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Monday, January 14, 2008

Isn't that special?

The Oregon Legislature's "special" session -- planned even before the regular session was finished -- is about to begin. Sure, it's illegal, but I suspect there's no real remedy for that kind of bending of the state constitution. Anyway, my representative in the House, Jackie "Bat" Dingfelder, sent out an e-newsletter the other day that gave us a sneak preview of what they'll be working on:

It is an ambitious undertaking, but with most committees meeting this month to prep for February, we will be ready to act on many items right at the start of the Supplemental Session. Some bills we will see are increasing regulations for mortgage lending and foreclosure practices in Oregon, improving toy safety laws, and adding child protective workers to regularly visit homes and ensure children are in a safe environment. We will also see bills aimed at moving the Oregon State Police toward twenty-four hour per day coverage on Oregon highways, improving water storage and land use policies, and further addressing climate change.
See anything there that couldn't have been done in the regular session? Me neither.

Anyway, Dingfelder is a hard-working politician who's running for the State Senate -- she even showed up ringing our doorbell a while back -- and so I'm sure she'll be keeping us abreast of the latest from Salem.

Comments (9)

Besides, even if the courts were to declare it unconstitutional, the governor has the authority to order the legislation into a special session and would likely do so.

No sense complying with the law when it's more convenient to break it...

Ya think this might be the camel's nose poking under the tent? (The camel being a full-time legislature).

I think it's a good idea to have the legislature meet during an election year, so that voters can remember what it did--and din't--get accomplished. If it does this, however, it should stop meeting in odd years.

"and adding child protective workers to regularly visit homes and ensure children are in a safe environment."

Get the door, its DHS!!

Is now the right stage to reach the merits of whether this special session is legal?

I would draw a parallel to folks objecting to the placement of measure X Y or Z on the ballot based on the argument that if enacted, followed by a ruling on the merits at some future date, would result in a court ruling in favor of the objector anyway, on the merits.

If now is not the "right" time then a later objection based on procedural grounds, and not the merits, must surely be the right time to object to the holding of the special session. No?

The ethics folks will meet in Gresham on Tuesday on campaign finance issues. (Go by MAX!)

"[Legislative Concept] Drafts will be available during or after the committee meeting."

Who knows what is in the "concept?" Two calls today to the committee sent me to a recorder . . .

Boy just imagine if they can't get any of those emergencies handled in this emergency session.

They'll need an emergency special session, like in June or something.

Of course by then there'll be so many more emergencies they'll only fall further behind.

Then next thing we know there will actually be an emergency.

Good thing they are on top of things.

I agree with Gil about this "special session". I think they would love to be like the California State Legislature, highly paid and dysfunctional on many levels.

Since they're convening, how about some consumer legislation requiring full disclosure of all surcharges added to goods and services. Think airfare with teaser rates instead including all taxes and port fees. Think cell phone service teaser rates instead including all "extra" charges.My $39.95 teaser rate has never been $39.95. Want to invest in a CD, try finding out in advance what the cost is to obtain the investment. It's either a hidden account set up fee, or a flat fee hidden in the agreement. How many times have you pursued a teaser rate only to find out later the actual cost is a bit more? Why isn't that false advertising? Is full disclosure a bipartisan ideal? Whadaya think Repubs?

Since they're convening, how about some consumer legislation...

Don't hold your breath. This crowd has no idea how to actually address an issue until it becomes a "crisis". Even then they're like rats in a maze. As long as the AG and his flunkies are still sleeping soundly in their offices, you'll never see ANY effective consumer legislation or enforcement.

As for annual sessions for the legislature, two times zero still equals zero.

Vote Kroger for AG!

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