State of Oregon Declaration of Independence
New Constitution of the State of Oregon
We begin the Phoenix project with a Declaration of Independence for the State of Oregon.
The United States of America was founded by declaring Independence from a government of oppression, over taxation, and tyranny of King George over the colonies of America, very much like what is going on today in Oregon. The Declaration went on to be used as a list of subjects that must be addressed within a Constitution design to support Independence and Freedom.
I am using the State of Oregon Declaration of Independence as a place for the People of the State of Oregon to list and describe major problems that need to be addressed in the rewriting of the Constitution of the State of Oregon. The People’s inputs, advice, and help in this enormous project will be welcome and necessary. I will not be able to complete this project without the help of the citizens of the State of Oregon.
There are some areas within the New Constitution that I will need a great deal of help on, suh as the Judicial Branch. Some of the Latin terms have been difficult to understand, and the creation of the “Convention of the Counties” will need a good deal of scrutiny to make sure we do not run into any United States Constitutional boundaries.
Please also read the companion document, “Phoenix Project”. Within the Phoenix Project are some ground rules and policy statements of how the project will be run.
Together we can rewrite our Constitution for the betterment of our future, and is probably something Oregon should do every 100 years or so.
Please send any questions or feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org
State of Oregon
Declaration of Independence
There are several truths that have become self-evident since the founding of the State of Oregon. Chief among these are that the laws and responsibilities, set forth in the State Constitution for the Government, have become unclear and easily misinterpreted to the extent that equal protection under the law has become impossible to expect from the Government.
Chief among these are that our Government is no longer “Of the People, by the People, and for the People.” Since 1859, many amendments to the Constitution of Oregon have left to many opportunities for those that have been able to twist the meaning for their own benefit and tyranny. The recent history of repeated injuries, usurpations, and Despotism are establishing a fear of the Government that the People of Oregon do not deserve or have voted for.
We the People hold the following actions of the government and the people representing the citizens of Oregon and the United States of America up for considerations for State Constitutional amendments or if required, the Re-Founding of the State of Oregon that will be done to uphold the Independence and Freedom of our State:
Item 1. –The Legislature has set itself apart from the People by giving themselves special advantages not available to all of the people of the State of Oregon. Principle among these are that elected officials and those they appoint are protected from the laws and economic downturn by giving out pensions, health care, salaries, and benefits that protect themselves at taxpayer expense. (1)
Item 2. -The Legislature and Governor have lost the ability to represent the People of the State of Oregon due to the pension, health care, and benefits given out while in office. Their personal protection from the loss of such has become more important than the representation of the People. (2)
Item 3. –The Legislature has passed and the Governor has signed into law many forms and ways to control Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness by use of unequal, unusual, and excessive taxation of The People and businesses across the State. The Legislature and Governor have ignored the obvious benefits of the creation of economic activity through lower taxes for all businesses.(3)
Item 4. -The Legislature and Governor have allowed the use of Fees, Fines, or other forms of forced collection of funds to enforce laws that were not enacted through the Constitutional requirements of the legislative process, known to most as the creation of “Administrative Laws”. (4)
Item 5. -The Legislature and Governor have installed Judges through appointments that were not done through the required Constitutional approval process. (5)
Item 6. -The Legislature and Governor have allowed unequal protection under the Law for election process by showing favoritism, both for and against, certain groups and individuals. (6)
Item 7. -The Legislature and Governor are attempting to use electrical, mechanical, and electronic means to hold the citizens of Oregon accountable for the purpose of the collection of revenues, known to most as the use of “GPS tracking.” (7)
Item 8. -Congress, the President, and Supreme Court have taken advantage of new and upcoming technologies that allow for surveillance of every activity of the People of the United States of America. The increase in bureaucracy and wasting of revenues to keep track of everything must stop. Just because something can be made to record, trace, or keep track of people’s activity does not mean the government must use this technology for “just in case” reasons or to provide information that has proven to be used by companies for better profits for those who have privileged connections to Government. (8)
Item 9. -The Legislature and Governor have allowed a portion of the citizens to become dependent on Government for continued, long term source for tax payer dollars. Money given out to able-bodied people has taken away their value to society. The perception of “those in need” has been changed to “those that burden us all.” (9)
Item 10. -Congress and the President have ignored the Will of the People and Constitution to protect our borders from invasion and lawlessness. The Legislature and Governor have been willing participants in allowing people and refugees into Oregon that are knowingly part of foreign groups that have other intentions than Freedom and Independence for themselves. (10)
Item 11. The legislature and Governor have continued to take away the rights of the People of the State of Oregon to keep and bear arms for personal protection and to defend the United States of America should the need arise. (10)
Item 12. -The Legislature and Governor have allowed the existence of such agencies that have taken the authority of controlling urban growth beyond the scope of the structure of city control of boundaries. Urban Growth Boundaries have restricted free market value of housing for everyone and have caused increased cost to the consumer for housing and have forced the construction of high density housing that was not necessary. The urban growth boundaries have led to an increasing need for subsidized housing and increasing housing cost across Oregon. (12)
