ORS 250.075¹
Preparation of ballot titles by Legislative Assembly

(1) When the Legislative Assembly refers a measure to the people, a ballot title for the measure may be prepared by the assembly. The ballot title shall be filed with the Secretary of State when the measure is filed with the Secretary of State.

(2) If the title is not prepared under subsection (1) of this section, when the measure is filed with the Secretary of State, the secretary shall send one copy of the referred measure to the Attorney General. Not later than the 30th day after the Legislative Assembly adjourns, the Attorney General shall provide a draft ballot title for the measure. The Attorney General shall send a copy of the draft ballot title to each member of the Legislative Assembly, and file with the Secretary of State a copy of the draft ballot title and a certificate of mailing of the draft ballot title to each member. [Formerly 254.073; 1985 c.447 §3; 1995 c.607 §27; 2017 c.749 §17]

Note: Sections 1 to 8, chapter 674, Oregon Laws 2019, provide:

Sec. 1. (1) Except as provided in section 2 of this 2019 Act, if an amendment to the Oregon Constitution is referred to the people by the Eightieth Legislative Assembly during its 2019 regular session under Article XVII, section 1, of the Oregon Constitution, or if all or part of any Act of the Eightieth Legislative Assembly that passes both houses of the Legislative Assembly during its 2019 regular session is referred to the people by the Legislative Assembly under Article IV, section 1 (3)(c), of the Oregon Constitution, or by petition under Article IV, section 1 (3)(b), of the Oregon Constitution:

(a) Notwithstanding ORS 250.035 (Form of ballot titles for state and local measures), 250.067 (Notice of draft ballot title), 250.075 (Preparation of ballot titles by Legislative Assembly) (2) and 250.085 (Procedure for elector dissatisfied with ballot title of state measure), the ballot title for a measure or part of a measure described in this subsection shall be prepared by the joint legislative committee appointed under section 7 of this 2019 Act and filed with the Secretary of State not later than the date set by the Secretary of State by rule. The word limits described in ORS 250.035 (Form of ballot titles for state and local measures) (2) do not apply to the ballot title for a measure referred to the people by the Legislative Assembly under Article IV, section 1 (3)(c), of the Oregon Constitution, and prepared by the joint legislative committee under this subsection. Unless modified under section 5 of this 2019 Act, the ballot title prepared by the committee under this subsection shall be the ballot title printed in the voters’ pamphlet and printed on, or included with, the ballot.

(b) Notwithstanding ORS 251.205 (Appointment of committee to draft explanatory statement of measure proposed by initiative or referendum), 251.215 (Preparation and filing of explanatory statement of measure), 251.225 (Preparation and filing of explanatory statement by Legislative Counsel Committee), 251.230 (Effect if explanatory statement not filed) and 251.235 (Supreme Court review of explanatory statement), the explanatory statement to be printed in the voters’ pamphlet for a measure or part of a measure described in this subsection shall be prepared by the joint legislative committee appointed under section 7 of this 2019 Act and filed with the Secretary of State not later than the date set by the Secretary of State by rule. Unless modified under section 6 of this 2019 Act, the explanatory statement prepared by the committee under this subsection shall be the explanatory statement printed in the voters’ pamphlet.

(2) The joint legislative committee may begin preparation of the ballot title or explanatory statement:

(a) For a measure referred to the people by the Legislative Assembly under Article XVII, section 1, or Article IV, section 1 (3)(c), of the Oregon Constitution, on the date the measure is filed with the Secretary of State; and

(b) For a measure referred to the people by petition under Article IV, section 1 (3)(b), of the Oregon Constitution, on the date that a prospective petition to refer the measure is filed with the Secretary of State under ORS 250.045 (Prospective petition).

(3) Except as otherwise provided in sections 1 to 8 of this 2019 Act, ORS chapters 250, 251 and 254 apply to an election held on a measure or part of a measure described in subsection (1) of this section.

