Oregon Legislature OKs budget, adjourns

The Oregon Senate, Thursday, March 6, 2014 at the state Capitol in Salem. (AP Photo/Chad Garland)
The Oregon Senate, Thursday, March 6, 2014 at the state Capitol in Salem. (AP Photo/Chad Garland)

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The state Legislature voted Friday to approve funding for cancer research facilities at Oregon Health & Science University, got the budget back in balance, then adjourned the 2014 session.

The Senate voted to let local governments temporarily ban medical marijuana stores, sending the bill to Gov. John Kitzhaber. The House sent the governor a measure allowing the general public to hire home-care workers from a list of unionized aides who serve people with publicly funded care.

But the five-week legislative session was particularly notable for what didn’t happen. Controversial bills on guns, liquor and marijuana got plenty of attention but never reached the House or Senate floor. Nor did a proposal to replace the Interstate 5 bridge over the Columbia River.

Lawmakers did ease up on a ban on Native American mascots, opening the door for some schools to keep them. They passed a handful of bills aimed at easing the pain of the failures at Cover Oregon, the state’s troubled health insurance exchange, although they mostly ordered Cover Oregon to take actions it’s already taking.

They also extended a telecommunications tax that funds 911 services to prepaid cellphones — a goal that had vexed the Legislature for years.

The session lasted 33 days — two shy of the maximum under the state constitution.

Lawmakers will now turn their attention to the election campaign. All 60 House seats and half of the 30 Senate seats will be up in November.

blog comments powered by Disqus