July 10, 2019 •

Three Finalists Chosen for Vacant State House of Representative Seat

Oregon State Capitol Building

The Oregon Republican Party has nominated Becky Mitts, Raquel Moore-Green, and Brad Nanke as the three finalists to replace Denyc Boles as state representative for District 19. Boles resigned from the District 19 seat on June 28 after being appointed […]

The Oregon Republican Party has nominated Becky Mitts, Raquel Moore-Green, and Brad Nanke as the three finalists to replace Denyc Boles as state representative for District 19.

Boles resigned from the District 19 seat on June 28 after being appointed to replace the late Jackie Winters as state senator for District 10.

The Marion County commissioners plan to make a selection on July 23.

However, the commissioners have 10 days after the names are filed with the secretary of state to make a decision.

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July 1, 2019 •

Oregon Legislature Passes Campaign Finance Bills Before Adjourning

Oregon Capitol Building

The Oregon Legislature adjourned on June 30, pushing through over 100 bills. The Senate passed two campaign finance bills and a resolution to limit the amount of money flowing into Oregon politics and improve transparency in the election process. House […]

The Oregon Legislature adjourned on June 30, pushing through over 100 bills.

The Senate passed two campaign finance bills and a resolution to limit the amount of money flowing into Oregon politics and improve transparency in the election process.

House Bill 2716 requires communications made in support of or opposition to a candidate or measure to identify who paid for them.

House Bill 2983 builds on the transparency requirements set up in House Bill 2716.

The bill requires qualifying organizations making political expenditures file a donor identification list identifying donors making donations above $10,000 during the election cycle with the Office of the Secretary of State .

Senate Joint Resolution 18 proposes an amendment to the Oregon Constitution authorizing adoption of state and local laws requiring campaign finance related disclosures.

The proposed amendment would also authorize limiting political contributions and expenditures.

The resolution will send to voters the question of amending the state Constitution to allow governing bodies to pass laws on campaign finance.

House Bill 3377 was also passed, requiring registered lobbyists to attend annual training beginning in 2021.

The bill directs lobbyists to certify training attendance to the Oregon Ethics Commission and the commission to report lobbyist training attendance to a legislative equity officer.

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June 14, 2019 •

Judge Strikes Down Portland Campaign Finance Limits

Multnomah County Circuit Judge Eric Bloch struck down voter-approved limits on campaign donations to candidates running for county offices. Judge Bloch’s ruling stated the $500 limit on donations violates Oregon’s expansive free expression guarantees in the Oregon Constitution. The decision […]

Multnomah County Circuit Judge Eric Bloch struck down voter-approved limits on campaign donations to candidates running for county offices.

Judge Bloch’s ruling stated the $500 limit on donations violates Oregon’s expansive free expression guarantees in the Oregon Constitution.

The decision mirrors one the judge issued in March 2018 striking down limits for Multnomah County races, citing a 1997 Oregon Supreme Court decision.

Judge Bloch upheld portions of the voter-approved campaign rules that require Portland political advertisements to prominently disclose their top five financial backers.

Supporters of the law say they will appeal the decision.

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May 6, 2019 •

Oregon Governor Signs Bill Amending Revolving Door Restrictions

Oregon House of Representatives Chamber - Cacophony [CC BY 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)]

Gov. Kate Brown signed House Bill 2595 on May 3. The bill prohibits a former member of the Legislative Assembly from receiving money or any other consideration for lobbying within one year after ceasing to be a member of the […]

Gov. Kate Brown signed House Bill 2595 on May 3.

The bill prohibits a former member of the Legislative Assembly from receiving money or any other consideration for lobbying within one year after ceasing to be a member of the Legislative Assembly.

Currently, the revolving door period begins on the date the person ceases to be a member of the Legislative Assembly. The period then ended on the date of adjournment sine die of the next regular session after the person ceases to be a member.

House Bill 2595 applies to persons who cease to be members of the Legislative Assembly on or after the effective date of January 1, 2020.

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January 15, 2019 •

Portland Mayor Proposes Voting, Lobbyist Disclosure Rules

Mayor Ethan Strimling announced he will propose changes to city elections, seeking public funding for local campaigns and new lobbyist disclosure rules. Strimling’s new initiatives will demand elected officials disclose meetings with lobbyists and other influencers. The initiatives will also […]

Mayor Ethan Strimling announced he will propose changes to city elections, seeking public funding for local campaigns and new lobbyist disclosure rules.

Strimling’s new initiatives will demand elected officials disclose meetings with lobbyists and other influencers.

The initiatives will also reiterate calls to allow noncitizens living in the city legally the right to vote in local elections, as well as urge the city to implement ranked-choice voting in City Council and school board races.

Strimling said he plans to work with the City Council and other stakeholders to develop the details of his proposals over the year.

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December 7, 2018 •

Portland Mayor Enacts Voter Approved Campaign Finance Measure

Mayor Ted Wheeler submitted to City Council a proclamation stating the recently passed campaign finance ballot measure is enacted and in effect. The Honest Elections City of Portland Charter Amendment prohibits corporate contributions and limits contributions from individuals and committees […]

Mayor Ted Wheeler submitted to City Council a proclamation stating the recently passed campaign finance ballot measure is enacted and in effect.

The Honest Elections City of Portland Charter Amendment prohibits corporate contributions and limits contributions from individuals and committees to $500 per election cycle.

The measure also caps independent expenditures and is likely to face legal challenge.

City Council is expected to submit the measure to the local circuit court for validation early next year.

