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Lutz v. Rosenblum

Supreme Court of Oregon, En Banc

March 22, 2018

Trent LUTZ and Richard Schwartz, Petitioners,
v.
Ellen F. ROSENBLUM, Attorney General, State of Oregon, Respondent. Glenn SCHWORAK and James Mitchell, Petitioners,
v.
Ellen F. ROSENBLUM, Attorney General, State of Oregon, Respondent.

          On petitions to review ballot title fled December 11, 2017; considered and under advisement January 24, 2018.

          Margaret S. Olney, Bennett Hartman Morris, Portland, fled the petition for the petitioners Lutz and Schwartz.

          Jill Gibson, Gibson Law Firm LLC, Portland, fled the petition for the petitioners Mitchell and Schworak.

          Carson L. Whitehead, A ssistant Attorney General, Salem, fled the answering memorandum for respondent. Also on the answering memorandum were Ellen F. Rosenblum, Attorney General, and Benjamin Gutman, Solicitor General.

         The ballot title is referred to the Attorney General for modification.

          [362 Or. 652] Case Summary: Petitioners sought review of the Attorney General's certified ballot title for Initiative Petition 33 (IP 33). If adopted, IP 33 would require that government employee unions report certain disclosures to the Secretary of State, and that the Secretary of State publish those reports in an online, searchable database. The Secretary of State could audit and impose penalties for failure to comply with reporting requirements. Held: (1) The ballot title's caption must be modified because it did not mention certain major effects of the measure; (2) the ballot title's "no" result statement must be modified because, as written, it could mislead voters about the scope of current disclosure requirements; and (3) the summary must be modified to clarify which employee salaries must be disclosed and must add certain major effects.

         The ballot title is referred to the Attorney General for modification.

          [362 Or. 653] FLYNN, J.

         Two sets of petitioners have challenged the Attorney General's certified ballot title for Initiative Petition 33 (2018) (IP 33). If adopted, IP 33 would require that "government employee unions"[1] annually report the following information to the Secretary of State:

" [H] ow dues are spent and recipients of such dues, including:
"(a) total amount of all dues collected by the government employee union;
"(b) contributions made by the government employee union to political committees, petition committees, and independent expenditures;
"(c) expenses paid by the government employee union that the government employee union determined were for collective bargaining and chargeable to nonmembers, and a description of the method used to make such determinations;
"(d) expenses paid by the government employee union that the government employee union determined were not for collective bargaining and not chargeable to nonmembers, and a description of the method used to make such determinations;
"(e) money spent by the government employee union for lobbying; "(f) salaries for the government employee union's officers and ten highest paid employees who are not officers; and
"(g) donations and contributions made by the government employee union to organizations exempt from taxes under federal Internal Revenue Code, § 501(c)."

IP 33, § 2(1)(a)-(g). IP 33 also requires that a government employee union forward its report "to all of its members and nonmembers within seven days of filing with the Secretary of State."IP33, § (2)(2).

         Once the reports described above have been filed with the Secretary of State, IP 33 provides that the [362 Or. 654] secretary is responsible for making the information contained in the reports "available to the public on an ongoing basis in the form of a searchable database accessible through the Internet." IP 33, ยง 3(2). In addition, the reports "shall be subject to audit by the Secretary of State, " and the secretary "may impose penalties of up to 0.25% of the government employee union's ...


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