Oregon Legislative Information System (OLIS) Guidance

1. Go to https://olis.leg.state.or.us/

2. Click on “Session” and select “2017 Legislative Session

3. Click on “Bills”. You can now search bills by Bill Number, Bill Sponsor, and by Bill Text.

  1. Bill Sponsors will be broken into Representatives and Senators, and from there into two categories: Chief Sponsor, and Sponsor.
  2. Bill Text can be an effective searching tool as well. For example, searching “education” will bring up every bill that has “education” in its summary, or relating-to clause. Unlike federal legislation, all legislative concepts in Oregon are only able to make changes in statute that fall within their originally stated subject area.
  3. Bill Number is a helpful searching function if you know part or all of the number of the bill you are searching for. If you don’t know the Bill Number, you are likely better off by searching by keyword, or by Bill Sponsor.

4. From here, you can choose a bill. For our example, I chose SB 274, one of the bills that I found while searching under “education”. Putting your cursor over a bill will make the “catch line summary” appear.

5. Each bill in OLIS has its own dedicated webpage, where you can find analyses conducted by the professional staff of the Oregon Legislature, letters of support or opposition submitted by professional lobbyists, as well as by Members (Reps or Senators), and private citizens. You will also find the text of every version of the bill in question, as well as all proposed amendments that were submitted to the Committee, and whether they were adopted, or not.

  1. The “Text” tab allows you to read the full bill language, included the original version, and the version(s) after amendments were adopted.
  2. The “Analysis” tab allows you to view the Revenue Impact Statement (whether the bill raises money), the Fiscal Impact Statement (whether the bill costs money to the State), or the Staff Measure Summary (SMS), which provides a plain language summary of what the concept would do if it became law, as well as background on the issue.
  3. The “Meeting Materials/Exhibits” provides resources to help guide your OLIS assignment and provide context. Be sure to cite your sources in your assignment.

6. Under “Committees” you can explore issues by committee assignment and view full committee meetings start to finish.

  1. First, choose whether you would like to look at the House, Senate, or Joint Committee selections. Joint Committees include members of both the House and Senate, and generally deal with issues of spending. For SB 274, it was considered in the Senate Education Committee and the House Higher Education and Workforce Committee. I clicked on “House” and then “Higher Education and Workforce” to watch the committee meeting where the bill was considered.
  2. Membership of the Committee (Reps and/or Senators) are listed on the left with links to their personal websites. To the right under Meetings are links to full videos of individual Committee meetings you can review to see key arguments in favor and/or opposition to specific bills.

Prepared by Derek Olson | Western Oregon University Department of Politics, Policy and Administration

Sharyne Ryals, Administrative Assistant

Division of Social Sciences 

503-838-8288 | or e-mail: ryalss@wou.edu | Location: BELL 231