Sen. Ted Ferrioli elected president pro-tempore

SALEM - State Sen. Ted Ferrioli (R-John Day) was elected April 8 to the office of Senate president pro-tempore.

The office, largely ceremonial in the past, has become more important in the evenly divided Senate where Republicans and Democrats conduct business under an historic power-sharing agreement created in January, 2003.

According to the Memorandum of Understanding signed after the 2002 elections equally divided the Senate (15-15), four members, consisting of the president, president pro-tempore and the two caucus leaders negotiate questions involving Senate chairmanships, committee structure and the hearings calendar.

"I'm very touched and gratified by the confidence shown in me by my Senate colleagues, and pledge to do all I can to assure a smoothly functioning and cooperative process for doing the people's business," Ferrioli said.

The oath of office was administered by Oregon Supreme Court Chief Justice Wally A. Carson in a brief ceremony during the Senate session for the confirmation of appointments proposed by the Governor.

"Ted will be an effective leader for our chamber," Senate Democratic Leader Kate Brown (D-Portland) stated. "I am pleased to nominate him and he deserves the full support of the Senate."

"Sen. Ferrioli will not only give the eastern reaches of our state a voice in the Senate's leadership, he will bring a unique perspective to our discussion," Senate President Peter Courtney (D-Salem) said.

Ferrioli succeeds Sen. Lenn Hannon (R-Ashland) who resigned to take a position with the Oregon Board of Parole and Post Prison Supervision.

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