AFL-CIO supports three ballot measures: 6, 94 & 99

Of the 26 measures on this November's Oregon ballot, five are receiving the most attention from labor unions. Two (Measures 92 and 98) would cripple the ability of unions to represent their members' interests at the Legislature, and three (Measures 8, 91, and 93) would cause severe cuts in state spending on schools, prisons, and other priorities.

But there are other measures the Oregon AFL-CIO is opposing, and a handful it's supporting as well.

* The state labor federation supports Measure 6, which would provide public funding to candidates who agree to limit their campaign spending and get most of their contributions from small donors. In campaigns for governor, secretary of state, treasurer, attorney general and state Legislature, Measure 6 would level the playing field for rich and poor candidates, and give candidates the option of talking to voters rather than chasing dollars. Similar laws have passed in Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine and Arizona, and the latter two states are using the model right now in their electoral cycle.

* The AFL-CIO supports Measure 94, which repeals 1994's Measure 11 - the mandatory minimum sentencing law. Measure 94 supporters say Measure 11 is a one-size-fits-all law that takes away all discretion from judges; 62 percent of those sentenced have been first-time offenders, and 35 percent of them were under 21.

* It supports Measure 99, which the Oregon Public Employees Union helped get on the ballot. Measure 99 would create a commission to ensure quality home care services for the elderly and disabled. The commission would serve as the formal employer, so that workers would have the right to unionize.

* The Oregon AFL-CIO opposes Measure 2, which would create a process to have the Legislature review rules issued by the state's regulatory agencies. Measure 2 would allow business interests to politicize rules about the environment, workplace safety, child labor, health maintenance organization regulations and hundreds of other requirements established by state law. Upon receiving a petition signed by 10,000 registered voters (a month's work by paid petitioners) the state Legislature would have to review a given section of administrative rules. If the rules weren't approved or modified, they would be thrown out.

* It opposes Measure 7, which would require state and local governments to pay landowners for any reduction in market value caused by laws or regulations, like toxic clean-up requirements, open space requirements or workplace safety regulations. The AFL-CIO joins a broad coalition of unions, businesses, and civic groups in opposing this measure, which would cost state and local governments $10.8 billion over the next two years, would result in endless litigation over the effect of regulations on property values, and would benefit mostly large landowners and corporations.

* It opposes Measure 9, which prohibits public schools from "encouraging, promoting, or sanctioning homosexual or bisexual behaviors." Teacher unions and others fear Measure 9 would provoke a witch hunt in public schools that would hurt teachers and students alike, and view it as an attempt to use state laws to promote a divisive and discriminatory agenda.

* It opposes Measure 96, also sponsored by Sizemore, which would amend the Oregon Constitution to prevent the Legislature from making the ballot initiative process harder in any way. Measure 96 is retroactive to December 1998, and Sizemore opponents believe it's intended to protect his lucrative initiative-for-hire business. It would make it more difficult to prevent abuses of the initiative process and to correct shady signature-gathering practices.

All of the Oregon AFL-CIO political positions were taken at its convention last June. No position was taken on any measure without the support of at least two-thirds of convention delegates.

October 20 | Subscribe |Home Page| About Us | Advertising | Labor News | Newsletter Plus | Opinions | Hot Links | Archives

Home | About

© Oregon Labor Press Publishing Co. Inc.