PORTLAND, Ore. – Call it a paradigm shift. Then again, don't.
Oregon lawmakers are considering a bill that would require a "plain language" coordinator at each state agency to make sure documents aimed at the public are free from the jargon that only lawyers and bureaucrats can understand.
That means simple words and short sentences.
The idea isn't new. President Jimmy Carter ordered federal government workers to use words that are easy to understand. In more recent times, Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire signed an executive order two years ago banishing bureaucratic language from state agencies, and Florida Gov. Charlie Crist did the same two months ago.
The bill's chief sponsor is Rep. Chuck Riley, D-Hillsboro, chairman of the House government accountability committee. If it passes, Riley says state workers will take fewer phone calls from confused residents, saving time and money.
"It's such a good bill that I can't imagine it not passing," Riley told The Oregonian newspaper.