Prepared by: Markee and Associates

The 2022 legislative session adjourned late morning on Friday, March 4th. It was the first time in nearly two years the public was able to access the capitol building despite committees being conducted completely virtually. While it was yet another unusual session to navigate as access was complicated due to building construction and a number of other factors, the overall tenor of the session was somewhat less contentious than the last several sessions. Marked by completely new house leadership and the upcoming retirement of the longest serving Senate President in Oregon’s history it was also a symbolic passing of the baton. In the House, Representative Dan Rayfield was voted in as Speaker, and Rep’s Vikki Breese Iverson and Fahey were chosen as Republican and Democrat leaders, respectively. Additionally, Rep. Tawna Sanchez was appointed as the House Co-Chair of the powerful Ways and Means Committee after a vacancy was left open when Rep. Rayfield was chosen to lead the House. In the Senate, Senator Peter Courtney who has presided as President since 2003 concluded his last session, and Senator Knopp replaced Senator Girod as Republican leader. To recap, the current make-up of the legislature is controlled by the Democrats who hold a super majority in both chambers, holding an 18-10-2 (two Republicans to switched to Independent Party last year) advantage in the Senate, and 37-23 in the House. While the last two years, since the pandemic began saw multiple special sessions to resolve COVID related issues, including housing and direct medical needs, as well as impacts realized by the active fire seasons, this session still had several matters legislative leadership were looking to address. Some of the most notable included: data broker legislation (HB 4017), figuring out how to best spend federal funds, rebalancing agency budgets, as well as a bill (HB 4002) on agricultural worker overtime pay (which was probably the most contentious).