Measure 46

Explanatory Statement

Ballot Measure 46 amends the Oregon Constitution to allow laws to be passed or amended that would prohibit or limit contributions and expenditures of any kind to influence the outcome of any election. Under the measure, laws could be passed that prohibit or limit how much an individual or entity can give to a candidate for state or local (but not federal) office or other political campaign and how much an individual, entity, candidate or other political campaign can spend to influence the outcome of any state or local election.

At present Article 1, section 8, of the Oregon Constitution, the free speech guarantee, does not allow laws that prohibit or impose limits on political campaign contributions or expenditures in elections for state or local public office. Under this measure, the Oregon legislature or voters by initiative would have the authority to restrict or limit political campaign contributions and expenditures, subject to federal law.

Ballot Measure 46 requires a three-fourths (3/4) vote of both the Oregon Senate and the Oregon House of Representatives to amend previously enacted laws, or pass new laws, prohibiting or limiting political campaign contributions or expenditures. Ordinarily, a simple majority vote of both the Oregon Senate and Oregon House is required to amend existing laws or pass new laws. Under the measure, voters by a simple majority may adopt new laws or amend existing laws prohibiting or limiting political campaign contributions or expenditures.

The measure would not apply to elections for federal offices, which are President of the United States, United States Senator, and United States Representative. Federal law does not currently allow states to prohibit or limit contributions or expenditures for or against ballot measures. The measure does not affect the free speech guarantee under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.

Committee Members: / Appointed by:
Bryn Hazell / Chief Petitioners
Dan Meek / Chief Petitioners
Tina Calos / Secretary of State
Andrea Meyer / Secretary of State
Fred Neal / Secretary of State

(This committee was appointed to provide an impartial explanation of the ballot measure pursuant to ORS 251.215.)


Elections Division, Oregon Secretary of State • 136 State Capitol • Salem, OR 97310-0722