Oregon Senate Republicans
Salem, Ore. – Senate Republicans expressed outrage over tactics by Senate Democrats to intentionally violate the Oregon Constitution on the Senate floor Tuesday. Passing SB 1511, which regulates marijuana taxation and contains an emergency clause, blatantly violates Article IX, Section 1a of the Oregon Constitution, which states:
“The Legislative Assembly shall not declare an emergency in any act regulating taxation or exemption.”
“Senate Democrats have set a dangerous precedent today, revealing they consider themselves above the Oregon Constitution,” said Senator Alan Olsen (R-Canby) on Tuesday. “By claiming that the Senate can pass an unconstitutional bill simply because the courts can strike down the unconstitutional parts later proves woeful contempt for the Oregon Constitution and staying within the boundaries of the law. The Senate is not above the law and must stop acting like it is.”
Senate Republicans, concerned that the emergency clause on SB 1511 violated the Oregon Constitution, called for the bill to be returned to committee, where several pledged to support the bill following the removal of the unconstitutional emergency clause. Many expressed they supported the policy contained in SB 1511, but not the deplorable and illegal tactics used to pass the bill Tuesday.
“That our Constitution has become the latest victim in the Democrats’ rush to force through a partisan agenda during the short session is a tragedy,” said Senate Republican Leader Ted Ferrioli. “Oregonians deserve to know their elected officials are recklessly passing legislation with no regard for legality or the effect these policies will have on Oregonians.”