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Oregon Legislature: What is a Committee Pony?

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A “committee pony” is a document created by the Legislative Fiscal Office mainly for the bill carriers as the bill is favorably passed out of a Ways & Means committee.

What’s a Bill Carrier? Read on:

A Bill Carrier:The legislator assigned by the Committee Chair to explain and speak in favor of a measure on the floor and to answer questions about it.” (See more definitions at the Oregon Legislature’s Glossary.)

The Committee Pony summary is commonly read verbatim on the floor of the respective body as the body considers the bill.

The rest of the Committee Pony, primarily containing W&M committee summaries, financials and budget policy packages, is a method for this information be disseminated to other legislators.

The date for the “committee pony” is usually the date of the last work session held by the Ways & Means committee assigned the bill.

It is possible that no other state legislature in the country uses this term (although I’m sure other horse-related terminology can be heard with great frequency on the floors and halls of legislatures).

You can find Committee Ponies (or is that Ponys’ ?) at the excellent OLIS service from the Oregon State Legislature. It won’t eliminate the need for complicated legislative history research for older laws, but it will sure make compiling legislative histories for current laws a virtual snap, so to speak.

Thank you to Jerry Curry (Information Specialist at the Oregon State Library), who de-confused (!) us multiple times during these past legislative session.