PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A ballot measure submitted by a Portland group to address homelessness does not meet the requirement of Oregon’s constitution, said Metro.

According to a letter by Carrie MacLaren, Metro attorney Carrie McLaren to Multnomah County Elections Division Director Tim Scott, People for Portland’s measure to require 75% of $2.5 billion approved by voters to go directly to shelters is unconstitutional. The money was approved about two years ago for Portland metro governments to address homelessness.

The letter states the measure proposes to amend certain “administrative elements” instead of proposing new legislation.

“Because the substance of MetroInt-02 (the ballot measure) is administrative in nature, it is not subject to the initiative process provided by Article IV of the Oregon Constitution,” said MacLaren, in a letter obtained by KOIN 6 News.

An article of Oregon’s constitution also requires for voters to be provided with the full text of the statute as it would appear if amended.

According to the letter, the ballot measure proposes to amend a Metro code chapter by adding specific sections. However, said MacLaren, several of the proposed “new” code section amend existing sections of the Metro Code.

The letter added that those sections are not included or otherwise referenced.

“Without the context of the sections of Metro Code, voters do not have sufficient information to understand the full impacts of MetroInit-02. As a result, MetroInit-02 does not comply with the full text requirement of Article IV of the Oregon constitution,” MacLaren explained.

Metro’s charter also requires that each ordinance include an ordaining clause and further specifies the form of initiated or referred ordinance, which the ballot measure does not include, noted the document.

People for Portland reacted to Metro’s decision with a statement on Twitter.

“Metro today announced that voters don’t have the right to tell Metro what to do with $2.5 billion of the people’s money,” said the group in a tweet. “Metro politicians are attempting to deny democracy and silence voters. They have invented novel legal theories to keep an initiative off the ballot to do what government has failed to do – provide safe shelter for the homeless and end the deadly camping on our streets.”

The group added, “Simply put, it’s not unconstitutional for voters to ask Metro politicians to do their job.”

The statement also said the decision is an attempt by Metro to “force” a court battle that will “cost time and prevents the people from being able to gather signatures in order to qualify this popular measure in time for the November ballot.”

Earlier this month, KOIN 6 News spoke with People for Portland along with several organizations around Portland regarding the ballot measure.

Metro’s decision can be challenged.

It is unclear if the group will challenge the decision or have enough time to draft a new measure for the November ballot.