval of a measure that has passed both houses. After a veto, the bill is returned to its house of origin with written objections. A Governor's veto may be reconsidered by both houses, and if it is again passed by two-thirds of the members present, it is considered overridden and becomes law. It is reconsidered upon a motion from the floor, and must be reconsidered at the very next Legislative session following the veto.

Vice-Chair
A committee member chosen by the Speaker or President to serve as the committee chair in the chair's absence.

Vote Explanation
On occasion, a legislator may wish the official record to reflect the reason why he or she voted yes or no on a particular bill. This vote explanation is found in the Journal, following the vote record of a bill. Weekly Cumulative Index to Legislative Measures: A subject index to measures, published weekly during legislative sessions.

Whip
A term used at the federal level to refer to the Deputy Majority Leader. It derives from the British fox-hunting term "whipper-in, "which described the person responsible for keeping the foxhounds from leaving the pack. Some, but not all, of the caucuses in the Oregon Legislature use the term "whip" in reference to the deputy majority or minority leader.

Witness
A person who testifies before a legislative committee.

Work Session
A committee meeting held for the purpose of determining the contents of a measure to be reported to the Desk. A work session is different from a public hearing: in a work session, no testimony is taken from the public, although the public may attend the hearing.

About OSBA's legislative advocacy

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