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Parrish v. Rosenblum

Supreme Court of Oregon, En Banc

October 10, 2019

Julie PARRISH, Petitioner,
v.
Ellen F. ROSENBLUM, Attorney General, State of Oregon, Respondent.

          On petition to review ballot title fled June 20, 2019; considered and under advisement on August 6, 2019.

          Eric Winters, Wilsonville, fled the petition for review and reply for petitioner.

          Benjamin Gutman, Solicitor General, Salem, fled the answering memorandum for respondent. Also on the answering memorandum was Ellen F. Rosenblum, Attorney General.

          Aruna A. Masih, Bennett, Hartman, Morris & Kaplan, LLP, Portland, fled the memorandum for amicus curiae Becca Uherbelau.

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

         Case Summary: The Attorney General certified a ballot title for Initiative Petition 13 (2020) (IP 13). Petitioner challenged the certified ballot title on the grounds that its caption, "yes" and "no" vote result statements, and summary did not substantially comply with the requirements of ORS 250.035. Held: The Attorney General's certified ballot title for IP 13 does not substantially comply with the requirements of ORS 250.035. The ballot title is referred to the Attorney General for modification.

         [365 Or.App. 598] GARRETT, J.

         Petitioner Parrish challenges the Attorney General's certified ballot title for Initiative Petition 13 (2020) (IP 13). Intervenor Uherbelau intervenes generally in support of the Attorney General's certified ballot title. We review the ballot title for substantial compliance with ORS 250.035(2). See ORS 250.085(5) (stating standard of review). For the reasons explained below, we conclude that the ballot title for IP 13 does not substantially comply with ORS 250.035(2) in several respects, and we therefore refer it to the Attorney General for modification.

         If adopted, IP 13 would amend Article IX of the Oregon Constitution to add a new section, section 16. Subsection 16(1) would require the State Treasurer to "calculate the unfunded actuarial liability of any public employee retirement program or system as of December 31, 2022." Section 16 would further provide as follows:

"(2) Beginning January 1, 2023, the state and its political subdivisions, including home rule jurisdictions, may not:
"(a) Accrue unfunded actuarial liability in excess of the amounts calculated under subsection (1) of this section.
"(b) May not borrow money or pledge assets or revenues to comply with subsection (2) of this section.
"(3) The prohibition in subsection 2(b) of this section does not apply to indebtedness incurred on or before the effective date of this 2020 measure.
"(4) Nothing in this section affects the retirement benefits an employee has accrued as of December ...

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