(4) As used in sections 1 to 8 of this 2019 Act, “measure” has the meaning given that term in ORS 250.005 (Definitions). [2019 c.674 §1]

Sec. 2. (1) If all or part of chapter 122, Oregon Laws 2019, is referred to the people by petition under Article IV, section 1 (3)(b), of the Oregon Constitution:

(a) The Act shall be submitted to the people for their approval or rejection at a special election held throughout this state on January 21, 2020; and

(b) A special election shall be held throughout this state on January 21, 2020, as provided in sections 1 to 8 of this 2019 Act.

(2) Except as otherwise provided in sections 1 to 8 of this 2019 Act, ORS chapters 250, 251 and 254 apply to an election held on a measure described in subsection (1) of this section.

(3) Notwithstanding ORS 250.035 (Form of ballot titles for state and local measures), 250.067 (Notice of draft ballot title), 250.075 (Preparation of ballot titles by Legislative Assembly) (2) and 250.085 (Procedure for elector dissatisfied with ballot title of state measure), the ballot title for a measure described in subsection (1) of this section shall be prepared by the joint legislative committee appointed under section 7 of this 2019 Act and filed with the Secretary of State not later than the date set by the Secretary of State by rule. The ballot title prepared by the committee under this subsection may describe any effects or consequences that the committee determines will result if the people vote to reject a measure described in subsection (1) of this section. Unless modified under section 5 of this 2019 Act, the ballot title prepared by the committee under this subsection shall be the ballot title printed in the voters’ pamphlet and printed on, or included with, the ballot.

(4) Notwithstanding ORS 251.205 (Appointment of committee to draft explanatory statement of measure proposed by initiative or referendum), 251.215 (Preparation and filing of explanatory statement of measure), 251.225 (Preparation and filing of explanatory statement by Legislative Counsel Committee), 251.230 (Effect if explanatory statement not filed) and 251.235 (Supreme Court review of explanatory statement), the explanatory statement to be printed in the voters’ pamphlet for a measure described in subsection (1) of this section shall be prepared by the joint legislative committee appointed under section 7 of this 2019 Act and filed with the Secretary of State not later than the date set by the Secretary of State by rule. The explanatory statement prepared by the committee under this subsection may describe any effects or consequences that the committee determines will result if the people vote to reject a measure described in subsection (1) of this section. Unless modified under section 6 of this 2019 Act, the explanatory statement prepared by the committee under this subsection shall be the explanatory statement printed in the voters’ pamphlet.

(5) The joint legislative committee may begin preparation of the ballot title or explanatory statement on the date that a prospective petition to refer a measure described in subsection (1) of this section is filed with the Secretary of State under ORS 250.045 (Prospective petition).

(6)(a) Arguments relating to a measure described in subsection (1) of this section may be filed with the Secretary of State under ORS 251.245 (Committee to prepare and file argument in support of measure referred by Legislative Assembly) and 251.255 (Filing arguments for or against measure), except that an argument must be filed not later than the date set by the Secretary of State by rule.

(b) Notwithstanding ORS 192.311 (Definitions for ORS 192.311 to 192.478) to 192.478 (Exemption for Judicial Department) relating to public records, an argument filed under this subsection is exempt from public inspection until the fourth business day after the deadline for filing the argument.

(7) Notwithstanding the time frames set forth in ORS 250.127 (Preparation and filing of estimates and statements of financial impact of state measure), the financial estimate committee created under ORS 250.125 (Estimate of financial impact of state measures) shall prepare and file with the Secretary of State the estimates described in ORS 250.125 (Estimate of financial impact of state measures) and, if the committee considers it necessary, an impartial, simple and understandable statement explaining the financial effects of the measure as described in ORS 250.125 (Estimate of financial impact of state measures), except that the committee shall prepare and file the estimates or statement not later than the date set by the Secretary of State by rule. The financial estimate committee may begin preparation of the estimates or statement on the date that a prospective petition to refer a measure described in subsection (1) of this section is filed with the Secretary of State under ORS 250.045 (Prospective petition).

