Legislative Report - Week of 5/15
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By Norman Turrill, Governance Coordinator, and Team
No bills on campaign finance have yet been scheduled for a hearing. However, there has been some movement behind the scenes about what could be passed during this session. Given the Republican walkout in the Senate, a deal to permit only certain bills to come to the Senate floor may be necessary. Such a deal is unlikely to include CFR, let alone HB 2003, but the League is hopeful and working with other good government groups. There has been some suggestion that using Washington State’s contribution limits might be a better starting point for negotiations than HB 2003. For campaign finance reform, the League wants true reform without loopholes for large special interest organizations.
People Not Politicians has started collecting signatures on IP 14 petitions downloadable from its website. Thousands of signatures have been collected, but more donations are needed.
Oregon Legislature Paralyzed; Stand by to Act
By Rebecca Gladstone
We are extremely concerned about critical budget and policy bills sitting in a logjam with hundreds of bills as time ticks away for lack of a Senate quorum. The Senate is hogtied with paralyzed partisan positions over guns and access to reproductive and gender-affirming health care, making negotiations fruitless. Now ten Senators’ “walkouts” have invoked M 113 (2022). Voters passed the measure, 68% to 32%, to disqualify legislators from re-election at the end of their terms if they are absent for 10 legislative floor sessions without permission or excuse.
** Action Needed: Please contact your State Senator and Representative to encourage them to support and prioritize these three, details in previous reports**
Please stand by for League action alerts on short notice for these priority governance bills. The cybersecurity omnibus bill and the Attorney General’s Data Broker bill died mysteriously last session, despite unanimous passage from committee with do pass recommendations. Funding the SoS budget is imperative for2024 election security and efficiency, including replacing ORESTAR. No bills we are following have moved in the past week.
HB 2049 -2: This cybersecurity omnibus bill was referred to W&Ms March 3 with a unanimous Do Pass recommendation. See our testimony.
SB 619 We strongly support this AG’s consumer privacy bill went to W&Ms April 12 by prior reference, with a Do Pass with amendments recommendation. See our testimony, now with a coalition letter.
SB 167: This SoS elections bill would replace candidate filing software, add efficiency improvements, address some privacy and cybersecurity issues, with efficiency tweaks. See League testimony.
By Chris Cobey
HB 2038: Requires statements of economic interest to include certain information about sources of income for any business in which public official or candidate, or member of household of public official or candidate, is officer, holds directorship or does business under, if the source of income has legislative or administrative interest and 10 percent or more of total gross annual income of business comes from that source of income. Prohibits candidate or principal campaign committee of candidate from expending campaign moneys for professional services rendered by certain businesses required to be listed on candidate's statement of economic interest. Creates exceptions. 5/16: House Rules public hearing held.
HB 5021 A: Limits biennial expenditures from fees, moneys or other revenues, including miscellaneous receipts and reimbursements from federal service agreements, but excluding lottery funds and other federal funds, collected or received by Oregon Government Ethics Commission. 5/8: Signed by the Governor.
SB 168 A: Expressly prohibits public employees, while on job during working hours or while otherwise working in official capacity, from promoting or opposing appointment, nomination or election of public officials. 5/18: House Rules work session scheduled.
SB 207: Authorizes Oregon Government Ethics Commission to proceed on its own motion to review and investigate, if the commission has reason to believe that the public body conducted meetings in executive session that were not in compliance with laws authorizing executive sessions. 5/8: Signed by the Governor.
SB 292 B: Narrows, on temporary basis, applicability of requirement that members of district school board must file a verified statement of economic interest to only those members of districts with specified number of students, or districts that are sponsors of virtual public charter schools. Expands applicability of requirement to all members of district school boards in 2026. Directs Oregon Government Ethics Commission to provide training on filing of verified statements of economic interest to members of district school boards. 5/11: House Rules public hearing held.
SB 661 A: Prohibits lobbyist from serving as chairperson of interim committees, or certain legislative work groups, or legislative task forces. Provides exceptions. 5/16: Passed House, 57-0.
By Barbara Klein
HB 2004 A work session was held May 16, at which time the -2 amendment was explained via PowerPoint by Blair Bobier (from the HB 2004 coalition). The LWVOR is one of 39 coalition organizational members and has been active in considering the amendment items. (Highlights of those amendment changes are listed below.) The bill (with the -2 amendment) received a “Do Pass” recommendation out of committee to the floor for a chamber vote. The bill passed along partisan lines (with Democrats in support). However, one important comment from Rep. Kim Wallan (District 6, southern Oregon) should be reported. She wanted to remind everyone that despite the vote from the committee, RCV “is not a partisan issue.” The League previously provided written testimony in support of this bill and another (HB 3509). We also continue to participate in the RCV coalition meetings with individual legislators to promote HB 2004.
Four ballot initiatives on election methods are being watched by LWVOR, P 11, from STAR Voting for Oregon, has secured a certified ballot title with the submission of 1,000 signatures. The title (or caption) for this measure on STAR (Score then Automatic Runoff) voting is: “Establishes new voting system; voters score candidates from zero to five stars.”
IP 26 (basically the same as previously filed IP 16) known as All Oregon Votes, has collected its first 1,000 signatures. The verification of sponsorship signatures is completed, but a certified title is not yet posted as of this writing.
IP 19 has no reportable movement, from Oregon Election Reform Coalition, which is a Final Five Open Primary, using RCV or STAR in the general. LWVOR supports IP 19.
IP 27 is a new RCV initiative, expanding terms and offices covered by HB 2004 bill above.
Summary HB 2004 -2 amendment.
The HB 2004 coalition asserts that the -2 amendment moves an RCV policy forward that better reflects the perspectives of voters, election officials, community organizations, and elected leaders.
Removes judges for now – saving ballot real-estate for election officers.
Clarifies tabulation processes, gives explicit authority to county clerks to set key policy decisions, and prioritizes using RCV in races with historically crowded fields.
Lifts the 5-limit ranking, especially important for new Portland races. This empowers election officials to create an implementation framework that works for all counties across Oregon.
Maintains BOLI elections using RCV, but voted on with the primary ballot.
Moves effective date of implementation from 2026 to 2028 (giving election officials and county clerks more time to transition to RCV).
Refers the measure to the ballot to the Nov 2024 ballot, giving voters the final choice on using RCV in Oregon.
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED. Worthy causes go unaddressed for lack of League volunteers. If you see a need and can offer your expertise, please contact our staff at email@example.com.