May 2, 2024

Judicial Voters Guide

The Oregon State Bar’s  Judicial Voter’s Guide is now available for the May 2024 Oregon Primary.  The site includes background on almost every judicial candidate in a contested race this year, as well as many candidates running unopposed in the primary. The information included in the guide is the candidates’ responses to a questionnaire provided to all judicial candidates in Oregon.

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Interim Legislative Committee Days 

Several legislative committees will meet during the last week of May. Interim committee meetings are often held for the purpose of discussing issues that are likely to be featured during the next session, or to discuss broader issues for which there wasn’t time during session. Committee agendas have not yet been posted, but it is likely that the legislature’s Emergency Board will meet to discuss proposed changes to the state budget.

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OJD Access and Fairness Survey

As part of the Oregon Judicial Department’s 2024-2027 Justice Campaign, the court is releasing an Access and Fairness Survey. The Survey asks court participants for their perspectives on the accessibility of our courts and justice services and, if they participated in a proceeding before a judicial officer, their perspectives on their treatment in terms of equality, fairness, and respect.

OJD last conducted such a survey in 2022 with the assistance of the legal community, local courts, and other partners. The results from the Access and Fairness Survey are used to measure progress towards ensuring access to justice for all court users, enhancing the public’s trust and confidence in the judicial branch, and improving the court user’s experience.

The survey is available online at: Some courthouses may also have the survey available in paper format. For more information please visit:

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Supervised Practice Portfolio Examination

The Supervised Practice Portfolio Examination (SPPE) is a new pathway to becoming a licensed attorney that is available to students graduating from ABA-accredited law schools this spring. This new model of exam will allow applicants to work in supervised apprenticeship settings following graduation from law school, and to then submit a portfolio of work to be examined by the Oregon Board of Bar Examiners for admission to the OSB.

The level of interest in this new pathway has been extremely high, and the OSB is hoping that members of the bar will help us meet this interest by becoming supervising attorneys for graduates in the SPPE program.

Serving as a supervising attorney is a great way to bring a new soon-to-be attorney into your practice, while helping them learn the tools to become a successful member of the bar.

Any employer who is interested in taking on such an applicant should visit the SPPE website for more information about the program, and on how to become a supervising attorney.

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Licensed Paralegal Swearing-In Ceremony

On March 29, Chief Justice Meagan Flynn swore in the Oregon State Bar’s first class of licensed paralegals as members of the OSB. There are 10 new LPs in this first group, with more expected throughout 2024.

The ceremony took place at the Oregon Supreme Court in Salem and was attended by many of the volunteers who have worked over the past several years to make this new program a reality.

The first LP exam, which took place this past December, allowed for LPs to be certified to work on family law matters. The second exam, which took place this April, was the first for applicants seeking the landlord-tenant endorsement. Two additional exams are likely to take place later in 2024.

Chief Justice Meagan Flynn Swearing in the First Class of LPs at the Oregon Supreme Court in Salem

LPs Being Swore In at Oregon Supreme Court House

Oregon’s First Class of Licensed Paralegals!

From left: Judge Maureen McKnight and Paraprofessional Licensing Implementation Committee members Judge Kirsten Thompson and  Robin Wright

From left: Chief Justice Meagan Flynn and Public Member of the Paraprofessional Licensing Implementation Committee Dr. Johnny Lake

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Governor’s Vetoes

After several weeks of consideration and discussion with legislators, the Governor declined to issue line-item vetoes of any budget items.

In early April, the Governor issued a constitutionally required notice that she was considering vetoing several budget items passed during the 2024 legislative session, including several in SB 1530. Seven specific items identified by the Governor related to wastewater treatment or city drinking water systems in specific communities around Oregon.

At the time, the Governor expressed concerns about how the various projects related to additional housing production, which was the stated purpose SB 1530. Announcement of potential vetoes is intended in part to give other parties the opportunity to communicate with the Governor about her concerns prior to a final decision.

On April 17, the Governor announced that she had received additional information about the projects and would be signing the final budget bills without any line-item vetoes.

This decision concluded bill signings for 2024, as all passed legislation has now been signed by the Governor.

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Budget Update

In the final days of the 2024 session, the legislature passed several bills modifying the 2023–2025 budget.

    • HB 5201 – Bonding Authority – HB 5201 provides bonding authority for capital projects by several state agencies. This bill includes approximately $15 million in funding for the new Clackamas County Courthouse and nearly $7 million for the new Benton County Courthouse. The bill also includes funding for projects for the Oregon Youth Authority, the Department of Forestry, Portland State University, and Southern Oregon University, among others.
    • HB 5202 – Capital Construction – HB 5202 provides expenditure limitations for several capital projects around Oregon. The largest portion of the bill includes funding for several projects through the Oregon Military Department, including projects in Umatilla, Washington, Marion, and Jackson Counties. The bill also includes funding for the Oak Creek Youth Correctional Facility and projects for the Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Department of Transportation.
    • HB 5204 – Ballot Measure 110 Funding – HB 5204 is an omnibus budget bill that appropriates over $200 million in General Fund dollars to fund implementation of HB 4002, which significantly modified the implementation of Ballot Measure 110.

The bill includes funding for the Criminal Justice Commission’s implementation of deflection programs for misdemeanor possession charges, as well as approximately $7 million for grants related to specialty courts. The measure also provides funding for 18 additional public defense positions for the new state-employed trial-level public defense program active in Portland and Medford.

The bill also funds new positions within the Oregon Health Authority related to stemming youth opioid use, as well as positions to implement the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCHBC) Program.

    • SB 5701 – Courthouse Funding – SB 5701 is 2024’s major omnibus budget bill that adjusts General Fund appropriations to the Emergency Board and modifies state agency budgets and position authority in the 2023–2025 biennium.

The bill contains funding and authorization for courthouse replacement projects in Clackamas, Benton, and Crook Counties. The bill also includes some additional funding for Oregon Judicial Department operations, as well as the Commission on Judicial Fitness.

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

2024 Oregon State Bar Officers and Public Affairs Chair

David Rosen,
President, Oregon State Bar
Myah Kehoe,
President Elect, Oregon State Bar
Lee Ann Donaldson,
Immediate Past President, Oregon State Bar
Curtis Peterson,
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
Matt Shields,
Public Affairs Staff Attorney 
Sara Doherty,
Public Affairs Administrative Assistant 

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