February 15, 2024

2024 Legislative Session Convened February 5, 2024 

The 2024 legislative session began on February 5, 2024. Unlike a legislative session held in an odd-numbered year, which can last up to 160 days, a legislative session held during an even-numbered year is limited to 35 days. Historically, even-year sessions have a narrower agenda, and legislators and committees are often limited in how many bills can be proposed. Timelines are very short, and most bills are required to move out of their chamber of origin during the first two weeks.

For the complete calendar, visit the Secretary of the Senate’s web page.

Both public hearings and work sessions are available both remotely and in person. Some of the bills of interest this session include:

    • HB 4001 – This bill creates the Task Force on Specialty Courts and tells the task force to report to the legislature by September 15, 2024. HB 4001 moved out of the House Judiciary and to the Ways and Means Committee on February 13, 2024.
    • HB 4002 – This bill is a placeholder bill that is intended to address substance abuse issues, including treatment. HB 4002 is currently in the Joint Committee on Addiction and Community Safety Response.
    • HB 4097 – This bill modifies the process for setting aside convictions, dismissals, and guilty except for insanity judgments. The bill also modifies when the court is required to hold a hearing on and grant motions to set aside. This bill moved to the House Rules Committee on February 15, 2024.
    • SB 1576 – This bill is an omnibus Senate Judiciary Committee bill addressing a number of issues including recreational immunity and probate courts in several Central Oregon counties. SB 1576 is currently in the Senate Judiciary Committee and has a work session schedule on February 19, 2024.
    • SB 1595 – This bill increases the number of exemptions from garnishment and execution and modifies provisions relating to unfair debt collection practices. SB 1595 passed out of the Senate Committee on Labor and Business on February 14, 2024 and out of the Senate Finance and Revenue Committee on February 15, 2024 and is now in the Ways and Means Committee.

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Oregon Judicial Department Requests Three New Judicial Positions

This session the Oregon Judicial Department introduced one bill, SB 1541. This bill would add three additional judicial positions to districts around Oregon.

Specifically, the bill would add one additional position each in Jackson and Washington Counties effective July 1, 2024, and one position in Clackamas County effective July 1, 2025. These specific counties were recommended by the Oregon Judicial Department. Each of these counties has experienced significant growth in the last decade, and each county would benefit from an increase in the number of judges.

Oregon State Bar Board of Governors member Tomás Hernandez testified in support of the new positions before the Senate Judiciary Committee at the bill’s initial hearing. The bill moved out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on February 8, 2024, and is now in the Ways and Means Committee awaiting further action.

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How to Track Proposed Legislation

The Public Affairs Program is available to assist OSB sections and committees with tracking 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 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, 2024, and are now available for review.

Once a section or committee has identified which bills to follow, those bills are 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.

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OSB President’s Reception

On February 22, OSB President Dave Rosen and the OSB Board of Governors will host a legislative reception for legislators and bar members. The reception will be hosted in coordination with Chief Justice Meagan Flynn and the Supreme Court Council on Inclusion and Fairness.

The reception will be held at the Salem Convention Center from 5:30 to 7:30 pm on February 22.

The annual President’s Reception is a great opportunity for legislators, the Board of Governors, and bar members to discuss the bar’s legislative agenda and show support for our judicial system.

OSB members who are interested in attending the reception should RSVP here or by contacting Cassandra Dyke at 503-431-6386.

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OSB Law Improvement Legislative Proposals for 2025 Due April 1

Every other year, during the legislative session held in an odd-numbered year, the OSB has the opportunity to introduce a package of law improvement legislation, which includes bills proposed by OSB sections and committees. These proposals often address mistakes in statute or amend laws to conform to court decisions or changing court practices.

Additional information on the OSB’s Law Improvement Program can be found on the OSB website.

OSB sections interested in proposing legislation for the 2025 legislative session have an April 1, 2024 deadline to provide those proposals to the OSB Public Affairs Department. Sections are limited to no more than three proposals, and each must be approved by the section executive committee.

Sections that are currently exploring making such a proposal should contact Amy Zubko at [email protected] for more information.

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Dates of Interest

February 22 – OSB President’s Reception at the Salem Convention Center.

March 10 – Constitutional sine die: The legislature must adjourn by this date.

March 12 – Filing deadline for the 2024 election.

April 1 – Deadline for OSB sections to propose legislation for the 2025 session.

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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
Amy Zubko, Director of Public Affairs 

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