Measure No. 29

Legislative Argument in Support


As Oregon has tried to address its budget difficulties over the past two years, there have been many challenges. But one thing all of us agree on is that we should find ways to reduce costs and make our tax dollars go further to protect vital services for Oregonians.

That is why we joined our colleagues of both parties to refer Measure 29 to the ballot, and why we are asking you to vote Yes.

The legislature wants to authorize the State Treasurer to issue pension obligation bonds to refinance Oregon's PERS obligation -- a debt the State already owes at an interest rate of 8%. We have this opportunity to refinance because of the low interest rates available right now.

Just like many homeowners are refinancing their home mortgages, the State should take advantage of these historically low rates, which can save Oregon more than $1 billion over the next 25 years. The money saved will help reduce cuts and protect services that all Oregonians rely on.

The question is, How should this debt be refinanced? There are two choices:

    1) General obligation bonds, which are less expensive because of lower interest rates; or,

    2) Certificates of participation, which are more expensive because of higher interest rates and insurance costs.

Because general obligation bonds are less expensive, they provide Oregon more for its money, saving taxpayers approximately $44 million over certificates of participation.

A vote of the people is required to authorize the use of general obligation bonds, so the legislature referred this matter to the public as Ballot Measure 29.

A YES vote will save Oregon approximately $44 million in costs, and refinancing the PERS obligation can save the State more than $1 billion overall.

Measure 29 earned overwhelming bipartisan support in the legislature because it is simple common sense, fiscally responsible, and a good idea for Oregon. Please join us in voting Yes on Measure 29.

Committee Members: Appointed By:
Senator Roger Beyer President of the Senate
Representative Lane Shetterly Speaker of the House
Representative Joanne Verger Speaker of the House

(This Joint Legislative Committee was appointed to provide the legislative argument in support of the ballot measure pursuant to ORS 251.245.)

Explanatory Statement

Arguments in Favor

Arguments in Opposition

Table of Contents

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