Hill to Hall Jan. 27–Feb. 2

Jan. 27: Oregon Democrats aim to change quorum rules to prevent a possible Republican walkout

Oregon Democrats filed a joint resolution in the state Senate in order to change the quorum required for a vote on legislation. The resolution proposes a constitutional amendment which would change the requirement to reach a quorum from two thirds of the lawmakers to a simple majority. If passed by the legislature, the amendment would move to voters in the 2020 election. Senate Majority Leader Ginny Burdick is expected to introduce the legislation in order to prevent another walkout by Republican lawmakers, according to AP News


Jan. 28: Governor Brown seeks new affordable housing tax to be decided by voters

Oregon Governor Kate Brown’s office filed a resolution in the state House of Representatives in order to impose a new tax, with the funds going towards affordable housing in the state. The resolution, would impose a tax on real estate that changes ownership, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting. Voters previously voted in a constitutional amendment in 2012 to prevent such a tax with Measure 79, which was heavily backed by realtors and business groups following the recession and passed with 59% of the vote. Brown’s resolution would similarly be a constitutional amendment, which would require another vote from voters if it passes in the legislature.


Feb. 2: Legislation to ban vaping products comes to the legislature after previous failures

Oregon State Senator Laurie Monnes Anderson filed a bill in the Oregon Senate in order to ban flavored nicotine vaping products. The bill comes after the Governor Kate Brown’s ban on flavored vaping products failed in October after opposition from the vaping industry, according to The Oregonian. Monnes Anderson has previously attempted to push similar legislation in 2015, which died in committee. She also drafted an attempt in early 2019, which she abandoned after lobbyists from the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society said they would not support it, according to Willamette Week. If passed, those found in violation of the ban could be fined up to $5,000