Home arrow COSA Blogs arrow COSA Board makes ballot measure recommendations, sans lipstick
COSA Board makes ballot measure recommendations, sans lipstick Print E-mail

chuck-bennett.jpgby Chuck Bennett, Director of Governmental Relations

If you’re looking for makeup tips for barnyard animals, wrong blog – this one’s about elections. Okay, the two can be mingled but national politics is on a plane of macro-economics, foreign policy and higher ideals. So let’s set aside lipstick, voting percentages that follow George Bush’s or Harry Reid’s lead, office remodeling costs and whose pastor is more or less committed to American exceptionalism. This commentary is more mundane.

Of course the top of the Oregon ballot will give each of us a chance to tip the scales between McCain and Obama or Merkley and Smith. The emphasis here is toward the bottom. The part you have to read – ballot measures.

There’s a batch of them this time and several have serious implications for education in Oregon. COSA’s board of directors reviewed the measures and have the following recommendations:

BM 56 – Support. This measure repeals the double majority voting requirement on issues placed on ballots in May and November elections.

BM 58 – Oppose. The measure limits teaching students in a language other than English for more than two years. It is designed to end existing ESL programs. The estimate of financial impact set by the state is between $203 and $253 million in each of the first two years of passage. Out-year costs are expected to change depending on the number of non-English speaking students and their academic performance.

BM 59 – Oppose. Creates an unlimited deduction for federal income taxes on individual taxpayers’ Oregon income tax returns. It is estimated the plan, brought to the ballot by Bill Sizemore, will cost the state General Fund $1.244 billion during the 2009-11 biennium and $2.268 billion in the 2011-13 biennium. It also appears to provide only minimal tax relief for average Oregon taxpayers but substantial cuts for Oregon’s top 1% of income earners. The estimate of financial impact is approximately $360 million in the first year of passage and $1 billion in the second. Estimates are that it would have a $1.2 billion impact every year after that. K-12 losses would be around 45% of those dollars.

BM 60 – Oppose. The ballot measure proposes salary increases and layoffs for teachers be based solely on classroom performance overriding locally determined standards including qualifications, teaching competence, experience, educational attainments, licensure and seniority. The estimate of financial impact sets BM 60 at $30 million to $72 million in additional state and local spending in the first school year. After that it is estimated the annual cost will be between $30 and $60 million in state and local spending.

BM 62 – Oppose. Kevin Mannix’s ballot measure would amend the constitution to allocate 15% of lottery proceeds to a public safety fund and reduce the percentages going to other beneficiaries like education. Estimate of financial impact is $100 million out of state lottery revenues the first year and $106 million the second year – estimated costs for K-12 are about $186 during the first biennium. The cost goes up in the future to $113 million in the third year and $120 in the fourth.

BM 63 – Oppose. This Sizemore measure exempts certain property owners from state and local building permit requirements for improvements valued at under $35,000. The measure appears to constitute a serious threat to local real estate values, homeowner insurance, environmental protection, public safety and the state land use system. This measure is expected to reduce local government revenue between $4 million and $8 million and state revenue between $450,000 and $750,000.
The COSA board has passed resolutions on measures 58 and 60 at the request of the campaign organization leading the opposition, Defend Oregon. Defend Oregon is a broad based organization financed primarily by public employee unions.

If you are interested in the COSA resolutions, you can access them via the following links:

COSA Board Resolution – Ballot Measure 58
COSA Board Resolution – Ballot Measure 60

If you are interested on contacting the campaigns involved in these issues to learn more, contribute or take part, contact:

Treasure Mackley: Campaign Manager treasure@parentsandteachersknowbetter.com
Becca Uherbelau: Communications Manager becca@parentsandteachersknowbetter.com
Michael Cox: Outreach Coordinator michael.cox@parentsandteachersknowbetter.com

Comments (1)Add Comment
Barnyard animal
written by Edward M. Jensen, September 15, 2008
When I was kid Dad would put me to work with the range turkey's he raised. In that job I observed an odd phenomenon. When a particular piper cub (one that was especially noisy) from the local small airport would fly over, the turkeys would all flock together at the roost and pile up on one another. Ostensibly, with the thought they were protecting/helping themselves. Unfortunately, some at the bottom of the pile would die because they were smothered. My job would have been a lot easier if I could have made the turkeys to ignore the noise from this small airplane.

It is my hope Chuck and COSA are able to keep voters from listening to a noisy little airplane, as kids will get smothered.

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This page was last updated on Monday, September 15, 2008 .