It's time for an up-or-down vote, not paid vacations

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

Well, it's Day Two of the Oregon House Republicans' paid vacation. That's right, folks, rather than doing the people's business, they've taken the end of this week off. (And that's after the Monday holiday!)

Is that because there's nothing to do in Salem? Of course not. There's lots to do.

It wasn't so long ago that we heard righties demanding an "up or down vote" on judges in DC. Well, it's time for an "up or down vote" right here in Oregon - on a series of bills passed by bipartisan majorities in the Oregon Senate.

What's at stake - while the House Republicans are taking their taxpayer-funded vacation?

House Dems leader Jeff Merkley has the extended version with detailed info, but here's the highlights:

SB 1: Mental health care parity. Passed Senate 23-6.

SB 71: 'Connect Oregon' would allocate $100 million in Lottery-backed bonds for air, rail, seaport and transit improvements throughout the state. Passed Senate unanimously.

SB 329: Expand the state's drug purchasing pool to allow private businesses and individuals to save money on prescription drugs. Passed Senate 19-11.

SB 408: Requires utilities to pay the taxes for which they bill their customers, instead of simply keeping the money. Passed Senate 26-4.

SB 467: Funds summer food services to the children of low-income families. Passed Senate 25-3.

SB 480: Strengthens penalties for certain abusive tax shelters. Passed Senate 23-3.

SB 545: Restricts some payday loans. Passed Senate 17-13.

SB 756: Enhance women’s access to emergency contraceptives. Passed Senate 22-7.

SB 766: Eliminate unreasonably rich severance packages for superintendents of school districts, as well as retirement benefits better than those of other school employees—the so-called “golden parachutes.” Passed Senate 19-8.

SB 841: The first would require transfer of the entire General Fund ending balance (up to a limit of two percent of all General Fund expenditures) to the Education Stability Fund. Passed Senate 24-5.

SB 849: Require insurance companies to cover the cost of prescription contraceptives. Passed Senate 20-7.

SJR 2: Refer a constitutional amendment to the voters, enabling them to increase the Education Stability from five percent to 10 percent of General Fund revenues. Passed Senate 26-3.

SJR 14: Improves Oregon's double-majority law - by eliminating the incentive not to vote. Passed Senate 20-8.

Call House Speaker Karen Minnis - and demand an up-or-down vote on all these bills. 503-986-1200

  • Jeff Bull (unverified)

    Good one. By closing down Ways and Means, thereby closing down dialogue, Minnis owns the extra time and deserves to sweat all of this out.

  • Fabioatemymargarinespread (unverified)

    Hit it and quit it, fattie...

  • steve s (unverified)

    You bet! Up or down vote and lead by example.

    Ask Sen. Vicky Walker to allow an up or down vote on the CIM repeal bill, HB 3162, which passed the house and sits in Sen. Walker's Senate ed committee.

    [email protected]

    The vast majority of students, teachers and parents support it and it would pass.

  • jim karlock (unverified)

    Kari Chisholm: SJR 14: Improves Oregon's double-majority law - by eliminating the incentive not to vote. Passed Senate 20-8.

    JK: I found this on the internet: SJR 14 proposes to amend the constitution by eliminating the double majority voting requirements in property tax elections at the general elections in even-numbered year and the special elections in May of any year.

    It looks to me like you are proposing "eliminating the incentive not to vote" by "eliminating the double majority voting requirements. . ."

    Is this correct? If so, isn't your wording (eliminating the incentive not to vote) just a teeny weeny bit deceptive?

    Thanks JK

  • (Show?)

    Jim - I suppose we could argue semantics all day long here. SJR 14 would eliminate the second half of the double majority rule - the 50% turnout rule. It would leave in place the first majority (you still gotta win the election) but it would eliminate the second majority (50% turnout). Under the existing rule, an opponent of a tax measure has a deliberate incentive not to vote at all - denying both a YES vote and their turnout. So they have an incentive not to vote. SJR 14 would eliminate that second rule, eliminating the incentive not to vote.

  • steve s (unverified)

    Oh yes "semantics". Where getting rid of something can be called improving it. That is rich. Sort of how you would like to "improve" M37 by getting rid of it.

    I would then suggest improving CIM/CAM. Semantically speaking of course.

  • (Show?)

    Semantics... I love semantics... I think I took a class on semantics in college. If I remember correctly it was full of semantiacs.

    Ok, I'm sorry, just felt a little playfull guys.

  • LT (unverified)

    Anyone who says that the double majority was "the will of the people" should look at the results of Measure 46 in 1996. As a free standing question, over a million people voted no on double majority. But the double majority was also hidden in Measure 47.

    Not to mention the young adults who were in elementary school in 1996 but are now working adults, perhaps with families. It is time for a straight up or down vote on "Do the voters living in the 21st century support the double majority?". Is that a clear enough question or would you rather play word games?

  • jim karlock (unverified)

    Kari Chisholm | July 9, 2005 02:04 AM: Jim - I suppose we could argue semantics all day long here. SJR 14 would eliminate the second half of the double majority rule - the 50% turnout rule. It would leave in place the first majority (you still gotta win the election)

    JK: semantics?????? Hell, why not propose eliminating the other majority too, and just automatically give them money whenever they want? Think of all the money that would save by not having elections.

    Maybe we should do the same for candidates.


  • (Show?)

    The double majority requirement encourages people not to vote. Many people who want something to fail just don't go out and vote. They do this because they know that in an off election it's not out of the ordinary for 40% of the people not to vote. So if they can get 10% + 1 of the opponents to not vote, they can defeat a tax measure.

    We should not encourage people not to vote, which is exactly what the double majority does. It also gives people a vote even if they don't vote by assuming everyone who doesn't vote would have opposed it.

    If people want to oppose a tax measure, that's fine. However, they need to get out and vote on the issue just as the supporters do. And if people choose not to vote, that's their decision. We make voting extremely easy in this state-- now it's time to remove the incentive not to vote.

  • Ed Bickford (unverified)

    The double majority requirement is anti-democratic.

    It is not just that "people who want something to fail just don't go out and vote" as Jenny S. said, although I'm sure it's true.

    It enables well-to-do constituents who wish to keep their tax burden low to finance a one-time PR campaign instead that will alienate prospective voters and make them averse to voting. We are rewarding sabotage of the democratic process!

  • (Show?)

    Ok, I'll chime in. I really don't buy into this whole idea that the double majority rule actually encourages people NOT to vote.

    That is just silly. But it makes for great soundbites.

    Anyone that has worked on campaigns at various levels knows that trying to have a "discourage the otherside not to vote" campaign really is not effective.

    The fact is, that during off year elections turn-out has always been low and the public employee union's numbers made up a larger share of the voting block during those kinds of elections. There has not been some diabolical voter supression campaigns since M47. The supressed vote has always been there. Just as the PEUs.

    If you want to go around the double majority just place all of your tax increase measures during the major elections. It is not that hard.

  • (Show?)

    Oh come on, Ted, pay attention. SJR 14 "would restrict such elections to the November general election in even-numbered years and the May election in any year."

    You're still getting your way.

  • Good Ole' Shoe (unverified)

    Dude, Kari, do you ever sleep?

  • LT (unverified)

    Oh, so this is just about public employee unions vs. anti-taxers and the rest of Oregonians should just resign themselves to being spectators?

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