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Oregon Legislature Convenes, Prepares For Session

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon state House and Senate has formally convened for the 2015 legislative session, but lawmakers won’t begin work until next month.

Democratic Rep. Tina Kotek of Portland was selected for a second term as House speaker. Kotek is the first openly gay woman in the country to hold the top job in a state legislative chamber. She’s also the Oregon lawmakers to serve multiple terms as speaker since Republican Karen Minnis in 2003 and 2005.

Democrat Peter Courtney of Salem was elected to a seventh term as Senate president. He extends his record tenure in the Senate’s top position.

Lawmakers approved rules and introduced dozens of bills on the first day. They’ll return Feb. 2 to begin the 160-day legislative session.

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