Efforts to push through an open-source software bill in the
Oregon legislature will make some significant progress this week in
the Oregon state Senate.
According to Cooper Stevenson, coordinator of the Mid-Willamette
Valley LUG and staunch supporter of the bill, the legislation will
be heard in a public Senate committee hearing on Thursday, August
The bill, innocuously labeled SB 941, proposes that all future
procurements of software in Oregon will consider open-source
software during the purchase process.
The Senate Rules Committee hearing is a big step forward for the
bill, according to Stevenson. In Oregon, bills up for consideration
in the legislature typically go through a process where a Senate or
House committee debates the bill, with input from all interested
parties. From there, a work session may be scheduled to enter any
modifications or compromises into the bill that came up during the
Once the compromises are made, the committee will vote to
recommend the bill for a Senate or House floor vote.
"While it seems like a lot, this is a huge step, especially as
[the bill] was heard already heard in the House. If the 'powers
that be' decide to simply move it through, they may simply go to a
House vote from the Senate, I think," Stevenson explained.
If all goes well for the bill, it could be passed into a law in
as early as two weeks.
Opposition for the bill does exist, most notably in the form of
lobbyists from Microsoft, the Business Software Alliance, and the
American Electronics Association. These detractors have termed such
a bill as "preferential" for open-source, and have played up the
added burden of more red tape to enforce these procedures should
they become law.
All interested parties will have a chance to have their
objections or support for the bill heard at the Aug. 21 meeting, to
be held at 1:30 PM PDT in Hearing Room B of the Oregon State House.
Online audio feed for tomorrow's Senate Rules Committee Hearing at
1:30 p.m on SB 941 may be heard at http://www.leg.state.or.us/listn/listenset.htm.
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