My Votes 2016, Part Two – Ballot Measures


State Measures:

Measure 94
This measure, if it passes, repeals a mandatory retirement age for judges. I’m voting for this one; the current law seems like age-based discrimination.

Measure 95
Allow investments in equities by public universities blah blah blah.
A technical fix – I voted yes.

Measure 96
Dedicates 1.5% of state lottery funds to Oregon Veteran’s support services.
I voted yes. I’m not in love with how much we depend on lottery funds (and this money comes out of other priorities, probably the state economic development fund), but this is important enough for me to put my reluctance aside.

Measure 97
Increases corporate tax rates for companies with sales exceeding $25 million, with money going to education, senior services, and health care.
Yes, yes, a million times yes. Oregon’s budget needs more income, and this may be the least bad way to get that income.

Measure 98
Sydney is arguing to me, very passionately, that this is a bad measure I should vote against. “Think of the children” she whispers, at my side, literally as I’m typing this. It’s a bit creepy. Now she’s giving me the finger.

(“I have good reason to,” she opines.)

After listening to Sydney and other housemates, and reading up on it, I’m voting “No.” I really like the idea behind this measure – more funding for dropout-prevention and career training in Portland high schools. But it’s a large unfunded mandate, and especially since we don’t know if measure 97 will pass, that could be dangerous. This is also an exceptionally long and complicated law, and Charles argues (persuasively, I think) that laws like that are better written by the legislature, not by outside groups.

Measure 99
Creates an “outdoor school education fund,” funded by 4% of state lottery proceeds. I’m voting “No” on this one. I’m not convinced outdoor school is that important, or that there aren’t better uses for the funds.

Measure 100
A measure to protect some endangered species by making it illegal to sell their parts. I’m voting yes.

County Measures:

Measure 26-181
Extends term limits for Multnomah County elected officials, from two terms (8 years) to three (12 years). I’m against term limits, so I’ll vote yes.

Measure 26-182
Allows Multnomah County commissioners to run for Chair of that group without having to resign their current position. I voted yes.

Measure 26-183
Changes sheriff from an elected position to an appointed department head, beginning in 2019. The sheriff would be appointed by the County Chair (see previous measure). Multnomah County has had a string of disastrous sheriffs (the last two or three in a row had to resign); I’m ready to give something else a try. Being able to hire from a national candidate pool, rather than being limited to local options, could be an advantage. Also, as the Oregonian points out, this change could make it harder for the Sheriff to refuse to share information with the public. I’m voting yes.

Measure 26-184.
This is a campaign finance reform, aimed at the county level. The point of the measure, I’m told, is partly to create a test case aimed at creating more legal space for campaign finance limits in Oregon. I’m voting yes.

Measure 26-185
As far as I can tell, this is a technical measure, involving the Office of Citizen Involvement for Multnomah County in picking the members of the once-every-six-years charter review committee, and oh God I may fall asleep before I manage to vote yes.

City of Portland and Metro Measures

Measure 26-179
Raises property taxes (by about $75 a year for a homeowner with a $180,000 home) in order to fund affordable housing. Portland is in a rent crisis; increasingly it’s not possible for people with low incomes to live here. I’m enthusiastically voting yes on this.

Measure 26-180
Taxes recreational pot 3% and puts the money towards various causes, including drug rehab programs, police, and support for local businesses (especially female and POC owned businesses). I’d rather see the money go into the general fund, and I’m not at all sure about earmarking more money for police. Nonetheless, I think the bad outweighs the good, so I’m voting yes.

Measure 26-178
This renews an already-existing property tax levy that’s used to pay for environmental protection, water quality, and the like. It’s about $20 a year for a homeowner with a $200,000 home. I’m voting yes.

And… DONE! Phew.


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4 Responses to My Votes 2016, Part Two – Ballot Measures

  1. 1
    Harlequin says:

    What a beautiful cat!

  2. 2
    Jake Squid says:

    I’m with you on most of the measures. I did, however, vote “YES” on 98 & 99.

    Yes on 98 because I’m for its goals and unfunded mandates are about the only thing that passes in Oregon. I may have been mistaken on that one.

    Yes on 99 because school variations/options are good things and lottery money.

    Measure 26-180 was, I think, the only measure I voted against. I’m really against the scam that is current day drug rehab and I don’t think the Portland Police Department needs more money (that isn’t going towards raising salaries). For me that outweighs the possibility that the money for local business will actually be put to good use.

    For the property tax measures it’s important to note that due to Idiot Measure 5 and Other Idiot Measure 47 and Final Nail in the Coffin Idiot Measure 50 ( ), home values around the city are screwed. Somebody with a $180k house built in 1998 is probably paying more in property taxes than my 1913, $600k RMV home assessed at $66k. So I can always be for raising property taxes secure in the knowledge that its impact on me will be minimal. I’m always concerned about the financial effect on those who earn significantly less than I do, yet have a house taxed at a higher rate than mine. I really find the property tax system to be problematic but I don’t have any solutions to the issues I have with them.

  3. 3
    RonF says:

    “Measure 96
    Dedicates 1.5% of state lottery funds to Oregon Veteran’s support services.”

    In Illinois the State Lottery was sold to the public as “We’ll use the money to fund education!” And they did – the money went to education. However, the money from other sources that HAD been going to education was simply re-directed to other uses, so there was in fact no net gain to educational funding. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Oregon Legislature runs the same scam.

    “Measure 99
    Creates an “outdoor school education fund,” funded by 4% of state lottery proceeds. I’m voting “No” on this one. I’m not convinced outdoor school is that important, or that there aren’t better uses for the funds.”

    If “outdoor school education fund” means “Get the kids away from their screens and highly adult-controlled soccer fields and into the woods”, I’d say I think it’s a great way to spend money. The best way to get kids to pay attention to environmental issues is to get them out in the environment and let them see first hand what it’s all about. My experiences with randomly meeting some of my old Scouts 10, 15 or even 20 years after they’ve left the Troop (I’ve been doing this for 24 years now) are that it’s astonishing what kind of impact this kind of thing has on their lives and attitudes.

  4. 4
    Ruchama says:

    One of my new coworkers just moved to the US from Canada. He and his wife were stunned when I showed them my full page of handwritten notes that I’m going to take with me when I go to vote, so that I’ll know who to vote for on all 29 of the races where I can vote. (It was a bit of a surprise to me, too — like, County Recorder? Why is this a job that gets voted on? Ohio seems to have a lot more elected positions than any other state I’ve lived in.)