In 1997, the Oregon Supreme Court struck down statewide campaign finance limits as a violation of free speech protection outlined by the Oregon Constitution.

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November 8, 2018 •

Citizens of Portland Vote to Limit Large Political Contributions

Portland, Oregon voters passed a campaign finance measure to limit large political campaign contributions. The amended charter limits independent expenditures to an aggregate of $5,000 per individual and an aggregate of $10,000 per political committee, provided contributions to the committee […]

Portland, Oregon voters passed a campaign finance measure to limit large political campaign contributions.

The amended charter limits independent expenditures to an aggregate of $5,000 per individual and an aggregate of $10,000 per political committee, provided contributions to the committee by individuals does not exceed $500 per individual per year.

The campaign limits are vulnerable to legal challenge. In 1997, the Oregon Supreme Court struck down statewide campaign finance limits as a violation of free speech protection outlined by the Oregon Constitution.

Prior to the passage of this measure, the City of Portland adopted a public finance system by City Council vote.

It provides matching funds to eligible candidates for mayor, city commissioner, and auditor with funding to begin in the 2019-2020 election.

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May 22, 2018 •

Oregon Legislature Adjourns One-day Special Session

The Oregon Legislature adjourned a one-day special session on May 21, 2018. The special session was called by Gov. Kate Brown to address tax breaks for small businesses.  The tax plan passed 51-8 in the House and 18-12 in the […]

The Oregon Legislature adjourned a one-day special session on May 21, 2018.

The special session was called by Gov. Kate Brown to address tax breaks for small businesses.  The tax plan passed 51-8 in the House and 18-12 in the Senate.

Both votes included Democrats who broke from their party to vote against the measure.

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April 25, 2018 •

Oregon Governor Calls Special Legislative Session for May 21

Gov. Kate Brown called a special session for May 21, 2018. The session is expected to be limited to legislation reducing small business taxes. The governor announced she wants to complete the special session in a single day.

Gov. Kate Brown called a special session for May 21, 2018.

The session is expected to be limited to legislation reducing small business taxes.

The governor announced she wants to complete the special session in a single day.

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March 8, 2018 •

Multnomah County, Oregon Campaign Finance Reforms Found Unconstitutional

In Oregon, a Multnomah County Circuit Court judge found county campaign finance reforms unconstitutional. Judge Eric Bloch ruled the voter-approved limitations on campaign contributions and independent expenditures were impermissible under the free speech guarantees within the Oregon Constitution, citing a […]

In Oregon, a Multnomah County Circuit Court judge found county campaign finance reforms unconstitutional.

Judge Eric Bloch ruled the voter-approved limitations on campaign contributions and independent expenditures were impermissible under the free speech guarantees within the Oregon Constitution, citing a related Oregon Supreme Court opinion.

He ruled they also cannot force disclosure of the largest contributors to political mailers and other forms of communication.

The Multnomah County voters adopted the reforms with an 89 percent “yes” vote in November 2016. An appeal of the judge’s decision is expected.

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March 6, 2018 •

Oregon Legislature Adjourns

On March 3, the Oregon Legislature adjourned its biennial short session. Bills passed strengthen domestic violence laws, create a task force to study opioid addiction treatment barriers and implement a peer support program, require more transparency from prescription drug manufacturers, and eliminate a […]

On March 3, the Oregon Legislature adjourned its biennial short session.

Bills passed strengthen domestic violence laws, create a task force to study opioid addiction treatment barriers and implement a peer support program, require more transparency from prescription drug manufacturers, and eliminate a federal deduction for businesses on state tax returns.

Gov. Brown has 30 days to sign, veto, or let the bills become law without her signature.

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January 24, 2018 •

Oregon Voters Approve Tax Measure

In a special election on January 23, Oregon voters approved Measure 101. Measure 101 keeps taxes on health insurers, hospitals, and managed care organizations that were passed during the 2017 legislative session. The taxes will help fund the Oregon Health […]

In a special election on January 23, Oregon voters approved Measure 101.

Measure 101 keeps taxes on health insurers, hospitals, and managed care organizations that were passed during the 2017 legislative session.

The taxes will help fund the Oregon Health Plan, the state’s Medicaid program.

Unofficial results show 61 percent of voters approved the measure, with 925 out of 1335 precincts reported.

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November 7, 2017 •

Special Election Called in Oregon

A special election will be held on January 23, 2018, to consider a veto referendum on taxes included in a 2017 legislative session bill. The taxes at issue are on healthcare insurance premiums intended to provide funding for people on […]

A special election will be held on January 23, 2018, to consider a veto referendum on taxes included in a 2017 legislative session bill.

The taxes at issue are on healthcare insurance premiums intended to provide funding for people on the Oregon Health Plan, Oregon’s version of Medicaid.

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September 20, 2017 •

Lobbyist Leaves Firm to Take Seat in Oregon Legislature

Gov. Kate Brown administered the oath of office to the now-former lobbyist for powerful public employee unions SEIU Local 503 and AFSCME Council 75, among other left-leaning groups. Andrea Salinas was appointed by the commissioners of Multnomah and Clackamas Counties […]

Gov. Kate Brown administered the oath of office to the now-former lobbyist for powerful public employee unions SEIU Local 503 and AFSCME Council 75, among other left-leaning groups.

Andrea Salinas was appointed by the commissioners of Multnomah and Clackamas Counties to fill the vacancy.

Rep. Salinas is unsure what she will do work for outside the Legislature since she had to resign her lobbying position.

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