January 11th, 2011 By NIGEL JAQUISS | News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Politics, Environment

Two Ballot Measures Seek Your Signature

606px-Oregon_State_Capitol_building

OK, 2012 is a long way off. But for Oregon political junkies suffering from withdrawal after the November elections, here are two initiatives Secretary of State Kate Brown has green-lighted to begin gathering signatures. (The primary requirements for circulating petitions are 1,000 valid signatures and an approved ballot title.)

The first, Initiative 3, "No Public Resources To Collect Political Funds" approved Oct. 18, is likely to be a blood bath, if it makes the ballot, as similar measures aiming to prohibit public employee unions from using public resources to collect union dues did in 1998, 2000 and 2008.

All failed, although in 2008, the margin was only about 1 percentage point. Bill Sizemore, the architect of previous measures (although he is not listed as a petitioner on this one for 2012) has long battled public employee unions and tried to make it more difficult for them to collect union dues.

The other initiative, Initiative 8, the "2012 Oregon Renewable Energy and Fuel Development and Security Act," which qualified to gather signatures only last week, will be less controversial. But it is likely to draw strong opposition from investor-owned utilities such as PacifiCorp and PGE if it gets any traction.

The initiative would create a three-member commission that would issue revenue bonds to develop biomass and other forms of alternative energy. John Bartels, who is associated with the Oregon Grange, is behind the measure.

"What we intended to do is develop things that haven't been developed," Bartels says. "We'd form effectively a new Bonneville Power Adminsitration for Oregon."

Both efforts propose statutory, as opposed to constitutional, changes and must gather 87,213 valid signatures to qualify for the statewide ballot next year.
 
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