Walker on the Capitol: Legislature convenes 2014 session
SALEM, Ore. - Lawmakers hit the ground running in what will be a very fast-paced 2014 Oregon legislative session.
In the Senate chamber, the day started with the reading of a large stack of bills submitted by legislators.
Senate and House committees went right to work.
While fine-tuning the state budget is the biggest priority, lawmakers will be tackling some controversial issues.
Senator Floyd Prozanski, D-Eugene, is introducing a bill expanding background check requirements for gun sales to include all sales, including private party sales.
It remains to be seen whether he'll find enough support to get it passed.
"I think a lot of people want to do the right thing," Prozanski said, "but for some reason some people think this is a way that's going to impact them politically."
Prozanski is also proposing a bill asking voters to decide if they want Oregon to legalize marijuana.
Also on deck: the Columbia River Crossing, an oft-delayed new bridge between Oregon and Washington.
Senator Lee Beyer, D- Springfield, said it can be very difficult in a short session to push through a bill addressing large controversial issues.
"For example, in my committee I have four committee meetings to move a bill out of the senate," he said. "That's it. So it's either ready when it comes in and has support or it doesn't happen."