House Approves Rule Changes to Improve Transparency
The Oregon House of Representatives on Monday, January 14th, passed three rule changes in the interest of transparency entering the 80th Legislative Assembly.
These changes were submitted to House leadership by a bipartisan group of legislators: Rep. Paul Holvey (D-Eugene), Rep. Sherrie Sprenger (R-Scio), Rep. Barbara Smith Warner (D- Portland) and Rep. Ron Noble (R-McMinnville). The group made these recommendations after close consultation over the past month with the Chief Clerk.
“This is a positive step to bring greater transparency to the business of the House,” Holvey said.“These rule changes are in the public interest and will provide Oregonians a better understanding of which legislators and stakeholders are proposing bills in the Capitol.”
The first will require all amendments submitted to policy bills bear the name of a member or stakeholder group. Currently, committee amendments can be anonymous (8.23).
Secondly, a change will require that all committee bills bear the name of a member or stakeholder group that has requested the bill. This will apply to all bills filed with the Chief Clerk effective January 22, 2019. Currently, there is no such requirement for stakeholders to be identified on any measure introduced by a committee (12.10).
“The cumulative impact of these two rule changes will eliminate anonymous measures or amendments when originating in House policy committees,” Sprenger said. “Transparency is not a partisan issue, and I was glad to see leadership take up these changes so swiftly.”
Additionally, new rules will require at least one hour must pass during the short session before the House can act on a bill that has returned with changes from the Senate. This change (11.01) will align the House rules with the Senate rules during short sessions, allowing more time to review measures prior to voting.