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Oregon Legislative Assembly
Coat of arms or logo.
Type Bicameral
Houses Senate
House of Representatives
President of the Senate Peter Courtney, (D)
since January 14, 2003
Speaker of the House Dave Hunt, (D)
since January 12, 2009
Members 90
Political groups Democratic Party
Republican Party
Last election November 4, 2008
Meeting place
Oregon State Capitol, Salem

The Oregon Legislative Assembly is the state legislature for the U.S. state of Oregon. The Legislative Assembly is bicameral, consisting of an upper and lower house: the Senate, whose 30 members are elected to serve four-year terms; and the House of Representatives, with 60 members elected to two-year terms. There are no term limits for either house in the Legislative Assembly.

Each Senate district is composed of exactly two House districts: Senate District 1 contains House Districts 1 and 2, SD 2 contains HD 3 and HD 4, and so on. (Maps of Senate districts can be found in the Oregon State Senate article.)

The legislature is termed as a "citizens' assembly" (meaning that most legislators have other jobs.) Its regular sessions occur in odd-numbered years, beginning on the second Monday in January. Oregon is one of only 6 states that do not hold annual sessions.



Bills may be introduced in either house, and must flow through a committee before being voted upon. Bills calling for increased revenue must be introduced in the House of Representatives.[1]


Until 1882, the legislature met on the first Monday in December.[2] The Oregon Constitution does not limit the length of regular sessions; the first 35 regular sessions (i.e. until 1929) lasted 50 days or less. Since 1949 no session has been shorter than 100 days. The longest session was the 72nd regular session, at 227 days, ending August 27, 2003. Most recent sessions have ended in June or July.

The Governor of Oregon was the only person who could call the assembly into special sessions until 1976, when voters approved a constitutional amendment allowing the legislature to call itself into session.[3] In either case, special sessions are permitted only "in the event of an emergency." Voters narrowly defeated a constitutional amendment in 1990 that would have established annual sessions.[4]

In 1982 a special session lasted 37 days, and the governor called the assembly into special session five times in 2002, for a total of 52 days. The 2006 special session was the shortest in Oregon's history: five pieces of legislation were passed in only six hours. The legislative body may also call itself into special session "in the event of an emergency," although it has never done so.

When the legislature is not in session, legislators serve on interim committees and task forces that study issues likely to be faced during the next regular session.

See also


  1. ^ How an Idea Becomes a Law
  2. ^ Horner, John B. (1919). Oregon: Her History, Her Great Men, Her Literature. The J.K. Gill Co.: Portland. p. 228.
  3. ^ editorial (February 3, 2008). "Who calls special session?". The Register-Guard.  
  4. ^ Sinks, James (February 24, 2008). "Successes for region in special session, but some legislators are unimpressed". The Bulletin.  

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