2023 Environmental Scorecard for the Oregon Legislature

Note from the Executive Director

To say that the 2023 Legislative Session was challenging would be an understatement. Ten Senate Republicans staged the longest walkout in Oregon history, nearly grinding the legislature to a halt. Their walkout made an already tough session nearly impossible. One thing is clear as we move forward: this anti-democratic behavior must stop. If not, climate action, environmental protection, and our democracy are all at risk.

This session tested the mettle of the two new presiding officers, and even as they were finding their footing, we saw the value of having climate and environmental champions in these two roles. Despite the challenges, we were still able to accomplish a lot this session.

As climate impacts continue to intensify, including record-breaking heat again this year, it’s critical that every single year is a year of strong climate action. I am happy to report that one of our biggest wins in the 2023 Legislative Session was the comprehensive Climate Resiliency Package, which provides $90 million in funding for more than a dozen climate bills.

With the good, unfortunately also comes the bad. In fact, defending against bad bills took more work than it has in years. Six bills were designated as Major Threats, several of which would have weakened Oregon’s strong land use laws.

That brings me to the final days of the session, which ended with a dramatic final vote on HB 3414. The bill was one of Governor Tina Kotek’s priority housing bills, but what it became was a bad land use bill disguised as a housing bill. OLCV has had a strong relationship with the governor for years and worked hard to get her elected. We also strongly support real solutions to our housing crisis. But when a late amendment was added that would undercut our iconic land use system, we had to make this bill a Major Threat. Core to OLCV’s mission is stopping bad environmental bills and holding all elected officials accountable, including our friends.

It is a demonstration of our, along with our partners’, power that this bill failed on the senate floor by one vote. However, threats like this will continue, and we must stay vigilant to protect our land use system because it protects so much of what we love about Oregon.

Thanks to all our efforts, our partners, and OLCV’s amazing volunteers and members, not a single Major Threat passed this session, and we had some significant wins. None of this would be possible without the dedication of everyday people who, together, are extraordinary.

Thank you for helping accomplish the extraordinary!

Lindsey Scholten
OLCV Executive Director


About OLCV

The Oregon League of Conservation Voters is a non-partisan organization with a simple mission: to pass laws that protect Oregon's environmental legacy, elect pro-environment candidates to office, and hold all of our elected officials accountable.

For more information about OLCV, visit our website at olcv.org.

About the Scorecard

For more than 40 years, OLCV has protected Oregon's natural legacy. An essential part of our work is holding our elected officials accountable. The OLCV Environmental Scorecard is not only one of our most important accountability tools, but also a tradition. The first scorecard was published in 1973.

By sharing how each member of the Legislature voted on the most critical conservation bills, we help Oregonians understand whether legislators listened to their constituents, or if they listened to special interest groups instead. It also serves as a summary of environmental bills and includes special recognition of the legislative champions.