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Blog: The Legislature's Ways & Means Committee comes to Cascade Campus

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Almost every lawmaker on the 22-member Ways and Means Committee came to PCC’s Cascade Campus Tuesday night to hear from Oregonians about budget issues and the recession. Lawmakers included Rep. Larry Galizio, left, and Rep. Michael Dembrow, both of whom teach at PCC. A crowd estimated to be higher than 800 attended. (Photo by Dana Haynes.)

It was, by any reasonable definition, a hit.

Last night, the Panamerican Pandemonium and Shadow Show (apologies to Arthur C. Clarke) came to Cascade Campus in the form of the Legislature’s Ways and Means Committee. The budget-writing body consists of both senators and House members, 22 in all, and almost all of them made the trip.

The purpose: They’re taking their show on the road, holding six hearings throughout Oregon to take the economic pulse of the state. Tuesday’s hearing was the only one planned for the metro area.

A standing-room-only crowd filled the Moriarty auditorium, with an equally large crowd stuffed into Terrell Hall to watch the hearings on closed-circuit TV. Several of us tried to estimate the crowd and we came away with figures ranging from 800 to 1,000.

Many PCC students came to testify but, alas, only one of them was called up to the table. The others are expressing understandable disappointment.

The incredibly hard-working Ways and Means staff members, Mike Riley and Joshua Hoyt, helped pull everything together. Enough cannot be said about those guys. Robin Maxey of Senate President Peter Courtney’s office was doing yeoman’s work, too. Nobody appreciates how hard legislative staffers work.

When the six road shows are over, the co-chairs of Ways and Means — Sen. Margaret Carter of Portland and Rep. Peter Buckley of Ashland — will craft the so-called co-chairs’ budget for the 2009-11 biennium. Last night’s testimony will help them do that.

To learn more about the Legislature and PCC, click here.

About Dana Haynes

Dana Haynes, joined PCC in 2007 as the manager of the Office of Public Affairs, directing the college's media and government relations. Haynes spent the previous 20 years as a reporter, columnist and editor for Oregon newspapers, including ... more »