Item 13. -The Congress and President of the United States of America have made laws, appropriations, and bureaucratic entities outside of the enumerated rights ordained by the Constitution of the United States of America. The Legislature and Governor have gladly accepted this interference in State responsibility if only to gain Federal dollars that, in turn, have made this State dependent on the Federal Government. (13)
Item 14. –The Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) is not under the control of the Executive branch of the State of Oregon. Full disclosure of the retirement investments are kept secret. No form of accountability has been set up for so many years that no one can say how much, if any, of the assets in the program that exist. PERS is now a taxpayer-funded benefit instead of a government employee savings plan. (14)
Item 15. – The Legislature and Governor have done nothing to uphold and defend Suffrage through the use of even the most rudimentary technology to guarantee one-citizen–one-vote. The “Vote by mail” system has flaws that have continuously been exploited to provide opportunities to those who would create votes for people that have passed away, multiple votes for people that have moved, or allowed multiple votes to go to singular addresses. (15)
Item 16. -Congress, the President, and the Supreme Court have done nothing to stop unconstitutional spending on States Rights and Responsibilities. The Legislature and Governor have gladly allowed that interference in order to receive Federal funding that has always come with Federal control over the use of the funds that have made the State of Oregon dependent on the Federal Government. (16)
Item 17. -Congress has destroyed the educational system in every state of the union through unconstitutional involvement and spending that has made every state dependent on Federal financial help, ultimately leading to the United States being one of the worst places on earth to get an education. The Legislature and Governor have done nothing to stop Federal control of the education of the Citizens of the State of Oregon. The Governor has taken away School Board’s responsibilities in the selection of teaching materials used to educate Oregon’s children and has allowed teacher qualifications to be controlled by outside influences other the Legislature. The Governor has overstepped the authority of the school boards to use teaching practices that are necessary for genuinely preparing the children of the State of Oregon to be valued members of this Nation’s work force. (17)
Item 18. -The Oregon Supreme Court has become a political entity that can be seduced by a very small number of people that may or may not have Oregon’s interest or the United States of America’s well-being in mind. The People must have the final say in Oregon’s Supreme Court rulings and decisions to make the sedition of the Oregon Supreme Court far too difficult to accomplish. (18)
Item 19. – The Legislature and Governor have created ways to prevent “Transparency” of Government actions and set up obstructions designed to prevent the People from getting to the truth behind corrupt activities through the use of fees, delays, or obstruction. (19)
Item 20. The Governor and Legislature have completely ignored the realities of science and nature in the pursuit of carbon taxes and energy policy for the State of Oregon. (20)
Item 21. The Governor and Legislature have created a sense of fear in the minds and hearts of the People and Businesses of the Government by allowing the creation of government entities that have no checks and balances for their actions or their own creation of power to enforce laws created outside the Legislative process. (21)
Item 22. The “Emergency Clause” has been used to prevent the People from stopping or forcing laws onto the People of the State of Oregon without any recourse or regard for consequences. (22)
Item 23. The Government has allowed the “Selling” of Oregon’s Natural Resources to out of State or out of Nation entities without any form of revenues for the counties or the jobs that could have produced products from the Natural Resources. (23)
Item 24. A method for impeachment and removal from office for the Governor, Secretary of State, and Treasurer does not exist. (24)
Item 25. The requirement to fund schools first is completely ignored by every branch of Government. (25)
Item 26. Addressing the issues of the Unfunded Mandated of PERS have been ignored and allowed to grow to a problem that funding of such debts will become impossible. The Government has placed the funding of Government retirements benefits above all other duties and responsibilities and has prevented solutions that would have prevented or eased the problem from becoming what it is today. (26)
Item 27. Ordained means Authority over the Law! The Constitution has authority over the Law. The Constitution has been ignored in the creation of what has come to be known as “Administrative Laws” that have allowed the avoidance of checks and balances that have protected the People of Oregon from government over-reach and over-regulation. (27)
This Declaration of Independence is intended to give guidelines for amendments to the Constitution of the State of Oregon or the Re-Founding of the State. Our Government will return to being Of the People, By the People, and For the People of the State of Oregon and the United States of America. The Constitution works well when the guidelines, checks, and balances are followed. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence and the Truth, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.
CONSTITUTION OF OREGON
We, the people of the State of Oregon, to the end that Justice be established, order maintained,
and liberty perpetuated, do ordain this Constitution.
We the People of Oregon declare the following to be within the Rights of the State of Oregon as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of America.
Ordinance 1: We declare that all federally owned land, now and in perpetuity, be under Oregon control, Oregon Jurisdiction, and available as the People of the State of Oregon see fit by law and ownership.
Ordinance 2: Any and all revenues generated by natural resources within the State of Oregon belong to the State and the Counties for which they are derived. Natural Resources are defined as air, water, soil, minerals, sun, energy, and any derivation thereof.
