The original constitution of Oregon has been in effect since 1857, two years before statehood. It was not amended until 1902. Amendments may be proposed by initiative or by a majority of both houses of the legislature. Amendments must be approved by a majority of the voters. The constitution may also be amended by a constitutional convention, which can only be called if both the legislature and voters give approval.
The governor is elected for a term of four years and is limited to a maximum of two terms in any 12-year period. The governor serves on several state boards and commissions and, as chairman of the land board, shares with the secretary of state and the treasurer the responsibility of supervising the administration of state-owned lands. Other elected officials are the state attorney general, state labor commissioner, and a superintendent of public instruction. There is no lieutenant governor. When the governorship falls vacant, the unfinished term of the governor is served by the secretary of state, succeeded in turn by the state treasurer, president of the Senate, and Speaker of the House.
The legislative assembly consists of a Senate of 30 members, who are elected for four years, and a House of Representatives of 60 members, who are elected for two years. The legislature convenes in January of odd-numbered years. A two-thirds vote is necessary to override the governor’s veto.
Oregon’s court system is headed by a supreme court of seven justices elected on a nonpartisan ballot for six-year terms. It also includes an appeals court and circuit, district, county, and municipal courts.
In most of Oregon’s 36 counties the administrative body is a county commission of three to five members, most of whom are elected to four-year terms. Eight counties have adopted home rule, authorized in 1958 by an amendment to the constitution, which allows them to choose their own form of government. The same home rule allowance extends to cities. Most large cities are governed by a council and manager, although Portland has a mayor and four commissioners. Most smaller cities have a mayor-council form of government, but several have city managers. Oregon elects two senators and five representatives to the Congress of the United States. The state has seven electoral votes in presidential elections. "Oregon" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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