SENATE COMMITTEE ON RULES

 

 

March 31, 2005                                                                                                   Hearing Room 343

8:30 A.M.                                                                                                                    Tapes  37 - 38

Corrected 11/04/05

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 933 – Public Hearing

Executive Appointment – Public Hearing

      Quality Education Commission

            Yvonne Curtis

SB 858 – Work Session

Approval of drafting requests – Work Session

Introduction of Committee Measures – 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 37, A

005

Chair Brown

Calls the meeting to order 8:37 a.m.  Opens a public hearing on SB 933.

SB 933 – PUBLIC HEARING

010

Tiffany Harris

Committee Administrator.  Presents overview of SB 933.

015

Sen. Ginny Burdick

Senate District 18.  Testifies in support of SB 933.  Discusses need to cut down on the practice of ballot title shopping by requiring meaningful citizen support for a measure.

055

Philip Schradle

Special Counsel to the Attorney General, Department of Justice.  Testifies in support of SB 933.  Explains that SB 933 does many of the same things as SB 201. States that SB 933 focuses court resources and interested parties on measures that have a chance to get on the ballot.

065

Sen. Ferrioli

Asks how many signatures is ten percent.

070

Schradle

Responds approximately 10,000.  Gives specific requirements of various types of measures.

075

Sen. Ferrioli

Inquires how the wording of ballot titles affects the prospects for passage.

080

Sen. Burdick

Responds it is the single most important item to persuade voters.

085

Sen. Ferrioli

Inquires why is it necessary to shop for a ballot title.

090

Sen. Burdick

Responds that it is not necessary.  Explains process for getting a ballot title.  States that ballot title is what voters look at.

100

Sen. Ferrioli

Expresses his belief that ballot shopping is necessary, as proposed titles are not always fair.

105

Chair Brown

Submits that if ballot shopping is necessary, the taxpayers should not have to subsidize the proponents shopping for the titles.

110

Sen. Ferrioli

Acknowledges that taxpayers should not have to pay. Emphasizes that the process should be more open and fair to petitioners.  Comments on issue of fair and honest brokerage of ballot titles.

115

Sen. Burdick

Comments that she did not get the ballot title that she wanted, but it was an accurate reflection of the measure.  Describes the purpose of ballot title to give voters an objective sense of what the measure does, not to please the petitioner.

130

Sen. Ferrioli

Asks if Sen. Burdick’s original ballot title was flawed. Inquires what gives her confidence that ballot titles will not be flawed for those who reach the higher bar of 10,000 signatures.

135

Sen. Burdick

Responds affirmatively.  Explains that there is a successful process to challenge ballot title as inadequate.

140

Sen. Ferrioli

Suggests that flawed ballot titles routinely emerge from the [Attorney General’s] office. Comments that requiring a group to go to the Supreme Court or collect 10,000 signatures is a prior restraint issue. Recommends streamlining the process to allow proponents to write their own ballot titles.

165

Sen. Brown

States that she is open to solutions to this issue.

170

Schradle

Comments that the Attorney General’s office fulfills the purpose of writing ballot titles to accurately reflect what the measure does, but proponents do not necessarily want that.

185

Sen. Ferrioli

Inquires how 10,000 signatures make it more easier or more fair.

190

Schradle

Explains that many measures submitted do not get the requisite signatures to get on the ballot, and SB 933 would focus resources on those that have reasonable support.

195

Sen. Ferrioli

Asks if it is possible to submit 10,000 signatures on a working ballot title and have a completely different title emerge that is completely different from the working ballot title.

200

Schradle

Explains that the proposal would require the first 10,000 signatures to be gathered with a copy of the proposed measure itself, without a generated description produced by the Attorney General’s office.

205

Sen. Ferrioli

Asks what happens if the proponent does not like the title.

210

Chair Brown

Clarifies that the ballot title is required to be fair and impartial, not meet the petitioner’s concerns. 

230

Dave Hunnicutt

Oregonians in Action (OIA).  Testifies in opposition to SB 933.  Agrees ballot title is crucial, and the Attorney General is capable of drafting bad titles.  Relates that the Supreme Court does not re-draft the ballot title.  Agrees impartiality is in eyes of beholder.

285

Hunnicutt

States that SB 933 will inhibit grass roots groups from getting ballot titles.  Comments that the public pays for bills to be drafted every legislative session that will never be passed. Suggests that SB 933 has constitutional problems.

335

Dan Meek

Represented various public interest groups.  Asserts that SB 933 would make the initiative process unworkable for grass roots organizations, but would not affect large organizations that pay for signatures.  Suggests that some measures are very complicated, and without a ballot title on the signature sheet, 10,000 signatures would be much harder.

385

Chair Brown

Clarifies whether his point is that people would not take time to read the actual measure language, so the burden is high on petitioners.

390

Meek

Responds that he would need to staple a complete copy of the measure to each petition. Comments on readiness of the Secretary of State to throw out signatures as invalid.

410

Chair Brown

Inquires if there is a problem with ballot title shopping.

