February 7, 2022

2022 Legislative Session Opens on February 1, 2022

The 2022 legislative session began on February 1, 2022. Unlike a regular session held in an odd-numbered year, which can last up to 160 days, a regular session held during an even-numbered year is limited to 35 days. With such a short window of opportunity, the number of bills are capped and the chamber deadlines are quite tight. In fact, the first deadline, a requirement to schedule a work session for a specific bill, occurred only seven days after the opening of the legislative session (for the complete calendar, visit the Secretary of the Senate’s web page, https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/secretary-of-senate/).

Similar to the 2021 legislative session, public hearings and work sessions will be held remotely due to the recent rise in COVID-19 cases in Oregon. Floor sessions, however, will continue to be held in person. Unlike the 2021 legislative session, the state capitol has reopened to the public.

There are a number of bills that may be of interest to practitioners. Examples include:

      • House Bill 4120 – Authorizes court to waive minimum fine in violation proceedings in certain circumstances. Modifies types of documents that must accompany request for filing fee waiver or deferral by adult in custody. Specifies filing fees that may be charged in protective proceedings when petition requests multiple fiduciaries or multiple protective orders. Prohibits charging of filing fee when amended affidavit is filed in small estate probate case. Modifies manner of requesting filing fee waiver for writ of habeas corpus. Authorizes Chief Justice to direct or permit electronic court appearances. Authorizes presiding judge to order in-person appearance in specified circumstances
      • House Bill 4121 – Authorizes presiding judge of judicial district to appoint child support referee to process or hear certain child support or parentage matters. Prescribes procedure for rehearing following issuance of child support referee order. Directs clerk or court administrator to enter child support referee order in register.
      • Senate Bill 1543 – Provides for nonprofit organization that addresses and executes worker relief to serve as fiscal agent to award grants to organizations to provide services related to immigration matters through universal representation program. Requires fiscal agent to report annually to appropriate committee or interim committee of Legislative Assembly, Oregon Department of Administrative Services and Legislative Fiscal Officer. Directs Chief Justice of Supreme Court to transfer funds to Oregon State Bar for use by Legal Services Program to provide legal services to individuals on immigration matters and related matters. Establishes Universal Representation Fund in State Treasury. Appropriates moneys from General Fund to Oregon Department of Administrative Services for purposes of deposit in Universal Representation Fund. Appropriates moneys from General Fund to Judicial Department for purposes of transfer to Oregon State Bar.
      • Senate Bill 1581 – Increases annual salary of judges of Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, circuit courts and Oregon Tax Court.

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How to Track Proposed Legislation

The Public Affairs Program is available to assist all Oregon State Bar sections and committees track proposed legislation. If a section or committee has already identified specific bills to follow, please contact Matt Shields in Public Affairs at [email protected] to ensure that legislation is included in the section’s bill-tracking list.

As bills are introduced, Public Affairs staff will review all proposed legislation and refer specific bills to groups that may be interested in the subject. Because this is a short legislative session, the majority of bills were publicly posted on February 1, 2022 and are now available for review.

Once a section or committee has identified bills to follow, those bills will be input into the group’s bill-tracking page. Each group has its own page on the Public Affairs’ webpage. This will enable each group to receive updates and to review changes to any legislation that a group has expressed an interest in following. In addition, bar staff has reviewed proposed legislation and posted many of the bills by subject area.

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Representative Dan Rayfield Elected Speaker of the House

On February 1, 2022, Representative Dan Rayfield (D-Corvallis) became the Speaker of the Oregon House. After nine years as Speaker, former Representative Tina Kotek (D-Portland) stepped down from her position as Speaker and her seat to run for Governor in the 2022 Election.

Speaker Rayfield first was elected to the House of Representatives in 2014. He is one of the nine legally-trained legislators currently serving in the state legislature. Over the last several years he has primarily focused on the state budget and government ethics. Most recently he served as the House Co-Chair of the Ways and Means Committee from 2019-2021. To watch his swearing in and opening remarks, please follow this link.

Congratulations to Speaker Rayfield!

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2023 Law Improvement Program – Proposals due April 1, 2022

Is your section or committee interested in participating in the Bar’s legislative activities? If a Bar group would like to propose legislation for the 2023 legislative session, proposals should be submitted to the Board of Governors Public Affairs Committee through the Public Affairs Department by April 1, 2022, for approval by the Public Affairs Committee and Board of Governors.

Proposals from sections and committees are commonly referred to as law-improvement legislation, which includes proposals to clarify statutory ambiguities, to modify unforeseen glitches in major legislation passed in previous sessions, and to codify case law as necessary. To ensure that groups are able to devote adequate time to the bills they propose, each Bar group may propose no more than three law-improvement bills. While Public Affairs staff provide lobbying assistance to section and committee members for law-improvement proposals, each section or committee is responsible for supporting their proposed legislation through the process.

The OSB Public Affairs Committee will host a legislative forum in May, during which Bar groups that have proposed legislation will have an opportunity to present their proposals, and stakeholders will have an opportunity to comment. The Public Affairs Committee will take these comments into account when deciding whether to recommend to the Board of Governors approval of Bar sponsorship of the proposed legislative concepts.

If your section or committee is interested in submitting proposed legislation for consideration to the Public Affairs Committee, please contact Public Affairs for assistance.

Oregon Judicial Department Launches eFiling of Fee Waivers and Deferrals

Beginning February 2, 2022, filers will be able to electronically submit fee waiver and deferral applications to Oregon’s circuit courts and the Oregon Tax Court. Click here for the Chief Justice’s Announcement, and here for a detailed guide to submitting electronically.

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Thank you for reading the Oregon State Bar’s CAPITOL INSIDER.
The archives are available here.

2022 Oregon State Bar Officers and Public Affairs Chair

Kamron Graham,
President, Oregon State Bar
Lee Ann Donaldson,
President Elect, Oregon State Bar
David Wade,
Immediate Past President, Oregon State Bar
Joseph Piucci,
Chair, Public Affairs Committee, Oregon State Bar Board of Governors

For questions about articles, legislation, or the legislative process, please contact:

Susan Grabe, Public Affairs Director
Amy Zubko, Public Affairs Legislative Attorney

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