Oregon School Bonds Matching, Measure 68 (May 2010)

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Oregon School Bonds Matching, Measure 68 was on the May 18, 2010 ballot in the state of Oregon as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment where it was approved.[1][2]

The measure proposed allowing state government to issue bonds to match local school district bonds.[3][4][5]

Election results

Measure 68
Approveda Yes 498,073 65.1%
Election results from Oregon Blue Book website

According to Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown the voter turnout exceeded her 37% prediction. The primary election resulted in a 41% voter turnout.[6][7]

Text of measure


The ballot title read as follows:[8]

Revises Constitution: Allows state to issue bonds to match voter approved school district bonds for school capital costs.

Result of "Yes" Vote: “Yes” vote allows state to issue bonds to match voter approved school district bonds for school capital costs. Dedicates lottery funds for matching funds and repayment.

Result of "No" Vote: “No” vote retains current law prohibiting state and restricting local districts from issuing bonds to pay for school capital costs, including acquisition, construction, repair and improvement.


The ballot summary, according to the Oregon Secretary of State's office, said:

This measure would revise the Oregon Constitution to allow voters to approve local district bonds for school capital costs and the state to issue bonds and use the revenue from those bonds to help local school districts pay for capital costs. The Constitution currently limits voters’ ability to approve local district bonds for school capital costs and prevents the state from issuing bonds to help local districts pay for school capital costs. “Capital costs” include costs for acquisition, construction, repair and improvement, but not routine maintenance or supplies. State funds may be used only to match funds approved by voters in local districts. The measure would dedicate 15 percent of state lottery revenues to a “school capital matching fund” to repay state funds provided to districts. State bonds may not be repaid by raising property taxes. Contains other provisions.[8][9]

Financial impact

According to the financial impact statement that appeared on the ballot there is "no financial effect on either state or local government expenditures or revenues."[8]


Weeks before the May 18 election, Oregon teachers unions announced their support for Measure 68 and 69. Oregon Board of Education and Portland School Board member Bobbie Regan said she supported Measure 68 and argued that the proposed measure provided for the possibility of some equity across the state in terms of who can invest in infrastructure.[10]


  • Seaside School District superintendent Doug Dougherty said,"The result of Measure 68 would be to substantially reduce the costs of land, construction, remodeling, and repair to the local taxpayers."[11]
  • Astoria School District superintendent Craig Hoppes said there was no downside to the proposed measure.[11]
  • Gresham-Barlow School District Board voted 6-1 on May 6 to endorse Measure 68. The board's resolution read, in part, that district schools were "facing serious disrepair" and "existing state law severely limits local districts’ ability to fund critical repairs and needed improvements to Oregon’s local school buildings as well as new construction." Measure 68, they argued would "significantly increase the ability of the Gresham-Barlow School District and every school district in Oregon to remodel and modernize schools...ultimately helping to lower local financing costs and to reduce day-to-day operating costs in schools."[12]


The measure was sponsored by Senators Richard Devlin and Floyd Prozanski; and Representatives Dave Hunt, Jules Bailey, Brent Barton, Deborah Boone, Ben Cannon, Michael Dembrow, Chris Edwards, Larry Galizio, Paul Holvey, Bob Jenson, Nick Kahl, Betty Komp, Tobias Read, Chuck Riley, Arnie Roblan, Judy Stiegler, Suzanne VanOrman and Jim Weidner.[13]


According to the state campaign finance database, ORESTAR, the main PACs contributing to the campaign included: Safe and Healthy Schools Committee and School Employees Exercising Democracy (SEED). Account summaries for both campaign committees in 2010 can be viewed below.

Safe & Healthy Schools Committee 2010 summary
Type Dollar amount
Received contributions[14] $16,685.00
Expenditures[14] $12,585.00
Cash balance[14] $4,100.00

Note: Safe and Healthy Schools Committee supported both Measures 68 and 69. The summary posted above includes ALL received contributions, expenditures and total cash balance for 2010 for the committee.

School Employees Exercising Democracy 2010
Type Dollar amount
Received contributions[15] $8,823.45
Expenditures[15] $33,801.93
Cash balance[15] $114,741

Note: SEED Committee supported Measure 68, but also supported Measure 66 and 67. The summary posted above includes ALL received contributions, expenditures and total cash balance for 2010 for the committee.


