HOUSE COMMITTEE ON RULES AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS

 

February 13, 2003   Hearing Room E

1:00 PM      Tapes 8 - 9

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:            Rep. Dan Doyle, Chair

Rep. Linda Flores, Vice-Chair

Rep. Laurie Monnes Anderson, Vice Chair

Rep. Vic Backlund

Rep. Phil Barnhart

Rep. Betsy L. Close

Rep. Joanne Verger

 

STAFF PRESENT:                  Cara Filsinger, Administrator

Annetta Mullins, Committee Assistant

 

MEASURE/ISSUES HEARD:            HJR 8 – Public Hearing

HJR 9 – Public Hearing

HB 2378 – Public Hearing

 

 

These minutes are in compliance with Senate and House Rules.  Only text enclosed in quotation marks reports a speaker’s exact words.  For complete contents, please refer to the tapes.

 

TAPE/#

Speaker

Comments

Tape 8, A

004

Chair Doyle

Calls meeting to order at 1:04 p.m. and opens simultaneous public hearings on HJR 8 and  HJR 9.

HJR 8 AND HJR 9 – PUBLIC HEARINGS

HJR 9 – PUBLIC HEARING

015

Rep. Lane Shetterly

District 23.  Submits report from the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) (EXHIBIT A).  Comments on work with the NCSL Task Force and the report.

 

Rep. Shetterly

Submits HJR 9-2 amendments (EXHIBIT B) and flow chart (EXHIBIT C).  Explains the initiative and referendum study in other states. 

100

Rep. Shetterly

Explains chart (EXHIBIT C) showing the process under HJR 9.

135

Rep. Monnes Anderson

Asks if the “Neither Yes nor No” in the chart would be based on 100 percent of the voters who voted for the particular measure, not those who turned out for the election.

 

Rep. Shetterly

Responds affirmatively and continues to explain the process.

172

Rep. Shetterly

Continues explanation of the process (EXHIBIT C).

HJR 8 – PUBLIC HEARING

197

Rep. Shetterly

District 23.  Submits HJR 8-2 amendment (EXHIBIT D) and explains HJR 8. 

229

Rep. Shetterly

Comments on measure passed in Florida mandating class size that has an estimated $27 billion dollar impact.

268

Rep. Verger

Asks if this process would help screen some of the things that happened in Measure 11.

 

Rep. Shetterly

Responds he thinks it will help.  Adds that there will be complaints that the measure makes the process slower and more expensive to amend the Constitution, but believes that ease and speed is not the highest priority when dealing with the Constitution.

311

Rep. Verger

Comments that if the legislature could make the measure better, it would be okay.

 

Rep. Shetterly

Responds that the legislature can refer an alternative version of the measure.  Once the measure has gone to the legislature and the legislature has taken action on it, the chief petitioners can withdraw the initiative.  States he hopes there would not be competing measures on the ballot.

333

Rep. Verger

Notes that the public has the opportunity to participate when the measure is in the legislature.

 

Rep. Shetterly

Responds affirmatively.

347

Rep. Monnes Anderson

Asks if other states have something similar to HJR 8.

 

Rep. Shetterly

Responds that some states do require votes by successive legislature to get a constitutional measure on the ballot.  This measure accommodates the two methods.

397

Rep. Monnes

Asks if the vote requirement is different in other states.

 

Rep. Shetterly

Responds he does not know.

 

Rep. Monnes

Comments that it is inconsistent with the requirement that the legislature only needs 50 percent plus one to submit a measure to the voters.

 

Rep. Shetterly

States the purpose of HJR 8 is to level the playing field; under HJR 9 there is the ability to adopt an initiative by a simple majority. 

404

Rep. Close

Asks if this is a four-year process, or if it includes special sessions.

 

Rep. Shetterly

Comments he would not be opposed to an amendment for special session.

 

Rep. Close

Notes that Section 1A (2) of HJR 8 has a repealer date.  Asks if that is because of the lead time.

 

Rep. Shetterly

Responds affirmatively.

 

Rep. Close

Asks if the sessions must be consecutive.

 

Rep. Shetterly

Explains that other states require consecutive sessions.

TAPE 9, A

020

Rep. Barnhart

Poses hypothetical situation of the legislature calling itself back into special session to pass the same thing again by a simple majority.

 

Rep. Shetterly

Responds that his comment that he would not be opposed to an amendment to HJR 9 would not apply to HJR 8 because he believes there should be consecutive votes in two regular sessions. 

045

Chair Doyle

Closes simultaneous public hearings on HJR 8 and HJR 9 and opens a public hearing on HB 2378.

HB 2378 – PUBLIC HEARING

042

Rep. Lane Shetterly

District 23.  Explains HB 2378.

