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Central City Concern thanks everyone who participated in this election season. Whether you voted, encouraged others to vote, or dropped off ballots – we are grateful. We rocked the vote, here in Oregon and across the country! Whatever your personal political beliefs, CCC believes voting is a key step in civic involvement.
While not all results are in and many votes are still being counted, we do have some projected results from the Oregon Secretary of State worth sharing and celebrating.
Measures 107, 108, 109 and 110 are all passing with strong margins.
Measure 107 will allow for campaign finance reform laws. Measure 109 will create regulations over the next two years for providers to start using psilocybin treatment for patients.
At CCC, we endorsed Measures 108 and 110. Measure 108 will raise the tax on tobacco products to fund the Oregon Health Plan, and Measure 110 will decriminalize possession of small amounts of illegal drugs and invest more of the existing marijuana taxes into treatment and recovery services. We are very excited to see both these measures passing with strong support.
Some of the highlights of Measures 108 and 110 include:
- A new tax on cigarettes and tobacco vaping products beginning in January 2021 will allocate funds to the Oregon Health Plan (OHP) and cessation/prevention programs beginning in the new 2021-2023 state biennial budget. It is projected to raise $330 million. The OHP is one of the most important safety net services our community has to offer. Keeping OHP financially sound ensures more people can find stability in their health care. OHP is a lifeline in our state, allowing people to access primary care, dental care and behavioral health supports, at a time when health care is more crucial than ever.
- Decriminalization of possession of a controlled substance in Schedule I-IV, such as heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamines, will be reclassified from a Class A misdemeanor to a Class E violation, resulting in a $100 fine or a completed health assessment to waive the fine, beginning in February 2021.
- Marijuana tax revenues will be redistributed to treatment and recovery services starting in the 2021-2023 state biennial budget with the first wave of funds set to be released no later than October 2021.The funds will be split between the current programs receiving funds and new allocations to treatment and recovery. All funds in excess of $45 million will be set aside for new investments. For reference, in fiscal year 2019-2020, the marijuana tax revenue brought in $133 million for the year.
While CCC did not endorse any local measures, and cannot endorse candidates, there were some notable results. A new police oversight structure was overwhelming passed by Portland voters. This new independent civilian led police oversight board will be taking shape over the next year.
Portland voters reelected Mayor Wheeler and elected Mingus Mapps over incumbent Chloe Eudaly. Mapps will join other newly elected commissioners Carmen Rubio and Dan Ryan and sitting commissioner JoAnne Hardesty, constituting a majority BIPOC council in 2021. This is a historic moment for Portland during a time of unprecedented challenges and opportunities for change.
We welcome opportunities with all elected leaders to engage in solution building, to improve the lives of the people we serve. And, we look forward to the implementation of our new policies approved by voters.