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June 6, 2007





HB 3540 Reverses Will of Oregon Voters, Strips Rights from Property Owners


SALEM—House Democrats today completed their repeal of Measure 37, approving Senate amendments secretly drafted and adopted in the Joint Ways and Means Committee.  For the second time, House Republicans vigorously opposed HB 3540, the bill to limit Oregonians’ rights under Measure 37.  In fact, the legislation never received a single Republican vote in committee, or on the House and Senate Floors.


“Democrats repealed a simple law giving property owners the right to seek compensation when government regulations reduced the value of their land,” said House Republican Leader Wayne Scott (R-Canby). “Rather than implementing a law approved by 61 percent of Oregon voters, Democrats buried this citizens’ initiative in bureaucracy and legal red tape.”


Democrats drafted and adopted the HB 3540-C amendments with no public input and little notice, five months after promising a more “open and collaborative” legislative process than previous sessions.


“Oregonians were given no opportunities to speak on this bill, and public testimony was never allowed on these amendments,” said Rep. Bill Garrard (R-Klamath Falls), a member of both the Joint Ways and Means and Land Use “Fairness” Committees.  “The amendments were adopted and presented to the full Ways and Means Committee within 24 hours, clearly violating the spirit of our public notice rules. This bill is a freight train on its way to the ballot, while our time honored legislative process lies shattered along the tracks.”


Rep. Scott said HB 3540 is yet another example of Democrats punting issues to voters through expensive special elections, rather than seeking bi-partisan compromises in the Legislature.


“Democrats have convinced themselves that HB 3540 is somehow a ‘fix,’” Rep. Scott said. “Oregonians will not be fooled, and they will dismiss this referral as an arrogant and elitist attempt by Democrats and special interest groups to reverse their will.”



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