Ordinance 3: The Federal Government shall not infringe on the Property Rights of the citizens of Oregon and shall not infringe on States Rights and Responsibilities guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of America.
Article 1: Executive Branch
Section 1. The Chief Executive Power shall be vested in the “Governor”, who shall hold office for a term of four years and shall not serve more than a total of ten years in their lifetime. The term of office shall begin at 12:00 pm, January 31st, of each even numbered year, not also a leap year.
Section 2. No person except a citizen of the United States of America shall be eligible for the Office of the Governor. A person shall be a minimum of thirty years of age and a resident of Oregon for a minimum of three years at the time of swearing into office.
Section 3. No member of Congress, federally appointed official, or federally employed person shall be eligible to be Governor for one year after their discharge or resignation from office or employment.
Section 4. Vacancy in Office of the Governor. In the case of removal from office, death, resignation, or disability as prescribed by law, the Secretary of State; or if there be none, or in case of their removal from office, death, resignation, or disability to discharge the duties of their office as prescribed by law, then the State Treasurer; or if there be none, or in case of his removal from office, death, resignation, or disability to discharge the duties of their office prescribed by law, the President of the Senate; or if there be none, or in case of their removal from office, death, resignation, or disability to discharge the duties of their office prescribed by law, the Speaker of the House shall become Governor. The Governor shall hold office until the next general biennial election or the completion of the term of office. The Secretary of State and the State Treasurer shall appoint their replacements and the Senate and House shall elect their replacements until replaced by general election.
Section 5. The Governor is Commander in Chief of military forces and the State Militia. The Governor shall be in command of the military reserve not currently on deployment and naval forces of this State, and may call out such forces to execute the laws, to suppress insurrection, or to repel invasion. The Governor shall organize the Militia to repel invasion from foreign or domestic threats to life, property, and the Constitution.
Section 6. The Governor may convene a special Legislative Assembly by proclamation, and shall state to both houses when assembled, the purpose for which they shall have been convened.
Section 7. The Governor shall have power to grant reprieves, commutations, and pardons, after conviction, for all offenses except treason, subject to such regulations as may be provided by law. Upon conviction for treason, the Governor shall have power to suspend the execution of the sentence until the case shall be reported to the Legislative Assembly, at its next meeting, when the Legislative Assembly shall either grant a pardon, commute the sentence, direct the execution of the sentence, or grant a further reprieve.
The Governor shall have power to remit fines and forfeitures, under such regulations as may be prescribed by law; and shall report to the Legislative Assembly at its next meeting each case of reprieve, commutation, or pardon granted, and the reasons for granting the same; and also the names of all persons in whose favor remission of fines and forfeitures shall have been made, and the several amounts remitted.
Section 8a. The Governor shall have veto power over any and all legislation presented for signature into law and shall have five working days of the Legislative Assembly being in session to sign or veto any given bill. A bill will be considered as signed if the Governor does not sign within the five days of Legislative Assembly Session and considered vetoed if not sign and the Legislature has adjourned. The Legislature may resubmit the bill without reconsideration in the House and Senate upon the start of the Midterm Session on the even numbered years. The five working days will be extended due to personal hardship or travel on behalf of the State of Oregon.
Section 8b. Any bill can be returned to the Legislative Assembly for line item removal by both the Senate and the House, at which time of return from consideration for line item removal, the five days for signature shall restart.
Section 8c. The Senate and the House shall Override a Veto by a two-thirds majority Signature vote in both houses. No changes to the bill may be made prior to the Override Signature Vote. Failure to Override the veto sends the bill back to the Legislative Assembly. All bills to be considered for Override must be vetoed prior to being Overridden.
Section 8d. There is no obligation to explain objections to any bill vetoed. Failure of the Legislative assembly to attach to any given bill the names of the Legislators responsible for creating the bill will be at the Governor’s discretion to veto on that reason only. The Governor may return any bill for a signature vote, and such will reset the five day requirement for signature into law.
Section 9. Governor to Fill Vacancies by Appointment. When during a recess of the legislative assembly a vacancy occurs in any office, the appointment to which is vested in the legislative assembly, or when at any time a vacancy occurs in any other state office, or in the office of judge of any court, the governor shall fill such vacancy by appointment, which shall expire when a successor has been elected and qualified. When any vacancy occurs in any elective office of the state or of any district or county thereof, the vacancy shall be filled at the next general election, provided such vacancy occurs more than sixty-one (61) days prior to such general election.
Section 10. Governor to issue writs of election to fill vacancies in legislature. The Governor shall issue writs of Election to fill such vacancies as may have occurred in the Legislative Assembly.
Section 11. Commissions. All commissions shall issue in the name of the State; shall be signed by the Governor, sealed with the seal of the State, and attested by the Secretary of State.
Section 12a. Administrative Department; There shall be an Administrative Department that the Governor shall have authority over. It shall consist of the Secretary of State and Treasurer, who shall hold office for a term of four years and shall not serve more than a total of ten years in their lifetime. The term of office shall begin at 12:00 pm of the fourth Monday in January after the general biennial election.
