By State Representative Rob Nosse
By the time you are reading this, you should have received your ballot in the mail. Election season is almost over, and it is a bit of a nail-biter. In previous elections, there has been a lot of debate focused on ballot measure(s). For this column, I thought I would share my view on the statewide ballot measures and how I intend to vote on each of them. I hope this is helpful, but, obviously, you should do your own research and make up your own minds.
Measure 111: Right to Affordable Healthcare: YES
This measure would add an amendment to the Oregon Constitution establishing a state obligation to ensure that every Oregon resident has access to cost-effective, clinically appropriate and affordable healthcare. This ballot measure came about after a bill I helped champion in the legislature. (It is a legislatively referred ballot measure.)
We must do more to ensure all Oregonians get affordable healthcare and it is my hope that by enshrining this right in our state’s constitution it will continue to push us in the direction of a system where no Oregonian (or American for that matter) will live without the healthcare they need to due to cost. This measure is a little symbolic, but symbols can be powerful; its passage might nudge our legislature on this issue and give it more emphasis. I strongly support it and I urge a “yes” vote.
Measure 112: Abolishing Slavery: YES
This measure was also legislatively referred to the ballot and passed nearly unanimously. This is a change that is long overdue. At present, the state constitution currently reads, “There shall be neither slavery, nor involuntary servitude in the State, otherwise than as a punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.” If voters pass Measure 112, Section 34 of the Oregon Bill of Rights would be amended to prohibit slavery or involuntary servitude without exception, basically saying slavery and involuntary servitude are not permissible punishments. This is a change we should have made years, if not decades ago. I urge a “yes” vote.
Measure 113: Stopping Absentee Legislators: YES
Between 2019 and 2021, Republicans left the state Capitol several times to stop the passage of laws they did not like. Their absence prevented us from passing a bill to lower the state’s carbon emissions and forced the 2020 session to end days before the constitutional deadline, leaving dozens of important issues and bills unresolved. This tactic of simply walking off the job because you do not like what is being proposed is unacceptable. Oregonians deserve to have their voices heard in Salem and not silenced because some legislators refuse to show up to do their jobs. Politicians are public servants, and they should not be allowed to play truant, stay home from work and shut down the state government.
Measure 113 would disqualify state lawmakers from holding office for the next term if they have 10 or more unexcused absences from the Oregon House or Senate. If this measure passes, it should stop prolonged walkouts and ensure legislators do the work that we were elected to do. I urge a “yes” vote as this will improve my working conditions in Salem dramatically and return some functionality to our state legislature.
Measure 114: Gun Control: YES
This measure would require permits, issued by local law enforcement to buy a firearm. It would require a photo ID, fingerprints, safety training, a criminal background check and fee payment to apply for a permit.
It also would ban the manufacturing, importing, purchasing, selling, possessing, using or transferring of ammunition magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds, making violations a Class A misdemeanor.
This is a straightforward way to reduce gun violence in our state. I absolutely support it. These are not experimental policies. 10 other states have limited the size of magazines and require background checks, photo ID’s fingerprints and safety trainings. These are all good policies. This measure will save lives and we should pass it. I urge a “yes” vote.
There are a bunch of local measures on our ballot, including revisions to our County Charter I don’t have enough space to talk about. But I am a “yes” on all of the proposed changes. And, of course, many of you read my column from last month and you know I am a “no” on the City of Portland’s proposed charter changes. Thanks for taking the time to read this column and dig in on these issues. I hope this was helpful. Now please vote and mail/drop off in your ballot.