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Oregon Constitutional Convention or Task Force?


A 2009 HB 2620 to rewrite the Oregon Constitution has been introduced, by Representative Chuck Riley:

A summary from the Legislature (html or pdf):

Provides for constitutional convention in 2011. Establishes qualifications for delegates, number of delegates and manner of electing delegates. Requires that chairperson of convention certify proposed Constitution to Secretary of State no later than August 26, 2011. Requires that Secretary of State submit proposed constitution to people for approval or rejection at special election to be held on November 8, 2011.

Creates Constitutional Commission to make recommendations to constitutional convention and serve as resource for advice and consultation to constitutional convention.

Refers Act to people for their approval or rejection at next regular general election.”

An Oregonlive story about it: Rewrite this: Lawmaker calls for new state constitution, by Harry Esteve, The Oregonian March 16, 2009:

Excerpt: “SALEM – Oregon’s constitution, adopted back when people wore buckskins and breeches, has gotten bloated and confusing and should be rewritten from scratch, a Washington County lawmaker testified today.

Rep. Chuck Riley, D-Hillsboro, has called for a full-blown constitutional convention to come up with a new manuscript to underpin the state’s laws and governmental make-up….

Riley got backing from Willamette University law professor Norman Williams, who said the state constitution “gradually is becoming unwieldy” and is due for some modernization. But it doesn’t have to be done at a convention, which would require several elections and cost millions of dollars.

Instead, the Legislature could appoint a commission to draw up a new document, which would then be approved by lawmakers before being sent out for a statewide vote.

That approach didn’t get much further with the committee.

“What you’re proposing, sir, if I understand you correctly,” said Rep. Vicki Berger, R-Salem, “is the mother of all task forces.”

Well, yes, Williams replied.” (link to full article)

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