We asked members of the Independent Party to share their views on several bills in the Oregon legislature that appear to have some life. The results below are for 9 bills that at least 60% of responding members either support or oppose. Bills supported by IPO members are in green; bills opposed are in red.
IPO member support for campaign disclosure and the national popular vote plan intensified since last year. Members continued to show strong support for consumer protection legislation.
Here are the Results of the IPO End-of-Session Membership Survey. A summary is below.
SB 270A: Limits Fines for Failure to Report Political Contributions to $5,000 Per Month: OPPOSED 73%
HB 2259: Increases Delay for Reporting Most Contributions Near Elections from 7 Days to 14 Days: OPPOSED 87%
HB 2894-3 Requires Disclosure of Major Funders in Campaign Ads about Candidates: SUPPORTED 95%
HB 3446: Requires that Members of the Legislature to Compete When Seeking Other Jobs in Oregon Government: SUPPORTED 96%
HJR 7A: Granting New Powers to Governor and Legislature, Upon Governor's Declaration of a "Catastrophic Disaster": OPPOSED 82%
HB 2492: Removing Uncontested Democratic Party and Republican Party "Precinct Committeeperson" Races from the Ballot: SUPPORTED 78%
HB 3517: Joins Oregon to the National Popular Vote Plan for Electing the President of the United States: SUPPORTED 80%
SB 40: Removes State Income Tax Deduction for Contributions to Charities that Spend Less than 30% of their Budgets on Actual Charitable Services: SUPPORTED 90%
SB 695A: Banning Baby Bottles and Drinking Cups for Children Containing Chemical Linked to Cancer, Diabetes, Autism, and Other Problems: SUPPORTED 80%
Independent Party of Oregon Survey
on 2011 End-of-Session Legislation
Jun 13, 2011 4:14 PM PST
SB 270A: Limits Fines for Failure to Report Political Contributions to $5,000 Per Month:
SB 270A would allow any person or entity to opt out of political campaign finance reporting by paying a fine limited to $5,000 for each calendar month during which the reporting requirements are ignored. This would apply to candidate campaigns, ballot measure committees, chief petitioner committees, and those making "independent expenditures," such as corporations and unions. Currently, the maximum fine is 10% of the amount of the unreported amount, once it is discovered.
HB 2259: Increases Delay for Reporting Most Contributions Near Elections from 7 Days to 14 Days:
Current law requires all candidates and political committees days to report, within 7 days of receipt, each campaign contribution received within the 6 weeks prior to the election. HB 2259 would increase that to 14 days, with the exception of individual contributions exceeding $5,000 each (which must be reported within 48 hours). This would allow anyone (or any corporation or union or other entity) to make an unlimited series of $4,999 contributions during the last 13 days, with no disclosure of those contributions until after election day.
HB 2894-3 Requires Disclosure of Major Funders in Campaign Ads about Candidates:
HB 2894-3 would require that any large purchase of campaign ads (TV, radio, mailings, etc.) exceeding $2,000 identify the person or entity who paid for the ads. A political committee paying for ads would have to disclose the top 3 contributors to that committee during the current 2-year election cycle. This would not apply to items that do not reasonably have room for the disclosures, such as lawn signs.
HB 3446: Requires that Members of the Legislature Compete When Seeking Other Jobs in Oregon Government:
Under current law, members of the Legislature can retire or resign and sometimes obtain other jobs in state government, often at much higher pay and PERS benefits. HB 3446 requires legislators to compete with others for state government jobs, except judgeships or positions that requires Senate confirmation.
HJR 7A: Granting New Powers to Governor and Legislature, Upon Governor's Declaration of a "Catastrophic Disaster":
HJR 7A asks voters to revise the Oregon Constitution to grant new powers to the Governor and Legislature, upon declaration by the Governor of a "catastrophic disaster." The declaration allows the Governor to spend State money however he wishes, "regardless of the legislatively expressed purpose of the allocation." It allows the Legislature to disregard several provisions of the Oregon Constitution, specifically authorizing the Legislature to: enact laws and spend money with only "a majority of the members of each house who are able to attend a session"; rescind the right of voters to call referenda on bills involving taxation; cancel kicker refunds; impose mandates on local governments without reimbursement; and reallocate lottery proceeds for any purpose.
HB 2492: Removing Uncontested Democratic Party and Republican Party "Precinct Committeeperson" Races from the Ballot:
The major parties (Democratic and Republican) have in Oregon more than 17,000 positions for "Precinct Committeeperson," each elected on the primary election ballot from a very small district. In 2008, over 99.85% of these positions were not contested (one person running, or none). All 17,000 races appeared on the ballot, even when no one ran. Removing the uncontested races from the ballot would save $224,000 per election cycle.
HB 3517: Joins Oregon to the National Popular Vote Plan for Electing the President of the United States:
If states with a total of least 270 electoral votes for President agree that their electoral votes shall be cast for the winner of the national popular vote, then the "Electoral College" system will be rendered moot, and the national popular vote will decide who wins the Presidency. Candidates will need to campaign throughout the U.S., not just in "swing states." The "National Popular Vote Interstate Compact" has been agreed to by 8 states. HB 3517 would be Oregon's agreement to join the Compact.
SB 40: Removes State Income Tax Deduction for Contributions to Charities that Spend Less than 30% of their Budgets on Actual Charitable Services:
Some tax-exempt charities spend most of their money on fundraising or perks for administrators, not on actually providing charitable services (such as education, assistance to families or veterans, and the like). SB 40 would require charities to spend not less than 30% of their budget on actual services, not fundraising or overhead. Charities that do not comply would have to disclose in their marketing materials that contributions to them are not deductible for state income tax purposes.
SB 695A: Banning Baby Bottles and Drinking Cups for Children Containing Chemical Linked to Cancer, Diabetes, Autism, and Other Problems:
SB 695 would ban the production or sale in Oregon of baby bottles or children's drinking cups containing the chemical Bisphenol A (known as "BPA"), which has been linked to infertility, cancers, and prostate problems in adults as well as early puberty, obesity, autism, and hyperactivity in children. Similar bans of BPA are in place throughout Europe, in China, and in 9 states. Business representatives say that very few bottles and cups containing BPA are sold in Oregon.