The connection between citizens and their government is strengthened when the public has ample opportunity to have their concerns heard by the legislature.
In Oregon’s representative form of government, the legislature is integral to the process of proposing, deliberating and setting public policy.
The primary functions of the Legislative Assembly are to enact new laws and revise existing ones relating to the health, education and general welfare of Oregonians, and to make decisions that keep the state in good economic and environmental condition. An informal, but highly significant, function is to provide a forum for resolution of group conflicts and expressions of public grievances. This public/legislative interaction frequently occurs without enactment of any new laws.
The Legislative Assembly, often referred to as state government’s board of directors, is responsible for a biennial budget in excess of $10 billion. The power to allocate state monies gives the legislature influence over the executive branch. In deciding where and how much money the state will spend on its agencies and programs, the legislature establishes priorities and sets public policy.
In addition to enacting laws, setting public policy, and administering the state’s budget, legislators review administrative rules drafted by state agencies. An additional responsibility is the Senate’s confirmation of certain executive appointments made by the Governor.