What’s In Your Ballot?
Five measures were in Oregon’s 2018 ballot that would decide things like grocery tax, public funds spent on abortions, and state resources used to apprehend persons violating immigration laws, to name a few. Although the number of measures on Oregon’s ballot hasn’t been this low since the 1980’s, it did not deter the amount of money donated to this year’s campaigns. Out-of-state donors alone brought in more than $11-million. Notably, four of the five measures were put on the ballot by signature drives. Being put on the ballot by signatures alone and without financial support from a campaign can make it harder for a measure to get enough passing votes
Here’s a quick rundown of the five measures and what it could mean for Oregon’s future:
Measure 102: Currently the constitution prohibits local governments from raising money for, or loaning credit to, or in aid of, any private entity. If passed the measure will amend the constitution and allow local bonds to finance affordable housing with nongovernmental entities and require that these bonds be approved by local voters.
Measure 103: Currently our constitution says state or local governments may enact or amend taxes/fees on grocery sales, including state corporate minimum tax, local taxes. If passed the measure will amend the constitution and prohibit state or local taxes/fees based on transactions for groceries, including those on sellers/distributors. The measure defines groceries as “any raw or processed food or beverage intended for human consumption except alcoholic beverages, marijuana products, and tobacco products.”
Measure 104: The constitution states “bills for raising revenue” require the approval of three-fifths of each house of the legislature but does not define “raising revenue” so the courts have interpreted it to include bills that bring money into the state treasury by levying or increasing a tax. If passed it will amend the constitution and define “raising revenue” to include any tax or fee increase, including changes to tax exemptions, deductions, or credits. If it does not pass it will remain as is.
Measure 105: ORS 181A.820 limits (with exceptions) the use of state and local law enforcement money, equipment and personnel for “detecting or apprehending persons whose only violation of law” is their immigration status. Those exceptions allow using law enforcement resources to detect or apprehend people who are also accused of violating other laws. If passed it would repeal the law limiting use of state/local law enforcement resources to enforce federal immigration laws. If voted against, the law and limitations for using local authorities to enforce federal immigration laws would remain, thus keeping Oregon a sanctuary state.
Measure 106: Current laws have no restrictions on spending public funds for abortion or health plans covering abortion when approved by medical professional. If passed the measure would prohibit spending public funds on abortion or health plans that cover abortion with the only exceptions being for ectopic pregnancy and if the mother is in danger of death due to her pregnancy.
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