Committee Phone: 503-986-1813
Oregon’s legislative process is dependent on legislative committees, where most of the work to shape legislation and public policy is done.
Committees are made up of small groups of legislators from both political parties, who deal with related issues such as transportation, revenue, education, labor and economic development.
House and Senate committee members, committee chairpersons and vice chairpersons are appointed by their respective presiding officers. The committee chairperson has the power to determine which measures will be on the committee’s agenda. The chair also directs the committee’s staff and presides over its deliberations. In some instances, the committee chair may also appoint subcommittees.
Committee members consider the testimony of Oregon citizens; lobbyists; and business, education, and government agency representatives during public hearings on a measure. The number of public hearings held on a measure depends on the complexity of the issue. Sometimes an issue, considered a “housekeeping” measure, receives very little testimony.
The fate of a measure is determined during work sessions, when the committee debates and votes on measures. The committee may choose from several options when dealing with a measure. They may or may not choose to amend it. If they decide to report a measure out of committee, they may attach a recommendation to the body of do pass, do pass with amendments, or no recommendation. A committee may also choose to table a piece of legislation, thereby postponing its consideration until a motion is adopted to take from the table.