News, Politics, Salem

Local legislators expected to be sworn in next week

The 82nd Oregon Legislative Assembly will convene for the 2023 Legislative Session Tuesday, January​ 17th, beginning a session that could be as long as 160 days, or more if the legislature votes to lengthen it by a five-day increment.

For readers of this newspaper in northwest Oregon, the political landscape has shifted significantly, with new faces—or, familiar faces in new seats—emerging from the last time elected leaders met in Salem.

Legislators-elect are expected to be sworn in Monday, January 9, according to the state’s legislative calendar.

Among those newly sworn in will be new State Representative Brian Stout (R – Scappoose) in House District 31. Stout has sought the seat before, and following redistricting, the political landscape shifted in his favor.

Willamette Week recently reported that Stout faces allegations of sexual assault, which Stout denied as “politically motivated.” An evidentiary hearing on a protective order against Stout will take place Jan. 13, Willamette Week reported.

In Senate District 15, State Sen. Janeen Sollman (D – Hillsboro) will be sworn in to her first full term in the job, after having been appointed to the seat January 14, 2022 following the resignation of former State Senator Chuck Riley.

Previously, Sollman served in the House as a state representative for District 30 before resigning that seat to be appointed to the Senate, which was filled by appointment Monday, January 31 2022 with Nathan Sosa (D – Hillsboro) appointed by the Washington County Board of Commissioners to fill the remainder of Sollman’s term.

Sosa will also be sworn in to serve a full term in District 30, having run for and handily won the seat in November.

Meanwhile, current State Rep. Suzanne Weber (R – Tillamook), who will end her term in a few days in House District 32, will be sworn in to serve as state senator for District 16. She’s taking over from Rachel Armitage, who was appointed to the seat following the resignation of former State Sen. Betsy Johnson. Armitage did not run for a full term.

Returning for another full term in House District 29 will be State Rep. Susan McLain (D – Hillsboro).

Find your district by visiting this map online.

Leadership roles
While these seats haven’t officially been taking by this incoming class of legislators, House and Senate leadership have already been busy assigning committee roles and party leadership positions. Of the local officials outlined above, several have found their names attached to a role or committee.

Susan McLain
Ways and Means Committee (and Education Subcommittee)
Agriculture, Land Use, Natural Resources, and Water Committee
Interstate 5 Bridge Committee (Co-chair)
Transportation Committee (Co-chair)

Nathan Sosa
Semiconductors Committee
Business and Labor Committee (Vice-chair)
Higher Education Committee
Ways and Means – Transportation and Economic Development Subcommittee

Brian Stout
Business and Labor Committee
Economic Development and Small Business Committee

Janeen Sollman
Senate Deputy Majority Leader

Suzanne Weber
Senate Education Committee (Vice-chair)
Senate Human Services Committee
Joint Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Education

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Chas Hundley is the editor of the Gales Creek Journal and sister news publications the Banks Post and the Salmonberry Magazine. He grew up in Gales Creek and has a cat.

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