Learn more about the most pressing issues Common Sense For Oregon is responding to on behalf of Oregonians. We are tackling these issues on all fronts from research and education of stakeholders, to the courts, the Legislature, and the Executive Branch.
Balance of Power
Common Sense for Oregon is leading an effort to develop an amendment to the Oregon Constitution which will more clearly define the powers of the Governor, the Legislature, and County Commissioners in addressing emergencies.
The coronavirus pandemic, also known as Covid-19, is one example of an emergency affecting Oregon. Governor Kate Brown has overreached her authority in issuing executive orders and using the governmental agency, Oregon Occupational Safety and Health, to restrict the rights of Oregonians and cause significant economic harm to Oregon businesses. This draft constitutional amendment is meant to redistribute emergency powers between the Governor, the Legislature, and the local County Commissioners.
Every ten years a national census is done to determine the number of people residing in each state which then determines the number of seats each state is apportioned in the U.S. House of Representatives. For the first time in forty years, Oregon has gained a Congressional seat, going from five to six seats. Currently, Oregon is going through the redistricting process. The Legislative Assembly, through the Senate and House Redistricting Committees, is redrawing district boundaries so that roughly equal populations are allocated to the 60 state House districts, the 30 state Senate districts, and the six U.S. Congressional districts. The Legislative Assembly must submit a plan by September 27, 2021. Common Sense for Oregon is tracking Oregon’s redistricting process and is working to ensure that the revised districts are fair, free, and equal.
Estate Tax Reform
Common Sense for Oregon is advocating for estate tax reform in Oregon. Only 11 states, including Oregon, continue to have a death tax, and Oregon imposes one of the most arduous taxes on small to mid-size estates. Common Sense for Oregon continues to look for opportunities to reduce or eliminate the estate tax in Oregon by working with Legislators to introduce and pass legislation to meet this goal.
Public Safety and Crime Victimization Rates
Governor Kate Brown recently granted 985 convicted felons early release from prison. These felons have been convicted of serious crimes including murder, assault, robbery, kidnapping, identify theft, auto theft, escape, and mail theft. This massive release of convicted felons is a serious assault on the integrity of Oregon’s criminal justice system. Legislators and governors, as well as the voters, worked for years to develop a sentencing structure which showed respect for crime victims and which guaranteed that convicts served the time which they had been convicted. Common Sense for Oregon is working to educate Legislators, candidates for Governor, and Oregonians on the importance of truth in sentencing and the harm that early release of criminals has on Oregonians most at risk.
Over the course of the pandemic, small businesses across Oregon have navigated the ever-changing landscape of newly instituted COVID regulations which have severely limited their ability to conduct business and survive. Common Sense for Oregon is assisting small businesses across Oregon to stay afloat and function despite Governor mandated policies.
Kevin Mannix authored Measure 11 in response to the impact low prison resources and sentencing guidelines were having on Oregonians, especially the victims of violent crime, and their families. Voter-approved Measure 11 establishes mandatory minimum terms of imprisonment for criminals who have been convicted of 16 of the worst levels of violent and sexual crimes. Measure 11 does not involve sentences for property crimes or drug crimes.