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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.

Copyright 2016 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.