NEWSLETTER, LEGISLATIVE & POLITICAL, PSU-AAUP

Executive Council endorses 2 support positions, 9 oppose positions on initiatives

November 16, 2017 / Sabrina Balderama

The Executive Council has endorsed the following positions.

11/16/17 OPPOSE IP-34: Your paycheck, your choice

This initiative would make it unlawful for a public employee union to collect fair share fees from nonmembers for the costs of negotiating and enforcing collective bargaining agreements, and removes the statutory obligation to represent them as a nonmember. It creates a new category of employee called an “independent employee” who is free to negotiate wages, hours and working conditions with the employer on their own behalf. This would have the immediate impact of reducing PSU-AAUP revenue approximately 17%. Overtime, this would cause the significant erosion of membership, and the concomitant effectiveness of the Association at the bargaining table. It would allow these “independent” nonmember to negotiate their own deals that could undermine or conflict with the collective bargaining agreement. With reduced effectiveness over time, this would reduce wages, hours, and conditions of employment of PSU-AAUP members and all public employees in Oregon.

 

11/16/17 OPPOSE IP-33: Oregon Sunshine Act

This initiative would require public employee unions, which includes PSU-AAUP and AAUP-Oregon, to disclose to the Secretary of State in an annual statement to the Secretary of State, which would be posted online: total dues collected; political campaign contributions’ expenses that are both chargeable and nonchargeable to nonmembers; expenses for lobbying; salaries for officers and certain employees (which would include all employees of PSU-AAUP); and donations to non-profits. This measure would give people and organizations that oppose unions critical information about PSU-AAUP’s and AAUP-Oregon’s operations with which to mount attacks against the organizations and its members.

 

11/16/17 OPPOSE IP-31: A Tax is a Tax Amendment

This initiative amends the Oregon Constitution to require a three-fifths legislative majority for fee/tax increase, including changes to exemptions, credits and deductions. Under current law, a three-fifths majority of both houses of the legislature must approve bills “for raising revenue.” Courts have interpreted that phrase to include bills that have the effect of imposing taxes or similar exactions; it does not apply to fees charged for a specific purpose or in exchange for some benefit or service. This measure proposes to expand that provision to require a three-fifths majority of both houses of the legislature to approve any tax or fee increase, as well as any change in exemptions, credits, deductions, or tax rates that result in increased state revenue. This measure would make it more difficult for the legislature to balance the budget; would prevent them from changing user fees as needed, or otherwise manage the government enterprise and serve the people of Oregon. Not all fees, credits and exemptions are taxes. This measure, if enacted, would create pressure on the legislature to reduce funding for higher education to address shortfalls that might have otherwise been addressed through fee increases.

 

11/16/17 OPPOSE IP-22: Stop Oregon Sanctuaries

This initiative, like IP 6 above, would repeal ORS 181A.820, which enables a state or local government to prevent the enforcement of federal immigration laws in their jurisdiction. This will undo the sanctuary status declared by both Portland State University and the City of Portland, and will require Portland State University police in the apprehension of PSU students suspected of immigration law violations. This measure could ultimately require PSU employees to assist in that effort.

 

11/16/17 OPPOSE IP-19: Maintain A Citizen Legislature

This initiative would limit service by state legislators to no more than eight years in any twelve-year period. This is a term limit measure that would be applied retroactively that would prevent a significant number of legislators currently in office to not seek reelection. It takes years for a new legislator to become effective, and this would destabilize the legislature through additional turnover, and in the end make it more difficult for PSU-AAUP and AAUP-Oregon to establish and maintain relationships with elected officials, thereby reducing our effectiveness as a lobbying organization.

 

11/16/17 OPPOSE IP-8: Voter Privacy Act

This initiative is substantively the same as the one filed in 2016 which did not get certified for the ballot. The measure would prohibit the release of voter registration and voting information to third parties. The measure, if enacted, would make it more difficult for activist organizations like PSU-AAUP to campaign on ballot issues or candidates that impact its members, and will inhibit all voter registration and voter Get out the vote activities. This will decrease the effectiveness of PSU-AAUP and AAUP-Oregon and our allies in the political process and generally make access to the political process considerably more expensive as all efforts would have to shift to paid media.

 

11/16/17 OPPOSE IP-6: Repeal Oregon’s Sanctuary Law

This initiative will overturn Oregon law (ORS 181A.820) that enables state and local governments from prohibiting their law enforcement resources from assisting federal Immigration and Customs Service (ICE) from detecting and apprehending persons suspected of violating federal immigration laws. This will undo the sanctuary status declared by both Portland State University and the City of Portland, and will require Portland State University police in the apprehension of PSU students suspected of immigration law violations. This measure could ultimately require PSU employees to assist in that effort.

 

11/16/17 OPPOSE IP-5: Voters Must Prove Citizenship to Vote

This initiative will cause all current voter registrations to expire with 2 years (2020), and require all new voter registrations in the State of Oregon to provide citizenship documents or other proof that the voter is a citizen entitled to vote in the United States. This is almost exactly the same initiative introduced in 2016 except the registration expiration provision was reduced from 10 years to 2 years. This measure will make it more difficult to remain a voter, and have the net effect of reducing the number of voters in Oregon; and more specifically reducing the number of voters who are lower income and immigrant populations. This demographic shift will tend to have a negative impact on public employees and, consequently, PSU-AAUP members.

 

11/16/17 OPPOSE IP 4: No More Fake Emergencies Act

This initiative changes the percentage of votes required of each house to pass a bill declaring an emergency from the current majority to a two-thirds majority. Most bills that are passed with an emergency clause seek immediate relief of conditions that negatively impact real people that are no longer acceptable to the legislature. The measure will dramatically decrease the number of bills that are passed where implementation can be immediate and would cause delays in the enactment of needed legislation.

 

11/16/17 SUPPORT IP-25: Corporate Accountability and Transparency Petition

This initiative seeks to improve public access to information regarding the taxes paid by publicly traded corporations doing business in Oregon. Currently, the information is only gathered on corporate tax returns which cannot be disclosed to the public pursuant to ORS 314.835. Under this initiative, publicly traded corporations would be required to file statements with the Secretary of State summarizing this information, which, in turn, become public records that must be disclosed three years after being filed. This measure would provide transparency about the taxes paid by business and

enable the public to assess whether they are paying their fair share of taxes.

 

11/16/17 SUPPORT IP-21: Oregon Healthy Families Act

This initiative will increase tax on cigarette distributors; funds public health programs; removes cap on consumer cigar tax. This initiative will enhance funding for state healthcare costs and decrease the pressure on the legislature to decrease funding for higher education.

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