Oregon State Senate
|Oregon Legislative Assembly|
New session started
|January 22, 2019|
President pro Tempore
Length of term
|Authority||Article IV, Oregon Constitution|
|Salary||$21,612/year + per diem|
|November 6, 2018|
|November 3, 2020|
|State Senate Chamber|
Oregon State Capitol
|Oregon State Senate|
The Oregon State Senate is the upper house of the statewide legislature for the US state of Oregon. Along with the lower chamber Oregon House of Representatives it makes up the Oregon Legislative Assembly. There are 30 members of the State Senate, representing 30 districts across the state, each with a population of 114,000. The State Senate meets at the Oregon State Capitol in Salem.
An upper house is one of two chambers of a bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the lower house. The house formally designated as the upper house is usually smaller and often has more restricted power than the lower house. Examples of upper houses in countries include the Australian Senate, Brazil's Senado Federal, the Canadian Senate, France's Sénat, India's Rajya Sabha, Ireland's Seanad, Malaysia's Dewan Negara, Myanmar's Amyotha Hluttaw, the Netherlands' Eerste Kamer, Pakistan's Senate of Pakistan, Russia's Federation Council, Switzerland's Council of States, United Kingdom's House of Lords and the United States Senate.
A state legislature in the United States is the legislative body of any of the 50 U.S. states. The formal name varies from state to state. In 25 states, the legislature is simply called the Legislature, or the State Legislature, while in 19 states, the legislature is called the General Assembly. In Massachusetts and New Hampshire, the legislature is called the General Court, while North Dakota and Oregon designate the legislature the Legislative Assembly.
Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region on the West Coast of the United States. The Columbia River delineates much of Oregon's northern boundary with Washington, while the Snake River delineates much of its eastern boundary with Idaho. The parallel 42° north delineates the southern boundary with California and Nevada.
Oregon State Senators serve four-year terms without term limits. In 2002, the Oregon Supreme Court struck down the decade-old Oregon Ballot Measure 3, that had restricted State Senators to two terms (eight years) on procedural grounds.
A term limit is a legal restriction that limits the number of terms an officeholder may serve in a particular elected office. When term limits are found in presidential and semi-presidential systems they act as a method of curbing the potential for monopoly, where a leader effectively becomes "president for life". This is intended to protect a democracy from becoming a de facto dictatorship. Sometimes, there is an absolute or lifetime limit on the number of terms an officeholder may serve; sometimes, the restrictions are merely on the number of consecutive terms he or she may serve.
The Oregon Supreme Court (OSC) is the highest state court in the U.S. state of Oregon. The only court that may reverse or modify a decision of the Oregon Supreme Court is the Supreme Court of the United States. The OSC holds court at the Oregon Supreme Court Building in Salem, Oregon, near the capitol building on State Street. The building was finished in 1914 and also houses the state's law library, while the courtroom is also used by the Oregon Court of Appeals.
Like certain other upper houses of state and territorial legislatures and the federal U.S. Senate, the State Senate can confirm or reject gubernatorial appointments to state departments, commissions, boards, and other state governmental agencies.
The Governor of Oregon is the head of the executive branch of Oregon's state government and serves as the commander-in-chief of the state's military forces. The title of governor was also applied to the office of Oregon's chief executive during the provisional and U.S. territorial governments.
The current Senate President is Peter Courtney of Salem.
President of the Senate is a title often given to the presiding officer of a senate. It corresponds to the speaker in some other assemblies.
Peter C. Courtney is an American politician, lawyer, and professor who is currently a Democratic member of the Oregon State Senate, representing the 11th District since 1999. He is currently President of the Senate, serving since 2003. He was a member of the Oregon House of Representatives in 1981, 1983, and from 1989 through 1998. Courtney teaches at Western Oregon University.
Oregon, along with Arizona, Maine, and Wyoming, is one of the four U.S. states to not have the Office of the Lieutenant Governor, a position which for most upper houses of state legislatures and indeed for the U.S. Congress (with the Vice President) is the head of the legislative body and holder of the casting vote in the event of a tie. Instead, a separate position of Senate President is in place, removed from the state executive branch. If the chamber is tied, legislators must devise their own methods of resolving the impasse. In 2002, for example, Oregon's state senators entered into a power sharing contract whereby Democratic senators nominated the Senate President while Republican senators chaired key committees.
Arizona is a state in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the Western and the Mountain states. It is the sixth largest and the 14th most populous of the 50 states. Its capital and largest city is Phoenix. Arizona shares the Four Corners region with Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico; its other neighboring states are Nevada and California to the west and the Mexican states of Sonora and Baja California to the south and southwest.
