May 23, 2023 - Politics

These bills are on hold as Oregon Senate GOP walkout goes on

Illustration of a gavel and hourglass combination.

Illustration: Lindsey Bailey/Axios

Hundreds of proposed laws in the Oregon Senate are on hold due to the Republican members' walkout, which leaves the Senate unable to vote on any bills.

Why it matters: Bills in limbo touch many aspects of Oregonians' lives, including how to spend a big bump in tax revenue.

Catch up fast: The next two-year state budget is the most critical bill of the session. That's usually due June 30, the day before the fiscal year starts, but this year lawmakers have extra time, if it's needed.

  • Two days before the walkout began, the Legislature authorized funding state agencies through Sept. 15.

The big picture: 140 bills have passed both chambers so far this session, according to a count by the Senate president's office. That's a fraction of what gets through a regular session.

Here are four that are stalled.

House Bill 2002 would increase access to gender-affirming health care and abortion, and protect medical providers from related out-of-state court cases. Republicans have cited this bill as one reason for their decision to walk out of Senate proceedings.

  • The Democrat-sponsored measure has passed the House and the Senate Ways and Means Committee.

House Bill 2005 would ban "ghost guns" — forbidding the manufacture, import, sale or transfer of a type of unregistered gun that can be assembled at home from a kit.

  • The measure, also supported by Democrats, has passed the House but is awaiting committee assignment in the Senate.

House Bill 2295 would expand veterans preferences in public contracting to include all veteran-owned businesses. Currently it includes veterans who were disabled in service.

  • This bipartisan measure has cleared the House and is awaiting a final vote on the Senate floor.

Senate Bill 431 would fund reconstruction of the bridge over the Columbia River between Hood River and White Salmon, Washington.

  • A Republican-sponsored measure, this bill has passed the Senate Ways and Means Committee and is awaiting action in the Transportation Committee.

Reality check: Even during sessions where there aren't walkouts, many proposed bills don't ever become law.

What's next: The legislative session is due to end June 25, but it's possible some bills not approved by then could be taken up in a summer special session.

  • The budget would be the most likely candidate.

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Portland.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Portland stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Portland.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more