 

Chair Doyle

Closes the public hearing on HB 2378 and reopens simultaneous hearings on HJR 8 and HJR 9.

HJR 8 AND HJR 9 – PUBLIC HEARINGS

HJR 9 – PUBLIC HEARING

 

Kappy Eaton

League of Women Voters of Oregon.  Submits prepared statement and testifies in support of HJR 9 (EXHIBIT E).

118

Chair Doyle

Comments on statement about the legislature taking piecemeal actions.

138

Eaton

Responds that they are suggesting that before the legislature makes any decisions, everything should be on the table.

145

Pamela Varndell

Comments on her efforts in the initiative process and the number of signatures required.  Feels this is tightening the process and opposes HJR 9.

163

Dave Hunnicutt

Oregonians in Action.  Speaks in opposition to HJR 9.  States that he takes exceptions to comment by Rep. Shetterly that the bills and decisions are any more thoughtful than initiatives placed on the ballot by the people.  The legislature has the ability currently to refer measures to the voters and does not think HJR 9 is necessary.  The people ought to have the right to amend the Constitution if they wish to do so.

204

Rep. Verger

Asks if there is anything in the process that would deter the vote of the people. 

 

Hunnicutt

States there are a number of steps in the process before it is put on the ballot.  Thinks the fiscal impact statement system is in need of reform.  Thinks it would be appropriate to see if there is common ground before proceeding with these pieces of legislation. 

237

Rep. Verger

Asks if Hunnicutt believes reform is necessary, but also believes this is redundant.

 

Hunnicutt

Responds he does not believe HJR 9 is a proper method of reforming the initiative process.  Would like to see some changes.  One change is to eliminate the ability to raise a procedural challenge after the election; believes the challenges ought to be made before the people vote on the measure.

257

Rep. Verger

Comments she thinks that states with the referendum are very fortunate.

274

Don McIntire

Asks legislators to reflect in constitutional terms.  Cites language of Article I, Section 1 and Article IV of the Oregon Constitution. 

338

McIntire

States that when the process is changed, the change is always in favor of the government.  States that  reform has to be in a form that does not diminish the power of the people.  Gives examples of previous legislation and talks about the process for Measure 5 and Measure 47

390

McIntire

Comments on courts and the initiative process.

446

McIntire

Speaks in opposition to changing the initiative process.  Asks that the legislature not mess with the initiative process.

485

Eric Winters

Attorney, practicing in the initiative process.  Speaks in opposition to HJR 9.  Notes the controversial issues that have been addressed by the initiative process.  Speaks in opposition to initiative reform.

TAPE 8, B

024

Rep. Monnes Anderson

States she agrees that we need to involve the people.  Asks why the legislation would diminish the power of the people.

 

McIntire

Comments on effect of public employee unions on his efforts. 

045

McIntire

States that the legislature has the power to refer the repeal of Measure 5 out to the voters but it has not done it.  Comments on reasons the citizens want to put items in the Constitution.  Suggests that the citizens should have five years to have their initiative in effect.  Then if it is a problem it could be-referred out by the legislature. 

 

Chair Doyle

Closes the simultaneous public hearings on HJR 8 and HJR 9 and opens a public hearing on HB 2378.

HB 2378 – PUBLIC HEARING

089

Al Davidson

Oregon Association of County Clerks.  Explains the intent of HB 2378 and testifies in support of it.. 

 

Rep. Close

Asks if there is a limitation on the number of special elections.

 

Davidson

Responds there is not. 

104

Rep. Backlund

Asks how much the state paid to reimburse county clerks.

 

Davidson

Reports that for the 2002 Special Election, the Secretary of State paid over $1,169,000 to reimburse the counties.  Comments that the cost of using county staff are not reimbursed; they can only charge the additional costs of conducting an election.

129

Chair Doyle

Asks if there are other costs to the counties.

 

Davidson

Explains that the costs he has discussed are exclusive of the Voters’ Pamphlet costs. 

142

Paul Snider

Association of Oregon Counties (AOC).  States AOC concurs with the testimony of Al Davidson and Rep. Shetterly in support of HB 2378.

164

Chair Doyle

Closes the public hearing on HB 2378.

 

Chair Doyle

Comments on committee agendas for the future and adjourns meeting at 2:15 p.m.

 

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

A – HJR 9, NCSL report on initiative and referendum process, Rep. Shetterly, 8 pp

B – HJR 9, HJR 9-2 amendments, Rep. Shetterly, 2 pp

C – HJR 9, flow chart, Rep. Shetterly, 1 p

D – HJR 8, HJR 8-2 amendments, Rep. Shetterly, 1 p

E – HJR 9, prepared statement, Kappy Eaton, 1 p