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LWVOR Positions on Ballot Measures General Election 2018

League advocacy and impartial stances

The League has a strong advocacy legacy. We are urged to persist in being the voice that defends and advocates for the positions we’ve worked so hard on. We need to strongly assert our voices in support of our rigorous protocol for studies, member consensus and position adoption. It will be new information for some people. Please continue to explain and share this message.

Candidates and campaigns widely understand the League’s well-established practice of not supporting or opposing candidates or political parties. Unfortunately, many feel partisan ownership of their positions and see our positions as similarly partisan. Some feel “If you aren’t with us, you’re against us.” Our positions are based on our in-depth, researched League studies, locally, at the state level, and nationally. We welcome you to read them!

A reminder...
The League never supports or opposes any candidate or political party. We sometimes take positions on issues.

Measure 102 – the LWVOR Board endorsed a Yes vote

LWVUS Position: Government at all levels must make available sufficient funds for housing-assistance programs.

When families or individuals cannot afford decent housing, government should provide assistance in the form of income and/or subsidized housing.

Government programs providing subsidies to the building, financing and insuring industries for housing for lower-income families should be evaluated in terms of units produced rather than in terms of benefits accruing to these industries.

Ballot Title: Amends Constitution:  Allows local bonds for financing affordable housing with nongovernmental entities.  Requires voter approval, annual audits.

LWVOR recommends support of this referral from the legislature.  Housing for low income people is difficult to find.  Homelessness is an increasing problem.  This measure will allow local jurisdictions to partner with non-governmental entities to help pay for housing through the sale of bonds.

Metro Housing Bond Measure – on behalf of the Washington County Unit, the LWVOR Board endorsed a Yes vote

This is consistent with LWVOR’s endorsement of Measure 102, the referral from the Legislature that allows bonding for housing.  The Metro Housing Bond would allow money to go to Washington, Multnomah and Clackamas Counties for affordable housing.  The two county Leagues and the one state unit in these counties have voted to support this bond measure. If Measure 102 passes, then monies raised with this Metro measure could be used in partnership with nongovernmental entities, allowing the money to go farther.

Measure 103 – the LWVOR Board endorsed a No vote

LWVOR Position: Evaluating Taxes. The League of Women Voters of Oregon believes any tax proposal should be evaluated with regard to its effect on the entire tax structure. The League supports the following criteria for evaluating taxes and tax systems.

  1. A tax system that is based on ability to pay, but that applies a benefits-received principle wherever reasonable and that recognizes the role of social expediency;
  2. A tax system that is equitable, adequate, stable, easy to administer and as simple as possible;
  3. A tax system that takes into account the taxes levied by all levels of government covering the same tax base; Ballot Measures
  4. A tax system that is flexible enough to adjust to social and economic changes (e.g., population shifts, development of new industry, demands for more services and changes in business cycles);
  5. A tax system that recognizes the individual’s responsibility for government services by providing for broad sharing of the tax burden.

Ballot Title: Amends Constitution: Prohibits taxes/fees based on transactions for “groceries” (defined) enacted or amended after September 2017.

The LWVOR opposes this measure because it does not share the tax burden.  An entire segment of business would be exempted from paying any taxes if a sales tax were to be enacted.  It would also result in revenue loss from businesses involved in any aspect of groceries.

Measure 104 – the LWVOR Board endorsed a No vote

LWVOR Position: A tax limitation is justified if it provides safeguards in the regulation of state and local services and economy. A limitation is not desirable if it prevents provision of services, disrupts government functioning, inhibits progress or results in loss of local control.

Ballot Title: Amends Constitution: Expands (beyond taxes) application of requirement that three-fifths legislative majority approve bills raising revenue.

The LWVOR opposes this measure.  The measure is about fees, tax credits and any other measures that could be construed as raising revenue.  Fees are vital to the funding of many state agencies.  An agency would have to get a 3/5ths majority from the Legislature to raise any fees for services or adjust credits that might be construed as raising revenue.  The legislature currently approves fee increases or retroactively acknowledges fees that agencies are allowed to raise between sessions.  BUT only a majority vote is required.  Without fees, many state agencies would not be able to provide the services that they are supposed to be providing.

Measure 105 – the LWVOR Board endorsed a No vote

LWVUS Position: The League supports due process for all persons, including the right to a fair hearing, right to counsel, right of appeal and right to humane treatment.

The League of Women Voters believes that immigration policies should promote reunification of immediate families; meet the economic, business and employment needs of the United States; and be responsive to those facing political persecution or humanitarian crises. Provision should also be made for qualified persons to enter the United States on student visas. All persons should receive fair treatment under the law.

Ballot Title: Repeals law limiting use of state/local law enforcement resources to enforce federal immigration laws.

This measure repeals the law limiting use of state/local law enforcement resources to enforce federal immigration laws – The LWVOR opposes this ballot measure.  Local governments should not have to aid the federal government in arresting immigrants without there being a warrant or valid order for such an arrest.  The law that this measure seeks to overturn has been in effect since the 1980’s.

Measure 106 – the LWVOR Board endorsed a No vote

LWVUS Position: Every U.S. resident should have access to affordable, quality health care, including birth control and the privacy to make reproductive choices.

Ballot Title: Amends Constitution: Prohibits spending “public funds” (defined) directly/indirectly for “abortion” (defined); exceptions; reduces abortion access.

The LWVOR opposes this ballot measure because this law would not only impact services to women on the Oregon Health Plan but would also take away the coverage that employees of the State of Oregon now have for abortion services.

Note from researcher to Voters’ Guide proofreaders:
The SOS Financial Impact Committee did the $4.8M calculation. The state spends $2.9 million for abortions annually. If the measure passes, the state will save that amount. But it is anticipated the measure will result expenditure increase of $22.2 million in state government expenditures resulting from an estimated increase in births and corresponding utilization of health care, food, and nutrition services provided by state government program. So the net increase is $19.3 million.

The initiative is also expected to increase annual federal revenue received by state government by $14.5 million to support the additional health care, food, and nutrition services.  The $14.5 million would help  offset $19.3 million, leaving the state with $4.8 million in increased expenditures.