Partisan games prolong session

Rep. Sal Esquivel

Rep. Sal Esquivel

The Oregon Legislature’s 2013 session should be over by now. But it isn’t.

A robust revenue forecast released in May shows that there is enough money to balance the budget and adjourn. Yet the session still continues on.

The majority party will try to portray me and my fellow House Republicans as obstructionist. That is completely inaccurate, though, as the Democrats are in charge of the House, Senate and the governor’s office. They have had complete control of the process.

One of the biggest holdups so far has been the passage of the education budget. This is unfortunate, as every school district in the state is required by law to have its budget finalized by the end of June. But that budget was held up in the Senate, where it was subjected to partisan political gamesmanship.

During the 2011 session, the House was evenly split between both parties, prompting a unique co-governance model. That atmosphere helped produce the passage of the education budget in mid-April, giving school districts ample time to meet their obligations.

In the halls of the capitol, there has been talk of Saturday and Sunday sessions. This is the result of poor session management.

Ultimately, Oregon has a citizen legislature. We all have jobs and families back home in our districts. It is time for us to conclude conducting the peoples’ business instead of perpetuating the end-of-session blame game.

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