SENATE COMMITTEE ON RULES

 

 

March 13, 2003                                                                                                   Hearing Room 343

3:00 pm                                                                                                                        Tapes  21 - 23

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:         Sen. Kate Brown, Co-chair, Presiding

Sen. Bev Clarno, Co-chair

Sen. Jason Atkinson, Vice-chair

Sen. Ginny Burdick, Vice-chair

Sen. Roger Beyer

Sen. Tony Corcoran

 

STAFF PRESENT:                 Jim Stembridge, Committee Administrator

Pam Cox, Committee Assistant

 

MEASURE/ISSUES HEARD:           Introductions of Committee Measures – Work Session

SJR 11 – Public Hearing

SJR 27 – Public Hearing

SJR 21 – Public Hearing

SB 457 – 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 21, A

005

Co-chair Brown

Calls committee meeting to order at 3:05 p.m.  Opens work session for the introduction of committee measures.

MEASURE INTRODUCTIONS – WORK SESSION

008

Sen. Clarno

MOTION:  Moves one request BE APPROVED FOR DRAFTING AND INTRODUCTION, and LC 3477 BE INTRODUCED as a committee bill.

 

 

VOTE:  6-0

009

Co-chair Brown

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

SJR 11 – PUBLIC HEARING

032

Jim Stembridge

Committee Administrator.  Summarizes SJR 11, which proposes amendment to Oregon Constitution to require annual sessions of Legislative Assembly.

039

Sen. Richard Devlin

District 19.  Offers prepared testimony in support of SJR 11 and outlines the reasons:

  • Biennial format is unsuitable for dealing with the complex issues that confront the legislature
  • Annual sessions make it a co-equal branch of state government
  • Annual sessions offer continuous oversight of administration and accountability for the execution of policies
  • States may respond more rapidly to new federal laws which require state participation
  • Annual sessions may help make the policy-making process more timely and orderly
  • The legislature will be able to address more effectively the complex issues that now face them
  • Annual sessions will diminish the need for special sessions

Explains the bill has been before the committee before and stresses the need to schedule it for a work session.

107

Rep. Randy Miller

District 37.  Testifies in support of SJR 11 and discusses the considerations and outcomes of an annual legislative session.

176

Sen. Corcoran

Notes some members live out of the area and further explains the difficulties of recruiting members if the sessions were all year long.

180

Rep. Miller

States he has heard these concerns but explains the advantages of knowing exactly the length of time the session will last.

216

Sen. Develin

States he has heard these concerns before but feels the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.

247

Sen. Clarno

Asks how he arrived at the timelines.

270

Rep. Miller

Offers prepared testimony involving other states on the number of days for annual sessions (EXHIBIT A).

295

Sen. Clarno

Notes the uncertainty of lives here at the capitol not knowing when each session will end.

323

Sen. Burdick

Comments the legislature will feel a lot of turmoil from the bills that are passed this session and cuts that are made.

343

Sen. Devlin

Responds this is a good time to make this change and gives figures for those 44 states out of 50 that have annual sessions.

381

Rep. Miller

Notes there are a lot of people that think they are full time employees already that the bill would probably limit the time spent here.

TAPE 22, A

010

Sen. Atkinson

Notes he is entirely behind SJR 11 and states he hopes the bill passes.

058

Paula Krane

The League of Women Voters of Oregon.  Testifies in support of SJR 11 and elaborates that the legislature would operate more efficiently with time limitations (EXHIBIT B).

090

Co-chair Brown

Closes public hearing on SJR 11 and opens a public hearing on SJR 27.

SJR 27 - PUBLIC HEARING

113

Jim Stembridge

Committee Administrator.  Summarizes SJR 27, which proposes amendment to Oregon Constitution to eliminate double majority voting requirements in property tax elections.

116

Jess Carreon

President, Portland Community College.  Testifies in support of SJR 27.  Submits written testimony (EXHIBIT C).  Discusses experiences where the double majority requirement resulted in a no vote.

157

Rem Nivens

Oregon Community College Association.  Testifies in support of SJR 27 and makes notes that all seventeen colleges agree.

163

Co-chair Brown

Closes public hearing on SJR 27 and opens public hearing on SJR 21.

