Friday, January 19, 2007

State Leg. Creates Joint Land Use Cmte for M37 Issues

Word from the Capitol has reached us that the current Special Senate Committee on Land Use Fairness is being augmented today with three Democrats and two Republicans from the House--including Dem point man Greg Macpherson (HD38)--to form a Joint Committee that will oversee and particularly discuss issues related to the implementation of Measure 37.

Macpherson will join current Senate Chair Floyd Prozanski (SD4) as co-chair of the committee, which will feature six Democrats and four Republicans. The intent is to form more of a working group than a standing committee that simply processes bills sent to its doorstep. Solutions may or may not end up in bill form, and not every bill written so far to deal with M37's impact will automatically find its way to the committee, our sources tell us.

Regardless of which side of the fence you fall on regarding M37, this should be considered good news. It serves the state little purpose to dally on the tough questions that have cropped up since the measure's passage and upholding in court. Some localities are openly dragging their feet waiting to see if the Legislature can offer any clarity, endangering their own ability to process claims within the specified deadlines.

The establishment of the joint committee will hopefully speed up the process and lead more quickly to proposals and solutions that have the backing of majorities in both houses. To this end, having Prozanski--who represents both the liberal bastions of Lane County and the Republican hinterlands of Douglas County--and Macpherson run the committee should be a boon for bipartisan cooperation.

We'll have the press release when it comes out, but our readers deserve to hear about stuff like this first!

Update, 3pm--
as promised, here's the release {pdf}from Senate President Courtney's office. There's no mistaking which side of the road they're standing on; some good solid rhetoric in there.