Oregon lawmakers adjourned the 2022 short legislative session after passing a slew of ambitious legislation, including overtime pay for farmworkers, $600 stimulus payments for low-income workers and a $400 million spending package focused on affordable housing and homelessness.
This session, which concluded Friday, was the final one for Senate President Peter Courtney, a Salem Democrat, who is Oregon’s longest-serving state lawmaker with 38 years.
It was also the first where the public was allowed to attend in-person for the first time since March 2020.
Other notable bills included heat relief for vulnerable Oregonians, protections for election workers and giving nurses access to a program that provides mental health and wellness support.
Senate Republican Leader Tim Knopp of Bend released the following statement:
“At a time when inflation is out of control, Democrats introduced a new sales tax and new spending. When Oregonians don’t feel safe in their homes, Democrats pushed an extreme soft-on-crime agenda that makes our streets more dangerous. As we close the book on the pandemic, Democrats clung to government overreach and mandates. They doubled down on blowout spending on failed government programs. Luckily, Republicans were able to kill many of the most harmful and extreme proposals this session.
“Even with our big disagreements, we got some good bipartisan things done for Oregon this session. Unfortunately, we left a lot of good policy left on the table. Short sessions reveal priorities, and the majority’s priorities were misplaced in many cases.
“Republicans stood up for law enforcement and Oregonians’ safety, for better schools, more transparent and accountable government, better management of our forests, and fought government overreach. We will continue to champion innovative solutions to Oregonians’ most pressing problems and make our case directly to Oregonians. They deserve more balance in Salem.”