PRESENTATION: THE INITIATIVE PROCESS IN OREGON: BUDGETARY IMPACTS AND PROPOSALS FOR CHANGE * Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 1998 Willamette Law Review
Willamette Law Review

PRESENTATION: THE INITIATIVE PROCESS IN OREGON:
BUDGETARY IMPACTS AND PROPOSALS FOR CHANGE *

Summer / Fall, 1998

34 Willamette L. Rev. 715

Author

Lynn Lundquist **

Excerpt



I. Introduction
 
The initiative process in Oregon is a trail-blazing form of direct democracy that should be protected and preserved. Since the idea was first voted on in 1902, Oregonians have valued their right to place initiatives on the ballot. In 1906, the Portland Oregonian commented on the new system and its sponsor, William S. U'Ren, in a tone that has often been repeated over the last ninety years: "In Oregon the state government is divided into four departments: the executive, judicial, legislative and Mr. U'Ren - and it is still an open question who exerts the most power."

A discussion of the Oregon initiative system is fundamentally a discussion about process. Losing sight of that simple fact can lead to endless debates over the merits and drawbacks of the myriad initiative measures that spring up each year. This Essay does not intend to evaluate the merits of initiative measures that have passed or may pass in the future. Instead, its intent is only to discuss some of the impacts that these measures have had, and could have, on the state budget. It then describes possible changes to this process that might enhance dissemination of information to the public and promote better accuracy in the draft-ing of measures.



II. Initiatives and the State Budget
 
Measures passed by initiative have had an immense impact upon the budget of the state of Oregon. Competing desires for lower taxes, a strong educational system, and a credible system of justice have ...
 
 
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