2018 Ballot Measure Endorsements

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Ballot Measures

Measure 102 – Yes for Affordable Housing

Throughout Oregon, rents and housing costs have skyrocketed and people and families are struggling to afford their homes. Too many hard-working Oregonians worry that they are being priced out of their community.

This November, Oregonians can VOTE YES to make it easier for their community to build and preserve homes that are affordable.

Measure 102 would lift the ban that currently exists on government working with non-profits and local businesses to build affordable housing with bond funds.

Here’s why it matters: Housing costs are out of control. The current fair-market rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Oregon is $904. That means that a person needs to earn $21.26 per hour to afford rent and still put food on the table.

As communities work to respond and ensure affordable housing in their communities, this measure can make a difference. Local governments can already ask voters to approve bonds to build affordable housing, and some are considering it. However, many cities don’t have the capacity to implement an affordable housing bond program without this change.

This simple and sensible amendment was referred to voters with strong bi-partisan support from Oregon Legislators.


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Measure 103: Constitutional amendment to prohibit taxes on groceries

Constitutional Amendment 103 is an unprecedented change to Oregon’s constitution that would permanently exempt  a wide range of transactions from any taxes and fees. The constitutional amendment has drawn widespread criticism from small business owners and tax experts who note that it is unnecessary — there is no tax on groceries — and that it  carves risky tax policy into Oregon’s constitution.

Though proponents claim Constitutional Amendment 103 would block taxes on “groceries,” legal analysis shows that it’s misleading and that the measure would apply to far more than just conventional grocery retailers — it would include food processors, slaughterhouses, trucking companies, and restaurants and fast food chains.

Constitutional Amendment 103 is so broadly written that it would also apply to transactions such as Oregon’s bottle deposit fee, fuel tax, and restaurant meals. The constitutional amendment is also retroactive in nature, so the measure would repeal parts of two provider assessments approved in early 2018 to fund Medicaid for low-income families, children, and seniors.

Despite how broadly the measure was written, proponents have also acknowledged that Constitutional Amendment 103 fails to exempt many of the basic necessities that Oregon families rely on, including medicine, diapers, and feminine hygiene products. No other state has a constitutional amendment like this.


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Measure 104: Constitutional amendment to require three-fifths majority of Legislature to raise taxes or fees

Constitutional Amendment 104 would expand, beyond just taxes, the legislature’s three-fifths supermajority requirement, making it nearly impossible to rein in runaway tax breaks and creating unnecessary gridlock in Salem.

This constitutional amendment would require a three-fifths supermajority to cut wasteful government spending and perks for politicians, and even to modify simple fees like state park and state board of nursing fees. If Constitutional Amendment 104 passes, it will be nearly impossible to cut special interest tax breaks — like those for golf courses and heated pools, and the tax break politicians get for their meals and gas.

Expanding the supermajority requirement would also put funding for essential social services in jeopardy. If this amendment had been in place earlier this year, Oregon would have faced $1 billion in cuts to services like public schools and Medicaid, which means hundreds of thousands of people would have lost their health care.


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Measure 105 threatens the safety of students, educators and is why OSEA urges Oregonians in November to vote NO on Measure 105.

Measure 105 would throw out Oregon’s anti-racial-profiling law, which passed with near-unanimous support more than 30 years ago.

Students and educators in Oregon’s school s shouldn’t have to live in fear of being harassed or having their families torn apart. All Oregonian’s should feel safe when doing basic things like going to school or to work.

Measure 105 would throw out Oregon’s anti-profiling law and could harm students and educators by:

  • Threatening personal safety: ​Unraveling civil rights protections harms every student, every parent, and every educator – it harms every single Oregonian.
  • Increasing stress for students, parents and educators:​ According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Children grow and learn best in a safe environment where they are protected from neglect and from extreme or chronic stress.
  • Making it harder for them to do their jobs. ​Eliminating Oregon’s anti-racial-profiling law impedes a healthy learning environment. For students to succeed, schools must be welcoming places of learning, free from racism, discrimination, and the threat of deportation.

