Oregon Hiring of State Judges by National Guard and State Universities, Measure 87 (2014)

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Measure 87
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Type:Constitutional amendment
Referred by:Legislature
Topic:State judiciary
2014 measures
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The Oregon Hiring of State Judges by National Guard and State Universities, Measure 87, is on the November 4, 2014 ballot in Oregon as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment. If approved, the measure would allow state judges to be employed by the National Guard and state public universities as teachers, and allow school employees to serve in the state legislature.[1]

The measure was primarily sponsored by Sen. Floyd Prozanski (D-4) in the Oregon State Senate, where it was known as Senate Joint Resolution 203. If approved, it would amend Section 8 of Article XV of the Oregon Constitution.[2]

Text of the measure

Constitutional changes

If approved, the measure would amend Section 8 of Article XV of the Oregon Constitution. The amendments would read as follows, with the bold text being added and the [italicized and bracketed] text being removed:[1]

Sec. 8 Notwithstanding the provisions of section 1, [article] Article III and section 10, [article] Article II of [the] this Constitution [of the State of Oregon]:

(1) [a] A person employed by [the State Board of Higher Education,] any board or commission established by law to supervise and coordinate the activities of Oregon's institutions of post-secondary education, a person employed by a public university as defined by law or a member or employee of any school board [or employee thereof, shall be] is eligible to [a seat in] serve as a member of the Legislative Assembly, and [such] membership in the legislative Assembly [shall] does not prevent [such] the person from being employed by [the State Board of Higher Education] any board or commission established by law to supervise and coordinate the activities of Oregon's post-secondary institutions of education or by a public university as defined by law, or from being a member or employee of a school board.

(2) A person serving as a judge of any court of this state may be employed by the Oregon National Guard for the purpose of performing military service or may be employed by any public university as defined by law for the purpose of teaching, and the employment does not prevent the person from serving as a judge.

SECTION 8a. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Constitution, if the amendment to section 8 of this Article proposed by Senate Joint Resolution 34 (2013) is approved by the people at the general election held on November 4, 2014, the amendment to section 8 of this Article by Senate Joint Resolution 34 (2013) shall not be effective and the amendment to section 8 of this Article proposed by Senate Joint Resolution 203 (2014) shall be effective in lieu thereof.[3]

Background

At the time of SJR 203's passage, Section 10 of Article II the Oregon Constitution stated no one holding a lucrative office or a federal or state appointment could be eligible for a seat in the Oregon Legislative Assembly, and also barred any one person from holding more than one lucrative office as the same time with a few exceptions. The exceptions were for officers in the militia, for which there is attached no annual salary, and the Office of Post Master, where the compensation does not exceed $100 per year. Additionally, the separation of powers clause in Section 1 of Article III had been interpreted by the Oregon Supreme Court as prohibiting state judges from teaching at institutions of public education. Section 8 of Article XV further prohibited persons employed by the State Board of Higher Education, a member of any school board or employee thereof from serving in the Legislative Assembly.[4]

2013 SJR 23

In 2013, the Oregon State Legislature referred to voters Senate Joint Resolution 34, which also related to the hiring of state judges by the National Guard and state public universities as teachers, but did not include the provision for school employees to serve in the state legislature. The measure was sponsored by Sen. Floyd Prozanski (D-4) and Rep. Wally Hicks (R-3). SJR 34 was approved by the Oregon Senate on June 25, 2013. SJR 34 was approved by the Oregon House of Representatives on June 28, 2013.[5]

Senate vote

June 25, 2013 Senate vote

Oregon SJR 34 Senate Vote
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 30 100.00%
No00.00%

House vote

June 28, 2013 House vote

Oregon SJR 34 House Vote
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 36 61.02%
No2339.98%

If it had gone to the ballot and been approved by voters, it would have amended Section 8 to read as follows:[5]

Sec. 8. (1) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 1 article Article III and section 10 article II of the this Constitution of the State of Oregon, a person employed by the State Board of Higher Education, a member of any school board or employee thereof, shall be is eligible to a seat in the Legislative Assembly and such membership in the Legislative Assembly shall does not prevent such person from being employed by the State Board of Higher Education or from being a member or employee of a school board.

(2) A person serving as a judge of any court of this state may be employed by the Oregon National Guard for the purpose of performing military service or may be employed by the State Board of Higher Education for the purpose of teaching, and the employment does not prevent the person from serving as a judge.[3]

In 2014, the legislature passed SJR 203, which rescinded SJR 34, removing it from the 2014 ballot and providing the current version of the amendment to be voted upon.

Support

Supporters

Opposition

Jim Moore, a political science professor at Pacific University, has stated that it is unlikely this measure will have an organized opposition. He also considers it unlikely to attract large spending by supporters.[6]

Path to the ballot

See also: Amending the Oregon Constitution

According to Section 1, Article XVIII of the Oregon Constitution a majority vote of both chambers of the Oregon State Legislature was required to place the amendment proposed by the legislature on the statewide ballot.

In 2014, the legislature passed SJR 203, which rescinded SJR 34, removing it from the 2014 ballot and providing the current version of the amendment to be voted upon. It was passed by the Senate on February 21, 2014 and by the House on February 28, 2014.[7]

Senate vote

June 25, 2013 Senate vote

Oregon SJR 203 Senate Vote
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 29 100.00%
No00.00%

House vote

February 28, 2014 House vote

Oregon SJR 203 House Vote
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 51 87.93%
No712.07%

See also

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References


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