Section 12b. Offices and records of executive officers. The Governor, Secretary of State, and Treasurer of State shall keep the public records, books and papers at the seat of government in any manner relating to their respective offices.
Section 12c-1. Duties of Secretary of State. The Secretary of State shall keep records of all official acts of the Legislative Assembly, and make ready all records of official acts for public viewing within thirty days of any given Legislative Adjournment.
Section 12c-2. The Secretary of State shall have authority to audit all State activities and Public Accounts, and at the discretion of the Governor and Secretary of State, make audits public or deliver audit information to the appropriate authorities as prescribed by law.
Section 12c-3 The Secretary of State shall perform such other duties as shall be assigned to the Secretary of State by law.
Section 12d. Seal of state. There shall be a seal of State, kept by the Secretary of State for official purposes, which shall be called “The seal of the State of Oregon”.
Section 12e-1. Powers and duties of Treasurer. The powers and duties of the Treasurer of State shall be such as may be prescribed by law.
Section 12f. County Officers: There shall be elected in each county by the qualified electors thereof at the time of holding general elections, a county clerk, treasurer and sheriff who shall severally hold their offices for the term of four years.
Section 12g. Other officers. Such other county, township, precinct, and City officers as may be necessary, shall be elected, or appointed in such manner as may be prescribed by law.
Section 12h. County officers’ qualifications; location of offices of county and city officers; duties of such officers. Every county officer shall be an elector of the county, and the county assessor, county sheriff, county coroner and county surveyor shall possess such other qualifications as may be prescribed by law. All county and city officers shall keep their respective offices at such places therein, and perform such duties, as may be prescribed by law.
Section 12i. Vacancies in county, township, precinct and city offices. Vacancies in County, Township, precinct and City offices shall be filled in such manner as may be prescribed by law.
Section 12j. County home rule under county charter. The Legislative Assembly shall provide by law a method whereby the legal voters of any county, by majority vote of such voters voting thereon at any legally called election, may adopt, amend, revise or repeal a county charter. A county charter may provide for the exercise by the county of authority over matters of county concern. Local improvements shall be financed only by taxes, assessments or charges imposed on benefited property, unless otherwise provided by law or charter. A county charter shall prescribe the organization of the county government and shall provide directly, or by its authority, for the number, election or appointment, qualifications, tenure, compensation, powers and duties of such officers as the county deems necessary. Such officers shall among them exercise all the powers and perform all the duties, as distributed by the county charter or by its authority, now or hereafter, by the Constitution or laws of this state, granted to or imposed upon any county officer. Except as expressly provided by general law, a county charter shall not affect the selection, tenure, compensation, powers or duties prescribed by law for judges in their judicial capacity, for justices of the peace or for district attorneys. The initiative and referendum powers reserved to the people by this Constitution hereby are further reserved to the legal voters of every county relative to the adoption, amendment, revision or repeal of a county charter and to legislation passed by counties which have adopted such a charter; and no county shall require that referendum petitions be filed less than 90 days after the provisions of the charter or the legislation proposed for referral is adopted by the county governing body. To be circulated, referendum or initiative petitions shall set forth in full the charter or legislative provisions proposed for adoption or referral. Referendum petitions shall not be required to include a ballot title to be circulated. In a county a number of signatures of qualified voters equal to but not greater than four percent of the total number of all votes cast in the county for all candidates for Governor at the election at which a Governor was elected for a term of four years next preceding the filing of the petition shall be required for a petition to order a referendum on county legislation or a part thereof. A
number of signatures equal to but not greater than six percent of the total number of votes cast in the county for all candidates for Governor at the election at which a Governor was elected for a term of four years next preceding the filing of the petition shall be required for a petition to propose an initiative ordinance. A number of signatures equal to but not greater than eight percent of the total number of votes cast in the county for all candidates for Governor at the election at which a Governor was elected for a term of four years next preceding the filing of the petition shall be required for a petition to propose a charter amendment.
Section 13: The Governor shall have the power of line item veto in appropriations bills, and any provision in new bills declaring an emergency, without thereby affection any other provision of such bill.
The following is a list of positions that report to the Governor;
Section X: Elected Officials;
Secretary of State
Section Y: Appointed Officials that require Senate approval;
Secretary of Education
Secretary of Water
Secretary of Waste Management
Secretary of Energy
Secretary of Transportation
Bureau of Labor Commissioner
Secretary of the Bureau of Records
Section Z: Appointed Officials that does not require Senate approval;
Information Technology Director
Special District Supervisor (i.e. Mosquito Abatement District)
Article 2: Legislative Branch
Section 1: The legislative power of the State shall be vested in a Legislative Assembly consisting of a Senate and a House of Representatives, except for the Referendum, Initiative, and County Commissioner powers as defined in Article 4.