SJR 21 – PUBLIC HEARING

164

Jim Stembridge

Committee Administrator.  Summarizes SJR 21, which proposes amendment to Oregon Constitution to eliminate double majority voting requirements in property tax elections.  Explains the difference between SJR 21 and SJR 27.

167

Paula Krane

League of Women Voters of Oregon.  Testifies in support of SJR 21.  Submits and summarizes written testimony (EXHIBIT D).  Explains the League feels the double majority works against government by the people.

203

Sen. Beyer

Points out an inaccuracy in her testimony.

216

Co-chair Brown

Closes public hearing on SJR 27 and reopens a hearing on SJR 21 and SJR 27.

SJR 21 & 27 – PUBLIC HEARING

218

Sen. Devlin

Offers testimony in support of SJR 27 and points out we have been rewarding people for not participating; that to have a democracy we need to take an involved roll.

302

Sen. Charlie Ringo

District 17.  Introduces students from Sunset High School and notes he has encouraged students to become involved in the legislative process.  Explains he has introduced a bill for them regarding double majority voting requirements.

372

Sara Roeder

Sunset High School.  Testifies in support of SJR 21 and offers and delivers written testimony (EXHIBIT E).

TAPE 21, B

001

Jessica Andrews

Testifies in support of SJR 21.  Submits and summarizes written testimony (EXHIBIT F).

042

Shannon Mills

Testifies in support of SJR 21.  Submits and summarizes written testimony (EXHIBIT G).

043

Co-chair Brown

Asks if they think the legislature will pass this bill.

049

Sen. Burdick

Asks if they are concerned that if it is easier for the voters to vote, too many bills are passed and too many fees or taxes are approved.

063

Roeder

Answers that their position in the end will play out and be more significant.

071

Mills

Answers the bill should only be repealed in May and November.

078

Sen. Burdick

Agrees and states they have made an effective argument.

084

Andrew Simon

Sunset High School.  Offers and summarizes written testimony in support of SJR 21 (EXHIBIT H).

102

Co-chair Brown

Asks if he knows how Ballot Measure 50 came about.

119

Simon

Answers he does not know and states that those who choose to participate should determine the outcome of an election.

133

Chris Rifer

Sunset High School.  Submits and summarizes written testimony (EXHIBIT I).  Informs the committee of examples of tragedies where the double majority has caused social programs to lack funding.

165

Co-chair Brown

Asks how they would express to the voters that this is the time to pass the bill.

187

Sen. Burdick

Informs the committee on the passage of the death-with-dignity bill and asks how he would address SJR 21 to the voters.

188

Simon

Notes people at the time did not understand the death-with-dignity bill but since some time has passed it should be put out for vote again.

200

John Marshall

Oregon School Board Association.  Testifies in support of SJR 21 and SJR 27 and explains his position.

247

Laurie Wimmer

Oregon Education Association.  Testifies in support of SJR 21 and SJR 27.  Discusses the loss in funding when there is a failure of voter turnout (EXHIBITS J, K).

302

Dave Baronberg

League of Oregon Cities (LOC).  Testifies in support of SJR 21 and urges passage.

373

Patricia Gray

Finance Director, City of Sweet Home.  Submits and summarizes written testimony in support of SJR 21 and SJR 27 (EXHIBIT L).  Explains in her town the newspaper stated if people did not want a bill to pass, don’t come out to vote.

TAPE 22, B

001

Gray

Continues.

061

Chris Childs

City Administrator, City of Stayton.  Submits and summarizes prepared testimony in support of SJR 21 and SJR 27 (EXHIBIT M).  Offers case studies on the double majority vote.

131

Co-chair Brown

Asks if the double majority issue is a problem to pass in a small community.

132

Gray

Offers information on voting in Sweet Home and the many people who do not vote.

177

Marshall

States this has been a problem with cities of every size.

182

Childs

States it is a matter of relativity.

195

Sen. Burdick

Points out that Tigard would have liked to be present here today and that they have been able to overcome the double majority.

203

David Judd

Deputy Director, Portland Parks & Recreation. Testifies in support of SJR 21.  Submits and summarizes written testimony (EXHIBIT N).  Offers information on the problems the city had with the double majority.