(8) Notwithstanding ORS 250.131 (Court review of procedures under which estimates and statements of financial impact of state measure were prepared) (2), the Supreme Court shall conduct a review under ORS 250.131 (Court review of procedures under which estimates and statements of financial impact of state measure were prepared) if a petition is filed not later than the date set by the Secretary of State by rule. [2019 c.674 §2]

Sec. 3. (1) The Secretary of State shall cause to be printed in the voters’ pamphlet the number, ballot title and text of a measure described in section 1 or 2 of this 2019 Act and the financial estimate, explanatory statement and arguments relating to the measure. The Secretary of State shall also cause to be printed in the voters’ pamphlet any other information required by law. Notwithstanding ORS 251.026 (Statements and information included in voters’ pamphlets), the Secretary of State shall include in the voters’ pamphlet the statements or information described in ORS 251.026 (Statements and information included in voters’ pamphlets) that the Secretary of State considers applicable or relevant to the conduct of the election on a measure described in section 2 of this 2019 Act.

(2) For purposes of sections 1 to 8 of this 2019 Act, the election referred to in ORS 251.295 (Radio and television broadcasts to supplement pamphlet):

(a) Is the general election, for a measure described in section 1 of this 2019 Act; and

(b) Is the special election held on the date specified in section 2 (1) of this 2019 Act, for a measure described in section 2 (1) of this 2019 Act.

(3) If the measure described in section 2 (1) of this 2019 Act is referred to the people by petition under Article IV, section 1 (3)(b), of the Oregon Constitution:

(a) Notwithstanding ORS 251.285 (Inclusion of community college district measure relating to bonding, county measure or metropolitan service district measure in voters’ pamphlet) and subject to ORS 251.008 (Joint production of state and county voters’ pamphlet), the measure referred to in this subsection shall be the only measure included in the voters’ pamphlet prepared for the special election held on January 21, 2020.

(b) Not later than the 10th day before the election, the Secretary of State shall cause the voters’ pamphlet to be mailed to each post-office mailing address in Oregon and may use any additional means of distribution necessary to make the pamphlet available to electors.

(c) In preparing the voters’ pamphlet for the special election to be held on January 21, 2020, the Secretary of State is not required to comply with ORS chapter 279B relating to competitive bidding. [2019 c.674 §3]

Sec. 4. (1) Notwithstanding the deadline specified in ORS 254.085 (Secretary of State’s statement of offices, candidates and measures), the Secretary of State shall prepare and deliver to each county clerk by the most expeditious means practicable a certified statement of a measure described in section 1 or 2 of this 2019 Act. The Secretary of State shall include with the statement the number, financial estimate and ballot title of the measure and any other information required by law. The Secretary of State shall keep a copy of the statement.

(2) The county clerks shall print on the ballot the number, financial estimate and ballot title of the measure, along with any other information required by law. In lieu of printing the financial estimate, the summary portion of the ballot title or other information required by law on the ballot, a county clerk may include with the ballot the complete text of the ballot title, the financial estimate and any other information required by law. [2019 c.674 §4]

Sec. 5. Notwithstanding ORS 250.085 (Procedure for elector dissatisfied with ballot title of state measure):

(1) Any elector dissatisfied with the ballot title for a measure described in section 1 or 2 of this 2019 Act prepared by the joint legislative committee appointed under section 7 of this 2019 Act may petition the Supreme Court seeking a different ballot title. The petition shall state the reasons that the ballot title filed with the Secretary of State does not substantially comply with the requirements of ORS 250.035 (Form of ballot titles for state and local measures) and section 1 or 2 of this 2019 Act.

(2) The petition shall name the Attorney General as the respondent and must be filed not later than the fifth business day after the joint legislative committee files the ballot title with the Secretary of State.

(3) An elector filing a petition under this section shall notify the Secretary of State in writing that the petition has been filed. The notice must be received in the office of the Secretary of State not later than 5 p.m. on the next business day following the day the petition is filed.

(4) The Supreme Court shall review the ballot title for substantial compliance with the requirements of ORS 250.035 (Form of ballot titles for state and local measures) and section 1 or 2 of this 2019 Act.

(5) The review by the Supreme Court shall be conducted expeditiously to ensure the orderly and timely conduct of the election at which the measure is to be submitted to the electors.

