Appeal from Ballot Title certified by Lee Johnson, Attorney General.
Thomas C. Enright, Salem, Theodore R. Kulongoski, Eugene, and Lyndon A. S. Wilson, Jr., Portland, argued the cause for petitioners. On the brief was Thomas C. Enright, Salem.
Lee Johnson, Attorney General, Salem, argued the cause for respondent. With him on the brief were John W. Osburn, Solicitor General, and Al J. Laue, Assistant Attorney General, Salem.
Bryson, Justice. McAllister, Presiding Justice, and Tongue and Howell, Justices. Denecke, Justice, dissenting. Holman, Justice, joins in this dissent.
This is a proceeding for a review of a ballot title furnished by the Attorney General for a proposed petition for referendum. House Bill 2263, relating to collective bargaining for public employees, was enacted by the 57th Legislative Assembly and approved by the Governor on July 21, 1973. A petition for referendum on the measure was filed with the Secretary of State on July 26, 1973. Pursuant to ORS 254.060, the Attorney General prepared a ballot title. Petitioners allege that they are dissatisfied with the prepared ballot title and request this court, under the authority granted in ORS 254.077, to certify a revised ballot title to the Secretary of State.
The ballot title prepared by the Attorney General provides:
"REVISES PUBLIC EMPLOYES' COLLECTIVE BARGAINING LAW: Expands coverage of present public employe collective bargaining law and gives most public employes the right to strike. Law covers employes of state, cities, counties, community colleges, school districts, special districts and most public and quasi-public corporations other than elected officials, persons appointed to boards or commissions, confidential and supervisory employes. Prohibits strikes by policemen, firemen, certain guards and in other specified instances. Provides for binding arbitration where strikes are prohibited. Makes other provisions."
The ballot title proposed by the petitioners provides:
"REVISION OF PUBLIC EMPLOYE REPRESENTATION
LAWS: Expands coverage of present public employe collective bargaining law to include all public employes except elected officials, members of boards or commissions, supervisory or confidential employes. Provides representation unit determination and election procedures. Specifies unfair labor practices. Provides remedies. Prohibits strikes by policemen, firemen, guards and in other specified instances. Authorizes injunctions against strikes court finds would endanger health, safety or welfare of the public. Provides for binding arbitration where strike prohibited. Makes other provisions."
The statutory requirements for a ballot title are:
"* * * The ballot title shall consist of a caption not exceeding six words in length by which the measure is commonly referred to or spoken of, followed by an abbreviated statement not exceeding 75 words in length of the chief purpose of the measure. * * * The ballot title prepared by the Attorney General ...