The Oregon Legislature convened on February 3 for a 35-day short legislative session. This OSU Government Relations update aims to provide a mid-session review of Oregon State University’s legislative priorities for 2020.Continue reading
This month marks the end of my 20-year career as Director of Government Relations at OSU. I was drawn to OSU by President Paul Risser in 1999 after working with him while I served on a temporary federal appointment in Governor John Kitzhaber’s office. The Governor asked Risser to chair a citizen commission charged with resolving intractable water quality problems in the Willamette River Basin, and I was serving as the Governor’s liaison to the commission. At its first meeting, Risser, an ecologist, asked the members to briefly address the issues of interest to them. After listening to an hour-long free-ranging collection of concerns which fully described Oregon’s urban-rural divide, Risser briefly synthesized the discussion into a cogent summary that eventually became the commission’s work plan. I thought he was the smartest person I’d ever met.Continue reading
Looking to the 2020 legislative session
Universities will be focused on two major priorities as they approach the 2020 legislative session. First, because the legislature postponed decisions about capital facilities on individual campuses during the 2019 session, the universities seeking commitments of state-financed bonds for capital renewal and/or new buildings on their campuses. During the 2019 session the legislature did approve $65 million in bonding for capital renewal projects. These funds will be distributed among the campuses according to a mutually agreed-upon formula developed by the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC). But, in synch with the Governor’s recommendation upon entering the 2019 session, the legislature deferred making decisions about individual campus projects, pending the results of what turned out to be a 280-page 10-year strategic capital development plan commissioned by the HECC. The study assessed the long-term campus trends and needs, and in October the HECC approved the plan. Now, HECC staff have incorporated the findings in recommendations to be considered this week. (These issues will be addressed in Capital Construction below.)Continue reading
The 80th Oregon Legislative Assembly adjourned on Sunday, June 30th, with about six hours to spare before its midnight deadline. Please find a summary of our legislative budget priorities and outcomes of the 2019 Legislative Session here: https://government.oregonstate.edu/sites/government.oregonstate.edu/files/2019_osu_legislative_scorecard.pdf
Jock & Claire
This update provides a summary of the 2019-21 budget for the Higher Education Coordinating Commission, including the seven public universities, approved by the Joint Ways and Means Subcommittee on Education during its June 11th meeting. For the Legislative Fiscal Office Report, click here.
Last fall OSU President Ed Ray endorsed the creation of the Presidential Student Legislative Advocates (PSLA) program with the two-pronged intent of increasing student advocacy in the Oregon legislative process while providing students an opportunity to learn about, and engage in, public policy issues of concern to them.
With the June 30th deadline for adjournment just over a month and a half away, the Oregon Legislature is nearing a final vote on a $2 billion revenue package, is considering over 90 amendments to a comprehensive joint “carbon action plan,” and is considering various proposals for addressing housing costs and efforts to control cost increases in the state’s public employee retirement system (PERS).
The 80th Legislative Assembly officially convened on Tuesday, January 22nd. Committees have begun to hold hearings on the well over 1,400 bills that have been pre-session filed. Over the next six months, more than double that number will ultimately be introduced for consideration.
This update provides a brief summary of the gubernatorial and state legislative races in Oregon with a forecast for the 2019 legislative session.