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Oregon 2008 General Election Ballot Measures


Measure 54 - Amends Constitution: Standardizes Voting Eligibility for School Board Elections with other State and Local Elections

Summary: Amends the Constitution by repealing section 6, Article VIII, and amending section 2, Article II. By doing this, it ensures that the state's requirements for voting in school elections do not violate federal law and the U.S. Constitution. The repealed section required citizens to be 21 years old, which is in direct violation of the U.S. Constitution, which sets the age limit at 18.

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Measure 55 - Amends Constitution: Changes Operative Date of Redistricting Plans; Allows Affected Legislators to Finish Term in Original District

Summary: The Constitution requires legislative redistricting every 10 years after the census. Currently, state redistricting plans go into effective during some legislators terms in office causing them to be assigned new districts mid-term. This admendment would allow that in the future, redistricting plans would not go into effect until the first day of the next regular legislative session after the plan has been developed. This allows most legislators to continue serving in the districts from which they were elected. There will be some state senators that would be assigned to a new district for the last two years of their term.

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Measure 56 - Amends Constitution: Provides that May and November Property Tax Elections are Decided by Majority of Voters Voting

Summary:This measure creates a new section to be added to Aritlce XI of the Constitution. It eliminates voter turnout requirements for property tax elections held in May and November. The current requirements are that at least 50 percent of qualified voters must vote, and a majority of those voters must approve the measure, in order to pass a local property tax measure. Property tax elections held in any other month besides May and November would still be subject to the current requirements.

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Measure 57 - Increases Sentences for Drug Trafficking; Theft Against Elderly and Specified Repeat Property and Identity Theft Crimes; Requires Addiction Treatment for Certain Offenders

Summary: This measure would increase sentences as follows: drug trafficking would be 34-139 months, depending on the quantity of drugs and criminal history;theft against elderly would be 16-45 months, depending on criminal history; repeat offenses of property and identity theft crimes would be 18-30 months or 24-36 months, depending on seriousness of crime and number of past convictions. This measure is being offered as an alternative to Measure 61, also appearing on the ballot.

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Measure 58 - Prohibits Teaching Public School Student in Language other than English for More than Two Years

Summary:Amends Oregon Revised Statutes to require English immersion in public schools. Under this measure, non-English speaking students that enter the school system at the kindergarten through fourth grade level will be limited to one year of English immersion classes;those entering at the fifth through eighth grade levels can have one and a half years of English immersion; and those entering in the ninth through twelfth grade levels will be limited to two years of English immersion. Also has provisions for those already enrolled in an ESL program on the effective date of this Act.

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Measure 59 - Creates an Unlimited Deduction for Federal Income Taxes on Individual Taxpayers' Oregon Income Tax Returns

Summary: Would require that for tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2010, no Oregon taxpayer shall be required to pay the state, a local government, or other taxing district, an income tax of any kind on money paid to the federal government as federal income taxes. The money paid as federal taxes shall be fully deductible against income on the taxpayers' Oregon income tax return. This does not apply to corporate income taxes or corporate excise taxes.

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Measure 60 - Teacher "Classroom Performance," not Senority, Determines Pay Raises; "Most Qualified" Teachers Retained, Regardless of Senority

Summary: Would require that pay raises for public school teachers shall be based upon each teacher's classroom performance and not related to his or her senority. If a district reduces teaching staff, they must retain those most qualified to teach their specific subjects. The determination as to which teacher is most qualified shall be based upon each teacher's past classroom experience successfully teaching the specific subjects or class as well his or her as academic training in the relevant subject matter.

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Measure 61 - Creates Mandatory Minimum Prison Sentences for Certain Theft, Identity Theft, Forgery, Drug, and Burglary Crimes

Summary: If a person convicted of one of the offenses listed in this Act and the offense was committeed on or after January 1, 2009, the court shall impose, and the person shall serve, at least the entire term of imprisonment listed. The person will not be eligible for release on post-prison supervision, temporary leave or reduction in sentence. The minimums are as follows: illegal manufacturing or delivery of Class A felony drugs - 36 months; illegal manufacturing or delivery of Class B felony drugs - 30 months; identity theft - 36 months; first degree burglary - 36 months; first degree forgery when the person has a serious criminal record - 18 months; motor vehicle theft when the person has a serious criminal record - 18 months; theft in the first degree when the person has a serious criminal record - 14 months; and burglary in the second degree when the person has a serious criminal record - 14 months.

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Measure 62 - Amends Constitution: Allocates 15% of Lottery Proceeds to Public Safety Fund for Crime Prevention, Investigation, Prosecution

Summary: Requires 15 percent of the net proceeds from the State Lottery to be deposited in the public safety fund for distrubtion for the following purposes: 20 percent for grants to counties to fund early childhood programs for at-risk children; 50 percent to fund the criminal investigation and forensics operations of the state police; 15 percent to provide grants to countries to supplement existing county appropriations for the operations of district attorneys; and 15 percent to provide grants to counties to supplement existing county appropriations for investigation and field operations of county sheriffs.

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Measure 63 - Exempts Specified Property Owners from Building Permit Requirements for Improvements Valued at/under $35,000

Summary: Allows certain changes to real residential or farm property without obtaining a building permit or otherwise obtain the approval of any government entity in order to make minor improvements to the property. They would be exempt from building, plumbing, electrical and mechanical permits, inspections and other approval requirements. Changes would not be exempt if the total value of changes made in a calendar year exceeds $35,000.

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Measure 64 - Penalizes Person, Entity for Using Funds Collected with "Public Resource" (Defined) for "Political Purpose" (Defined)

Summary: Would add a section to the Oregon Statutes stating that except for resources used or spent preparing, printing or distributing an official voters pamphlet or conducting an election, no public resource shall be used to colelct or help collect money used for a political purpose. If a person or entity does use public resource funds for political purposes, they must pay the state treasury a civil penalty equal to two times the amount of money spent in violation of this section and thereafter, no public employer or government entity shall collect money for any purpose for that person or entity.

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Measure 65 - Changes General Election Nomination Processes for Major/Minor Party, Independent Candidates for Most Partisan Offices

Summary: This measure would create a fully open primary system, applicable to all voter choice offices, through which Oregon electors may select two finalist candidates to appear on the general election ballot regardless of political party affiliation, or lack of party affiliation, of the elector or candidate. It would apply to the offices of U.S. Senator, U.S. Representative, Governor, Secretary of State, State Treasurer, Attorney General, state Senator and state Representative; or any other state, county, city or district office that is not a nonpartisan office or an office for which nominations to the general election by political parties are expressly authorized by law.

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