Oregon Ballot Measure 45, Term Limits (2006)

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Oregon Ballot Measure 45 was on the November 7, 2006 ballot in Oregon as an initiated constitutional amendment. It was defeated.[1]

The measure would have prohibited any person from serving more than six years in the Oregon House of Representatives, eight years in the Oregon State Senate, or a total of more than 14 years in the Oregon Legislative Assembly, and included language granting standing to individuals and nonprofit entities in any lawsuit arising from enforcement of its provisions.

Election results

Measure 45
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No788,89558.7%
Yes 555,016 41.3%
Election results from Oregon Blue Book website, accessed December 13, 2013

Text of measure

Ballot title

The official ballot title for Measure 45 was:

Amends Constitution: Limits State Legislators: Six Years as Representative, Eight Years as Senator, Fourteen Years in Legislature[2][3]

Summary

The official ballot summary was:

Amends Constitution. Existing law does not limit the number of years or terms that a person may serve in the Oregon legislature. This measure provides that no person shall serve more than six years in the House of Representatives, eight years in the Senate, and no more than a total of 14 years in the Oregon legislature. Includes all years of legislative service before measure's effective date, but legislators duly elected on or before January 1, 2007, shall be allowed to complete their terms of office. Prohibits current legislators from seeking re-election if service will cause that person to exceed limits. Measure confers standing to enforce limits on all persons residing in Oregon and nonprofit business entities doing business in Oregon. Severability provision. Other provisions.[4][3]

Financial impact

The official estimated financial impact statement was:

There is no financial effect on state or local government expenditures or revenues.[4][3]

Full text

The full text of the constitutional amendment proposed by Measure 45 was:

WHEREAS: Limiting the terms of legislators expands opportunities for public service, reduces the influence of lobbyists and the power of incumbency in elections, and encourages fresh energy and ideas through varied public representation, and;

WHEREAS: The People of Oregon overwhelmingly approved term limits with 70% of the vote in 1992, but those term limits were overturned in 2000 under a legal technicality;

THEREFORE:

The following amendment shall be added to the Oregon Constitution:

No person shall serve more than six years in the Oregon House of Representatives, eight years in the Oregon Senate, or more than a total of fourteen years in the Legislative Assembly. Accordingly, no person shall be placed upon a ballot for an elected office or appointed to such office, if being elected or appointed could cause that person to exceed these limits.

These limits shall include all previous years of service in the Legislative Assembly. Notwithstanding, any person duly elected or appointed to an office in the Legislative Assembly on or before January 1, 2007 shall be allowed to finish that specific term of office.

If any part of this amendment is held to be invalid for any reason, then the remaining parts shall not be affected but shall remain in full force and effect. Any person residing in Oregon or nonprofit business entity doing business in Oregon shall have standing to enforce this amendment.[5][3]

Background

In 2002, the Oregon Supreme Court struck down, on procedural grounds, similar term limits, which had been enacted by passage of Oregon Ballot Measure 3 (1992) and had passed by a more than 2-to-1 margin.

Support

Of the $1.25 million spent in support of Measure 45, a majority came from U.S. Term Limits.

Opposition

The $85,000 raised to oppose Measure 45 came from Oregon-based lobbyists and labor groups.

Press reaction

Newspaper editorial boards in initiative states for the most part object to term limits. There was no exception to that in Oregon in 2006.

The Oregonian, the state's main newspapers, came out swinging against the measure, urging voters to reject the measure in two separate editorials.[6][7]

The Salem Statesman Journal urged readers "not to be fooled again by the lure of term limits"[8] and the Eugene Register-Guard was equally determined that voters reject the measure.[9]

Campaign finance

Support

Donors to the campaign for the measure:[10]

  • Restore Oregons Term Limits Committee: $2,035,844
  • Rainy Day Amendment Committee: $1,308,224
  • Total: $3,344,068

Opposition

Donors to the campaign against the measure:

  • Oregonians for Voter Choice: $404,253
  • School Employees Exercising Democracy: $352,398
  • Nurses United PAC: $314,430
  • Elections Are Term Limits: $192,403
  • Oregon Public Employees Union PAC: $76,962
  • Parents Education Association PAC: $34,154
  • International Union of Operating Engineers Local 701 PAC: $718
  • Total: $1,375,319
  • Overall Total: $4,719,387

See also

External links

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