December 29, 2023

Gearing Up for the 2024 Legislative Session

The 2024 Legislative Session is fast approaching. While the session will formally open on February 5, 2024, bills must be filed with the Secretary of the Senate or the Chief Clerk of the House by January 8, 2024 and pre-session Organizational Days are scheduled for the first full week of January.

Legislative sessions held in even-numbered years are short, lasting no more than 35 calendar days and are traditionally focused on budget issues and outstanding policy issues from the previous legislative session. This year the short session will end on March 10, 2024 and the first deadline for moving legislation through the process falls on February 12, 2024, just seven days after the opening of session. Because of the limited amount of time, it can be difficult to pass legislation that has not been worked out prior to the beginning of session.

The Governor shared her priorities for the session including $600 million for housing and homelessness, $19 million to the Oregon Department of Transportation to cover a budget shortfall, and a discussion of education funding.  Other areas of focus may include behavioral health, community corrections, and Ballot Measure 110.

With a few exceptions, the bar has not sponsored legislation during a short session in an even-numbered year. However, just as it has in years past, the bar will monitor proposed legislation and react as necessary.

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Board of Governors adopts OSB 2024 Priorities and Guidelines

This fall, the Oregon State Bar’s Board of Governors adopted its legislative priorities for 2024. The priorities stem in part from the actions of the House of Delegates and the resolutions passed during the annual meeting in October.

At its November meeting, the Oregon State Bar Board of Governors adopted priorities for the 2024 legislative session:

    • Support stable funding for Oregon’s courts.
    • Support civil and immigration legal services for lower income Oregonians.
    • Partner with stakeholders in support of a healthy and functioning justice system for all Oregonians, including a robust public defense system.

In addition, the Board of Governors adopted the 2024 Legislative Guidelines which can be found here.

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2025 OSB Law Improvement Program

Is your section or committee interested in the legislative process? Is there a statutory fix that needs to be made? It may feel like the 2023 legislative session just ended, but it’s time to start planning for the 2025 legislative session. The Oregon State Bar Law Improvement Program (LIP) is an avenue for Bar sections and committees to participate in the legislative process. Law improvement legislation includes proposals to clarify statutory ambiguities, to modify unforeseen glitches in major legislation passed in previous sessions, and to codify case law as necessary. In 2023, Bar members successfully advocated to update the process for notices of appeal, updated the Uniform Voidable Transfer Act, and updated statutory language for the licensed paralegal program.

The Public Affairs Committee (PAC) of the Board of Governors oversees the Bar’s legislative activities and establishes priorities on public policy issues important to the legal profession. The PAC, chaired by Gabe Chase in 2023 and Curtis Peterson in 2024, is made up of eight members of the Board of Governors.

If your Bar group intends to propose legislation for the 2025 legislative session, proposals should be submitted to the PAC through the Public Affairs Department by April 1, 2024, for review, approval, and potentially pre-session drafting and filing. Bar legislative activities involve the regulation of the legal profession or the improvement of the quality of legal services available to the people of Oregon.

If a section or committee has questions about the LIP program or is interested in submitting a legislative concept for consideration, please contact Susan Grabe ([email protected]) or Amy Zubko ([email protected]).

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Effective Date of Legislation from the 2023 Legislative Session

In Oregon, the default effective date for a bill that passes the legislature and is signed by the Governor is January 1. Legislation that passed during the 2023 legislative session without a specifically noted effective date in the text of the legislation will go into effect next week, on January 1, 2024.

Information on bills can be found in the Oregon Legislative Information System. For bills passed during the 2023 Legislative Session, click on the “Bills” icon in the upper right hand corner and enter the bill number. For a quick analysis of legislation tracked by the Oregon State Bar, look for the 2023 issue of Legislation Highlights, published this fall and available on the bar’s website.

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Dates of Interest 

Organizational Days January 10 – 12, 2024
First Day of Legislative Session February 5, 2024
Revenue Forecast February 7, 2024
Constitutional End of Legislative Session March 10, 2024
Filing Deadline for 2024 General Election March 12, 2024

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

2023 Oregon State Bar Officers and Public Affairs Chair

Lee Ann Donaldson,
President, Oregon State Bar
David Rosen,
President Elect, Oregon State Bar
Kamron Graham,
Immediate Past President, Oregon State Bar
Gabriel Chase,
Chair, Public Affairs Committee, Oregon State Bar Board of Governors

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

Susan Grabe, Chief Communications and Public Affairs Officer
Amy Zubko, Director of Public Affairs 

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