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Legislature Releases 2020 Session Schedule
The 2020 legislative session will begin in less than a month. The session, scheduled for 35 days, was created to allow legislators to return to Salem to make necessary adjustments to the state’s budget and laws. While larger policy issues have arisen in the past, and are expected again this year, the calendar is crafted to move bills quickly through the legislative process by establishing multiple deadlines. For example, the first deadline is just four days after the legislature convenes.
This year, each state senator has the opportunity to submit one personal bill, each state representative has the opportunity to submit two personal bills, and each committee has the opportunity to submit three bills. There are exceptions to these limitations; for example, the Joint Committee on Ways and Means and the Revenue Committees are not limited by the internal deadlines.
Bills are expected to be published the week before the legislative session. If questions arise, please don’t hesitate to contact the OSB Public Affairs Department.
Session Dates of Note
February 3, 2020 – Legislature convenes
February 7, 2020 – Bills must be scheduled for a work session in their chamber of origin
February 13, 2020 – Bills must have been voted out of committee in their chamber of origin
February 20, 2020 – Bills must be scheduled for a work session in the second chamber
February 25, 2020 – Bill must have been voted out of committee in the second chamber
March 8, 2020 – Session ends (sine die)
Jennifer Williamson Resigns from State Legislature to Focus on Secretary of State Race
On December 30, 2019, former State Representative Jennifer Williamson stepped down from her position representing House District 36 to focus on running for Oregon Secretary of State.
During her time in the legislature, Williamson served as the House Majority Leader from 2015–2019 and served on the House Judiciary Committee, including as chair, from 2013–2015 and 2017–2019. Williamson championed additional funding for the courts, civil legal aid services, justice reinvestment, and indigent defense. Throughout her tenure, Williamson’s support of the Bar’s legislative priorities has been invaluable.
Former Representative Williamson joined the Oregon Legislature in 2012. Before that she was in private practice and represented Portland State University in the legislature.
The Democratic primary for Oregon Secretary of State will be held in May 2020. Other candidates for the Democratic nomination are State Senator Mark Hass (D-Beaverton); Jamie McLeod-Skinner, a lawyer, engineer, and city manager; and former director of the Oregon Department of Business and Consumer Services, Cameron Smith.
Jennifer Williamson at event in 2015.
Oregon Judicial Department Updates Forms
The Oregon Judicial Department has updated many existing statewide forms, and has adopted other new forms, to respond to legislation enacted during the 2019 session that became effective on January 1, 2020.
Updated and new forms that will be available on the OJD’s online Forms Center as of January 1 apply in the following areas:
- firearms dispossession and surrender (crosses several case types)
- set-aside of residential evictions
- set-aside of certain marijuana convictions
- reduction of the offense classification for certain marijuana convictions
- postconviction DNA testing
- denial of U-Visa certification requests
All the affected forms are available online as printable PDFs, and many of them also are available as interactive forms. See https://www.courts.oregon.gov/forms/Pages/default.aspx for more information.
Military and Vets Host CLE on House Bill 2462 (2019)
On December 17, 2019, the Oregon State Bar Military and Veterans Section hosted a CLE, “Veterans Defense and House Bill 2462,” at the Standard Building downtown. The CLE, led by Jesse Barton, a member of the Military and Veterans Section, focused on the changes stemming from the passage of HB 2462 (2019).
HB 2462 directs trial court judges to notify service members facing criminal prosecution of the various legal protections and programs they are afforded under state and local Oregon law. In response to the legislation, the Oregon Judicial Department is currently updating the Oregon Judges Criminal Benchbook. Once completed the Oregon State Bar will work with the Oregon Judicial Department to update the arraignment video to reflect the information identified in HB 2462.
OSB Military and Veterans Section members (from L): Ross Neher, 2019 chair, Jaimie Fender, 2018 chair, and Jesse Barton, executive committee member and CLE presenter.
Jesse Barton, OSB Military and Veterans Section Executive Committee member and CLE presenter.
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2020 Public Affairs Committee Members
Eric Foster, Chair
Kate Denning, Vice Chair
Public Affairs Department
Susan Grabe, Public Affairs Director
Amy Zubko, Public Affairs Legislative Attorney
Matt Shields, Public Affairs Staff Attorney
Kellie Baumann, Public Affairs Assistant