Teacher-Pay Measure on Ballot 

Teacher-Pay Measure on Ballot 
Posted by FoM on July 19, 2000 at 11:32:58 PT
By Harry Esteve of The Oregonian Staff 
Source: The Oregonian
Marijuana legalization won't be on the ballot this fall -- supporters of an initiative to sell it in liquor stores came in far short of the required signatures, state election officials said Monday. But voters will decide whether to link Oregon teacher pay to student achievement and whether to ban the use of "body-gripping" traps on wildlife, according to the latest count of initiative signatures. 
The teacher pay-for-performance initiative, sponsored by Oregon Taxpayers United and its executive director, Bill Sizemore, and the anti-trapping proposal were among three certified by state election officials Monday for a spot on the Nov. 7 ballot. The state Elections Division also approved another Sizemore-backed measure, one that would make it harder to change the initiative process. Marijuana legalization supporters claimed they had submitted more than 78,000 signatures when they turned in boxloads of petitions just more than a week ago. But when state election workers looked through the boxes, they came up with 44,725 names -- and that's without checking to see if all were registered voters. "They're about 22,000 short," said Scott Tighe, operations manager in the Elections Division. "We won't even verify with that low a number." "We are all rather perplexed" about the disparity between the counts, said Phillip Leveque, one of the chief sponsors of the initiative. "This is too hard to figure out." Leveque said one of the main backers of the initiative, Paul Stanford, planned to travel to Salem to go over the petition sheets again. To date, seven citizen-backed initiatives have made it on the ballot, including five of Sizemore's. Election workers are still counting and verifying signatures on another 12 initiatives to determine how many measures voters will decide this fall. Eventually, the ballot could contain as many as 27 measures, including seven already put there by the Legislature and another by citizen referral. That would make it the most crowded ballot since 1914. The culling process began last week. State election workers have sorted through the petition sheets, counting the number of names and feeding the data into a computer data base. The state then hands a random sample of petition sheets to county clerks, who check names against voter registration cards. County workers determine which names to strike because they aren't registered voters or have some other problem. Using a statistical equation, the state then determines whether the initiative has enough signatures to go on the ballot. The deadline for verifying all the measures is Aug. 6. "We're pretty much on schedule," Elections Director Lynn Rosik said. "We have some counties that are quicker than others. . . . I think that will smooth out as we go along." The teacher pay issue could become one of the more volatile in the election. Unions have long protected a pay scale that rewards teachers for years of service, while critics have demanded more consideration of an instructor's ability to teach. Of those that have qualified so far, only the proposed trapping prohibition, which will be listed as Measure 97, can boast an all-volunteer signature drive. The rest used paid canvassers to collect the thousands of signatures needed to earn a shot at a statewide vote. Former U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Furse, D-Ore., who is spearheading the Measure 97 campaign, said she hopes to capitalize on the volunteer corps to press for a victory in November. "We intend to do a very thorough campaign," Furse said. "People feel so passionate about this." Furse likens leg-hold traps and similar devices to "land mines spread across Oregon" and says they have injured pets, non-targeted animals and humans. Hunters say the measure goes too far by banning traps commonly use to get rid of moles and gophers. Furthermore, the measure will hurt sheep farmers by making it harder to control coyotes, said Jim Habberstad, a spokesman for a coalition of opponents and former chairman of the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission. "The real intention of this measure is to ban all traps for all reasons," Habberstad said. The teacher pay initiative will be Measure 95. Sizemore's proposal to make it harder to change the initiative system will be Measure 96. You can reach Harry Esteve at 503-221-8226 or by e-mail at: harryesteve news.oregonian.comPublished: Tuesday, July 18, 2000Copyright 2000 Oregon Live. Related Articles & Web Site:CRRH OCTA Turns in 78,640 Signatures Initiatives Include Digital Signatures? Group Sues Bradbury To The Oregon Cannabis Tax Act
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