Unger v. Rosenblum

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Supreme Court
  • Area(s) of Law: Ballot Titles
  • Date Filed: 03-03-2016
  • Case #: S063766
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Landau, J., for the Court; En Banc
  • Full Text Opinion

ORS 250.035(2)(a) is applied to the general wording of an Initiative Petition when identifying the subject matter appropriately for a ballot title caption rather than inferences made from the general wording.

Unger et. al. sought review of ballot title for Initiative Petition 65 (IP 65) stating that, under ORS 250.035(2), the ballot title is deficient. IP 65 would establish a readiness fund for high schools, allotting a certain amount of money per student, for the purpose of improving college and career readiness and high school drop out rates. Moreover, the funding would cap the amount from the fund that could be used for “administrative costs” by the school district. Unger et. al. argued that use of the language “reduces funds for other services” in the ballot title of IP 65 failed to meet ORS 250.035(2) because the wording of IP 65 makes no reference to a reduction of funds from other services. This Court agreed with Unger et. al., stating that the Attorney General’s reliance on Novick v. Myers was misplaced since that the wording of IP 65 appropriated money per student rather than a specified portion of the General Fund. This Court referred the ballot title to the Attorney General.

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