Political Shakeup in Oregon Senate
Since our last Week in Review, there have been large developments in the Oregon Senate. Some key figures are leaving, and one more has been stripped of his authority following continued allegations of sexual harassment.
ORA's lobbyist, Amanda Dalton, provided some insight shortly after these events were made public.
Governor Brown announced she was going to appoint Sen. Richard Devlin-D and Sen. Ted Ferrioli-R to the NW Power Council.
Oregon has two seats on this commission and they are high paying full-time jobs. Sen. Devlin’s appointment had been rumored for months, but Sen. Ferrioli was definitely a surprise. The appointments require confirmation by the Senate, which is expected to take place during November interim days (11/15). The terms for the Power Council officially become vacant January 2018 and its unclear if the Legislators will depart earlier than that.
What this means:
-Sen. Devlin is the current Co-Chair of Ways and Means and his departure from the Senate will leave a big hole in budget writing/balancing.
-So far we’ve heard Sen. Steiner Hayward wants the Co-Chair gavel, but other contenders include Sen. Arnie Roblan and Sen. Lee Beyer - both more moderate/middle-of-the road Democrats.
-Sen. Ferrioli is the Republican Senate Minority Caucus Leader - so this leadership post will need to be replaced. Early contenders are Sen. Tim Knopp, Sen. Fred Girod and Sen. Jeff Kruse (until below announcement). Sen. Tim Knopp-R from Bend is the likely candidate, after working across the aisle with Sen. Courtney last Session.
-Both of these appointments also mean their Senate seats will open up. Rep. Bentz has confirmed he will see the Sen. Ferrioli seat.
-Sen. Devlin’s seat may prove a bit more complicated as it includes Rep. Julie Parrish-R (ineligible for the appointment to D seat but eligible to run in 2018) and Rep. Andrea Salinas-D who was just appointed 1 month ago. While she has publicly said she won’t seek the Senate seat it sounds like she is considering it. Other likely contenders include Joe Buck, Rob Wagner and Greg Macpherson.
-Of course all of these appointments will hopefully be done before the February Session. Both appointments will require local precinct committee person involvement and then final selection by the County Commissioners represented.
Senator Jeff Kruse-R, Roseburg, was stripped of all his Senate Committees and interim workgroups (including Senate Healthcare and Judiciary) under allegations of inappropriate touching.
This unprecedented step is said to be “indefinite” and while no articles are reporting any filed complaints against the Senator, facebook has been lighting up all weekend supporting Sen. Sara Gelser-D from Corvallis with messages that “I believe Sara” “I stand with Sara” and thanking her for standing up against “colleagues unwanted physical touch."
What this means:
-Sen. Kruse’s seat is up for election in 2018. He will likely be forced to resign or not seek seek re-election. Sen. Kruse has served in the Legislature since 1996.
In the news: