Stop the Fake Emergencies

Legislators and the Governor Are Taking Away Voters' Choices With Fake Emergency Clauses

Dr. Bud Pierce Urges Oregonians to Protect Their Right to be Heard

Career politicians in Salem have been taking away the right of Oregonians to vote on unpopular laws that they see fit to pass. In recent years, Democrats in the legislature have increasingly placed so-called “emergency clauses” on their bills so that these laws go into effect immediately and Oregon voters don't have a chance to vote. Governor Kate Brown has joined in their run around of voters by signing these bills into law. Here are some of the laws they kept Oregonians from voting on in the 2015 legislative session: 

  • A law making it illegal for employers to ask job applicants to check a box if they've been convicted of a felony.
  • A law that automatically registers licensed drivers to vote.
  • A low-carbon-fuel-standards law that will increase the price of a gallon of gas by 20 cents to $1 for Oregonians through a hidden gas tax.
  • A law expanding background checks to private sales of legal firearms.

As governor, I will champion the people's right to be heard on the laws that their representatives pass. Unlike Governor Brown, I won't sign bills with phony emergency clauses designed to keep Oregonians from being heard. That's part of what being governor should mean: Standing up for Oregonians.

In the meantime, proponents of Initiative Petition 49 (IP 49) have begun gathering signatures for their “No Fake Emergencies” constitutional amendment. Almost half of the roughly 2800 measures introduced in the 2015 legislature contained emergency clauses. This proposed constitutional amendment would require a two-thirds supermajority to pass any bill with an “emergency clause,” except for regular funding bills or bills responding to real catastrophic disasters (bills to increase taxes already require a supermajority). Proponents need to gather the required signatures by July 8, 2016, to qualify for the November ballot.

I urge you to help stop fake emergencies by downloading and signing the petition from Please do so right now. We need to put the people back in charge. That's what I'll do as governor, and that's what IP 49 does.