What’s An OLIS?
The Oregon Legislative Information System is the best portal to reach legislators, committees, and find out what is happening in Salem during and between legislative sessions. Here are some pointers on how it may be used by activists monitoring the legislature. I start from the OLIS Home page reached from the above link:
Once we arrive at the site, we will see the following:
There are several routes to achieve most of our goals, so I will not try to explain all routes but will focus on the 6 tabs near the top center. If you hover your cursor over the tabs, a drop down menu appears to reveal what is available and you can click on your choice. If you are trying to find your legislators and you don’t know who they are, go to ‘Find Your Legislator’ by Address below. To find House and Senate member contact information and location click on the tabs on the left; as you will see, Legislators are listed several different ways.
To explore all bills filed click ‘Bills and Laws.’ If you want to track a particular bill, find the bill, click on the bill number and click on the ‘e-Subscribe | RSS’ icon. Then set up an account, indicate your interest in the bill, and you will receive information when the bill is scheduled for action. To learn about the history of a bill and where it currently sits, return to the bill page and scroll down to ‘Measure History >’ and ‘Scheduled Events >’ and explore. The passage of a bill trough the chambers is reported here as are votes undertaken in committees and the chambers.
Committees Tab: We can sign up to learn what a specific committee is doing by clicking this tab and searching under ‘House’, ‘Senate’ or ‘Joint.’ Click the committee you want, again find the ‘e-Subscribe | RSS’ icon, and complete the form. On the committee page, you will find the committee membership, meetings scheduled and the agenda of such meetings. For committee member contact information, click on the name. This is also our portal for finding out what bills are assigned to the committee, when bills will be discussed and for signing up to give oral testimony, submitting written testimony, and/or watching video of committee meetings.
As stated: One convenient aspect of the website is that there are multiple ways to navigate around. For example, from a Committee page, one can jump to bills. My best advice is just to jump in a poke around.
A ten minute video tutorial produced by Cheryl Conway of COIN is available here