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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 Lawmakers Discover Reading Aloud Takes Time

Joe Wolf
Flickr -

Republicans in the Oregon legislature are taking advantage of a little-used procedural move to force bills to be read out loud in their entirety. It's adding up to some lengthy floor sessions.

The Oregon Constitution requires bills to be read out loud before final passage. Usually lawmakers agree to waive that rule in the interest of time. Not this month. One bill took just over an hour to read.

Republicans are using the stall tactic because they say majority Democrats are pushing through too many high profile bills during this five-week session.

House Speaker Tina Kotek has countered by making lawmakers themselves join the read-aloud sessions -- some with more success than others. One lawmaker even turned legislation into a song:

So far, Democrats haven't scrapped any of their bills for the sake of the clock.

The 2016 session of the Oregon legislature began February 1 and is slated to wrap up by March 6.