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Oregon Lawmakers Head Back To Work After Snow Day

A view of the Capitol mall in Salem on Thursday afternoon.
Chris Lehman
Northwest News Network
A view of the Capitol mall in Salem on Thursday afternoon.

Oregon lawmakers get back to work Monday after a snow day Friday threw a wrench in the schedule. The short week turned up the pressure on an already brief session.

The unexpected day off meant committee chairs had to scramble to reschedule hearings. That sets up a hectic few days at the capitol with possible votes on gun control, marijuana legalization, liquor sales in grocery stores, and new regulations on electronic cigarettes.

By Thursday the 35-day session will be one-third of the way through. So legislative leaders want to keep things moving by setting up short term goals.

That means if a bill isn't moving along, it's effectively dead. Of course, there are a few procedural tricks to revive dead legislation, but at a certain point lawmakers who support a bill just have to acknowledge that their proposal isn't gaining enough support this time around.

As of now, many of those controversial proposals such as marijuana legalization and gun control are still in play.

On Wednesday, lawmakers will get a look at the latest financial projections for the state. That will tell budget-writers whether they need to make cuts or whether they'll have additional money to spend.

Copyright 2014 Northwest News Network

Chris Lehman covers the Oregon state capitol for JPR as part of the Northwest News Network, a group of 12 Northwest public radio organizations which collaborate on regional news coverage. Chris graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He began his career producing arts features for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana and has been a reporter/announcer for NPR station WNIJ in DeKalb, Illinois. Chris has also reported from overseas, filing stories from Iraq, Burkina Faso, El Salvador, Northern Ireland, Zimbabwe and Uganda.
Chris Lehman
Chris Lehman graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He landed his first job less than a month later, producing arts stories for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana. Three years later he headed north to DeKalb, Illinois, where he worked as a reporter and announcer for NPR–affiliate WNIJ–FM. In 2006 he headed west to become the Salem Correspondent for the Northwest News Network.