Section 2-a: The Senate shall consist of one Senator representing two counties sharing a common border. A term shall be six years and may not exceed a maximum of sixteen (16) years of lifetime service. The Senate shall be divided into three groups according to time in office. The most senior one-third shall have their office for two years until the next biennial election. The mid senior one-third shall have their office for four years until the biennial election. The least senior one-third shall hold office for a six year term. The Senators shall continue to be divided into three classes, in accordance with the division seniority under the former provisions of this Constitution, so that one-third, as nearly as possible, of the number of Senators shall be elected biennially. The term of office shall begin the second Monday of January after the general election.
Section 2-b: No person except a citizen of the United States of America shall be eligible for the Office of the Senator. A person shall be a minimum of twenty-one years of age and a resident of Oregon for a minimum of three years and a resident of one of the counties they will be representing a minimum of one-half year at the time of swearing into office.
Section 3. No member of Congress, federally appointed official, or federally employed person shall be eligible to be Senator for one year after their discharge or resignation from office or employment.
Section 4. Vacancy in Office of the Senator. In the case of removal from office, death, resignation, or disability as prescribed by law, the Governor shall appoint a replacement until the next biennial election to replace or complete the full term of office. The appointee shall also meet the requirements of Section 2-b.
Section 5-a: The House of Representatives shall consist of 61 elected positions representing an equal number of The People consisting of 1/61 of the population of the State as counted by the National Census. A person shall be a minimum of fifteen years of age and a resident of Oregon for a minimum of three years and a resident of the district they will be representing a minimum of one-half year at the time of swearing into office.
Section 5-b: The Governor shall be responsible for defining the boundaries for the 61 House Districts. No district shall be allowed to be larger than four percent of the total land mass of the State. All districts shall have a maximum of eight corners in their layout with natural boundaries such as rivers or major roads considered as one edge. County borders are not to be considered for boundaries. The Governor and Senate shall have some discretion of no more than ten percent.
Section 5-c: The Senate shall approve of the boundaries by a simple majority. The Governor and the Senate are required to complete the boundary definition by the end of all years ending in 2. The new boundaries shall be supplied to the Secretary of State for immediate publishing and shall be used for biennial elections ending with 4.
Section 5-d: Vacancy in Office of the House of Representatives. In the case of removal from office, death, resignation, or disability as prescribed by law, the Governor shall appoint a temporary replacement until the next biennial election. The appointee shall also meet the requirements of Section 5-a. A replacement appointment shall not be made if less than 60 day before the general election.
Section 6: The Legislative Assembly shall meet and be in session starting February 1st of each year. The session of each odd numbered year shall be the working session. The session of each even numbered year shall be the make-up session.
Section 7: The Senate shall additionally be in session starting June 1st and October 1st of each year for approval of appointees or other Senate duties not requiring a Legislative Assembly. The President of the Senate and Governor shall have the authority to wave a session should matters of State be few in number or not of a pressing nature.
Section 8: Compensation
Article 3: Judicial Branch
Section 1. The Judicial Power shall be vested in the Supreme Court and consist of three appointed Justices. All Supreme Court Justices shall be Citizens of the United States of America and shall have been residents of Oregon for a minimum of three years from the time of taking office. The term of office shall be six years and shall not serve more than a total of fifteen years in their lifetime. The Justices will be appointed by the Governor and approved or disapproved by the Senate by a simple majority vote. Approval or Disapproval is required to happen within 30 days of Senate being in session. At the end of a term of office, the Governor is required to appoint a replacement or reappoint the same Justice and submit to the Senate for approval or disapproval. Failure to disapprove by the Senate will be taken as approval. Adjournment without disapproval will be considered approval. The six year term of office shall not be tied to any calendar or event.
Section 2. All Judges lower than the Supreme Court shall be elected by the legal voters of the State of their respective districts for a term of six years.
Section 3. Compensation for all Judges will be set by the Senate and shall be set by each Legislative Assembly session for any incoming Judges. A Judge’s compensation will not be changed during a term of office.
Section 4. All Judges shall retire at the age of 75 years and may remain in office for an additional ten months until replaced by appointment or election. Retirement from the Supreme Court will reset the term of office to the beginning of a new six year term. The Legislative Assembly or the people may by law, authorize or require the retirement of Judges for physical or mental disability or any other cause rendering judges incapable of performing their judicial duties. All retiring Judges shall retain their titles as Judge and shall be Lifetime Justices of the Peace for the sake of preforming marriages.
Section 5a. The Supreme Court may, in its own discretions, take original jurisdiction in mandamus, quo warranto, and habeas corpus proceedings.
Section 5b. The Supreme Court may temporarily assign judges of lower courts to serve temporarily outside the district for which they were elected. A judge or member of the bar so appointed or assigned shall, while serving, have all the judicial powers and duties of a regularly elected judge of the court to which he is assigned or appointed.
