from July 2019, News / Press Release
Oregon's 2019 Legislative Session took a full 160 days, nearly six months, to complete its business. This was the first time since 2011 that the legislature took this long. Constitutionally the only duty of each legislature is to produce a balanced budget. That said, the legislature does far more than produce a balanced budget when it assembles — policy is a major part of its business, and 2019 was no exception.
2019 was an unusual session in that the Democrats held super majority status in both the state's House of Representatives and Senate. A super majority is noteworthy because while it only requires a simple majority threshold to pass new, or modify current policy, creating or raising taxes requires a 3/5th’s minimum vote. Moreover, with the re-election of Kate Brown as Governor, Democrats controlled the entire legislative process from creating policy to how to pay for new policy.