Voters will face dueling crime measures in November

From The Oregonian:

An initiative that would set three-year mandatory minimum prison sentences for first-time drug dealers, burglars and identity thieves has qualified for the November ballot.

Elections officials on Thursday said measure supporters collected 84,169 valid signatures, 1,400 more than needed.

It's the first initiative to qualify for the November ballot. Another dozen measures targeting taxes, unions, lawsuits and more could end up before voters in what is expected to be a busy election.

Sponsored by Republican Kevin Mannix, the anti-crime measure would increase Oregon's prison population by an estimated 4,000 to 6,000 inmates and cost $128 million to $200 million a year.

A less expensive alternative initiative from the Legislature would also include drug treatment and local jail funding:

Oregon voters will have another, less expensive, crime-fighting choice on the November ballot: a measure backed by the Oregon Legislature that would send an estimated 1,600 burglars, car thieves and drug dealers to prison at a cost of about $50 million a year.

The legislative proposal, which targets repeat offenders, also includes $20 million a year for drug treatment and local jails.

The legislative proposal also includes a key clause: If voters approve both measures, only the one with more votes goes into effect.

Sen. Floyd Prozanski, D-Eugene, said the legislative measure was widely supported by prosecutors, police and jail officials who know a lot more about fighting crime than Mannix.

"What's really faulty about Kevin's measure, besides not having any treatment, is that he treats everyone the same no matter what their criminal history," Prozanski said. "He's just completely out of step with dealing with the issue."


  • NEPDXGal (unverified)

    So... if you don't want either measure to pass, but you REALLY don't want the Mannix measure to pass, does this kind of force you to vote for the initiative from the Legislature? In an attempt to make sure the Mannix measure gets fewer votes?

  • David (unverified)

    I am going to vote to put the bastards in jail. The same reason I voted for measure 11 and the death penalty.

  • Work with Leg (unverified)

    NEPDXGal: Polling showed that the Mannix measure was going to pass, which is why th legislature wrote their alternative.
    If you do not want Mannix's initiative to be enacted, you should vote "no" on IP40 (Mannix's) and "yes" on the legislative referral. It costs half as much as the Mannix referral, and includes money for treatment.

  • NEPDXGal (unverified)

    Of course. Because 1out of out of 136 Americans in Jail, or 1 Out Of 32 Americans under correctional supervision is never enough. Prevention programs are never the key. I know. I know.

  • Murphy (unverified)

    David -- and you're willing to support the tax increase to pay for it, right?

  • (Show?)

    I am all for fighting crime. I would rather apply a special tax to properties in which criminals live and apply that money to fund our education system. This would give criminals an opportunity to change their behavior or leave the state and the state could develop some revenue for our kids. In a way, it could mean that crime does pay for Oregon.

  • LT (unverified)

    David, unless you supported the 2002 Mannix "tough on crime no new taxes" Gov. campaign, you need to explain how you propose we pay for more jails.

  • Marshall Adame (unverified)

    I think a question we have to ask ourselves is; How many more prisons do we want to build in America.

    Throughout America College kids are struggling to find a way to pay for Tuition and other costs of getting a degree in America today. PEL Grants are declining, Student loans are getting tougher to secure as our Government supports private finacial institutions (Student Loan Programs) at the expence of our Youth, our future, and our only real chance to "get in Right" in the future.

    <h2>IN contrast, there is loads of money, from the government, to finance the building and operation of prisons in America. To make matters even worse and more expensive, we have already gone knee deep into the "Privateization of Prisons", making them now Private Growth Industries". Something has become unbalanced in America. Our government (President)has betrayed our future in defference to Corporatte and Multinational interest.</h2>
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