Section 6. Jury trial; re-examination of issues by appellate court; record on appeal to Supreme Court; affirmance notwithstanding error; determination of case by Supreme Court. In actions at law, where the value in controversy shall exceed $750, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise re-examined in any court of this state, unless the court can affirmatively say there is no evidence to support the verdict. Until otherwise provided by law, upon appeal of any case to the Supreme Court, either party may have attached to the bill of exceptions the whole testimony, the instructions of the court to the jury, and any other matter material to the decision of the appeal. If the Supreme Court shall be of opinion, after consideration of all the matters thus submitted, that the judgment of the court appealed from was such as should have been rendered in the case, such judgment shall be affirmed, notwithstanding any error committed during the trial; or if, in any respect, the judgment appealed from should be changed, and the Supreme Court shall be of opinion that it can determine what judgment should have been entered in the court below, it shall direct such judgment to be entered in the same manner and with like effect as decrees are now entered in equity cases on appeal to the Supreme Court. Provided, that nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize the Supreme Court to find the defendant in a criminal case guilty of an offense for which a greater penalty is provided than that of which the accused was convicted in the lower court
Section 7. Supreme Court; terms; statements of decisions of court. The terms of the Supreme Court shall be appointed by law; but there shall be one term at the seat of government annually. At the close of each term the judges shall file with the secretary of state concise written statements of the decisions made at that term.
Section 8. Juries; indictment; information; verdict in civil cases. (1) The Legislative Assembly shall provide by law for: (a) Selecting juries and qualifications of jurors; (b) Drawing and summoning grand jurors from the regular jury list at any time, separate from the panel of petit jurors; (c) Empaneling more than one grand jury in a county; and (d) The sitting of a grand jury during vacation as well as session of the court. (2) A grand jury shall consist of seven jurors chosen by lot from the whole number of jurors in attendance at the court, five of whom must concur to find an indictment. (3) Except as provided in subsections (4) and (5) of this section, a person shall be charged in a circuit court with the commission of any crime punishable as a felony only on indictment by a grand jury. (4) The district attorney may charge a person on information filed in circuit court of a crime punishable as a felony if the person appears before the judge of the circuit court and knowingly waives indictment. (5) The district attorney may charge a person on information filed in circuit court if, after a preliminary hearing before a magistrate, the person has been held to answer upon a showing of probable cause that a crime punishable as a felony has been committed and that the person has committed it, or if the person knowingly waives preliminary hearing. (6) An information shall be substantially in the form provided by law for an indictment. The district attorney may file an amended indictment or information whenever, by ruling of the court, an indictment or information is held to be defective in form. (7) In civil cases three-fourths of the jury may render a verdict.
Section 9. Incompetency or malfeasance of public officer. Public officers shall not be impeached; but incompetency, corruption, malfeasance or delinquency in office may be tried in the same manner as criminal offenses, and judgment may be given of dismissal from office, and such further punishment as may have been prescribed by law.
Section 10. Oath of office of Judges of Supreme Court. Every judge of the Supreme Court, before entering upon the duties of his office, shall take and subscribe, and transmit to the secretary of state, the following oath: “I, , do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support the constitution of the United States, and the constitution of the State of Oregon, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge the duties of a judge of the Supreme Court of this state, according to the best of my ability, and that I will not accept any other office, except judicial offices, during the term for which I have been installed.”
Section 11. Removal, suspension or censure of judges. (1) In the manner provided by law, and notwithstanding section 1 of this Article, a judge of any court may be removed or suspended from his judicial office by the Supreme Court, or censured by the Supreme Court, for: (a) Conviction in a court of this or any other state, or of the United States, of a crime punishable as a felony or a crime involving moral turpitude; or (b) Willful misconduct in a judicial office where such misconduct bears a demonstrable relationship to the effective performance of judicial duties; or (c) Willful or persistent failure to perform judicial duties; or (d) Generally incompetent performance of judicial duties; or (e) Willful violation of any rule of judicial conduct as shall be established by the Supreme Court; or (f) Habitual drunkenness or illegal use of narcotic or dangerous drugs. (2) Notwithstanding section 6 of this Article, the methods provided in this section, section 1a of this Article and in section 18, Article II of this Constitution, are the exclusive methods of the removal, suspension, or censure of a judge.
Section 12. Juries of less than 12 jurors. Provision may be made by law for juries consisting of less than 12 but not less than six jurors.
Article 4: Financial Branch
This is a new concept. The goal of this branch will be the “Representation of the Dollar”. This is where the dogs needed to cut waste and corruption will be given the teeth and the power to rip to shreds anything out of the ordinary or corrupt.
Will be able to stop or place on hold spending that is unconstitutional or of a questionable nature before funds are spent and unrecoverable.
Will be the only branch that will have “Line Item Veto” over spending that does not meet Constitutional requirements.
Auditing authority will remain in the Executive Branch under the Secretary of State.
The Financial Branch shall not have appropriations authority other than reasonable costs required for operations.
Section 1: The Financial Branch authority to represent the Dollar on all matters Constitutional shall be vested in the “Principal”. This Principal shall be appointed by the Governor and approved by the Senate by simple majority in a time period not to exceed 30 days in session. Failure to appoint or accept the Governor’s appointee within the 30 in-session days will result in the Speaker of the House making the appointment without the approval of the Senate.
