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Voting Suggestions and Election Commentary
for the September 16th, 2003 special election

Statewide Ballot Measure

Measure 29: Authorizes state of Oregon to incur general obligation debt for savings on pension liabilites.

My vote: Yes, but only just barely    [ELECTION RESULT: the measure passed]

I have mixed feelings about this measure. On the one hand, I am all for lowering the state's debt, and thus should vote for the measure. Also, I do not think I like certificates of participation, which are the likely method of dealing with PERS debt if this measure fails. On the other hand, this measure is a constitutional amendment, and I have already spoken elsewhere about how much I dislike those on principle (see for example these remarks from November 2002). I am wary of this measure especially, since I do not want to trust our legislators with yet another new option for going into debt, even one like this which is limited to a specific area (pension liability).

I am voting for this measure, but this is more because I like what its supporters have to say (and who they are), rather than because I feel that I can successfully predict Oregon's financial situation a few years down the road. (Who can these days?) One thing worthy of note: some opponents of this measure have said that Oregon will simply raise property taxes when it comes time to pay for these bonds. This is false, because it can't: the measure clearly forbids the pledging of ad valorem (i.e. property) taxes to pay these bonds.

Suggestions for changes/additions to this Webpage are welcome and may be sent to me from here. Flames will be dumped to /dev/null/ summarily.

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(Last updated 9/17/02003)