283

T. Allen Bethel

Member of Parks Board, City of Portland.  Offers testimony in support of SJR 21 and SJR 27.  Submits written testimony (EXHIBIT O).  Explains the lack of fairness of someone having a say and not voting.

326

Andi Miller

Executive Director, Common Cause Oregon.  Testifies in support of SJR 27 and suggests passage of these bills.

The following prepared testimony is submitted for the record without public testimony for SJR 21:

 

Jason Heuser

Submits written testimony (EXHIBIT P)

The following prepared testimony is submitted for the record without public testimony for SJR 27:

 

Richard Levine

Submits written testimony (EXHIBIT Q)

356

Co-chair Brown

Closes public hearing on SJR 21 and SJR 27 and reopens public hearing on SJR 11.

SJR 11 – PUBLIC HEARING

358

Andi Miller

Executive Director, Common Cause Oregon.  Testifies in support of SJR 11 and offers and summarizes written testimony (EXHIBIT R).  Suggests passage of this bill is in the best interest of democracy.

The following prepared testimony is submitted for the record without public testimony for SJR 11:

 

Treasurer Randall Edwards

Submits written testimony (EXHIBIT S)

388

Co-chair Brown

Closes public hearing on SJR 11 and opens a public hearing on SB 457.

SB 457 – PUBLIC HEARING

TAPE 23, A

001

Sen. Richard Devlin

District 19.  Offers testimony in support of SB 457 and explains the bill changes the number of signatures needed on a petition to audit.

058

Larry Barrett

Mayor of Rivergrove.  Testifies in support of SB 457 and informs the committee of legal fees the city has incurred.  Explains the process of an audit that is forcing the city to disincorporate.

130

Sen. Burdick

Notes this bill may not solve this problem but asks if this could be a harassment case against cities.

135

Barrett

States the attorney is working pro bono so it would be hard to ask if he could do anything in addition.

138

Sen. Devlin

Notes this problem won’t be solved by the passage of this bill, because there are judgments against the party that’s filing for the audit but he is judgment proof.

150

Co-chair Brown

Asks what happens if the city needs to disincorporate.

155

Barrett

Comments that the city would petition and go back to the state.

158

Phil Hopkins

Secretary of State Audit Commission.  Explains the audit process and offers information to Rivergrove on what may be done.

165

Co-chair Brown

Asks if he could help with the city of Rivergrove’s situation.

166

Hopkins

Answers the rationale of population requesting an audit but explains the Secretary of State’s position is to become involved before an audit has been requested.

238

Michelle Dyster

League of Oregon Cities.  Offers testimony in support of SB 457 and supports the city of Rivergrove.

254

Co-chair Brown

Closes public hearing on SB 457.  Adjourns committee meeting at 5:12 p.m.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

A – SJR 11, table “Legislative Sessions,” Rep. Randy Miller, 4 pp

B – SJR 11, written testimony, Paula Krane, 1 p

C– SJR 21, written testimony, Jess Carreon, 14 pp

D – SJR 21 and SJR 27, written testimony, Paula Krane 1 p

E – SJR 21, written testimony, Sara Roeder, 1 p

F– SJR 21, written testimony, Jessica Andrews, 1 p

G – SJR 21, written testimony, Shannon Mills, 1 p

H – SJR 21, written testimony, Andrew Simon, 2 pp

I – SJR 21, written testimony, Chris Rifer, 1 p

J – SJR 21, prepared document, Laurie Wimmer, 2 pp

K – SJR 21, prepared document, Laurie Wimmer, 10 pp

L– SJR 21, written testimony, Patricia Gray, 1 p

M – SJR 21, prepared document, Chris Childs, 1 p

N – SJR 21, written testimony, David Judd, 3 pp

O – SJR 21, written testimony, T. Allen Bethel, 2 pp

P – SJR 21, written testimony, Jason Heuser, 1 p

Q – SJR 27, written testimony, Richard Levine, 1 p

R – SJR 11, written testimony, Andi Miller, 1 p

S – SJR 11, written testimony, State Treasurer Randall Edwards, 1 p