When Pinnacle’s BD Director, Jessica Biel, attended Oregon Housing Opportunity Day in Salem she quickly learned she needed to brush up on her Oregon Government Basics. See her post on what it was like to lobby for the first time.
Oregon Government Basics
- The Oregon Legislative Assembly includes two houses: The House of Representatives (lower house) and the Senate (upper house). You choose your representatives in the general election every even-numbered year in November.
- House of Representatives (aka House) – 60 members representing the 60 districts across the state. Districts are distributed into populations of approx. 65,000. House representatives are elected to serve two-year terms.
- Senate – 30 members elected to serve four-year terms. Each Senate district is composed of two House districts which encompass a total population of approx. 130,000.
- The Oregon Legislative Assembly is responsible for lawmaking and setting public policy. They are also responsible for the state’s biennial budget meaning they decide where and how much money the state will spend on its agencies and programs.
- They convene in Salem for legislative sessions once a year. Regular sessions meet each February and may not exceed 160 days in odd-numbered years and 35 days in even-numbered years.
- The Legislative Assembly accomplishes many tasks through six types of measures. Bills are the most common for lawmaking. They are introduced in the Senate or House and then flow through a committee before being voted on. Here is a great graphic to show the process: