Judge agrees lawmakers violate readability laws (yet it persists)

By Taxpayers Association of Oregon


There is a decades old law on the books that lawmakers must provide bill summaries to be readable by the public using an 8th grade standard by using the Flesch-Kincaid readability test.

Simply put, bill summaries must be easy to read for a common Oregonian to understand.

Republican Senate and House leaders raised this violation to the House Speaker, Senate President and Democrat majorities who ignored it.

Then a lawsuit was filed.   Marion County Circuit Judge David Leith agreed with the violation but said is was unenforceable.

OPB reports from the judge “If it was mine to decide, I would say that the summary doesn’t meet that standard,”

Later Leith said. “I am also not at all sure that it’s possible to accurately convey the information that would summarize this bill without exceeding the threshold that the statute provides.”

So the judge rules; current bill summaries are not readable, they violate the law and the readability rules (in his view) are hard to put into effect and it is hard for his authority to intervene in  the Legislature.

Under these statements, why doesn’t the current House/Senate and Democrat majority leadership do something to fix it?  Why not TRY to make it better.   It is like the violation of these transparency laws are an open secret and no one cares by the party in power.

Transparency is an on going scandal in the Legislature.

We had lawmakers openly lying to the public about what was in certain bills.

We had two transparency officers resign during the Governor Brown administration.

We have lawmakers stuffing 30 bills into a single hearing.

We applaud the Senate and House Republican leadership for standing up for readability and transparency laws.

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