2022 Legislative Session Wrap Up

A gray box with the words "Legislative Session Results" in a handwritten font and the words "ROLLED BACK: Protestor protections
PASSED: Overtime for farmworkers
FAILED: Pay raises for legislators
SPENT: $2.7 billion" in a serifed font. The PDX.Vote logo is in the lower right corner.

Lots of last minute action

Starting last Thursday, state legislators voted on more than 60 bills still under consideration. They finished before noon on Friday and Senate President Peter Courtney gaveled out his last regular session before his planned retirement at the end of his term. The deadline to finish all legislative work is today, March 7 — the state legislature actually finished their work three days early.

Most of the bills discussed below are still waiting for Governor Kate Brown’s signature to become law. At the time of writing this article, Brown has signed ten bills passed by the state legislature during this session.

Results of the short session

Special legislative sessions seem likely

The Oregon state legislature convened multiple special sessions in 2020 and 2021. This year will likely be the same — there are multiple issues that could prompt reconvening the legislature. The statewide public defender shortage, for example, needs action beyond the mere $13 million the state legislature threw at the system during the regular session.

However, any special sessions later this year may be complicated by the election schedule. Between redistricting, retirements, and other change ups, we can expect at least 20 legislators to be winding down their work by the end of the May primary. And by November, we’ll know who will make up next year’s state legislature. Those legislators on their way out will struggle to pass bills.

By Thursday Bram

Thursday Bram founded PDX.Vote after making numerous zines, newsletters, and other media about politics in Portland, Oregon. Thursday has also written for publications ranging from Autostraddle.com to Entrepreneur Magazine. You can find more of Thursday's work at ThursdayBram.com.