Maine is the northernmost state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. Maine is the 12th smallest by area, the 9th least populous, and the 38th most densely populated of the 50 U.S. states. It is bordered by New Hampshire to the west, the Atlantic Ocean to the southeast, and the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Québec to the northeast and northwest, respectively. Maine is the only state to border just one other state, is the easternmost among the contiguous United States, and is the northernmost state east of the Great Lakes.
Wyoming is a state in the mountain region of the Western United States. The state is the 10th largest by area, the least populous, and the second most sparsely populated state in the country. Wyoming is bordered on the north by Montana, on the east by South Dakota and Nebraska, on the south by Colorado, on the southwest by Utah, and on the west by Idaho and Montana. The state population was estimated at 577,737 in 2018, which is less than 31 of the most populous U.S. cities including Denver in neighboring Colorado. Cheyenne is the state capital and the most populous city, with an estimated population of 63,624 in 2017.
Kathryn Clarke was the first woman to serve in Oregon's Senate. Women became eligible to run for the Oregon state legislature in 1914 and later that year Clarke was appointed to fill a vacant seat in Douglas county by her cousin, governor Oswald West. Following some controversy concerning whether West had the authority to appoint someone to fill the vacancy, Clarke campaigned and was elected by voters in 1915.She took office five years before the 19th Amendment to the US constitution protected the right of all US women to vote.
Kathyrn Clarke was the first woman to serve in the Oregon Senate.
Oswald West was an American politician, a Democrat, who served most notably as the 14th Governor of Oregon.
The Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the states and the federal government from denying the right to vote to citizens of the United States on the basis of sex. Initially introduced to Congress in 1878, several attempts to pass a women's suffrage amendment failed until 1919, when suffragists pressed President Woodrow Wilson to call a special congressional session. On May 21, 1919, the proposed amendment passed the House of Representatives, followed by the Senate on June 4, 1919; it was then submitted to the states for ratification. On August 18, 1920, Tennessee was the last of the necessary 36 states to secure ratification. The Nineteenth Amendment was officially adopted on August 26, 1920: the culmination of a decades-long movement for women's suffrage at both state and national levels.
In 1982, Mae Yih became the first Chinese American elected to a state senate in the United States.
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
|End of 75th Assembly (2010)||18||12||30||0|
|76th Assembly (2011-2012)||16||14||30||0|
|77th Assembly (2013-2014)||16||14||30||0|
|78th Assembly (2015-2016)||18||12||30||0|
|79th Assembly (2017-2018)||17||13||30||0|
|Begin 80th (2019)||18||12||30||0|
|May 29, 2019||11||29||1|
|June 28, 2019||12||30||0|
|Latest voting share||62.1%||37.9%|
During the 2011 legislative session, the House and Senate passed Senate Bill 989, which implemented new legislative districts for the 2012 elections and beyond.
The 80th Oregon Legislative Assembly, which holds its regular session from 2019 to 2021, has the following leadership:
Senate President: Peter Courtney (D–11 Salem)
President Pro Tempore: Laurie Monnes Anderson (D–25 Gresham)
Majority Leader: Ginny Burdick (D–18 Portland)
Minority Leader: Herman Baertschiger Jr. (R-2 Grants Pass)
The Arizona Senate is part of the Arizona Legislature, the state legislature of the US state of Arizona. The Senate consists of 30 members each representing an average of 219,859 constituents. Members serve two-year terms with term limits that limit Senators to four terms for a total of eight years. Members of the Republican Party are currently the majority in the Senate.
The Oregon House of Representatives is the lower house of the Oregon Legislative Assembly. There are 60 members of the House, representing 60 districts across the state, each with a population of 65,000. The House meets at the Oregon State Capitol in Salem.
Oregon's Territorial Legislature was a bicameral legislative body created by the United States Congress in 1848 as the legislative branch of the government of the Oregon Territory. The upper chamber Council and lower chamber House of Representatives first met in July 1849; they served as the region's legislative body until Oregon became a state in February 1859, when they were replaced by the bicameral Oregon State Legislature.
Elections in Oregon are all held using a Vote by Mail (VBM) system. This means that all registered voters receive their ballots via postal delivery and can vote from their homes. A state Voters’ Pamphlet is mailed to every household in Oregon about three weeks before each statewide election. It includes information about each measure and candidate in the upcoming election.
Margaret Louise Carter is an American politician who was a Democratic member of the Oregon Legislative Assembly from 1985 to 1999 and 2001 to 2009 and was the first black woman elected to the state's legislature. She served in the Oregon House of Representatives until 1999, and then in the Oregon State Senate from 2001 to 2009. She served as President Pro Tempore of the Senate, Vice Chair for Ways and Means, and as a member of both the Health and Human Services and Oregon State Hospital Patient Care committees. She announced her resignation from the Senate effective August 31, 2009, and took a post as Deputy Director for Human Services Programs at the Oregon Department of Human Services. In 2015, she was reportedly considering a return to the senate.
