The 2022 Oregon Legislative Session Begins

The 2022 “short” legislative session began Tuesday February 1, 2022, and will end by March 8th, the constitutionally mandated deadline. There are rules put in place to move the session along and limit policy ideas including: every legislator is limited to two personal bills, and every committee and the Governor can introduce three bills. Even so, the cumulative pile of proposals will far exceed what they will be able to consider in five short weeks.  The legislature is set to examine  policies related to Covid-19 response, racial justice and equity, and climate change, and to adjust the state budget.

Governor Kate Brown wants legislative leaders to approve hundreds of millions in one-time investments, but Republican leaders said the 35-day session should be more restrained.

Topping her wish list is $200 million for a plan, Future Ready Oregon 2022, that she’s shopped among Democratic leaders. The plan aims to help ethnic and racial minorities and underserved communities obtain training for careers in health care, manufacturing, and construction.  Another priority for the Governor is housing.  She is proposing $400 million for affordable housing, “at-risk” manufactured housing and homeownership support and counseling.

Brown hopes the Legislature will approve $150 million for childcare and early learning programs and $200 million for salaries for behavior health care workers.

The theme of the session is “new roles and new faces!”  There have been 11 legislative changes since the 2020 election, which is over 10 percent of the 90-member legislative body.

Four-term Rep. Dan Rayfield of Corvallis was selected by fellow Democrats to be the new Speaker of the House replacing Tina Kotek who resigned to run for governor. Rayfield, a lawyer, has won bipartisan praise for his mastery of Oregon’s Ways and Means process.  There is also a new House Majority Leader, Rep. Julie Fahey, House Republican leader, Rep. Vikki Breese Iverson, and Senate Minority leader, Sen. Tim Knopp.

We are tracking over 15 bills of interest to Oregon credit unions including HB4017, related to registering data brokers, and HJR205 proposing a vote of Oregonians to change the Constitution to allow for a state bank.  We will have a full report of bills in the next blog post.

The Oregon CU Legislative Luncheon Feb. 17 is a good opportunity to continue this work. Registration is already going well, but there are still open seats.  Come stand up for credit unions and protect and advance the charter. Sign up here.




Posted in Advocacy on the Move, Oregon Advocacy.