Legal research is seldom quick and easy, but it sure is interesting. If you are at all inclined to dip your toe(s) into the Oregon Legislative process, here’s one way to start. Let’s say you want more information about a bill that was mentioned in a recent news story. I use one bill number for an example, but there are thousands more to choose from!
Re: 2009 HB 2537: Relating to powers of attorney; creating new provisions; amending ORS 93.670, 125.445 and 125.710; and repealing ORS 127.005,127.015, 127.025, 127.035 and 127.045.
1) Visit the Oregon Legislature’s 2009 Laws/Bills pages to track down the full text of this bill in PDF or HTML.
2) Look at the Measure History, to find out its status in the Legislature – and note the Committee(s) that will consider the bill.
3) This bill was sent to the Judiciary Committee. Visit the Committee’s webpage.
4) Search the Committee Agenda’s Online to find out when a public hearing will be held. (Tip: CTRL-F 2537) (Notice that there will be the first public hearing on March 11.)
5) On or before you settle in with popcorn and your computer on March 11th, make sure the date or time has not been changed. Note the location of the hearing.
6) Visit the Audio/Video page to listen/view the hearing online. (Tip: you won’t see the link to the hearing until shortly before it starts.) (Tip 2: Phone the AV staff if you have trouble. They are terrific!) Both the Archived hearings and the Live Audio Today can be linked to from this page.
7) There is a lot of useful information at the Legislature’s website: background briefs, fiscal office publications, legislative counsel, and more.
These actions all lead to the dreaded Legislative Histories!
(Note: Uniform Laws are unique creatures. States can adopt them in full, in part, or not at all. The NCCUSL is the primary source of uniform laws. But there are also Model Laws.)