SENATE COMMITTEE ON RULES

 

 

March 10, 2005                                                                                                   Hearing Room 343

8:30 A.M.                                                                                                                    Tapes  26 - 27

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:         Sen. Kate Brown, Chair

Sen. Ted Ferrioli, Vice-Chair

Sen. Jason Atkinson

Sen. Charlie Ringo

Sen. Frank Shields

 

STAFF PRESENT:                 Tiffany Harris, Committee Administrator

Patricia Nielsen, Committee Assistant

 

MEASURE/ISSUES HEARD:          

SB 858 – Public Hearing

SB 564 – Public Hearing

SB 992 – Public Hearing

Consideration of drafting request – Work Session

 

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 26, A

005

Chair Brown

Calls the meeting to order at 8:35 a.m.  Opens a public hearing on
SB 858. 

SB 858 – PUBLIC HEARING

010

Tiffany Harris

Committee Administrator.   Presents overview of SB 858.

015

Sen. Joanne Verger

District 5.  Testifies in support of SB 858.  Discusses need to remind voters that Voters’ Pamphlet content is not verified for accuracy by the Secretary of State.  Discusses -2 amendments (EXHIBIT A).

050

Sen. Betsy Johnson

District 16.  Testifies in support of SB 858.  Distinguishes between language which is verified for accuracy and that which is not. 

065

Sen. Dave Nelson

District 29.  Testifies in support of SB 858.

070

Sen. Atkinson

Expresses concern that the language of the disclaimer is too political.

080

Sen. Verger

Responds the language including the Secretary of State’s office was added later.

085

Teddy Keizer

Staff to Sen. Verger.  Responds Legislative Counsel wanted to clearly state who was verifying.

090

Sen. Atkinson

Asks about language describing who furnishes included material.

095

Keizer

Explains this was added to provide transparency.  Discusses how the voters use and read the Voters’ Pamphlet and how some miss the disclaimer included in the introduction.

110

Sen. Atkinson

Asks about verification of some text but not all.

120

Fred Neal

Voters’ Pamphlet Supervisor, Elections Division, Secretary of State’s Office.  Clarifies this applies only to candidate statements, not measure arguments.  Discusses adding a disclaimer similar to those already contained at the end of measure statements.

135

Sen. Atkinson

Asks about fiscal impact.

140

Neal

Explains it would add one-half inch of space to each page for candidates.  Discusses requirements for the use of space, and how the Secretary of State accommodates printing for the statement plus the disclaimers.  Points out it is a production issue not a fiscal issue.

165

Sen. Ferrioli

Approves adding the disclaimer but disagrees with adding the Secretary of State.

180

Neal

Responds that Legislative Counsel expressed concern that the candidate certifies the required information, but not the accuracy of the additional information.

190

Sen. Verger

Explains an asterisk referring to verification of certain information would solve it. 

195

Sen. Ferrioli

Asks whether Secretary of State verifies date of birth of candidates.

200

Neal

Responds the Secretary of State verifies qualifications of candidates but relies on voter records. 

215

Chair Brown

Points out there must be some actor in the sentence to determine who has or has not verified information.

220

Sen. Shields

Asks about language “not verified by any state or county office.”

235

Sen. Verger

Explains she wanted only “not verified for accuracy.”  Points out candidates can say anything in their statements and voters depend on the information when marking ballots.

250

Sen. Shields

Asks if there is acceptable alternative language.

255

Sen. Verger

Suggests the simpler the better.

260

Neal

Agrees with language stating the State of Oregon has not verified.  Suggests using the same disclaimer for measure arguments as for candidate statements.  Discusses alternatives.

280

Sen. Ferrioli

Concurs with principle but wonders about using the Secretary of State.  Discusses candidate who misstated his date of birth. 

315

Chair Brown

Points out the statement would be inaccurate because candidates must review their statements for accuracy but the state does not review. 

335

Sen. Verger

Explains she has not worked with the Secretary of State on the concept, but refers to concern over voters in her district who are being misled.

350

Chair Brown

Asks who her voters think produces the pamphlet.

355

Sen. Verger

Responds the State of Oregon.

360

Chair Brown

Closes public hearing on SB 898.  Opens public hearing on SB 564.

SB 564 – PUBLIC HEARING

370

Sen. Dave Nelson

Testifies in support of SB 564.  Submits written testimony of Nellie Bogue-Hibbert (EXHIBIT B).

375

Annette Newingham

Association of County Clerks; Lane County Chief Deputy County Clerk.  Testifies in support of SB 858.  Submits written testimony (EXHIBIT C).  Discusses election of precinct committeepersons.  Discusses costs of the elections and savings if no election need be conducted in cases where there is no contest.  Discusses -1 amendments restoring gender requirements for precinct committeeperson elections (EXHIBIT D).

TAPE 27, A

010

Sen. Shields

Asks about exact cost savings.

020

Newingham

Discusses and refers to her testimony (EXHIBIT C).  Describes different ballot styles required and associated costs for production.

040

Sen. Shields

Suggests the savings would actually exceed the estimated $182,000.

050

Newingham

Agrees it is a conservative estimate.

055

Sen. Ferrioli

Agrees but asks how to connect the elector and the certificate of election without having any votes cast.

065

Newingham

Refers to the measure language clarifying that issue.  Points out each political party also has rules which the parties should review.