The Principal shall serve a single term of six years from the time of installation into office and is required to take the Oath of Affirmation. The term of office shall not be tied to any calendar or event.
Section 2: The Principal shall represent the Dollar in all matters Constitutional and shall have the power of “Line Item Veto” over appropriations made outside the Constitution or Constitutional process. The Principal shall have the power and authority to discontinue and dismantle any Government entity that is no longer being used or is duplicated.
Article 5: Administrative Rules
Section 1: There shall be three levels of budgets for the State of Oregon. Level 1 shall be funding from revenues designated as “General Funds”. Level 2 shall be funding from revenues designated at “Dedicated Revenues”. Level 3 shall be funding from “Property Tax Revenues” and shall be dedicated to Police, Fire, and Property protection as defined by law.
Section 2-a: All elected and appointed office holders shall be defined as “Independent Contractors” representing the People of the State of Oregon, and will not have access to any form of retirement benefits (Public Employee Retirement System) or matching funds for retirement, Health Care covered by State funds, or any other form of State covered benefit. The Legislature shall not grant any form of compensation beyond the Salaries of the elected and appointed officials. Salaries or compensation shall begin thirty days prior to taking an elected office and shall continue for 60 days after leaving an elected or appointed office.
Section 2-b: Compensation for all offices elected and appointed shall be set by the Legislative Assembly. Any changes in compensation will not apply until after the next biennial election. Any changes in compensation to appointed officials that require specialized training or professional degrees take affect immediately.
Article 6: The People’s Branch; Referendum, Initiative, and County Commissioners Powers
This is a new concept. The referendum and initiative process is elevated to an Article to give equal footing to the Legislative Process.
Will be the location of all referendum and initiative process definitions.
Will define and grant powers to the referendum and initiative process.
Will define County Commissioners Power and authority.
Section 1. The Legislative Power of the State shall be vested in the Legislative Assembly, consisting of a Senate and House of Representatives, and in the Referendum, Initiative, and County Commissioner process.
Section 2-a. The people reserve to themselves the Initiative Power, which is to propose laws and amendments to the Constitution and enact or reject them at an election independently of the Legislative Assembly.
Section 2-b: An initiative law may be proposed only by a petition signed by a number of qualified voters equal to six percent of the total number of votes cast for all candidates for Governor at the election at which a Governor was elected for a term of four years next preceding the filing of the petition.
Section 2-c: An initiative amendment to the Constitution may be proposed only by a petition signed by a number of qualified voters equal to eight percent of the total number of votes cast for all candidates for Governor at the election at which a Governor was elected for a term of four years next preceding the filing of the petition.
Section 2-d: An initiative petition shall include the full text of the proposed law or amendment to the Constitution. A proposed amendment to the Constitution shall embrace one subject only. A proposed law may embrace as many subjects as required to accomplish the creation of the law intended, but may not address any form of unrelated law.
Section 2-e: An initiative petition shall be filed with the Secretary of State not less than four months before the election at which the proposed law or amendment to the Constitution is to be voted upon.
Section 3-a: The people reserve to themselves the referendum power, which is to approve or reject at an election any Act, or part thereof, of the Legislative Assembly that does not become effective earlier than 90 days after the end of the session at which the Act is passed.
Section 3-b: A referendum on an Act or part thereof may be ordered by a petition signed by a number of qualified voters equal to four percent of the total number of votes cast for all candidates for Governor at the election at which a Governor was elected for a term of four years next preceding the filing of the petition. A referendum petition shall be filed not more than 90 days after the end of the session at which the Act is passed.
Section 3-c: A referendum on an Act may be ordered by the Legislative Assembly by law. Notwithstanding section 15b, Article V of this Constitution, bills ordering a referendum and bills on which a referendum is ordered are not subject to veto by the Governor.
Section 4-a: Petitions or orders for the initiative or referendum shall be filed with the Secretary of State. The Legislative Assembly shall provide by law for the manner in which the Secretary of State shall determine whether a petition contains the required number of signatures of qualified voters. The Secretary of State shall complete the verification process within the 30-day period after the last day on which the petition may be filed as provided in Section 2-e or Section 2-b.
Section 4-b: Initiative and referendum measures shall be submitted to the people as provided in this section and by law not inconsistent therewith.
Section 4-c: All elections on initiative and referendum measures shall be held at the regular general elections, unless otherwise ordered by the Legislative Assembly.
Section 4-d: An initiative or referendum measure becomes effective 30 days after the day on which it is enacted or approved by a majority of the votes cast thereon. A referendum ordered by petition on a part of an Act does not delay the remainder of the Act from becoming effective.
Section 5: The initiative and referendum powers reserved to the people are further reserved to the qualified voters of each municipality and district as to all local, special, and municipal legislation of every character in or for their municipality or district. The manner of exercising those powers shall be provided by general laws, but cities may provide the manner of exercising those powers as to their municipal legislation. In a city, not more than 15 percent of the qualified voters may be required to propose legislation by the initiative, and not more than 10 percent of the qualified voters may be required to order a referendum on legislation.
