In a disaster, trust the federal government!

Measure 48 caps the amount of money that the state government can spend, regardless of what happens in our state. If, say, there's a major disaster, there's no money that the state can spend.

But in a recent forum on Measure 48 (the TABOR initiative) at the Salem City Club, Matt Evans dismissed that concern. Believe it or not, the anti-government research director of Oregon Tax Research actually believes that the federal government will ride in and save the day.

Watch the video. And listen to the crowd laugh out loud.

Help stop Measure 48. Discuss.

  • Patty (unverified)

    Mr. Evan's faith in the federal government is touching. It must come from the same place as his naive belief that the Oregon legislature will create a rainy day fund if Measure 48 passes rather than give the money away in tax breaks to special interests.

    Or maybe he's got a history of misrepresenting the truth. That seems more likely. In this WW "Rogue of the Week," Evans gets Rogued for his "Say whatever it takes," approach to politics.

    Willamette Week

  • Jessica (unverified)

    Well of course the big funder of Measure 48, Howard Rich, isn't worried about what would happen if there were a natural disaster-- he doesn't even live here! There are just too many unintended consequences that would wreck havoc in our state if this measure were to pass! Someone call 911--oh wait, under this measure, our first responders would be spread too thin to come save us!

  • mara (unverified)

    That’s great. Our choices for responding to a disaster under Measure 48 are either to wait for the federal government to respond, or wait until the next general election, which may be up to two years away. So much for Measures 41 and 48 making government more accountable. Anyone want to take odds on whether the out of state millionaires funding these measures would spend a million dollars in a natural disaster to protect Oregon from the consequences of the measures they’ve spent over a million dollars trying to pass?

  • say whut? (unverified)

    Did I miss the memo on federalism? We have a gubernatorial candidate who thinks the feds will solve global warming and an anti-government hack who thinks they'll bail us out when the tsunami hits. Can you say Katrina, anyone? And whatever happened to self-determination?

  • John (unverified)

    This is just another example of out of touch the supporters of Measure 48 are. I believe the whole country and Oregonians have learned over the past decade the importance of having well funded first responders. Whether it was 9/11 or Hurricane Katrina people count on government to deal with such emergency situations, and state government is a critical player in protecting our citizens.

    Here in Oregon we have the threat of dangerous wildfires in the summer, devastating floods in the winter/spring, and earthquakes year round. Maybe that is why the Oregon State Police Officers’ Association, the Oregon State Fire Fighters Council and the Sheriffs of Oregon all oppose Measure 48. Potentially the biggest threat Oregon faces is Measure 48 this fall. Fortunately unlike natural disasters we can determine the final outcome of Measure 48, we can all vote NO on Measure 48.


  • unbelievable (unverified)

    Forget the rainy day fund: every day's a rainy day under TABOR.

  • (Show?)

    Matt Evans, says “The fact of the matter is, the state wouldn’t have to put money into” a federally declared disaster.

    As I noted at that debate, should we have an emergency, and should the administration, whether it is this one or the next one, whoever they may be, respond, the state has to put in 25 percent of the money when there’s a federal emergency. Matt Evans is just plain wrong.

    By the way, Evans was the executive director of Oregon Tax Research - which he apparently ran into the ground. The group was relatively invisible in his final days and appears to have folded without a public obituary.

    Katrina illustrated the need for effective public structures to help in disasters. Criticisms of the federal government's failings must also examine why government was not maintained well and ready when needed. One thing is clear, we need to adequately fund the public structures if we want them to work when needed. Measure 48 would hamstring the state.

    Measure 48 would allow spending to exceed the limit only after two-thirds of the Legislature approve the measure AND a vote at "in a general election." While not on this clip, during the debate Evans said that "The legislature, under the law, can declare any election, any day, a 'general election.' "

    Apparently, Evans hasn't read Art. 2, Section 14 of the Oregon Constitution ("The regular general biennial election in Oregon for the year A. D. 1910 and thereafter shall be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November."). That's why ORS 254.056 provides that "(1) The general election shall be held on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November of each even-numbered year." Other elections are special elections, and those don't count for exceeding the arbitrary Measure 48 limit. That means we'd have to wait up to two years to vote to exceed the limit.

  • Eric (unverified)

    Measure 48 messes with the constitution. Any measure messing with the constituion, regardless of the issue, is an automatic NO vote.

    Yes on 44 and nothing more.

  • Clackablog (unverified)

    The bald assertion at the head of this article, "If, say, there's a major disaster, there's no money that the state can spend" seems wrong. The SecState summary says "If Governor declares emergency, legislature may exceed current statutory appropriations limit by 60% vote of each house." Perhaps the management here could reconcile the discrepancy?

    Now, that being said, it is especially important to be ready to deal with the first 96 hours yourself as no relief effort is worth much in the first day, and the next three days are so much easier to deal with if you have your own basics. At least, that's been my observation, from personal experience on the inside of Donna, Betsy, Frederic and Hugo, plus many less memorable disasters.

    Be proud of your city. Competent, realistic planning and frequent practice is a Portland hallmark. The TICOFF exercise last week demonstrated the city's committment to doing a decent job in the event of a disaster, and although I am not an official, I can say the exercise showed much forethought without the 'fairy dust' commonly seen in similar exercises elsewhere. But, they can't do everything, and self-preparedness is YOUR key to a highly less sucky result when the inevitable disaster occurs.

    Please do not forget a solution to care for your pets, as Federal law prohibits pets (not working animals, but pets) in federally funded shelters, as per the WSJ. We have a folding cart which not only carries our water (gallon a day a person), tent, Coleman stove, pot, rations, TP, meds, books and other necessities, but also cat carriers, with a pack of kibble, dishes, litter, harnesses and leashes, litterbox and a roll of chicken wire to make a pen for our four-footed bosses. We have also chipped them so if they freak and run, we may find them again.

    And, if you're concerned about the issue, the Oregon Trail Chapter provides free disaster relief training to their volunteers, including free First Aid/CPR/AED. The Portland Office of Emergency Management has free and useful courses in the NET/CERT program of light duty rescue relief. Helping people recover from disaster is addictive, and a cheap hobby in which you benefit the community while assuring the safety and well being of folks you care about.

  • legal geek (unverified)

    Clackablog, At first I read the Secretary of State summary the way you did, but I'm now pretty sure the 60% override referred to in the summary is how the law is now. Under present law, the governor can exceed statutory appropriations with a 60% of each house in an emergency. Measure 48 is a constitutional amendment so would override that provision, instead requiring 2/3 of each house of the legislature followed by a vote of the people in the general election.

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