Dems could sue Brown

SALEM – The top two Democrats in the Oregon Legislature are considering filing a lawsuit challenging a series of vetoes made by Gov. Kate Brown. Senate President Peter Courtney (D-Salem) and Speaker of the House Tina Kotek have until Oct. 20 to make that decision. State Rep. Greg Smith (R-Heppner) said it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

“It’s kind of fun getting to sit at the big-kid table every once in a while,” he said. “It’s like watching family argue at a Thanksgiving dinner.”

The vetoes Brown enacted last month pulled back $100 million for emergency costs in the state’s social safety net. She also nixed a series of budget cuts the Legislature had put forth to close a $1 billion budget loophole.

Some legislators have said they believe that Brown is overstepping her constitutional authority to undo the will of another branch of the government. Smith says Brown, Courtney, and Kotek have strong personalities.

“During this last budget re-balance, I believe the speaker and the Senate president really wanted to go a different direction than the governor,” he said.