(6) If the Supreme Court determines that the ballot title prepared by the joint legislative committee substantially complies with the requirements of ORS 250.035 (Form of ballot titles for state and local measures) and section 1 or 2 of this 2019 Act, the court shall certify the ballot title to the Secretary of State. If the Supreme Court determines that the ballot title prepared by the joint legislative committee does not substantially comply with the requirements of ORS 250.035 (Form of ballot titles for state and local measures) and section 1 or 2 of this 2019 Act, the court shall modify the ballot title and certify the ballot title to the Secretary of State or refer the ballot title to the Attorney General for modification.

(7) Not later than five business days after the Supreme Court refers a ballot title to the Attorney General for modification under this section, the Attorney General shall certify a modified ballot title to the Secretary of State. The modified ballot title is not subject to judicial review. [2019 c.674 §5]

Sec. 6. Notwithstanding ORS 251.235 (Supreme Court review of explanatory statement):

(1) Any person dissatisfied with the explanatory statement for a measure described in section 1 or 2 of this 2019 Act prepared by the joint legislative committee appointed under section 7 of this 2019 Act may petition the Supreme Court seeking a different explanatory statement and stating the reasons the explanatory statement filed with the court is insufficient or unclear.

(2) The court shall review the explanatory statement and certify an explanatory statement to the Secretary of State if the petition is filed and served as required in subsection (4) of this section not later than the fifth business day after the joint legislative committee files the explanatory statement with the Secretary of State.

(3) Failure to file and serve the petition within the time prescribed in subsection (2) of this section precludes Supreme Court review and certification of an explanatory statement. If the court considers the petition, the court may allow oral argument. The review by the Supreme Court shall be conducted expeditiously to ensure the orderly and timely conduct of the election at which the measure is to be submitted to the electors. The explanatory statement certified by the court shall be the explanatory statement printed in the voters’ pamphlet.

(4) At the time a person petitions the Supreme Court under subsection (1) of this section, the person also shall serve a copy of the petition on:

(a) The Attorney General;

(b) The Legislative Assembly; and

(c) The chief petitioners of the measure. [2019 c.674 §6]

Sec. 7. (1) For each measure described in section 1 or 2 of this 2019 Act, a joint legislative committee consisting of three Senators and three Representatives shall be appointed to prepare and file with the Secretary of State the ballot title and explanatory statement for the measure.

(2)(a) The President of the Senate shall appoint three members of a committee from among members of the Senate, two from the majority party and one from the minority party.

(b) The Speaker of the House of Representatives shall appoint three members of a committee from among members of the House of Representatives, two from the majority party and one from the minority party. [2019 c.674 §7]

Sec. 8. The Secretary of State shall adopt rules governing the procedures for conducting an election on a measure described in section 2 of this 2019 Act as may be necessary to implement sections 2 to 8 of this 2019 Act. Rules adopted under this section may not require the joint legislative committee appointed under section 7 of this 2019 Act to:

(1) Prepare or make publicly available a draft ballot title; or

(2) File a ballot title with the Secretary of State before the 91st day after the 2019 regular session of the Eightieth Legislative Assembly adjourns sine die. [2019 c.674 §8]

See also annota­tions under ORS 254.073 in permanent edi­tion.

Notes of Decisions

Separate bill ordering use of ballot title prepared by legislature is not itself referred measure and is therefore subject to veto by Governor. Hamilton v. Myers, 326 Or 44, 943 P2d 214 (1997)

Chapter 250

Notes of Decisions

Initiative measure filed in elec­tion cycle must satisfy all statutory and constitu­tional require­ments and be placed on ballot in that elec­tion cycle; if proponents wish to put measure on ballot at an­oth­er elec­tion, they must start initiative process over during next elec­tion cycle. Unger v. Rosenblum, 362 Or 210, 407 P3d 817 (2017)

Law Review Cita­tions

27 WLR 132 (1991); 75 OLR 561 (1996)

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 250—Initiative and Referendum, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors250.­html (2019) (last ac­cessed May 16, 2020).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2019, Chapter 250, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano250.­html (2019) (last ac­cessed May 16, 2020).
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent. Currency Information