Dan Meek: Public still left out in session

Legislative leaders say that the 2008 session is a “test” of having annual sessions. So far, the Legislature is flunking the test. The leaders say that all committee hearings and votes on 96 of the 100 bills must take place between February 4th and 12th. Yet, as of February 3, the web site provides zero information about any of the bills to be addressed and no schedule for any of the hearings. How is the public supposed to participate, with no information about what is actually being considered or when?

  • Anam

    Uh, you may want to look around a little more. My email inbox has been slammed with committee agendas all of today. I must not be a member of the public…

  • Steve Plunk

    I didn’t get any agendas. The web site has no updates. The press is likely to fail us. I would definitely say the public is left out. But since the public hardly approved of this session that doesn’t surprise me.

    One hundred bills means the session will not be an easy in and out. I expect it to drag on and the “experiment” or “test drive” to be exactly as we feared it would be.

  • Anam

    A) Go to https://www.leg.state.or.us B) Click on eSubscribe on the right side of the page. C) Quit crying.

    For heavens sake, you act like it’s some kind of partisan skulduggery aimed at you personally. You know as well as I do that the people that handle the web site are just staffers. You want to bitch and moan? Direct your terrible angst at something more constructive, like getting more funding for the Legislature’s web site. God knows we, the public, need it to be better.

  • Steve Plunk

    Quit crying? Bitch and moan? How about stating the facts in an open forum where we are supposed to exchange ideas and thoughts.

    My thoughts about this session have been very clear and without “terrible angst”. My thoughts about more money for the legislature is a definite no. They have plenty that just needs to be prioritized.

  • Anam

    Do you really not see the difference between staffers at the Statehouse and the elected Legislative body?

    There is an enormous difference between funding the people who make the Legislature run (and who update the web site), and giving more money to an inept body of elected officials. Whatever you seem to think, those are two different entities.

    Learn how Salem runs before mouthing off.

    • Steve Plunk

      Someone is testy. I didn’t realize stating facts was mouthing off.

      This is not about staffers, the funding for said staffers, or understanding how the legislature works (not very well in my opinion). It’s about a session that should not be taking place, that’s disorganized and likely to get worse, and elected officials who hardly care about the public knowing how it works. That opinion I have formulated from watching the Oregon Legislature for more than twenty years.

      This “test drive” is failing in most every way imaginable and we are only two days into it. I don’t take it personally but I do recognize being misled as a citizen. The constitution says meet once every two years so until an amendment can be passed meet only once every two years. No “test drives”, no false emergencies, no court sanctioned loopholes.

      It seems to be a rather personal affair to defend the staffers so if I have slighted them (I haven’t written anything of the sort), my apologies. Now having done so I should expect the same from those who explicitly throw insults my way, right? Without civil discourse respect will be hard to come by.

  • Dan Meek

    As I said, there was virtually no information on the Legislature’s web site as of February 3. Yes, there was a bit more on February 4 and even more today. My point is that public participation is discouraged, when there is no readily available information about what the Legislature is considering or when.