State of Oregon - Oregon Legislature

The State of Oregon has a Citizen Legislature consisting of the Senate, whose 30 members are elected to serve four-year terms, and the House of Representatives, which has 60 members elected for two-year terms. The assembly convenes every two years in regular session on the second Monday in January during odd-numbered years, a date set by statute. Oregon Constitution does not specify a limitation on session length, however most sessions last approximately six months. During the interim, legislators serve on interim committees and task forces that study issues likely to be faced during the next legislative session.

Oregon’s representative form of government is governed by rules, laws, and procedures. Although the process is long, complex and dominated by committees, all laws begin as someone’s idea.

The Legislative Branch is comprised of the Assembly (state elected officials and their staffs) and four legislative service service agencies:

Legislative Administration:
The Legislative Administration Committee is the primary support service arm of the Legislative Assembly. Its executive officer, the Legislative Administrator, oversees the activities of a number of units within Legislative Administration.

The committee, authorized by ORS 173.710, is composed of the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House, three senators appointed by the President and four representatives appointed by the Speaker.

The committee appoints an executive officer who serves as administrator for Legislative Administration. The administrator's office coordinates and oversees the operation of the following administrative units: Employee Services; Facility Services; Information Systems; Financial Services; and
Committee Services.

Legislative Counsel:
Overseen by the Legislative Counsel Committee, the Office of the Legislative Counsel provides legal and publication services to the Legislative Assembly and its members and other agencies of state government. The office drafts measures and amendments for legislators, legislative committees and state agencies; provides legal advice to legislators and legislative committees; reviews state agency rules for legal sufficiency; prepares indexes and tables for legislative publications; edits, publishes, sells and distributes the Oregon Revised Statutes, the official bound session laws and other print and electronic publications.

Legislative Fiscal:
The Legislative Fiscal Office (LFO) is a permanent, non-partisan legislative service agency. It provides research, analysis, and evaluation of state expenditures, financial affairs, program administration, and agency organization. The LFO also provides fiscal impact statements on legislative measures.

Committees staffed by LFO include the Joint Committee on Ways and Means, the Emergency Board, the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, and the Joint Legislative Committee on Information Management and Technology.

Legislative Revenue:
The Legislative Revenue Office (LRO) is a permanent, non-partisan legislative service agency. It provides research and analysis on tax policy and school finance issues for legislators, legislative committees, and their staffs. The LRO also provides revenue impact statements on legislative measures that affect state or local revenue. Legislative committees staffed by the LRO are the Senate Finance & Revenue Committee, the House Revenue Committee, and the Task Force on Comprehensive Revenue Restructuring.

The office was established in law by the 1975 Legislature. Its authority and functions are specified in ORS 173.800 through ORS 173.850.

State of Oregon - Oregon Legislature Salem, OR, USA
Sep 04, 2018
Full-Time
The Office of the Legislative Counsel has an opening for one full-time Staff Attorney starting in December 2018. Successful candidates for the position must possess strong legal research and writing skills with the ability to analyze issues and applicable law and prepare written work or verbal advice that is clear, concise and persuasive to both attorney and non-attorney readers. This position is under the supervision of the Legislative Counsel. Staff Attorneys receive assignments and direction from the Legislative Counsel or from deputies (used throughout this posting to mean deputies, senior deputies, the chief deputy and the special counsel.)   A Staff Attorney assists legislators, legislative committees and legislative staff by writing legal opinions and performing legal research and by drafting proposed legislation. This work is done on a confidential and non-partisan basis. A Staff Attorney may also review the administrative rules of state agencies for consistency with the relevant enabling legislation and the state and federal constitutions and may present adverse rule review reports to one or more committees of the legislature. A Staff Attorney must be responsive to the needs of legislators, their staff and constituents, the staff of legislative committees, government agencies and, to a more limited extent, the public. Much of the work is performed under severe time constraints and under stressful conditions. A Staff Attorney must comply with all applicable laws and the ethical standards for attorneys, the legislative rules of both houses and the practice and personnel rules of the Legislative Branch. This position is located in the Capitol building, in Salem, Oregon. Duties & Responsibilities PERFORM LEGAL RESEARCH AND WRITE LEGAL OPINIONS.   Requests for legal research and opinions are submitted to the office of Legislative Counsel from legislators, legislative committees and legislative staff. A Staff Attorney is responsible for analyzing the issues and applicable law and preparing written opinions or written or verbal legal advice that is clear, concise and persuasive to both attorney and non-attorney readers. Extensive research of the statutes and case law of Oregon and other jurisdictions, including federal law, may be required. A Staff Attorney must be thoroughly familiar with the tools of legal research. PERFORM INDIVIDUAL PROJECT ASSIGNMENTS.   A Staff Attorney may perform individual project assignments, which vary widely in nature, complexity and duration. These projects may include assisting in editing   Oregon Revised Statutes   or in writing annotations for   Oregon Revised Statutes. DRAFT BILLS.   The Legislative Counsel assigns each drafting request to a deputy having responsibility in the legal subject area. The deputy may then assign to the Staff Attorney the duties of analyzing the issues, seeking additional information, ascertaining the current law on the subject, including applicable constitutional provisions and federal law, and preparing a draft conforming to office form and style requirements that accomplishes the drafting request. The Staff Attorney is expected to note any legal problems that the draft may raise. The deputy may review a draft's provisions with the Staff Attorney and direct revision of the draft. All drafting must be done within the time limits set by the requester or by legislative rules. Although staff attorneys must possess a general knowledge of state statutes, they need not have specialized knowledge of the subject areas of bill drafts that are assigned to them. DRAFT AMENDMENTS.   During a legislative session and at the direction of deputies, a Staff Attorney prepares proposed amendments. This work is similar to drafting bills and the deadlines are usually very tight. The Staff Attorney may be required to attend committee meetings to gather information for the deputies. Occasionally, Staff Attorneys testify before committees. REVIEW ADMINISTRATIVE RULES.   ORS 183.710 to 183.725 require that all agency-adopted administrative rules be submitted to the Legislative Counsel. Under Legislative Counsel Committee policy, all such rules are reviewed. The statutory standards for review are consistency with intent and scope of the enabling legislation and constitutionality of the rule. Committee policy requires a statement of any penalty that may be imposed for violation of the rule. The Staff Attorney may be assigned administrative rules for review.    A Staff Attorney may be given additional responsibility depending on learning progress.   Regular and punctual attendance is an essential element of all positions within the Office of the Legislative Counsel.