Oregon Government Branches Amendment, Measure 78 (2012)

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Type:Constitutional amendment
Constitution:Oregon Constitution
Referred by:Oregon Legislature
Topic:Admin of gov't
The Oregon Government Branches Amendment, Measure 78, was on the November 6, 2012 statewide ballot as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was approved.

The measure changed the terminology in the state Constitution for the three state government branches.

Election results

See also: 2012 ballot measure election results
Oregon Measure 78
Approveda Yes 1,165,963 71.89%
Official results from the Oregon Secretary of State.

Text of measure

The official ballot title was:[1]

Amends Constitution: Changes constitutional language describing governmental system of separation of powers; makes grammatical and spelling changes

Result of "Yes" Vote: "Yes" vote changes constitutional language describing separation of powers to refer to three "branches" (instead of three "departments") of government; makes other grammatical, spelling changes.

Result of "No" Vote: "No" vote retains existing constitutional language describing separation of powers between three "departments" of government (rather than three "branches" of government); retains misspelled, other language.

Summary: Amends constitution. Measure makes nonsubstantive changes to wording now contained in the Oregon constitution. Current state constitutional language describes the governmental separation of powers to be divided into three separate "departments": Legislative, Executive (including Administrative), and Judicial. Measure revises this constitutional phrasing by changing it to refer to three separate "branches" of government, which conforms to more contemporary, commonly‐used designations for these separate divisions of government. Measure changes the description of the two houses of the Legislature to two "chambers" of the Legislature (rather than two "branches" of the Legislature), which also reflects more modern designations for them. Measure additionally modernizes spelling and makes grammatical changes to replace existing references to the Secretary of State as "he," "him," and "his" with gender‐neutral wording.

Estimate of financial impact: The measure will have no financial impact on state or local government revenues or expenditures.


No formal support was identified.


No formal opposition was identified.

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 is required to place the amendment proposed by the legislature on the statewide ballot.

On May 23, 2011 the House voted 49 to 8 in favor of the proposed measure; 4 were excused. The Senate confirmed the referral with a 28-0 vote, with 2 excused, on June 22, 2011. The measure was formally filed with the Secretary of State on June 28, 2011.[2]

See also

External links