HOUSE DISTRICT 39
For Immediate Release
February 28, 2013
Contact: Rep. Bill Kennemer, 503/986-1439
REP. KENNEMER PROPOSES MEASURE
TO INCREASE LEGISLATIVE COOPERATION
SALEM, OR – Pointing to the need for solid cooperation and full participation in the Oregon House of Representatives, Rep. Bill Kennemer (R – Clackamas County) has introduced HJR 27. It would require 40 instead of 31 votes to pass any legislation in the Oregon House. The measure is designed to promote the same kind of cooperation present during the 2011-2012 Sessions, when the House of Representatives was tied at 30-30 Democrats and Republicans.
“Since last session, I’ve been asking myself what was learned from the 2011 Session. We saw greater cooperation and less partisanship,” Rep. Kennemer said. “So, I worked to devise a proposal to promote that ideal.”
HJR 27 requires at least a two-thirds majority vote of all members of both chambers in the Oregon Legislature to pass bills or adopt joint resolutions. HJR 27 would require a change to the Oregon Constitution and thus be referred to voters for their approval.
“Under our current structure there is little need for cooperation when one party is in control, having 31 votes or more. The partisanship this promotes isn’t in the best interest of all Oregonians,” Kennemer said. “Requiring a two-thirds vote to pass a bill forces us all to work together toward better, more broadly supported public policy and law. Not since the 1950’s have either party held 40 or more votes in the House.”
“At the very least, receiving a hearing on HJR 27 will give us the opportunity to talk about how we might improve the process,” Kennemer said. “While it would take power away from the majority party, it would ensure more balanced bills and governance.”
Rep. Bill Kennemer was first elected to House District 39 in 2008. Prior to that, he served for 12 years as a Clackamas County Commissioner and 10 years as an Oregon State Senator. His district includes Beavercreek, Boring, Canby, Charbonneau, portions of Damascus and Happy Valley, Estacada, Mulino, Redland, and Rural Oregon City.
For more information, contact Rep. Kennemer at 503/986-1439 or firstname.lastname@example.org.