Measure 68 did not have an organized opposition. However, in a Oregon Public Broadcasting report, Sen. Doug Whitsett said he worried that school districts might make projects too large. Opponents said they worried that Measures 68 and 69 could make the state's financial situation worse than it already was.[16]


  • Sen. Doug Whitsett said he was worried Measure 68 might allow for the state to "max out its credit card easier than it can now. With the state facing huge financial pressures in the next biennium, he is concerned that we may be '…one little disaster away from not having any credit rating at all,'" according to an article by Cascade Policy Institute's founder and senior analyst Steve Buckstein.[17]


According to ORESTAR there were no registered committees in opposition to Measure 68.

Media editorial positions

Main article: Endorsements of Oregon ballot measures, 2010


  • The Oregonian supported Measure 68. The editorial board said,"Measure 68 would make two small but important changes in the constitution to help local districts reverse decades of disrepair at school buildings...Passage of the measure would be helpful to all the Oregon school districts struggling with overcrowding, indoor air pollution, asbestos and other issues in buildings that are in some cases more than 100 years old."[18]
  • Mail Tribune supported Measure 68. In an editorial the board said,"The most important change would allow local school districts to use bond measures to remodel and repair existing buildings. The law now allows bonds only for new construction...The state already is authorized to use bonds to match capital expenditures by Oregon colleges and universities; Measure 68 gives the same benefit to K-12 schools."[19]
  • The Daily Astorian supports Measure 68. In an editorial the board said,"Ballot measures referred by the Oregon Legislature are the least noticed elements on the May ballot. Measures 68 and 69 are relatively benign constitutional amendments...We recommend a 'yes' vote."[20]
  • The Statesman Journal supported Measure 68. In an editorial the board said,"The measure is a responsible approach to confronting Oregon's backlog of dilapidated, potentially unsafe school buildings...Measure 68 makes sense for schools and for taxpayers. The changes it would make in the Oregon Constitution are small but worthwhile."[21][22]
  • The Yakima Valley News-Register supported measures 68 and 69. In an editorial, the board said,"Yes on both Measures 68 and 69: Measure 68 would revise the Oregon Constitution to let voters approve local district bonds for an expanded definition of school capital costs, and for the state to use revenue from the sale of the bonds to help pay for local school capital costs. Measure 69 would continue the state’s authority to use general obligation bonds to finance projects for community colleges and public universities. Neither measure has a financial effect on state or local operating expenditures or revenue."[23]

Path to the ballot

See also: Oregon legislatively-referred constitutional amendment laws

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

See also

Suggest a link


External links

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Additional reading


  1. The Oregonian, "Voters approve Measures 68 and 69," May 18, 2010
  2. Associated Press, "Oregon voters OK ballot measures on school bonds," May 18, 2010
  3. The Dalles Chronicle, "Voters have two statewide measures," April 26, 2010
  4. The Oregonian, "Two school, college bonding measures on Oregon's May primary ballot," May 1, 2010
  5. The Register-Guard, "Measures address school funding," May 3, 2010
  6. Washington Secretary of State: From Our Corner, "Secretary of State Kate Brown Cheers 41 Percent Turnout," accessed May 20, 2010
  7. Washington Secretary of State: From Our Corner, "Frisky Oregonians top 41 percent turnout," May 19, 2010
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 OregonVotes.org, "Measure 68 text," accessed May 4, 2010
  9. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  10. The Oregon Politico, "Teachers unions urge support for education ballot measures," April 30, 2010
  11. 11.0 11.1 The Daily Astorian, "Ballot measures seek to lighten financial load on schools," May 5, 2010
  12. The Outlook Online, "Gresham school board endorses Measure 68," May 7, 2010
  13. Oregon Secretary of State, "HJR 13 full text," accessed March 10, 2010
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 ORESTAR, "Safe and Healthy Schools Committee PAC information," accessed May 6, 2010
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 ORESTAR, "School Employees Exercising Democracy PAC information," accessed May 6, 2010
  16. Oregon Public Broadcasting, "Ballot Measure Would Allow State To Provide Schools Capital Project Funds," April 19, 2010
  17. Oregon Catalyst, "The Downside of Measure 68," May 3, 2010
  18. The Oregonian, "Election 2010: Yes on Measures 68, 69," April 23, 2010
  19. Mail Tribune, "Measures 68 and 69: Yes," April 28, 2010
  20. The Daily Astorian,"'Yes' on measures 68 and 69," May 3, 2010 (timed out)
  21. Statesman Journal, "Measure 68 benefits schools, taxpayers," May 12, 2010
  22. Statesman Journal, "SJ Editorial Board's endorsements," May 12, 2010
  23. News-Register, "Editorial: Ballot measures, state races draw end-of-campaign focus," May 1, 2010