Section 6. Payment for signatures. It shall be unlawful to pay or receive money or other thing of value based on the number of signatures obtained on an initiative or referendum petition. Nothing herein prohibits payment for signature gathering which is not based, either directly or indirectly, on the number of signatures obtained.
Section 7-a: County Commissioners Powers and Authority. The County Commissioners shall have the authority to remove the Emergency clause from any bill signed into law by the Governor by a simple majority vote of the Commissioners. The vote of the Commissioners shall be done in writing and does not require a Convention of the Counties. Only Signatures for the removal of the Emergency Clause are required and must be greater than one-half of the Commissioners. The removal of the Emergency Clause from a law allows for the Referendum process to apply to the law.
Section 7-b-1: The County Commissioners shall have the authority to assemble and propose Constitutional Amendments and repeal law Independent of the Legislative Assembly. The assembly of the County Commissioners shall be known as the “Convention of the Counties”.
Section 7-b-2: A signature vote within the Commissioners of two-thirds majority presented in writing to the Governor will compel the Governor to call for a Special Election vote of the People for calling a Convention of the Counties. The goals shall be detailed in the written presentation to the Governor and will be the limits of what a Convention of the Counties will be permitted to address. There are no limits to the number of subjects that can be addressed within one presentation and multiple presentations may be combined into one Convention of the Counties. The Ratification of a new Constitution for the State of Oregon shall have a one subject presentation and Convention.
Section 7-b-3: The Majority vote of the People within one county shall be defined as “One County Vote”.
Section 7-b-4: A County Vote of two-thirds of the counties shall be required to repeal a law and a County Vote of three-fourths shall be required to amend the Constitution.
Section 8-a: The County Commissioners shall have the authority to write and submit a bill to the State Legislative Assembly during session for consideration and accepting sponsorship. A signature vote within the Commissioners of two-thirds shall be required to send the bill to the Legislature for consideration. Failure of the Legislative Assembly to vote on or consider the bill will automatically send the bill on to the Governor for signature into law or veto. The Legislative Assembly shall not attach unrelated amendments to a bill submitted in this fashion.
Article 7: Voting in the State of Oregon
Section 1: Voting in State of Oregon. Voting shall be on Tuesdays as prescribed by law. The previous Tuesday shall be made into a voting day and shall be defined as “Early Voting”. All voting shall be done on these two days only, no absentee voting or voting by mail or any other service shall be allowed. No vote cast on Early Voting day shall be retrievable or changeable.
Section 2: All voters shall be required to obtain a Photographic Identification. The Photo Identification shall be obtained at Oregon’s Department of Motor Vehicles. A photographic Identification and birth certificate shall be required to register as a voter. All photos shall be stored at the County seats and will be made available for the purpose of cross referencing to State records to verify eligibility. The last day that a voter may register is 6 working days before the Election Day.
Section 3: All voters shall receive a voter identification card with picture identification on the card and be issued a voter identification number. The voter identification number will be for that voter only and shall not be reused in perpetuity.
Section 4: The State shall not collect fees, taxes, revenues, or any form of compensation for voter registration or for voting in any way, shape, or form.
Section 5: All ballots shall be printed at the voting precincts on the day of voting and shall be printed in the presence of the voter. No electronic, mechanical, or electrical means for counting ballots shall be allowed, except for devices that can count and tally the printed ballots at the precincts. The count of ballots may be challenged at the precincts where a physical count and tally be made.
Section 6: All ballots shall be physically transferred to the County Seat for recounts and safe keeping for a period of one year.
Section 7: The election shall be certified by the Secretary of State and published.
Article 8: Bill of Rights
The Bill of Rights as of the time of this release has not been changed. Below are some changes and new subjects for consideration.
No GPS tracking for collection of revenues, fees, and Taxes.
No tolls for new construction of bridges spanning the Columbia River or any other road project.
No restrictions shall be placed on school boards on the selection of text books or teaching materials.
The people shall have the right to choose the school they want or need for their children.
Article 8: Bill of Responsibilities
This is a new concept. There are people in Government that see the Bill of Rights as a “Negative Bill of Rights for the Government.” The Bill of Rights is a set of limitations on what the Government can and cannot restrict. The Bill of Responsibilities is a set of responsibilities with clear definitions of “Overreach”.
Secretary of Education;
Shall be responsible for the supply and distribution of educational supplies.
Shall provide any and all teaching materials requested by school boards across the State.
Shall not restrict or prevent any school board’s decision to use a teaching material.
The Secretary of State shall have sole control of PERS and the Secretary of the Treasury shall have the sole responsibility of the assets and distribution of funds from the PERS program.
PERS shall not be privatized.
All assets shall be returned for State control.
Coordination of Water and Water treatment
Index: Work in Progress
Written by Bob Niemeyer
Darrell Gulstrom Ideas for “Convention of the Counties”