Major Provisions of IP 8 (2024)
Initiative Petition 8 for the November 2024 ballot ("IP 8") would protect statewide campaign finance reform laws adopted by voter initiative from being changed without another vote of the people or without a 3/4 majority vote in all chambers of the Oregon Legislature.
It would similarly protect campaign finance reform laws adopted by voter initiative in a county or city without another vote of the people or without a 3/4 majority vote of the county commission or city council.
Campaign finance reform laws include:
- Limiting political campaign contributions
- Requiring disclosure of the true sources of political campaign contributions or expenditures
- Requiring that political advertisements identify the real persons or entities paying for the advertisement
Without the IP 8 protection, politicians elected under Oregon's current "Wild West" system of unlimited campaign contributions and spending, with undisclosed actual sources of money, can repeal or otherwise impair campaign finance reform laws adopted by voters--by simple majority votes in the Oregon Legislature or local government bodies.
This is a real threat to democracy. In Missouri and South Dakota, voter-enacted laws to limit campaign contributions were quickly repealed by their state legislatures. The Massachusetts Legislature repealed (by voice vote, with no actual votes recorded) a voter-enacted law limiting contributions and providing a system of public funding of campaigns.
Arizona, Arkansas, Michigan, Nebraska, North Dakota and Washington do not allow repeal or amendment of initiated laws except by supermajority votes of the legislature. Alaska, Nevada, North Dakota, Washington, and Wyoming also do not allow legislatures to amend initiated laws for a period of years after their enactment by the voters. But the Oregon Constitution now allows legislative bodies by simple majority votes to repeal or amendment voter-enacted laws.
IP 8 also specifies that, if a legislature does amend a voter-enacted campaign finance reform law, the change cannot become effective until after the next even-year general election. That means the politicians cannot change the rules that apply to their own upcoming elections, even with a 3/4 vote.
IP 8 is needed to protect voter-enacted campaign finance reform laws from the big money politicians.