All posts by Government Affairs Team


Dust begins to settle in Salem

The atmosphere at the Capitol this week appeared to be back to business-as-usual, despite the unprecedented events of the past several weeks and the swearing in of a new governor while session was already underway. Without all of the media attention and a brief delay for the swearing-in ceremony, you hardly would have noticed a change in the building. Committees continued to work through their policy agendas and the chamber floors deliberated on contentious issues. In fact, two of the most provocative pieces of legislation this year, the low carbon fuel standard and “motor voter registration,” were passed out of chambers this week. Read more…


Oregon SOS Kate Brown to become 37th governor

Friday the 13th, the day before Oregon’s 156th birthday, turned out to be a day of bad luck for our state and Gov. John Kitzhaber. Here’s why.

Our report last week suggested that the media’s obsession with the controversy surrounding Gov. John Kitzhaber had little or no impact to the work going on in the Capitol. The polar opposite is true this week. The relentless reporting by the media as well as new information from within the Capitol has resulted in a firestorm of activity within legislative leadership. Read more…

Oregon Legislature

Clean Fuels, Governor dominate first week of legislative session

The Capitol halls abounded with legislators and lobbyists this week, eager for the legislative session to get underway. Year after year, the first week of session sets the tone for the weeks and months ahead as committees begin holding their first informational hearings on issues poised to dominate the policy and budgetary discussions. However, if the first week of this year’s legislative session is any sign of clairvoyance, this session will be different. Read more…


Lawmakers prepare for 2015 session

Lawmakers convened at the Capitol this week for the penultimate round of hearings before the legislative session begins in February. However, for those working in the building, it was clear session was already effectively underway. The introduction of legislative concepts and informational hearings relating to specific policy changes provided only a preview of the issues we are expecting to take center stage. In particular, there is no longer any doubt that revenue and tax policy issues will be widely discussed topics after the finance and revenue committees released 145 legislative concepts for public consumption, far more than any other committee. These proposed changes correspond with the release of the Governor’s Recommended Budget, which called for an unprecedented increase in education funding at $9.4 billion (9 percent higher than the 2013-15 biennium). Read more…


Fiduciary Responsibility and Investing in Clean Energy

“Fiduciary responsibility” has been crossing the lips of leaders in the clean energy economy with increasing frequency over the past year. If, like me, you don’t have an MBA in finance, here’s a basic breakdown of fiduciary responsibility. Essentially, a fiduciary is an individual responsible for the financial assets of another individual or group. Fiduciary responsibility simply means making decisions to protect the assets of the individual or corporation whom you represent. Read more…


Introducing Money Watch

Do you track campaign finance activity?

We do. And we know how stressful and time-consuming spreadsheet management can be. The staff time dedicated for tracking campaign finance activity takes time away that could put to better use. We would like to introduce Money Watch, our automated campaign finance tracking system.


  • Adds user-friendly functionality, such as tables and graphs, to public information made available on ORESTAR.
  • See trends of campaign finance data over time, allowing you to see contribution spikes and major expenditures.
  • District views allow you to see head-to-head match-ups for the gubernatorial and every legislative race.
  • Total views display aggregate member totals by caucus, caucus PACs, and combined match-ups.
  • See individual transactions from Money Watch, allowing you to browse through every candidate with the click of a mouse.
  • Print functionality, allowing you to prepare materials for presentations.

Read more…


Oregon Legislature adjourns sine die amidst growing pains

Over the past several weeks, we have reported on the mounting tensions growing within the legislature as they approached the final week. Typically, the attention of the legislature is consumed by final end-of-session bills, such as budget and major policy adjustments. Throughout our reporting this session, we have outlined the expectations that voters had from lawmakers as they transitioned towards annual sessions, suggesting that the short, 35-day session in even-numbered years was intended to give an opportunity for lawmakers to make slight program changes to state government and rebalance the budget. Instead, the short session has become a political playground perfect for the election season. Complicating the temperature of the legislature this week was a surprising turn of events, where rogue lobbyists tried to embarrass House Speaker Tina Kotek (D-Portland) by planting a story about her with facts that were blatantly untrue. Read more…


In Salem, Lawmakers Prepare to Adjourn

The tides of the legislature were in full force this week as lawmakers begin to negotiate and move forward on end-of-session issues. Typically, the halls of the Capitol draw quiet in the final days of session as policy committees close and the scope of work for lawmakers is narrowed to only a handful of issues. As February comes to a close and we begin counting down the days until the final gavels are dropped and the legislature adjourns, there remain several significant pieces of legislation pending approval. Read more…


Short Session Becomes Front Line of the Campaign Cycle

When the constitutional amendment for annual legislative sessions was referred to Oregon voters in 2010, lawmakers advocated that the 35-day “short sessions” would be used to make necessary program changes and re-balance the budget. Nevertheless, the short session has become another venue for lawmakers to introduce substantial policy that would typically appear during the five-month “long session,” such as changing the process for class-action proceeds to be returned to corporations in litigation, an affirmation of a land-use position for the Portland metropolitan area, and the end of marijuana prohibition. Read more…