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Oregon Veteran Home Loans Expansion, Measure 70 (2010)

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Oregon Veteran Home Loans Expansion, Measure 70, appeared on the November 2, 2010 statewide ballot in Oregon as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment where it was approved.[1]

The proposal called for expanding the availability of home loans for veterans through the Oregon War Veterans' Fund.[2]

Election results

See also: 2010 ballot measure election results
Oregon Measure 70 (Veteran Home Loans)
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 1,180,933 84.44%
No217,67915.56%
Election results from Oregon Blue Book website.

Text of measure

Title

Amends Constitution: Expands Availability Of Home Ownership Loans For Oregon Veterans Through Oregon War Veterans' Fund.[3]

Result of “yes” vote: “Yes” vote extends home loan program for Oregon veterans to lifetime benefit and increases eligibility for non-combat veterans, National Guard veterans and veterans who served after 9/11.[4]

Result of “no” vote: “No” vote retains current law: Some combat veterans who completed service within past 30 years are eligible for loans; other veterans honorably discharged and some National Guard veterans remain ineligible.[4]

Summary

According to the Secretary of State, the summary read as follows:[4]

The Oregon Constitution currently provides that Oregon combat veterans may receive low-interest home loans from the Oregon War Veterans’ Fund. Veterans must have received an honorable discharge and must have served for more than 210 consecutive days or been released because of injury or disability. Veterans must apply for loans within 30 years after release from service and must show ability to repay the loans. This measure amends the Oregon Constitution to make loans available to more veterans, including National Guard veterans, others who have honorably served overseas and veterans who have not seen combat. This measure would make low-interest home loans a lifetime benefit and would increase the number of honorably discharged veterans and surviving spouses who are eligible for the low-interest loan program.

Financial impact

The financial impact, according to the Secretary of State's office:[4]

There is no direct financial effect on either state or local government expenditures or revenues.

Support

Rep. Paul Holvey co-sponsored the issue after he was contacted by Robert Bushman, an Oregon veteran, who was denied a home loan benefit in 2008. Bushman served 30 years in the U.S. Air Force Reserve and had enough active duty to qualify, however, as required by the state constitution Bushman didn't serve 210 consecutive days. "I'm sure at the time we were thinking those definitions were a good thing, but they ended up being discriminatory. We're making sure that we do not continue down the road of having restrictive requirements on benefits because of an inadequate definition...," said Holvey.[5]

Tom Owen, president of the Oregon State Council of Vietnam Veterans of America, said, "Everyone who hears about this throws a fit," Owen said. "Guys that are at their greatest earning capability now and can most afford to do it have now been out too long to qualify for the loan. After 30 years, are you no longer a veteran?"[5]

Tom Mann, spokesperson of the Oregon Department of Veteran Affairs, said the measure was "win-win" for veterans and the program. "Veterans get low interest loans and we can help them reach their housing dream. And OVA, we have a strong growing program that provides housing benefits," said Mann.[5]

Opposition

According to reports, there was no organized opposition to Measure 70.

Media editorial positions

Main article: Endorsements of Oregon ballot measures, 2010

Support

  • The Oregonian supported Measure 70. The editorial board said, "In a word, passage of Measure 70 means that more Vietnam veterans and more National Guard veterans of the current wars will be eligible to receive the loans...It costs nothing and could benefit more Oregon veterans. It's an easy call. Yes."[6]
  • The Mail Tribune supported the proposed measure. In an editorial, the board wrote, "Measure 70 changes the length-of-service requirement to 178 consecutive days and eliminates the 30-year cutoff for applications, making this a lifetime benefit. Applicants still must show they can repay the loan. This measure has no effect on the state budget because the loans are repaid. It extends a valuable benefit to those who served their country. We recommend a yes vote."[7]
  • The Register-Guard supported Measure 70: "The self-funding OREVET program has assisted thousands of veterans since the end of World War II, promotes home ownership and provides a boost to the construction industry at no cost to taxpayers."[8]
  • The Daily Astorian supported Measure 70. "If the measure passes, a veteran would qualify if he or she served honorably and satisfies other loan requirements or is a qualifying veteran's spouse living in Oregon. Gone would be the 210-day consecutive-service requirement and a condition that the loan application be filed within 30 years of discharge," said the editorial board.[9]
  • The Oregon Daily Emerald supported Measure 70. "The measure will increase home ownership and boost the construction industry without increasing taxes or changing state revenue. With the current housing slump and as a way of thanking Oregon's 341,000 veterans for their service, voting yes on Measure 70 is a good move," said the editorial board.[10]
  • The Wallowa County Chieftain supported Measure 70. The editorial board said, "If the measure passes, a veteran would qualify if he or she served honorably and satisfies other loan requirements or is a qualifying veteran's spouse living in Oregon. Gone would be the 210-day consecutive-service requirement and a condition that the loan application be filed within 30 days of discharge."[11]

Polls

See also: Polls, 2010 ballot measures
  • A poll conducted August 18-21, 2010 by Grove Insight revealed that 71% of polled voters favored the proposed measure, while 12% were opposed and 17% were undecided. The poll's margin of error was plus or minus 4.0 percentage points. A total of 600 registered Oregon voters were polled.[12][13]
Legend

     Position is ahead and at or over 50%     Position is ahead or tied, but under 50%

Date of Poll Pollster In favor Opposed Undecided Number polled
August 18-21, 2010 Grove Insight 71% 12% 17% 600

Path to the ballot

See also: Oregon legislatively-referred constitutional amendment laws

According to Section 1, Article XVIII of the Oregon Constitution, state law required 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

News Articles

External links

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