Oregon Senate Dems block impeachment process proposal

Jodi Hack_thb

Rep. Jodi Hack (R-Salem)

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

Salem, OR – Representative Jodi Hack (R-Salem) Friday expressed disappointment over recent reports that Senate President Peter Courtney (D-Salem) and Senate Rules Committee Chair Diane Rosenbaum (D-Portland) are preventing the Senate from voting on an impeachment proposal that passed the House with overwhelming bipartisan support just last month. Chief sponsored by Rep. Hack, HJR 31 would establish a formal process for the impeachment of statewide elected executive branch officials by the Legislature.

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

“This bipartisan resolution was designed to be a tool for accountability of the executive branch,” said Rep. Hack. “I’m disappointed that Senators Courtney and Rosenbaum are refusing to let the Senate have a full, transparent discussion and vote on this measure. We will never restore trust or accountability in the executive branch by solely depending on a recall process that can take months to complete.”

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. If passed by the House, the resolution would proceed to the Senate for trial, where a conviction would require a two-thirds majority vote.

Despite the passage of HJR 31 in the House on a 47-12 vote, the resolution has yet to be scheduled for any course of action in the Senate. Should the Senate choose to schedule a vote and approve the resolution, it would then be referred to the 2016 general election ballot for voter approval or rejection.

“Oregonians should not be denied an opportunity to have their voices heard on this issue,” continued Rep. Hack. “I will continue to work diligently in my attempts to move this proposal forward so that Oregonians get that opportunity.”

HJR 31 is also chief sponsored by House Republican Leader Mike McLane (R-Powell Butte) and House Majority Leader Val Hoyle (D-Eugene), as well as a bipartisan group of 46 House members. Additionally, Rep. Hack worked with Governor Kate Brown’s office and retired Oregon Supreme Court justices to draft this common-sense, effective proposal.