420

Meek

Responds negatively.  Explains why ballot title shopping under the current system cannot occur.  Comments on ballot titles that are too favorable to measures. Describes the logistical problem with volunteers collecting signature sheets, and not knowing when required number of signatures have been collected.

TAPE 38, A

035

Meek

Continues and describes difficulty in the proposed process for volunteer organizations.  Compares to professional signature gathering organization.

050

Chair Brown

Inquires if Mr. Meek testified on this issue in the 2003 session.

052

Meek

Responds affirmatively, that he testified before the House committee.

060

Sen. Ferrioli

Asks about three ballot initiatives he has been involved in.

065

Meek

Recaps the initiatives: Measures in 1984 on radioactive waste disposal, 1986 on the same, 1986,1990, 1992 on Trojan Nuclear Plant, and 2002 campaign finance reform.

070

Sen. Ferrioli

Inquires whether they were volunteer initiatives.  Expresses interest in conclusions that SB 933 would make grassroots petitioning impossible.

075

Meek

Responds that most were volunteer. States that SB 933 would make it very difficult for grassroots organizations, if not impossible.  Suggests alternative changes to the ballot title process:

·         Anyone can submit, and retired judges pick one in arbitration process

·         Eliminate judicial review of ballot titles drafted by the Attorney General

125

Chair Brown

Closes public hearing on SB 933.  Opens as a subcommittee.  Opens public hearing on the Executive Appointment of Yvonne Curtis to the  Quality Education Commission (QEC).

 

 

EXECUTIVE APPOINTMENT – PUBLIC HEARING

QUALITY EDUCATION COMMISSION – APPOINTMENT OF YVONNE CURTIS (EXHIBIT A)

165

Yvonne Curtis

Appears by telephone conference.  Discusses her background, interest and qualifications for the appointment.

190

Chair Brown

Asks her opinion of the role of the QEC.

195

Curtis

Discusses her belief that the QEC’s role is to educate people about stable funding and what a quality education is.  Emphasizes the responsibility to communicate with the community.

215

Chair Brown

Inquires if the QEC should be a tool for the legislature to solve the school funding crisis.

220

Curtis

Responds affirmatively.

225

Chair Brown

Closes public hearing on the executive appointment to QEC.  Opens a work session on SB 858.

SB 858 – WORK SESSION

235

Tiffany Harris

Committee Administrator.  Presents overview of SB 858.  Discusses the -4 amendments (EXHIBIT B).

250

Chair Brown

Discusses amendments.

260

Fred Neal

Voters’ Pamphlet Supervisor, Secretary of State’s office.  Explains further the -4 amendments.

270

Teddy Keizer

Sen. Verger’s office.  Testifies in support of SB 858.  Submits -3 amendments and asks for them instead of the -4 (EXHIBIT C).

290

Sen. Shields

Asks about increased spacing in the pamphlet.

295

Neal

Responds that white space will be reduced wherever possible.

300

Sen. Shields

Asks about specific ways to reduce white space.

310

Neal

Confirms there are several alternatives.

325

Chair Brown

MOTION:  Moves to ADOPT SB 858-3 amendments dated 03/22/05.

327

 

VOTE:  3-0-2

EXCUSED:  2 - Atkinson, Ferrioli

 

Chair Brown

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

330

Chair Brown

MOTION:  Moves SB 858 to the floor with a DO PASS AS AMENDED recommendation.

333

 

VOTE:  3-0-2

EXCUSED:  2 - Atkinson, Ferrioli

 

Chair Brown

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

SEN. VERGER will lead discussion on the floor.

335

Chair Brown

Closes work session on SB 858.  Opens work session on approval of drafting requests and introduction of committee measures.

APPROVAL OF DRAFTING REQUESTS AND INTRODUCTION OF COMMITTEE MEASURES – WORK SESSION

340

Sen. Ringo

Presents overview of the drafting request relating to annexation (EXHIBIT D).

350

Sen. Ringo

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

360

Sen. Shields

Confirms he supports the drafting to include amendments.

365

 

VOTE:  3-0-2

EXCUSED:  2 - Atkinson, Ferrioli

 

Chair Brown

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

395

Chair Brown

Recesses the committee at 9:33 a.m.

400

Chair Brown

Reconvenes the committee at 9:37 a.m.

405

Chair Brown

MOTION:  Moves LC 3533 BE INTRODUCED as a committee bill.

410

 

VOTE:  3-0-2

EXCUSED:  2 - Atkinson, Ferrioli

 

Chair Brown

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

 

 

Note:  LC 3533 printed as SCR 10.

410

Chair Brown

Closes work session.  Adjourns the meeting at 9:38 a.m.

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

A.     Quality Education Commission, staff and Governor’s office, 8 pp

B.     SB 858, -4 amendments (3-30-05), staff, 3 pp

C.     SB 858, -3 amendments (3-22-05), Sen. Joanne Verger, 2 pp

D.    Drafting and introduction request, request letter, Sen. Charlie Ringo, 1 p

E.     Introductions, LC 3533, staff, 2 pp