Election Day 11/8 -- The State Propositions
2022 Oregon State Ballot Measures Round-Up
Ballot measures everyone in Oregon will have a chance to vote on include a state constitutional amendment stating affordable health care is a fundamental right (111), a repeal of archaic slavery language in the state constitution with an add-on giving courts, probation or parole agencies the ability to order alternatives to incarceration for a convicted individual (112), an amendment to the state constitution that would disqualify legislators from re-election if they are absent 10 legislative floor session without permission or excuse (113), and a new gun law put on the ballot by citizens who believe mass shootings could be cut down in the state of Oregon if a rigorous permitting process is required to buy a gun and if ammunition magazines were limited to no more than 10 rounds.
Is health care a right or a privilege? If voters think it’s a right, this could be added to the state’s constitution as an amendment
- “It is the obligation of the state to ensure that every resident of Oregon has access to cost-effective, clinically appropriate and affordable health care as a fundamental right.
- “The obligation of the state described in section 1 must be balanced against the public interest in funding public schools and other essential public services and any remedy arising from an action brought against the state to enforce the provisions of this section may not interfere with the balance described in this subsection.”
The League of Women Voters, which supports the amendment, says this is an “aspirational bill” that asks if Oregon is committed to ensuring that every individual has access to some form of health insurance as it is afforded in every other modern country. Democrats in the state legislature voted to put this constitutional amendment on the ballot, saying “burdensome medical bills or medical conditions” keep people from fulfilling their American Dream of getting a good education, buying a home, perhaps starting a business and having children. Republicans in the state legislature all opposed the bill, saying it doesn’t provide the funding to actually deliver on the promise it makes. Basically, this amendment asks if voters agree that Oregon should be committed to providing its citizens with affordable healthcare as they are any other public service, such as education, infrastructure and law enforcement. If voters say “yes” this will motivate legislators to treat affordable healthcare as a rightful public service and not a fringe benefit.
Who knew Oregon still had even the word “slavery” in it’s constitution? Oregon was admitted to the union of the United States in 1859 as a free state, but it didn’t exclude using slavery as a punishment. Measure 112 takes out the language allowing the use of slavery and involuntary servitude as criminal punishments and adds language authorizing the use of alternatives to jailing people convicted of a crime. Punishment hasn’t always been equitable in Oregon, the League of Women Voters says, and by taking out the archaic language put in 160 years ago and replacing it with more flexibility for courts, probation and parole agencies it will have the effect of making Oregon more committed to diversity, equity and inclusion. No one has come out against this measure.
Should Oregon legislators be banned from re-election if they don’t show up to vote? A “yes” vote on Measure 113 says any state legislator who is absent from 10 legislative sessions without permit or excuse would be considered “disorderly behavior” which disqualifies them from filing for re-election at the end of their term. This would apply to both regular and special legislative sessions. This measure is aimed at the use of the “walkout” as a way of denying a quorum and stifling a vote on key legislation. It is supported by AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees) that states “You don’t show up for work without a reason you lose your job just like anyone else.” Senate Majority Leader Rob Wagner (D-District 19) said this measure was put forth by community advocates after the “walkout” problem failed to be resolved legislatively.
Should people go through an extensive permitting process in order to buy a firearm? Should ammunition magazines be limited to no more than 10 rounds? Those who signed the petition to get Measure 114 on the ballot say “yes.” People who want firearms should have to apply for a permit, pay a fee, submit a photo ID, be fingerprinted, complete approved safety training, pass a criminal background check and not be prohibited from possessing firearms by previous history. Oregon State Police would have the power to deny permits to applicants they feel could be a danger to themselves or others. The measure would also prohibit the sale, manufacture, importation, possession, use, purchase and sale, in Oregon, of ammunition magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds. This measure is aimed at curtailing gun violence in Oregon. Pro-gun organizations, including the Oregon Firearms Federation, opposes it. So does the Oregon Democratic Party’s Gun Owners Caucus. Both say the legislation goes too far and puts up barriers for minorities. Josephine County Sheriff Dave Daniel said this measure would cause him to have to hire at least three people just to take care of the permit process and he says it wouldn’t make people any safer.
Currently Oregon is considered a gun-friendly state where anyone 18 or older can carry a firearm openly anywhere not posted against it. A firearm purchaser has to be at least 18 years old but Oregon law has no requirements for licensing or registration before obtaining a firearm. There are no mandatory waiting periods to buy a gun and most hardware is legal. Concealed carry permits are restricted to those 21 and older but they are fairly easy to get. There is a background check requirement for buying a gun but a severe backlog can result in no check before a purchaser picks up a firearm.