Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Get Ready For Measures 77 Through 85

The Oregon Secretary of State's office officially assigned numbers to the 2012 ballot measures. Here they are:

Measure #77 Amends Constitution: Governor may declare “catastrophic disaster” (defined);
requires legislative session; authorizes suspending specified constitutional spending restrictions

Measure #78 Amends Constitution: Changes constitutional language describing governmental
system of separation of powers; makes grammatical and spelling changes

Measure #79 Amends Constitution: Prohibits real estate transfer taxes, fees, other assessments,
except those operative on December 31, 2009

Measure #80 Allows personal marijuana, hemp cultivation/use without license; commission to
regulate commercial marijuana cultivation/sale

Measure #81 Prohibits commercial non-tribal fishing with gillnets in Oregon "inland waters,"
allows use of seine nets

Measure #82 Amends Constitution: Authorizes Establishment of Privately-Owned Casinos;
Mandates Percentage Of Revenues Payable To Dedicated State Fund

Measure #83 Authorizes Privately-Owned Wood Village Casino; Mandates Percentage Of
Revenues Payable To Dedicated State Fund

Measure #84 Phases out existing inheritance taxes on large estates, and all taxes on intra-family
property transfers

Measure #85 Amends Constitution: Allocates Corporate Income/Excise Tax "Kicker" Refund To
Additionally Fund K Through 12 Public Education

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Oregon's Newest Political Party Draws Three Voters

As of early last month, Oregon voters could choose to become members of the Americans Elect party. That party, as you may recall, was formed as part of a national group's efforts to get a slot on the presidential ballot in all 50 states. But when no national candidate earned enough support during the Americans Elect selection process, the group abandoned the effort. But the process had advanced far enough that the group had qualified itself as an Oregon political party, even though they have no apparent intentions to field a candidate for president or any other office. That might explain the meager number of voters wanting to join. In the first monthly voter registration totals made available since Americans Elect was certified, a grand total of three voters signed up. Two are in Lane County, and one is in Marion County.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Stinky Crickets Invade Texas Statehouse

Employees and visitors to the Oregon capitol were treated to an unpleasant odor recently when some fumes from a construction project entered the building through a vent. Fortunately, the incident was over in minutes. At the Texas state capitol these days, the unpleasant aroma is sticking around. The source: Decomposing crickets.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Well, Scratch That Idea

At its meeting next week, the Oregon Transportation Commission will consider changes to the state's highway tolling policy. It's mostly "on paper" at this point...there are no immediate plans to add tolls to any of the state's roads for now. But it's clearly an issue that grabs peoples' attention. In the background materials for next week's meeting*, ODOT has listed dozens of public comments from people wondering about which roads would be tolled, whether out-of-state drivers would have to pay, and so forth. One question posed by an unnamed member of the public was this:

Could drivers in rural areas pay a toll to exceed the speed limit?

ODOT's answer:  "No."

*Note:  The section on tolling begins on page 93 of the pdf