New legislative session begins in Salem

SALEM, Ore.– Oregon’s 82nd legislative assembly got underway today, kicking off a nearly six-month legislative session.

One of the biggest changes this year of course, is the arrival of a new governor in Democrat Tina Kotek.

This session will also be a longer session.

Oregon alternates between 35-day and 160-day legislative sessions, with the longer ones taking place in odd-numbered years.

That means it’s also a budget year.

Because Oregon operates on a two-year budget cycle, Governor Kotek will propose a budget for the next biennium — in this case July 2023 through June 2025 — and lawmakers will adjust it and adopt a final version.

This year, democrats will not have a supermajority in either chamber, meaning they’ll need need support from at least a couple republicans if they want to pass any tax legislation.

Republican Representative Kim Wallan said, “there can be no new or increased taxes, now fees are not always ruled to be taxes, but we cannot implement any new tax without at least one republican joining 35 democrats.”

Wallan said she doesn’t know of any republicans that are looking to increase taxes in this year’s session.

Ashland Senator Jeff Golden said earlier this month it would be difficult to raise taxes because of inflation and other economic challenges facing Oregonians right now.

Wallan said she will be focusing on homelessness and bringing jobs to Southern Oregon.

She’s looking forward to meeting and working with more than 20 new members in the legislature.

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Former NBC5 News reporter Derek Strom is from Renton, Washington. He recently graduated from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communications at Washington State University with a degree in Broadcast News and a minor in Sports Management. He played in the drumline with the WSU marching band. These days, he plays the guitar and piano. Derek is a devoted fan of the Mariners, Seahawks, and Kraken.
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