Oregon Government Funds, Measure 38 (2004)

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Oregon Ballot Measure 38 (2004) appeared on the November 2004 ballot in Oregon as an initiated state statute. It was defeated.

If approved, the measure would have required the state to assume SAIF's authority over accident fund; re-insure fund; satisfy SAIF's obligations under its existing policies; use fifty percent of any excess surplus (meaning any funds exceeding reserves and surplus necessary to satisfy future liabilities) to satisfy policyholder claims in litigation before October 2003; transfer forty percent of any excess surplus to new fund; sell SAIF's assets; transfer proceeds to same fund; and reinsure, otherwise resolve SAIF's remaining liabilities. Dedicates new fund to supporting schools, local law enforcement; providing medications to seniors, medically needy; promoting job growth.[1]

Election results

Measure 38
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No1,307,72260.73%
Yes 670,935 39.27%
Election results from Oregon Blue Book website, accessed December 16, 2013

Text of measure

Ballot title

The official ballot title for Measure 38 was:

Abolishes Saif; State Must Reinsure, Satisfy Saif's Obligations; Dedicates Proceeds, Potential Surplus To Public Purposes[2]

RESULT OF "YES" VOTE: "Yes" vote abolishes SAIF; state must reinsure, satisfy SAIF's current obligations (including pending policyholder claims against SAIF); dedicates proceeds, potential surplus to specified public purposes.

RESULT OF "NO" VOTE: "No" vote retains law authorizing SAIF, a public corporation, to sell and administer workers compensation insurance and to administer an accident fund for that purpose.[3][4]

Summary

The official ballot summary for Measure 38 was:

State Accident Insurance Fund (SAIF) is a public corporation selling, administering workers compensation insurance, and administering accident fund for that purpose. Measure abolishes SAIF. Requires state to assume SAIF's authority over accident fund; reinsure fund; satisfy SAIF's obligations under its existing policies; use fifty percent of any excess surplus (meaning any funds exceeding reserves and surplus necessary to satisfy future liabilities) to satisfy policyholder claims in litigation before October 2003; transfer forty percent of any excess surplus to new fund; sell SAIF's assets; transfer proceeds to same fund; and reinsure, otherwise resolve SAIF's remaining liabilities. Dedicates new fund to supporting schools, local law enforcement; providing medications to seniors, medically needy; promoting job growth. Requires certain reports to legislature regarding rates for insurance premiums. Other provisions.[3][4]

Full text

The full text of the legislation proposed by Measure 38 is available here.


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This historical ballot measure article requires the text of the measure to be added to the page.

Support

Oregonians for Accountability publicly supported the measure, arguing that SAIF had become a corrupt organization, saying, "How can Oregonians put their faith in SAIF when the agency has placed more importance on serving itself than the businesses and injured workers it was created to protect? Clearly SAIF has shown we cannot trust it to right its own wrongs."[5]

Citizens for a Sound Economy supported the abollishment of SAIF, citing it as a big-government monopoly that destroys the private market.

Other supporters who agreed with the overall view that SAIF had failed to carry out the mission it was created for were:

  • Philip J. Romero, Ph.D., Former Chief Economist, State of California
  • Oregon Restaurant Association
  • Accident Fund Insurance Company of America
  • Senator Kurt Schrader
  • Representative Tom Butler

Opposition

A number of small businesses in Oregon expressed their disapproval of abolishing SAIF. Many of those opposed to the measure argued that SAIF is helpful to small businesses because it keeps workers compensation affordable and is the most efficient workers compensation insurance company in the country. Some also argued that the measure was more about private companies who may have wanted SAIF's business than doing what's best for Oregonians.[6]

Some opponents of the measure included:

  • Oregon Farm Bureau
  • Oregon Nurses Association
  • Oregon Building Industry Association
  • Gene Derfler, Former Senate President
  • Theodore R. Kulongoski, Governor of Oregon

See also

External links

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References