Beyer’s legislative career concludes
A longtime state lawmaker from Springfield made his final speech on the Senate floor Friday. Democrat Lee Beyer served more than 20 years in both the Oregon House and Senate. Most recently he chaired the Senate’s Business and Transportation Committee.
Beyer told his colleagues the most fulfilling part of the job was serving his constituents.
“I think the biggest honor that ever can be bestowed on you is to be given the opportunity by your neighbors to represent them in crafting the laws and rules that they and their families are going to have to live by,” he said.
Beyer’s career in government is not over. Governor Kate Brown appointed him to a seat on the Oregon Transportation Commission. His term begins in January.
Beyer was praised by both Republicans and Democrats Friday.
Another veteran lawmaker, Sen. Fred Girod, R-Lyons, said despite their political differences, he and Beyer were able to maintain a close working relationship over the years.
"We formed a friendship that will last until the day I die," said Girod.
Meanwhile, Sen. James Manning, D-Eugene, said to Beyer he plans to stay in touch because of Beyer's expertise on legislative matters.
"I will always look forward to (your) counsel," said Manning. "I will be calling you regularly."
Beyer was one of six senators who won't be returning to the Capitol next year, either due to retirements or because they lost a re-election bid.
The group includes longtime Senate President Peter Courtney, a Democrat from Salem.
The stated purpose of Friday's floor session was to approve two gubernatorial appointments, a matter that was dispensed of quickly. Then, for more than an hour, lawmakers paid tribute to their departing colleagues, with most of the comments directed at Courtney, who's retiring after a record-setting stint as head of the chamber.