End of long session means time to reconnect

The 2019 legislative session has adjourned.

Both the House and Senate dropped the final gavels June 30, the constitutionally required end of session.

If the session hadn’t ended on the 30th, any bills that had not passed out of both the House and Senate would have died.

Unlike the federal government, the Oregon constitution requires that the legislature pass a balanced budget every two years. If the session had ended without the budget, a special session would have been called by the governor.

Even though the duration of the session has a constitutional limit, an indefinite number of special sessions is allowed.  It is conceivable that the legislature could perpetually be in a session.

If that were to happen, this legislator would resign!

With the end of session only being in the rear view mirror a week, I already have people coming to me with bill ideas.  Some of those are bills that died during this session, while others are new ideas.

I’ve been asked no less than a few times the past week if I’m taking time off now that I’m not in the Capitol every day.  I am trying to squeeze in a few fishing trips this summer and, more importantly, some grandbaby time, but there is plenty of work to do.

This is the time I use to develop those “great bill ideas.”

When I am working on a bill concept, I intentionally look for people who may oppose the bill. It is better to work with those in opposition ahead of time, assuming they have reasonable concerns, so the concerns can potentially be addressed while there is plenty of time to work out issues.

I also use the duration between sessions to spend more time in district.

I frequently meet with constituents in coffee shops or even in their homes.  During session, folks are always inviting me to their place of business, nonprofit, or various work sites.

My staff is busy scheduling those visits now.

The business of session is over, and for that I am grateful.  Although my schedule is quickly filling up, visiting with people in my district is the part of my job that motivates me to keep working in Salem to make sure our values are heard and understood every bit as much as those in Portland.