Sen. Boquist: 5 ways Majority Party undermines voters

By Oregon State Senator Brian Boquist
Highlights, excerpts from Sen. Boquist newsletter

Democrats have controlled Oregon for decades, and they continue to control the state through ballot initiatives, which at their core, are one way for Oregonians to change state law.

Here are some recent examples of the majority party undermining the will of the voters, tied to the ballot initiative process:

HB 3427 a gross receipts sales tax disguised as an education bill passed in the 2019 long session after voters voted it down in the form of Measure 97.

HB 2002 was the cap-and-trade bill that put Portland’s carbon emissions problem on the backs of rural Oregonians. Republicans denied quorum and requested the issue be put to the voters as a ballot measure, but Democrats wouldn’t have it – knowing full well it likely would not pass. After the denial of quorum successfully killed the bill two times, then-Governor Kate Brown superseded the legislature (and voters) by signing it into law via executive order.

In 2014, voters said no to Measure 88, which would have made 4-year driver licenses available to those who cannot prove legal presence in the USA. But in the 2019 session, Democrats ignored the voters in favor of social policy and favor.

Measure 110 had a flowery ballot measure description with promises to help addicts (services that are still very much needed), when the cold, hard truth was that it legalized hard drugs like heroin and meth. As written in this newsletter: “Despite Measure 110’s shiny promises of drug rehabilitation, the realities of legalized meth and heroin in Oregon have created an all-out nightmare. The reason Measure 110 passed. Thank out-of-state money from a drug “alliance” in New York for meddling. Democrats were dazzled by funds from New York and thought that this state would be the perfect place to experiment with drug legalization. Oregon voters are souring on Measure 110 with many in favor of a complete repeal,”… just in time for Democrats to be the heroes of their own nightmare.

Measure 113 undermines the will of the voters because it attacks their legislators’ and their personal First Amendment rights. The measure “added language to the Oregon Constitution preventing any lawmaker from running for reelection if they have 10 or more unexcused absences in a single legislative session,” as reported by OPB. With Measure 113, it’s clear the Democrats’ intent was to scare minority legislators away from walking out by threatening their seats – especially as the denial of quorum tactic has been successful in the past. It was sketchily written and places too much unchecked power in the hands of the Senate President. Senate Republicans continue to fight for their First Amendment rights with lawsuits.

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