080

Sen. Ferrioli

Asks if it would be the party’s responsibility to declare the winner.

085

Newingham

Confirms.  Discusses election certification process.

095

Sen. Atkinson

Asks if parties have been contacted about this.

100

Newingham

Confirms both parties have been involved in creating the exception.

110

Sen. Atkinson

Asks whether parties have endorsed the bill.

115

Newingham

Explains there is no specific endorsement but no opposition has been stated.

120

Sen. Atkinson

Asks for input from parties.  Discusses preservation of the write-in process.

130

Newingham

Explains in reality write-ins are often frivolous and certainly costly.  Suggests this is a better way to accomplish the same thing.

140

Sen. Atkinson

Asks about party process with respect to write-ins.

160

Newingham

Points out this is limited to precinct committeepersons. 

170

Chair Brown

Asks whether taxpayers should pay for elections of party officials.

175

Newingham

Responds counties have paid for these positions so this is an attempt to relieve counties of some of the cost.

185

Sen. Ferrioli

Asks about issuing a certificate of election.

190

Chair Brown

Explains they are not issued for committeepersons.

195

Steve Druckenmiller

Lane County Clerk.  Testifies in support of SB 564.  Discusses expenditures on elections from the General Fund and by other governmental entities.  Describes how write-ins are handled and how they can slow the process.  Refers to written list of write-ins from his county and how many are frivolous.  Explains there have been only five contested races in his 18 years of office.

265

Chair Brown

Closes public hearing on SB 564.  Opens work session for consideration of request for drafting and introduction.

APPROVAL OF DRAFTING REQUEST – WORK SESSION

275

Chair Brown

Reviews one request for drafting (EXHIBIT E)

310

Chair Brown

MOTION:  Moves one drafting request be approved for drafting by Legislative Counsel and BE INTRODUCED as a committee bill.

315

 

VOTE:  5-0-0

AYE:            In a roll call vote, all members present vote Aye.

 

Chair Brown

The motion CARRIES.

320

Chair Brown

Closes work session.  Opens public hearing on SB 992.

SB 992 – PUBLIC HEARING

330

Tiffany Harris

Committee Administrator.  Presents overview of SB 992.

345

Sen. Vicki Walker

District 7.  Testifies in support of SB 992.  Provides written materials (EXHIBIT F).  Discusses history of Senate confirmation of executive appointments.

TAPE 26, B

005

Sen. Walker

Continues and discusses Governor’s authority to remove appointee and appoint a successor.  Suggests Governor does not use that power often enough.  Describes proposed elimination of Senate confirmation for nineteen boards and commissions.  Explains proposed executive appointments administrator position to investigate backgrounds and review appointments for the Senate.

040

Sen. Walker

Continues and refers to information provided to the Governor on the executive appointments interest form (EXHIBIT F).  Advises the legislature does not receive this portion.  Describes Michigan application and questionnaire (EXHIBITS G, H).

100

Sen. Walker

Continues and describes suggested removal of nineteen boards and commissions from the confirmation process (EXHIBIT I).

120

Marjorie Taylor

Committee Services.  Discusses list of appointments currently subject to Senate confirmation (EXHIBIT I).

140

Sen. Shields

Asks why some were eliminated.

145

Sen. Walker

Discusses differing levels of fiduciary duty and appointing authority.  Suggests it is a starting point and it is all subject to discussion.

165

Sen. Ringo

Comments the position to be created contemplates research and making recommendations to the Senate.  Clarifies the Governor would still nominate the appointees.

175

Sen. Walker

Confirms but points out the Senate needs more information.

180

Taylor

Refers to the executive appointment application (EXHIBIT F).  Explains in Michigan the Governor and the Senate Majority both have questionnaires (EXHIBITS G, H).

205

Sen. Walker

Points out there is nothing stopping the Senate from demanding more information without the bill and this appoints an executive appointments administrator to assist.  Explains it need not be a full-time position.  Suggests if the fiscal impact is too high, the Senate could still ask more of candidates and provide information on the web.

235

Sen. Ferrioli

Comments on the unstated purpose of confirmation, to provide information about appointees.  Asks if the issue of providing more information can be separated from the discussion of which boards need no confirmation.

275

Chair Brown

Asks what happens if the Senate President and minority leader cannot agree on appointments.

280

Sen. Walker

Suggests it would probably be along party lines.  Agrees it is worth discussing.  Suggests this position could track information about geographic spreading of appointments but now there is no way to gather that information.

315

Chair Brown

Summarizes and concludes.  Closes public hearing on SB 992.  Adjourns the committee at 9:55 a.m.

 

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

A.     SB 858, -2 amendments (3-10-05), Sen. Joanne Verger, 1 p

B.     SB 564, written testimony of Nelly Bogue-Hibbert, Sen. David Nelson, 1 p

C.     SB 564, written testimony, Annette Newingham, 4 pp

D.    SB 564, -1 amendments (3-10-05), staff, 1 p

E.     Approval of drafting and introduction request, staff, 7 pp

F.      SB 992, Oregon executive appointment application materials, Sen. Vicki Walker, 3 pp

G.    SB 992, Michigan executive appointment application materials, Marjorie Taylor, 4 pp

H.    SB 992, Michigan executive appointment Senate questionnaire, Marjorie Taylor, 15 pp

I.       SB 992, list of boards and commissions, Marjorie Taylor, 3 pp