Articles Tagged with Legislative history

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[Link to Vanorum I.]

See Justice Landau’s concurring opinion in State of Oregon v. Ian George Vanornum (SC S060715), decided December 27, 2013 (on page PDF page 24 or Opinion page 23 or Concurring page 1)

Excerpt:

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State of Oregon v. Ian George Vanornum (SC S060715), decided December 27, 2013:

Excerpt, p. 7: “.... The initial question that this case raises — whether ORCP 59 H controls appellate court review of claims of instructional error — arises because subsection (1) declares that “a party may not obtain review on appeal” of a trial court’s asserted error in giving or refusing to give a jury instruction unless the party identified the asserted error to the trial court and made a timely notation of exception….” [Link to full opinion.]

Oregon Rules of Civil Procedure (ORCP)

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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.)

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Currently you can find PDFs of the 1955-1967 and 1995-2009 ORS at the Oregon Legislature’s website. Soon, the 1969-1993 superseded ORSs will be there, too. (Look under: “Selected Archives of the Oregon Revised Statutes.”)

The Washington County Law Library has been scanning these pre-1995 ORSs for the Legislature and they have been making those images available to everyone from their website. We have scanned through 1989  (and started 1991), but for a publicly-hosted set of these superseded statutes for the years 1967-1993, you need to be patient.

We have been told that the Legislature is in the middle of a website redesign project and won’t be able to publish the 1967-1993 superseded ORSs until October. (We wish them luck and lots of pizza for sustenance! A redesign is lots of work, lots of fun work (at least for librarians, website designers, and content strategists), but it is a mega-ton of work from start to finish, especially on the scale of a state legislature’s website).

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How many legislators know how to compile a legislative history? My guess is not many. But they have many skills the rest of us lack, but need. Who among us has the patience to shepherd bills through the state or federal (or local) legislative process without going berserk – and having everyone scream at you day and night? Not I.

Try shadowing a legislator for a day and you’ll see what I mean. (Try shadowing a teacher for a day, too, and see how much like legislating that job is, with just as many people screaming at you.)

Legislative assistants can compile legislative histories and so can government documents and law librarians. For us, legislative history compilation skills are a job requirement, but that doesn’t mean we have to like it, especially if we’re far from the seat of government and can’t visit the official and complete archives where complete bill files can be found.

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Visit the Bills Signed 2013 link at the Oregon Governor’s website.

You can also click on the “Bills Signed by Governor Kitzhaber (2013)” line for a full view of the data-set. (This link may change over time. If so, visit the Oregon Governor’s website to find new URL.)

You can read the Governor’s signing statements, too.

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What happens in Oregon when a word in a statute is undefined – and someone’s life and liberty is at stake?

In the case of 2011 ORS 167.007 and Oregon v. Palomo, the Oregon Court of Appeals weighs in and defines the word “fee,” with a little help from a dictionary and a legislative history.

Oregon v. Palomo A148047 (Control), A148045

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The Oregon Legislative Library’s Reference Librarian* answers our ‘floor letter’ question. (The “Note from Mother” question is answered at the end of this blog post. Who said watching the Oregon Legislature wasn’t fun?!)

A ‘floor letter’ is information put on each member’s desk during a session the day of a measure’s 3rd reading and subsequent floor vote. The floor letter has to be identified as originating ‘from the desk of’ a member.

Essentially, it’s like a last ditch effort to make a point.

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If you need to know the legislative history of an Oregon statute, please remember:

You need to know something about how a bill becomes a law.  The Citizen’s Guide at the Oregon Legislature’s website will help you with that.
You then need to know HOW to compile a legislative history.  I’ve blogged about Oregon legislative history research guides, but run a new search to find updated links.  For example, on Google, search using words like these: oregon legislative history research.