Charles Starr is an American politician and farmer in Oregon. He served as a Republican member of the Oregon Legislature for 14 years, serving in both houses. A native of Texas, Starr served in the Oregon State Senate with his son Bruce Starr, the first time in Oregon's history a father and son served in the Senate together.
Bruce Starr is an American politician and businessman in Oregon. A Republican, he served two terms in the Oregon House of Representatives before winning election to the Oregon State Senate in 2002. There he joined his father Senator Charles Starr and they became the first father-son team to serve at the same time in Oregon's Senate. Bruce had previously been a member of the Hillsboro City Council, and was re-elected to the Senate in 2006 and 2010, but lost a bid in 2012 to be the Oregon Labor Commissioner.
Frank Morse is a politician in the U.S. state of Oregon. A Republican, he represented District 8 in the Oregon State Senate from 2003 until 2012. He was first elected in 2002, defeating Democrat Barbara Ross in a high-profile race, and was reelected in 2006 and 2010. In September 2012, Morse resigned his office, stating that it was "time for new energy" in the position.
The Seventy-fourth Oregon Legislative Assembly was the Oregon Legislative Assembly (OLA)'s period from 2007 to 2008. There was a regular session in 2007, and a shorter special session in 2008.
The seventy-third Oregon Legislative Assembly was the Oregon Legislative Assembly (OLA)'s period from 2005 to 2006. There was a regular session in 2005, and a one-day special session on April 20, 2006.
The 75th Oregon Legislative Assembly convened beginning on January 12, 2009, for its biennial regular session. All of the 60 seats in the House of Representatives and half of the 30 seats in the State Senate were up for election in 2008; the general election for those seats took place on November 4.
The 76th Oregon Legislative Assembly convened beginning on January 11, 2011, for the first of its two regular sessions. All 60 seats of the House of Representatives and 16 of the 30 state senate seats were up for election in 2010. The general election for those seats took place on November 2. The Democrats retained the majority in the senate, but lost six seats in the house, leading to an even split (30-30) between Democrats and Republicans. The governor of Oregon during the session was John Kitzhaber, a Democrat, who was elected to a third term in 2010 following an eight-year absence from public office.
The 72nd Oregon Legislative Assembly convened in January 2003 for its regular session, which on August 8 of that year surpassed the 1993 session as the longest in the U.S. state of Oregon's history. In the senate, which was evenly divided between 15 Democrats and 15 Republicans, Democratic President Peter Courtney and Republican President Pro Tempore Lenn Hannon were praised by The Oregonian for managing to avoid partisan gridlock. The House was composed of 35 Republicans and 25 Democrats.
The 77th Oregon Legislative Assembly convened beginning on January 14, 2013, for the first of its two regular sessions, and on February 3, 2014 for its second session. All of the 60 seats in the House of Representatives and 16 of the 30 seats in the State Senate were up for election in 2012; the general election for those seats took place on November 6, 2012.
Roger Edward Martin is an American businessman, state legislator, and lobbyist from Oregon. He was an electric equipment sales executive with Martin Electric and served six terms in the Oregon House of Representatives. In 1978, Martin ran for governor of Oregon, but lost to Victor Atiyeh in the Republican primary. Following the 1978 election, Martin became a lobbyist at the Oregon State Capitol.
Alfred Hoyt Corbett was an American attorney, businessman, and politician in the state of Oregon. Born into one of the wealthiest and most influential families in Oregon, he attended Harvard University and then Yale Law School. He served twelve years in the Oregon Legislative Assembly, representing Multnomah County in the Oregon House of Representatives and then the Oregon State Senate.
Edward Andrew Geary was an American politician and farmer from the state of Oregon. He was a Republican who served eight years in the Oregon House of Representatives. In the house, Geary represented a large rural district in southern Oregon. He served as Speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives during the 1955 legislative session. He also served as acting governor of Oregon for several brief periods in the mid-1950s.
Oregon’s Emergency Board is a statutory legislative committee composed of members of both houses of the Oregon Legislative Assembly. It has broad powers to allocate general fund resources, lottery revenue, and other state funds for unanticipated government requirements when the state legislature is not in session. The board can authorize an agency to overspend its approved budget or approve a new budget amount for specific agency tasks. It can also authorize the transfers of funds between agencies or budget accounts. The Emergency Board is jointly chaired by the President of the Oregon Senate and the Speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives.
The 80th Oregon Legislative Assembly is the current meeting of the Oregon Legislative Assembly. It began January 22, 2019.