July 28th, 2010 5:33 pm | by HANK STERN News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, Politics

Oregon Lottery Initiative Makes The Ballot

Oregon Lottery initiative

Oregon's lineup of statewide initiatives is now set for the Nov. 2 ballot.

The final initiative awaiting word from state officials on signature verifications was one supported by enviros to lock into the Oregon Constitution 15 percent of Oregon Lottery proceeds for parks and habitat. The Secretary of State's office said today that backers of the proposal did turn in enough valid signatures. (The initiative needed 110,358 valid signatures to qualify, and turned in 116,257113,218 valid signatures, a number that was updated Thursday after Elections Division officials discovered a typo in the final report. While smaller than originally reported, the new number still exceeds the required amount of valid signatures).

The current 15 percent set-aside of lottery money for parks and habitat—a set-aside approved by state voters in 1998—expires in 2014. And the proposed enshrinement of that set-aside in the state Constitution has caused agita among unions and some Democrats who worry that a permanent set-aside would drain an already-hemorrhaging state budget.

For those of you scoring at home, two other citizen initiatives have qualified for the Nov. 2 ballot. One of the initiatives would set up a system of medical marijuana dispensaries in Oregon. The other would impose mandatory minimum sentences for certain major felony sex crimes and driving under the influence convictions.

One more initiative turned in enough valid signatures to make the ballot—a statutory change that would allow for a casino to go into the old greyhound racing track in Wood Village. But that measure may be moot because the Secretary of State's office said this week that a necessary companion measure to change the state Constitution—to allow the private casino—failed to turn in enough signatures. Backers of the casino proposal are planning a court challenge to that ruling.
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