Public Commission on the Oregon Legislature

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The Public Commission on the Oregon Legislature (PCOL) was a group of 30 citizens in the U.S. state of Oregon charged with developing recommendations on how to improve the Oregon Legislative Assembly.[1] The 2005 session of the legislature established the commission with Senate Bill 1084.[2] The bill, which declared an emergency, took effect upon its passage, when it was signed by Governor Ted Kulongoski on July 29, 2005.[3]

The PCOL submitted its final report[4] for the consideration of the 74th legislature on November 13, 2006.[5] The 74th legislature implemented several of the recommendations.

Reception, impact and criticism[edit]

The PCOL's recommendation to establish an "open" primary (also known as a nonpartisan blanket primary) was taken up by two former Secretaries of State, Phil Keisling and Norma Paulus, in the form of a ballot initiative. The effort narrowly missed qualifying for the 2006 general elections ballot, but a slightly modified version qualified for the 2008 general election ballot as ballot measure 65.[6]

The Bend Bulletin criticized the PCOL's recommendations regarding the initiative and referendum system in an editorial,[7] noting that the system was outside the PCOL's purview, and taking issue with the selective nature of the recommendations.

Recommendations to renovate the Oregon State Capitol were acted upon by the 2007 session of the legislature, and were noted in advertisements in the 2008 U.S. Senate race.[citation needed]


The commission's report included recommendations on the following topics:[8]

Fundamental reform:

Institutional reform:

  • Annual Sessions and Session Structure
  • Partisanship
  • Staffing Legislative Offices
  • Hiring Family Members
  • Alcohol Consumption
  • Public Access

Reforming legislative operations:

  • Committees
  • Bills and Amendments
  • Program Evaluation
  • Budget Notes

Improving facilities and technology:

  • Capitol Renovation and Comprehensive Facilities Plan
  • Wireless Access
  • Use of Technology
  • Oregon Channel
  • Audio and Video Hardware
  • Security

Commission members[edit]

Commission member Title/organization Committee assignment
Dave Barrows Management and Human Resources Committee
Deborah Boone State representative The Public Institution Committee
Daniel Bernstine President, Portland State University Management and Human Resources Committee
Frank Brawner Management and Human Resources Committee
Bridget Burns Facilities Committee
Jane Cease Management and Human Resources Committee
Kim Skerritt Duncan Tri-Met Process Committee
David Frohnmayer President, University of Oregon Process Committee
Mark Garber The Gresham Outlook Facilities Committee
Avel Gordly State senator Process Committee
Hasso Hering Albany Democrat-Herald Public Institution Committee
Jim Hill former Treasurer of Oregon Management and Human Resources Committee
Barbara Karmel Process Committee
Wayne Krieger State representative Facilities Committee
Ginny Lang Chair, Process Committee
John Lattimer Chair, Management and Human Resources Committee
Susan M. Leeson Management and Human Resources Committee
Hans A. Linde Process Committee
Greg Merten Management and Human Resources Committee
Frank Morse State senator Management and Human Resources Committee
Delores Pigsley Management and Human Resources Committee
Laura Pryor Judge, Gilliam County Court Public Institution Committee
Raul Ramirez Sheriff, Marion County Facilities Committee
Gretchen Schuette President, Chemeketa Community College Public Institution Committee
Connie Seeley Office of the Senate President Chair, Management and Human Resources Committee
Kerry Tymchuk Chair, Public Institution Committee
Gary Wilhelms Facilities Committee
Carl Wilson Chair, Facilities Committee
Junki Yoshida Public Institution Committee

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-10-05. Retrieved 2008-10-04.
  3. ^ Database of bills Archived 2011-01-10 at the Wayback Machine. from the Oregon legislature's web site. Retrieved October 6, 2008.
  4. ^ Official web page Archived 2007-12-14 at the Wayback Machine. on the Oregon Legislature's web site
  5. ^ Complete report Archived 2008-10-09 at the Wayback Machine. of the PCOL
  6. ^ Keisling, Phil; Norma Paulus (April 13, 2008). "Reviving Oregon elections: Let's make primaries truly open, inclusive and fair". The Oregonian.
  7. ^ "How not to win public trust". The Bulletin. October 24, 2006.
  8. ^ Recommendations section Archived 2010-12-06 at the Wayback Machine. of the PCOL report