Ballot Measure Endorsements 2014 | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Ballot Measure Endorsements 2014



Requires creation of fund for Oregonians pursuing post-secondary education, authorizes state indebtedness to finance fund

With the cost of post-secondary education increasing faster than incomes for college graduates, a means to mitigate the debt burden on young adults is sorely needed. This measure will make college a reality for more Oregon students, and also help them become more active participants in the economy after they graduate.


Permits employment of state judges by National Guard (military service) and state public universities (teaching)

This is a no-brainer. Allowing judges to serve in the National Guard and to teach in public universities only extends the reach of their public service. We can think of no reason to limit their service.


Provides Oregon resident "driver card" without requiring proof of legal residence in the United States

In 2013, the Oregon State Legislature passed the Driver Card Law (SB 833) to allow undocumented workers—and others who cannot provide a birth certificate or social security card for whatever reason—to obtain driver's licenses for the purpose of identification and to increase safety. These licenses would be of limited use and duration, and would not entitle their holders to the benefits of citizenship. Reducing the number of unlicensed drivers on the road is a clear benefit for everyone.


Amends Constitution: State/political subdivision shall not deny or abridge equality of rights on account of sex

We've come a long way as a society since the women's suffrage movement. But we haven't achieved equality yet. Women still earn less than their male counterparts and are more likely to be victims if violence. Adding language that explicitly grants women equality is long overdue.


Creates an open, top-two primary election system

Although proponents point out that the open primary system allows all voters to weigh in on candidates, and breaks down the barriers between political parties, that is only half of the equation. After the primary, only the "top two" candidates will move forward to a general election, paradoxically limiting the number of voices in the political process, and lessening opportunities for independent and underdog candidates. A definitive "No."


Legalizes recreational marijuana; tasks OLCC with regulation of its sale

Our argument for a Yes vote on Measure 91 is primarily financial: With some 70,000 licensed medical marijuana users—some legitimate, others a bit more, um, hazy in their credentials—and with fairly lax enforcement for minor possessions, and with weed legal just across the Washington border, marijuana is already de facto legal in the state.

Yes, this plan to legalize marijuana is imperfect and perhaps a bit premature, but it is smart in that it will generate gobs of tax money for law enforcement and education.


Requires food manufacturers, retailers to label "genetically engineered" foods as such; state, citizens may enforce

Late night TV host Jimmy Kimmel recently quizzed people at a farmers' market about GMOs, asking if they avoid them ("Absolutely!") and then, if they know what GMO stands for. Not surprisingly, many people failed to answer the question correctly. (Word to the wise: It's "genetically modified organism.") While it may be easy to use this ignorance to mock those opposed to the inclusion of GMOs in our farms and foodstuffs, we think it speaks to the need for a greater awareness about what we put into our bodies. That's why we're supporting a "yes" vote on Measure 92.

The jury may still be out on the health impacts of consuming GMOs, and we're not biologists or nutritionists. But more information leads to smarter choices.

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