The 2019 legislative session has ended and we celebrate for democracy in Oregon (not because it ended, but because some good legislation was enacted). Now we look forward to the Nov 2020 ballot and the 2021 legislative session.
Oregon is only one of 4 states with no limits on money in politics. Well, we actually do have limits; they just are not enforced due to various OR Supreme Court decisions declaring that, because of our "strong" free speech protection in the OR Constitution, they cannot be enforced. Oregon citizen advocates were able to pressure OR legislators to refer to voters a ballot measure (SJR18) to amend the OR constitution to allow limits on campaign contribution. This will be on the ballot in Nov 2020. Watch for news of the campaign to support and get this enacted.
Click here to see the history of votes on this legislation.
And scroll down this page for ACTIONS you can take now.
But something important did not make it though the 2019 legislature; We will try again in 2021.
Public funds for candidates for state office. Small Donor Elections legislation (SB1014) would have established a program to provide public matching funds on a 6-1 ratio to candidates for State Representative or State Senator who choose to participate in the program. Those participating candidates would have been required to limit to amount of private contributions you could receive in exchange to having public funds for their campaigns. Each limited private contribution up to $250 would have been matched on a 6-1 basis. This legislation died in committee with the end of the session.
Vote YES in Nov 2020 - Amend OR Constitution to End Gerrymandering in Portland
At this point (July 2020) we don't know if this will be on the ballot in Nov 2020 or not, but signs are looking good.
This measure will replace the current system of redrawing political boundaries in Oregon by the legislature to a 12 member citizens committee, composed of 4 Democrats, 4 Republicans, and 4 individuals not associated with either of the two major parties; thereby allowing individuals who are either not registered with a major party or who are registered with a minor party to be part of deciding how political boundaries are drawn. That process currently excludes those groups because the redrawing decisions are made by the legislature which contains not a single non-affiliated voter or minor party member.
More information is available on the campaign website here.