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Government and Politics
Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

Oregon Legislature Opens Five-Week Session

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Oregon lawmakers kicked off a five-week legislative session Monday with a long "to do" list. But some at the Capitol think the legislature is overstepping its authority.

More than 200 bills came to life on the first day of the 2016 legislative session. When the House Reading Clerk made it through the list, some Republican lawmakers took the microphone.

Representative Bill Post said while it was really nice to see everybody, ”I just wish we were having a nice dinner or something instead of actually doing policy."

Post and other Republicans say when voters approved annual sessions in 2010, the idea was sold as a way for lawmakers to patch up the budget and address pressing matters in the so-called off year sessions.

Democrats say many of the issues are time sensitive. One example: a bill to raise the minimum wage is being considered as a way to head off an initiative that would raise the wage more quickly.