Of Committees

by Kevin Douglas Hay

Legislative committees are the foundation of state government in Oregon. From their humble beginnings in pre-statehood to their vast breadth and scope today, legislative committees exert tremendous influence in creating and shaping public policy. Though the chief executive and party leader, the governor, may have the power to veto legislation, it is the legislative committees that have the ability to determine the content and fate of legislation. Legislative committees create a forum for citizens, professionals, and experts to express support of, opposition to, or an opinion of, proposed legislation. But does this power hamper, hinder or enhance public policy and serve the wills and needs of Oregonians? Legislative committees are the gatekeepers of public policy, yet they are subject to the wills and whims of those who control them.Read More »