Measures on Oregon’s 2018 Ballot

By Asa Brown

This November 6th, Oregonians will vote to determine the results of five initiatives on various topics. I recently sent out an email asking about people thoughts on such measure up for the vote. This article explains the sides and perspectives behind the measures as well as getting several students’ thoughts on the issue at hand.

Measure 102:

For various and somewhat ambiguous reasons, the state constitution does not currently allow for private money made from loans to partially contribute to the construction of affordable housing. This is generally an uncontroversial bill, and it streamed through the state house and senate (54-0, 24-5). One OES student commented that “this bill simply streamlines the process for affordable housing projects to be implemented. It seems like a good enough bill”


Measure 103:

One you may have seen advertisements for, Measure 103 proposes prohibiting state and local governments from enacting taxes on groceries. Currently, Oregon is one of the few states without a statewide sales tax, but Oregon allows local governments to have a sales tax (The City of Ashland, for example, has a sales tax). However, Measure 103 would prevent taxes on groceries. Washington State has a similar bill. Some of the supporters of the bill are grocery stores and other companies that would benefit from preventing taxes on groceries, as well as people who oppose taxing, especially as a sales tax. According to an OES student, “Measure 103 is great. Fewer taxes are great”  Many that oppose the bill make the argument, that although, taxes on groceries aren’t good, prohibiting the taxing of groceries forever would be unwise. People have also raised the question of stopping a potential ‘soda tax’ or ‘sugar tax.’ An OES student said, “Despite how 103 would prevent food prices from being raised, it also has the problem of how it prevents unhealthy food from being taxed to discourage people from buying it.”


Measure 104:

Measure 104, if instituted, would make it so that a 3/5 majority would have to approve any legislation that affects state revenue. Those that support it say that it easily prevents tax hikes for Oregonians. Those that oppose it say that it contributes to an already gridlocked state government.


Measure 105:

Measure 105 surrounds the controversial issue of immigration. If measure 105, passed, Oregon would no longer be a sanctuary state. Several notable figures in Oregon have endorsed opposition for the measure, including Nike, Columbia Sportswear, and the Portland Timbers and Thorns. One member of the OES community had this to say about Measure 105:

I am canvassing for people to vote NO on Measure 105. Passing this measure would

repeal Oregon’s 31-year old sanctuary law. I have heard from and talked to many law

enforcement (sheriffs, local police), state and county workers, and others who confirm

that repealing this law would not only increase/promote racial profiling, but it would also

inhibit people from reporting crimes, such as domestic violence. It would lessen the

safety and well-being of all those living in Oregon because not everyone would feel safe

reporting crimes. At any rate – I am a big fan of respecting the dignity, well-being, and

safety of all, and am against racial profiling and taking away safe reporting parameters

for people who are victims of assault, violence or other crimes.”

Others had different thoughts about 105. One student said that “This bill repeals the prevention of the allocation of state resources to the enforcement of federal immigration regulations. I don’t know what to think of this one.”


Measure 106:

In general, Oregon rarely makes national news. However, Measure 106, which would prevent public funds from being spent on abortion, has drifted into national headlines. Those that support the bill say that they don’t want their tax dollars going towards something so controversial. However, according to Defend Oregon, an opposer of the bill, “Constitutional Amendment 106 takes away access to safe, legal abortion. By targeting public employees and Medicaid recipients, this measure would hurt the women and families that need access to reproductive healthcare the most.” Several OES students that I talked to agree. One student said, “Aside from a very slight increase in net revenue, this bill has no upsides.” Another student said “Everybody deserves the right to make decisions about their own body” and that “a right isn’t a right if you can’t afford to make the choice.”