Oregon Legislative Days
Posted by Pam Leavitt on September 27, 2023
The Oregon Legislature is meeting for three days for September “Legislative Days.” This is an opportunity for the Oregon Legislature to come together to preview issues that may come up during the next legislative session in 2024.
This week, legislators are in Salem for September Legislative Days through September 29. This is the first opportunity since the conclusion of the 2023 legislative session for committees to meet and receive updates on topics of importance to the state. Legislators will use the information they learn during legislative days to inform legislation for introduction during the 2024 legislative session.
One important issue is Housing. The Legislature took unprecedented action during the 2023 legislative session to address the state’s affordable housing crisis. The $2 billion Housing Affordability and Supply budget funded new and existing homeless shelters, boosted production of affordable housing options, provided rental assistance, and encouraged innovative practices to increase housing production. Legislators will receive updates on this work to ensure these programs are moving in the right direction.
They also received a report on the budget. The legislatively adopted budget for the 2023-25 biennium is $121.261 billion in total funds, which is a decrease of $4.494 billion, or 3.6%, from the 2021-23 legislatively approved budget of $125.755 billion. The decrease is primarily attributable to a lower level of Federal Funds expenditures compared to the prior biennium, which included considerable one-time federal funding provided to help offset the economic and other impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rep. Jeff Helfrich Takes Over as Republican Leader
Rep. Vikki Breese-Iverson stepped down as the House Republican leader last week and on Tuesday night, Representative Jeff Helfrich (R-Hood River) was selected by House Republicans to serve as their new Leader. Also elected to the leadership team were Representative Mark Owens (R-Crane) as Deputy Leader and Kim Wallan (R-Medford) as Whip.
Representative Helfrich has been a public servant his entire adult life. He proudly served in the United States Air Force during Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm before spending 25 years as a sergeant with the Portland Police Bureau. He and his wife are raising their two children in Hood River.