Endorsements: Statewide Measures

• Measure 102 Amends Constitution: Allows local bonds for financing affordable housing with nongovernmental entities. Requires voter approval, annual audits. Yes.

Although we respect local voices raised in opposition to 102, we are persuaded to go with the overwhelming support from groups like the Oregon Center for Public Policy, which carefully analyzes issues, the Oregon Housing Alliance, NEDCO, St. Vinnies, unions, businesses, local governments and leaders who, like John VanLandingham, have worked for decades to bring more affordable housing. The lack of affordable housing is a crisis in Oregon. This measure would not solve it, but it would help.

• Measure 103 Amends Constitution: Prohibits taxes/fees based on transactions for “groceries” (defined) enacted or amended after September 2017. No.

Measure 103 is a hot mess — end of story. Maybe you’ve seen the literature (really, just magnets) at Albertson’s or Fred Meyer. It seems to make sense as your grocery store bill adds up. However, just follow the out-of-state organization that supports the measure financially. Costco has thrown in $330,000 and the American Beverage Association (ABA) has donated $1 million to pass it. That’s because the ABA wants to ensure Oregon local governments are unable to pass any sort of soda tax, for example. Just as soda erodes bone and dental health, this measure would erode local sovereignty.

• Measure 104 Amends Constitution: Expands (beyond taxes) application of requirement that a three-fifths legislative majority approve bills raising revenue. No.

Vote no on Measure 104. It’s been supported financially mostly by Realtor organizations — both state and nationwide groups have tossed hundreds of thousands of dollars in the committee that supports the measure. The ballot measure would force a three-fifths majority to pass any legislation that would result in increased revenue to the state. This includes everyday fees that are necessary for Oregonians. It seems like it would force the two parties to come together more often to pass, especially since it would be asking a lot of one political party to seize a three-fifths majority.

However, the more likely reality is that the minority party would hold off on agreeing to raising fees, causing more political gridlock in a city that has hemmed and hawed over passing a climate policy. In the end, this sort of ballot measure should not be decided by the voters because the average voter does not have the time nor the detailed knowledge on tax policy to amend the Oregon Constitution with tighter regulation on legislators.

• Measure 105: Repeals law limiting use of state/local law enforcement resources to enforce federal immigration laws. No.

This is probably wasting newsprint, because it’s obvious Eugene Weekly opposes Measure 105.

Oregonians for Immigration Reform (OFIR), deemed a hate group by the Southern Law Poverty Center, gathered the necessary signatures and here we are: debating whether to repeal a 30-year-old law that was passed with near-unanimous legislative support. At Eugene City Club, OFIR’s communications director Jim Ludwig threw out some wild statements. First of all, he said the U.S. should return to an immigration quota of what was allowed when the country was great in the 1950s. He went on to add that we shouldn’t be worried about the loss of farmworkers in Oregon because farmers are going to turn to automation anyway.

OFIR says we can respect federal laws by repealing the decades-old Oregon law. He paints undocumented immigrants as natural-born criminals who are overpopulating our prison system. However, research conducted in Texas shows that undocumented immigrants commit far fewer crimes than citizens born in the U.S. Encouraging an already-deteriorating relationship between people of color and the police is a problem. Latinos in Springfield have told EW they already have reservations about contacting the police. Repealing this law could strain that relationship even more.

Let’s make Oregon safe for immigrants again. Vote “no” on Measure 105.

• Measure 106 Amends Constitution: Prohibits spending “public funds” (defined) directly/indirectly for “abortion” (defined); exceptions; reduces abortion access. No.

Eugene Weekly talked with Gov. Kate Brown before Measure 106 — then known as Initiative Petition 1 — was officially on the ballot. The measure would strip all public funding from abortion services in Oregon. “Initiative Petition 1 would set a dangerous precedent by cherry-picking which medical procedures public insurance will and won’t cover,” Brown told us. “It would take abortion coverage away from women on the Oregon Health Plan. It would take coverage away from state employees.” Brown said state employees such as teachers, nurses and firefighters would no longer have abortion coverage if the measure passes. EW believes that everyone should have the right to make their own choices in regards to their bodies. That’s why we say vote “no” on Measure 106.

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