2020 legislative session opens with conflict already in the air
Monday, February 3, 2020
The Oregon Legislature opens the 2020 annual session Monday, Feb. 3. This “short session” of 35 days constitutionally must conclude no later than Sunday, March 8.
The session’s compressed nature means tight timelines and a restriction on the number of bills. These structural constraints, combined with expected high-stakes session topics, have already upped the pressure in Salem.
It is unclear if the current version of Senate Bill 1530 is in its final form or if it even has the votes among senators. That has not stopped Republicans from openly discussing the possibility of another walkout similar to the 2019 walkout.
In education, there are relatively few bills filed, even for a short session. Most of the measures OSBA is actively in support of would make technical fixes to programs established in past sessions. Examples include House Bill 4044, which would make permanent the existing funding corrections for small and dorm schools in Oregon, and SB 1522, which would make technical fixes to bills increasing protections for students against employee sexual misconduct from the 2019 session.
Most of the work gets done the session’s first week. The procedural deadline for posting a hearing in which individual bills can be voted on, specifically called a Work Session, is this Friday, Feb. 7. After that, everyone in Salem will have a much better idea of what will be on the table this year.