From The Hillsboro Argus:

A panel of citizens have issued their verdict on Measure 58.

Their recommendation: Reject it. Measure 58 would limit the number of years non-native students may be taught in the language of their birth: one year for elementary students, two for those in high school.

The evaluation came as the result of a demonstration Citizens’ Initiative Review project from Healthy Democracy Oregon. This group has proposed state legislation that would convene panels, carefully selected to represent a cross-section of the state’s voters, to review statewide ballot initiatives before general elections. Their evaluation criteria, according to the Web site, is to determine whether a measure will really do what its supporters claim it will and whether it actually provides a good solution to a statewide problem.

During five days the 23 panelists who participated in this test heard speakers from both sides of the measure, including its author, Bill Sizemore. They asked questions and then deliberated. Of the 23, nine members decided the measure was a good idea. The project’s goal is to provide voters with more balanced information than the yes-no statements in voters pamphlets. This strikes us as a good idea, good for democracy and deserving of backing.