Oregon Senate agrees with House; approves independent review commission
By Al Ortiz
SALEM, Oregon: Citizens hoping to place a citizen initiative on any future statewide ballots must take notice of a new addition to state initiative laws, as the Oregon Legislature recently got final approval on a bill directly relating to the process.
On May 23, 2011, the Oregon House of Representatives approved of a proposal that would permanently establish the Citizen Initiative Review Commission, a commission that was created as a result of House Bill 2895 in 2009. The legislation allowed the Secretary of State to have non-profit organizations form citizen panels to review and create official statements on state statutes and amendments to the Oregon Constitution.
On June 1, 2011, the Oregon State Senate followed suit, approving the bill with a vote of 22 to 8, making the legislation a new law in the state, and solidifying the commission's permanence. The pilot program was launched by Healthy Democracy Oregon, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization. The commission reviewed two measures in 2010: Measure 73 and Measure 74. Healthy Democracy Oregon selected citizens to serve on panels that gave reviews on the two measures.
Each review included a Citizen's statement that had a shared agreement statement from the entire panel in addition to pros and cons to each measure.
- Oregon Live, "House Bill 2895 (2009 Session)"
- Healthy Democracy Oregon, "The 2010 Citizens’ Initiative Review pilot project"
- Oregon Live, "Oregon Senate gives final approval to citizen review of ballot measures," May 24, 2011
- Oregon Legislature, "House Bill 2634," accessed June 2, 2011
- Healthy Democracy Oregon, "Citizens Statement-Measure 73"