SOMETHING NEW UNDER THE SUN IS A GREAT IDEA

From The East Oregonian:

Love-hate is a good description of Oregon voters’ relationship with our state’s fabled initiative and referendum. On the one hand, voters are possessive of the ballot initiative. On the other hand, these ballot proposals are notoriously complicated, and their campaigns typically generate more heat than light.

Most statewide ballot proposals are blunt instruments. Typically written by one or two people, these initiatives are not pretested like legislative proposals. There is no hearing process in which the public testifies. Too many initiatives have giant unintended consequences. For instance, Measure 5 of 1990 was ostensibly about limiting property tax, but it also empowered the state Legislature to become Oregon’s school board. In other words, Measure 5 caused the loss of local control.

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