As advocates for students and families, OSEA works to ensure all school campuses are safe places for everyone and urges you to vote NO on Measure 105.


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No Cuts to Care – No on Measure 106

Background: OSEA supports policy that will provide a high quality education to all Oregon students, recognize the critical work our members do and preserve and enhance compensation and benefits.

For OSEA, voting No on Measure 106 is not a pro-life or pro-choice issue. Measure 106, if passed, would make public sector employees ineligible for abortion coverage as part of their public employee benefit plans offered through PEBB or OEBB.

According to the Department of Human Services and Oregon Health Authority, a total of 77,344 women of reproductive age are insured through the Public Employees’ Benefit Board (PEBB) and Oregon Educators Benefits Board (OEBB) as of June 2018. Measure 106 would have a disproportionate effect on educators, nurses, firefighters and thousands of other public service members who would no longer be eligible for abortion coverage as part of their public employee benefits plan.

Many OSEA members qualify for the Oregon Health Plan. Measure 106 would also reduce access to the full range of reproductive health care benefits for members on OHP, and would create significant barriers to receiving high-quality care.

An estimated 250,000 women of reproductive age receive health care through the Oregon Health Plan.

Health benefits are already scrutinized, the last thing we need is to set a dangerous precedent of enabling future cherry-picking of medical procedures covered under our public health plans. To ensure no cuts to care, OSEA urges you to vote No on Measure 106.


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Local bonds and levies

Ashland Chapter 42 — Bond Levy
Ashland Chapter 42 is contributing $350 to support the Ashland School District’s $109 million general obligation bond. If approved, the measure will allow the district to finance capital costs, such as replacing, upgrading or providing new HVAC and utility systems; renovating or replacing aging schools; strengthening schools against earthquakes; and increasing accessibility to schools for people with disabilities. The projected levy rate is estimated to be at or below $2 per $1,000 of taxable assessed value.

Astoria Chapter 72 — Bond Levy
Thanks to ELAF, Astoria Chapter 72 has contributed $2,500 to the Yes for Astoria Students campaign. The campaign is asking voters for up to $70 million in bonds to finance a five-year, $75 million school improvement plan focused on school security, modernizing learning areas and improving building systems. If the bond measure passes, the district will receive a $4 million matching grant from the state and the remainder of the improvements would be funded by an estimated $1 million in interest earnings from the bonds. The highest priority is a $44.9 million modernization of Astoria Middle School.

Baker Chapter 20 — Bond Levy
Baker Chapter 20 has contributed $5,000 to help pass the school district’s $48 million capital construction bond measure. If voters approve the bond, homeowners would pay an estimated $1.97 per $1,000 of assessed value to build a new elementary school and move seventh and eighth graders to Baker High School. The district will also receive another $4 million in state matching grant funds if the measure is passed.

North Clackamas Chapter 71 — Local Option Levy
The North Clackamas School District is facing a severe budget shortfall and, unless it passes its local option levy, will need to eliminate 170 teaching positions and cut 34 school days, or a combination of the two. Under Oregon property tax law, a local option levy measure is the one tool districts can use to raise additional funds for local school operation. The local option levy on this year’s ballot is projected to raise $97 million over five years and would cost individual taxpayers up to $1.63 per $1,000 assessed property value. North Clackamas Chapter 71 was able to contribute $25,000 in ELAF money to support the local option levy campaign.

Tigard-Tualatin Chapter 51 — Local Option Levy Renewal
The Tigard-Tualatin School District can preserve funding for nearly 100 teaching positions and maintain current class sizes if it renews its current local option levy, which was originally approved by voters in 2000 and renewed in 2004, 2008 and 2014. If renewed again, the local option levy will maintain the existing levy rate ($1 per $1,000 of assessed value) and raise an estimated $50 million over five years. Tigard-Tualatin Chapter 51 has contributed $1,000 in ELAF money to support the local option levy renewal.

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