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Governance LR - November 29, 2021

During the November legislative days, the House Rules Committee did not meet, and the Senate Rules Committee only met to consider executive appointments. However, there has been considerable movement on redistricting and campaign finance reform.


Redistricting


After the special session of the Legislative Assembly and the Governor adopted the legislative and congressional maps proposed by the supermajority Democrats by its Sept. 27 deadline, three lawsuits were filed alleging gerrymanders. One lawsuit challenges the congressional map and will be heard by a panel of five state judges appointed by the Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court. The other two lawsuits will go directly to the Oregon Supreme Court. In all three lawsuits, the challengers must show that the redistricting criteria have not been sufficiently followed. Since the criteria are mostly in statute and each must only be considered, the lawsuits have only a small chance of success.


[Late breaking news: The Oregon Supreme Court ruled Monday against two challenges to the new legislative districts. The Court ruled that challengers had not proven that the new boundaries for the state’s House and Senate districts were crafted with illegal partisan intent, or violated any other rules that lawmakers are supposed to consider.]


The People Not Politicians coalition has decided to go ahead with IP 34 (which after some minor changes replaced IP 16), and IP 34 has now qualified with 1000 valid signatures for the ballot title process. A ballot title was recently issued. However, the ballot title process could take months, so it may be at least February before signature-gathering can begin. Some 150,000 valid signatures must be delivered to the Secretary of State by July 8.

Stay tuned!


Campaign Finance Reform

Because the legislature failed to adopt any campaign finance reform bill to implement the Measure 107 constitutional amendment passed by voters in 2020, a collaboration of organizations, including the LWVOR and organized by Honest Elections Oregon, has been meeting with stakeholders to draft an initiative petition for the 2022 ballot. An initiative petition could be filed with the SoS within a few days.

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