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Oregon Legislature: “Special” Session or “Supplemental” Session?


Just as people ask if the Oregon SLRs are the “Supplemental” Local Rules or the “Supplementary” Local Rules, they also ask about those “Special” vs. those “Supplemental” Sessions. Here’s an article that may answer the question, in full or in part:

A lot is riding on February session: Senate president says it will be prelude to annual sessions ballot measure, by Peter Wong, Statesman Journal, January 17, 2010:

Excerpt: ‘Oregon lawmakers gave a test drive to an annual session two years ago, but Senate President Peter Courtney said the February session will be the one on which voters decide whether such sessions are permanent.

“We’re going to try it again — and it’s going to be 10 times more difficult and 100 times more dangerous,” the Salem Democrat said last week at a Marion County DemoForum attended by about 75 people.

“Last time, it was historic. This time, it’s a mission fraught with peril. It is not a special session. It is a supplemental session — an attempt to convince you, as well as ourselves, that we need to be in more than once every two years to try to deal with Oregon’s budget and public policy.” …

Oregon is one of five states where lawmakers still meet every other year. The others are Montana, Nevada, North Dakota and Texas.

The current schedule of odd-numbered-year sessions began in 1885. They have no time limits, but the 2007 and 2009 sessions each ran six months. However, the 2003 and 2005 sessions, which ran into August, were the longest in state history.

Excluding the 2008 session, there have been 36 special sessions — 16 of them since 1981, when Courtney began in the Legislature. All but one were called by the governor; a majority of legislators can do so without the governor, but did it only once before 2008.

A draft constitutional amendment for annual sessions was cleared for introduction by a Senate committee last week, but contains no limits on the sessions — or an election date.…‘ (link to full article)

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