CIR Panelists Release Key Findings, Recommendations on Measure 82

Panel members in the Citizens’ Initiative Review released their findings on Measure 82, which would amend the Oregon Constitution to authorize the establishment of privately owned casinos. Following a week of in-depth evaluation and discussions, 17 panelists were not in support of the measure and 7 panelists supported the measure.

For more information, see the draft statement. More coming soon.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 24, 2012

Contact: Colin Cochran, (503) 464-6011, ColinC@strategies360.com

Citizens’ Initiative Review Releases Analysis of Measure 82

Portland – The Citizens’ Initiative Review panel on Measure 82 today released their findings.  Following a week of in-depth evaluation and discussions, 17 panelists were not in support of the measure and 7 panelists supported the measure.

“It’s been a great opportunity for ordinary people like me to sit down, learn about the issues, dig into the facts and help provide accurate and relevant information to Oregon voters,” said panelist Ed Susman of Ontario. “I hope everyone, regardless of how they vote on this measure, will take the time to consider the essential issues and facts we’ve identified over the past week of deliberations.”

The work of the panel will be published in the fall voters’ pamphlet statement that is mailed to all Oregon voters. This Citizens’ Statement will include the position and reasoning taken by both the majority and minority of the panelists, as well as key findings and policy considerations that the participants felt were valuable to voters.

Measure 82 would amend the Oregon Constitution to authorize the establishment of privately owned casinos and mandate a percentage of revenues payable to a dedicated state fund. Among the panel’s key findings were:

  • Economists disagree on the long term economic impact of private casinos in Oregon.
  • For every dollar of revenue from Video Lottery Terminals, about 65 cents goes to the State lottery. In addition, under Measure 82 for every dollar of revenue produced by private casinos, 25 cents would go to the State lottery.
  • Private casinos could negatively affect the gaming revenues of the tribal casinos and the communities they support.
  • The Oregon Lottery and businesses with Oregon Video Lottery Terminals that are located within a close proximity of a private casino would likely lose money.
  • According to the “Measure 82 Estimate of Financial Impact” Measure 82 will have an unknown impact on state revenue, however, 25% of a private casino’s adjusted gross revenue will be given to the State of Oregon for specified purposes.
  • In Oregon, the state government has compacts with all nine Tribal governments, however, those agreements do not prohibit private casinos.

The Citizens’ Initiative Review is an innovative model being pioneered in Oregon to publicly evaluate ballot measures to provide voters with clear, useful, and trustworthy information at election time.  The first 2012 panel met from August 6 to 10 at the Salem Convention Center to review Measure 85, which would redirect the corporate income tax kicker refunds to K-12 education

The Review panel was comprised of 24 registered voters from across the state. Participants were selected using a random sample to ensure they reflected the demographic diversity of the Oregon electorate. This week’s panel included participants from age 18 to over 80 and from all corners of the state. During the five-day event, proponents and opponents of Ballot Measure 82 presented their arguments to the panel, background witnesses provided additional testimony at the panelists’ request, and the panelists deliberated over the merits of the ballot measure.

“Hearing from people from all different backgrounds, communities and perspectives was really valuable in helping me learn about the ballot measure and think through what would matter to voters across the state,” said panelist Joyce Brown of Lincoln City. “I think our findings do a great job incorporating those different points of view to provide voters with valuable information on the Measure.”

The Oregon Citizens’ Initiative Review Commission was established by an act of the Oregon Legislature in 2011. The Citizens’ Initiative Review and Oregon Citizens’ Initiative Review Commission is funded entirely by contributions from charitable foundations and individual donations.  No state dollars go to support the work of the CIR Commission.  Law prohibits the CIR Commission from accepting contributions from corporate or union treasuries.

For additional information about the Citizens’ Initiative Review process, the Oregon Citizens’ Initiative Review Commission, or the convener of the 2012 CIRs, Healthy Democracy, please see the following websites

Oregon Citizens’ Initiative Review Commission: www.Oregon.gov/CIRC

Healthy Democracy & background of the CIR: www.healthydemocracy.org

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