Oregon’s Recently Passed Ballot Measures


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Tommy Thompson (he/him), Staff Writer

As a democracy, one of America’s core values is the right to vote. Once an American is of the age of 18 they are given a right to vote.  The ability to vote is one of the most important privileges we as Americans have. Your vote should be on what most matters to you and with yours and many others what your voting for just might get past.  Oregons measures have just gotten passed and with that we have the addition of four new measures, Measure 111, Measure 112, Measure 113, and Measure 114.  Each measure voted on and put into effect with the hopes of making Oregon and safer place.

Measure 111

Oregon Measure 111. Codifies the right to affordable health care in  the state constitution.

Measure 111 creates accessible and affordable healthcare for Oregonians. The Amendment states “It is the obligation of the state to ensure that every resident of Oregon has access to cost-effective, clinically appropriate and affordable health care as a fundamental right.” With the addition of Measure 111 to the Oregon Constitution, we’ve  become the first state in the nation to codify healthcare in its constitution. Many Republicans opposed Measure 111 arguing that it will lead to an increase in the percentage of citizens using medicaid that would cost the state billions and overwhelm the system. State Representative, Kim Wallan stated “Supporters say that this measure does not force the state to spend any money on it, and that the courts cannot force it to. They know health care for all equals the entire state budget, so they essentially say that it is only a virtue signal, with no strings attached.” Even with these claims, the measure still passed with the votes being a narrow 50.7% (944,218) to 49.3% (916,515). 

Measure 112

Oregon Measure 112. Bans slavery as a criminal punishment.

Measure 112: the removal of involuntary servitude and slavery as criminal punishments from the Oregon Consitution. Under the measure, a trial , probation, and parole agency is allowed to order a convict to engage in education, counseling, community service, or other alternatives to incarceration, as part of their sentencing. Oregonians United to End Slavery led the campaign in support of Measure 112.  Mike Schmidt, Multnomah County District Attorney, and many other counties have also stated their support for Measure 112, stating “ Our current system includes mandated and voluntary work programs. Passing Measure 112 will clean up our state constitution while allowing these programs to continue.” Organizations opposing Measure 112 include  the Oregonian State sheriffs association, Jason Myers, executive director-Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association stating “Oregon Sheriffs cannot support Measure 112 as drafted-it creates unintended consequences for Oregon Jails that will result in the elimination of all reformative programs and increased costs to local jail operations. … Oregon Sheriffs do not condone or support slavery and/or involuntary servitude in any form but cannot support Measure 112 due to the unintended consequences it creates.” The polling would come to an end landing at 55.6% (1,039,356) to 44.4% (828,649) votes.  

Measure 113

Oregon Measure 113. Sets rules for running for Legislature.

Measure 113 creates consequences for unexpected and unexcused absences by legislators. Those who fail to attend ten or more legislative floor sessions to transact business will be deemed disorderly behavior. Measure 113 impact details how this will change the current flow of the state legislature. 

There now needs to be a two thirds majority of members present for lawmakers to make progress in voting on a measure . In the house there would need to be 40 present out of 60 and in the senate there would need to be 20 present out of 30. Legislators will be deemed disqualified from holding office as a senator or representative for the term following the election. Tan Perkins, who voted in support of the measure , stated “No matter who you are, where you live, or where you stand on the political issue of the day, we can all agree on one thing: we expect politicians to do the jobs we sent them to Salem to do: vote on bills and represent the people who elect them. Today, there are ZERO consequences for politicians who don’t show up to their jobs in Salem.” In 2019 a series of Oregon State Senator walkouts began in May of 2019 when Republicans refused to show up, opposing a bill that would give K-12 schools two billion dollars. Many speculate if this measure had passed earlier, we could have prevented the negative impact of these walkouts. The votes on Measure 113 would land on 68.3% (1,290,101) to 31.7% (598,216) votes.

Measure 114

Oregon Measure 114. Sets new rules for the purchase of firearms.

Measure 114 is arguably the most well known measure on the ballot. The measure outlines  new procedures for owning firearms. This measure applied for a permit to purchase a firearm which applicants must have these permits issued by the State Police. Applicants must also pay a fee and get an extensive background check, criminal record check, photo ID, and complete an approved safety training.The permits last up to 5 years and must be recertified after the 5 years has passed. The initiative also prohibits the manufacturing, possession, importation, purchase, use or any other means of transferring of gun magazines that are capable of holding more than 10 rounds.  It is made a violation which is punishable by 364 days in jail, a fine of 6,250 dollars, or in some cases both. Measure 114 is arguably the most strict gun law to date, infringing the constitutionally protected right. Critics including the Oregon FireArms association, National Rifle Association, and the Oregon Sportsmen Alliance, called the measure costly and said its process will block prospective lawful gun owners.  Lane Magill, Wasco County Sheriff: “One of the major impacts it will have is the overall cost. The measure only accounts for a $65 charge for the process, but the major issue the sheriff’s office will be impacted by is having to hire at least one additional employee to handle this new process. Why is hiring another person a big deal?’ Under the current budget we now have there is no money to do this and if this passes; the sheriff’s office will be considering a reduction in patrol staff to meet the mandate!” Nonetheless Measure 114 was one of the closest votes being 50.6% (974,297) to 49.4 (949,454) votes.