House Republican ideas on re-opening Capitol, transparency

By Oregon House Republicans,

House Republican Leader Christine Drazan (R-Canby) released the statement on the adopted rule changes for the upcoming 81st Legislative Session which will continue to deny direct public involvement in the legislative process:

“As I have said before, we are the people’s legislature here to do the people’s business. Once again, Democrats have passed a set of rules that require us to meet without public input or involvement as the Capitol remains closed to Oregonians. This absolute denial of all access undermines the legislative process. House Republicans requested we find a way to safely allow for the Capitol to be open on a limited basis, relying on existing public health guidance. This request was dismissed and in response Republicans proposed additional adjustments to rules to increase transparency and public engagement.

We are kicking off a new Legislative Session where we will discuss important issues like safely re-opening Oregon’s schools, health care liability protections and continued COVID relief for impacted individuals and small businesses. These proposals deserve a fair and inclusive discussion from all Oregonians.”

House Republicans requested additional good government provisions to improve transparency, fairness and accountability including:

• Require amendments to be posted for 24 hours for public review before adoption.

• Prohibit drafting of committee bills, to allow all members equal access to the legislative process, instead of advantaging committee chairs over other committee members.

• Allow for debate when a measure is withdrawn from committee.

• Limit the power of the Speaker to send bills to committees for political purposes by specifying what issues are associated with each committee in rule and allowing committee referrals to be appealed on the floor.

• Allow the Minority Leader to appoint Minority Party members to committees.

• Allow Minority Reports in all committees, except Ways and Means.