Lawmakers take a little time for pet projects
Lawmakers have some pet projects this year.
For some reason, valuable legislative time is spent crafting resolutions honoring certain notable Oregonians, commemorating historical events or designating Oregon things like state beverages, state grasses and state microbes.
This session, lawmakers have introduced at least two animal-related concurrent resolutions.
One, HCR 12, would designate rescue dogs and cats as the official state pet, while a second resolution, HCR 7, would designate the border collie as the official state dog.
The border collie bill is sponsored by Rep. Lynn Findley, R-Vale, and it waxes poetic about the virtues of border collies, which according to the resolution were bred to work with livestock and "considered worldwide to be the most intelligent breed of dog." Also, the Oregon Sheep Dog Society is the oldest such society in the country. So there's that.
The rescue dog and cat bill, by contrast, has multiple sponsors behind it.
A clue as to why that may be: the bill is a project of the state's "Kid Governor," Erikka Baldwin, was sworn into her post earlier this year.
Baldwin, a 5th grader from Eugene, has another bill that would disallow puppy mills in retail stores.
In the waning days of the 2017 session, there was a showdown over an effort to designate a second state bird.
At the time, the state bird was the Meadowlark. Sen. Fred Girod, R-Stayton, was adamantly in favor of designating the osprey as a state bird. Defenders of the Meadowlark's 80-year reign were equally vocal.
Eventually, a compromise was reached where the osprey became the state raptor, and the Meadowlark was re-classified as the state songbird.