Don’t blink. The Oregon Legislature convenes this month, and there are some large questions to be answered. Unlike the odd-year slog of a session that feels like a marathon on a hilly course in the rain, the 35-day short session is more akin to watching Usain Bolt run 100 meters. It’s a blur of motion.
The looming question of which bills will pass the legislature—and which are doomed—will not take long to answer because the deadlines to pass out of committee occur almost right out of the gate. Of course, the elephant in the Capitol cloakroom is how the Oregon Senate Republican caucus will engage the cap-and-trade bill that garnered national attention last year. Will they fight it on the Senate floor, or will they use a similar tactic to the 2019 session and deny the Democratic super-majority a quorum by leaving the state? No one seems to know the answer, adding to the drama of a session that is already full of drama.
ORECA will be in the Capitol this month, and will be following the cap-and-trade bill along with a host of other measures, such as wildfire and electric vehicle legislation. We will work to get these right because in the unscripted drama of the Oregon Legislature, only one thing is certain: It may be over in a flash, but the consequences of the legislature’s actions will be felt far longer than the 35-day session that produced them.