Impeachment proposal receives approval from Oregon House

Jodi Hack_thb

Rep. Jodie Hack

Constitutional Amendment, If Approved By Voters, Would Establish Executive Impeachment Process

Salem, OR – The Oregon House of Representatives today approved House Joint Resolution 31, an amendment to the Oregon Constitution that would establish a formal process for the impeachment of statewide elected Executive Branch officials by the Legislature.

Chief sponsored by Representative Jodi Hack (R-Salem), HJR 31 would allow the House of Representatives, upon a three-fifths majority vote, to impeach statewide executive branch officials on the grounds of malfeasance in office, corruption, neglect of duty or other high crimes or misdemeanors. Should the House pass an impeachment resolution, the resolution would then proceed to the Senate for trial, where a conviction would require a two-thirds vote.

“We must be thoughtful but diligent in creating checks and balances that create accountability,” said Rep. Hack. “HJR 31 is thoughtful because it serves to join our fellow 49 states. HJR 31 is diligent because it shows that we as elected leaders are listening to the concerns of our constituents.”

Following today’s House vote, HJR 31 now moves to the Senate for consideration. Should the Senate also approve the amendment, it would then be referred to the 2016 general election ballot for voter approval or rejection.

“This resolution is not a weapon, but a tool for accountability of the executive branch,” continued Rep. Hack. “It is constructed in a manner that provides for a difficult yet fair process of impeachment, and while we all hope that it is never needed, we need to have this tool available so that the integrity and duties of the executive branch are maintained.”

In addition to Rep. Hack, HJR 31 is chief sponsored by House Republican Leader Mike McLane and House Majority Leader Val Hoyle, as well as a bipartisan group of 36 House members. The bill is one of several ethics proposals put forth by House Republicans aimed at restoring trust, accountability and transparency in state government.

Oregon is the only state in the nation that does not have a mechanism for executive impeachment.