PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Four statewide measures are up for vote on Oregon’s November 2022 ballot, three of which would amend the state’s constitution.
The measures range from establishing the right to affordable health care access, outlawing slavery as a punishment for crime, punishing lawmakers for unexcused absences and the creation of new gun regulations.
Measure 111 would establish the right to affordable health care access in Oregon’s Constitution “to ensure that every resident in Oregon has access to cost-effective, clinically appropriate and affordable health care as a fundamental right,” according to the measure text.
The measure does not specify how the state must implement affordable health care and does not allocate any funding but says “the state must balance this obligation with its other obligations to fund public schools and other essential public services.”
The measure also states that if a lawsuit is filed against the state to enforce the measure “a court could not interfere with the way the state balances its obligation to fund health care with the public interest in funding public schools and other essential public services,” according to the measure text.
As the measure would establish a right in the state’s constitution, the state’s Financial Estimate Committee says “the measure does not require additional state government revenues or expenditures. The impact of the measure will depend on future legislative action to establish additional health benefits and determine how they will be paid for.”
Measure 112 would amend the state’s constitution to no longer allow slavery or involuntary servitude as a punishment for crime.
While the Oregon Constitution already prohibits slavery and involuntary servitude, the state constitution currently permits slavery and involuntary servitude as a punishment for crime.
This measure would “work in tandem with Section 41 of the Oregon Constitution, which establishes work requirements for adults in custody,” according to the measure text. It would also allow “a court, probation agency or parole agency to order a person convicted of a crime to engage in education, counseling, treatment, community service or other alternatives to incarceration, as part of a sentencing for the crime.”
The measure also explains that these incarceration alternatives “must be in line with programs that historically, or in the future, provide accountability, reformation, protection of society or rehabilitation.”
According to the FEC, the financial impact of this measure is also indeterminate as the measure amends the constitution.
Measure 113 would amend the state constitution to disqualify lawmakers with 10 floor session unexcused absences from holding the next term of office.
“The measure deems the failure to attend without excuse to be disorderly behavior and disqualifies the legislator from holding office after the legislator’s current term ends,” the measure states. Additionally, the measure says a candidate may still run for office in the next primary and general elections and win but cannot hold office because of the ten unexcused absences.
Currently, the Oregon Constitution requires two-thirds of all Senate or House of Representatives to be present to conduct legislative business such as voting on or debating a bill.
Lawmakers from both Republican and Democratic parties have used the tactic of not showing up on the floor of the State Capitol for voting when they are trying to block a vote on a bill.
The ballot measure comes after state Republicans, who are in the minority, have walked out in protest to block votes on bills in the past few years including a bill capping greenhouse gas emissions and gun control.
Measure 114 would reform state gun laws by requiring Oregonians to get a permit before obtaining firearms, would require a state police-maintained permit/firearm database and prohibits “large capacity” ammunition magazines.
Under Measure 114, Oregonians would have to undergo safety training on storage, firearm abuse prevention, hands-on training and pass a background check to obtain a permit. Permits, which would be valid for five years, must be obtained to get firearms from a gun dealer, private individual or at a gun show. Under Measure 114, a permit may be denied if the applicant “poses a danger to self or others.”
According to the measure text, the state currently does not require permits to obtain firearms. It also states that while background checks are currently required, after three days, firearms can be sold or transferred before the background check is complete.
The measure would also create an appeals process for permits that are denied, revoked or not renewed. Additionally, the sale or transfer of a firearm to a person without a permit would be a Class A misdemeanor however “possessing a firearm without a permit is not itself a crime,” according to the measure text.
The measure includes exceptions to the misdemeanor offense for law enforcement and military personnel performing their duties. Additional exceptions would apply for those who own or inherit large-capacity magazines used on the owner’s property, shooting on ranges or in competitions.
Measure 114 would also require state police to maintain an “electronically searchable database of permits.” State police would also be required to report “statistical permit data; may report other information to ensure permit process administered in ‘consistent and equitable manner.'”
Lastly, Measure 114 would regulate “large-capacity magazines” which the measure describes as “fixed/detachable magazines (or functional equivalent) that can accept ‘more than 10 rounds of ammunition and allows a shooter to keep firing without having to pause to reload.’” The measure also includes exceptions for “’lever-action’ firearms and permanently altered fixed magazines, 10 rounds or fewer.”