Video: Oregon voters will decide whether state judges should be allowed to teach at public schools, serve in National Guard

Oregon, like many other states, prohibits those elected or appointed to office from working or serving in another, especially if they are getting paid to do it. Oregon’s constitutional provision on this subject currently read as follows:

Article II, Section 10: No person holding a lucrative office, or appointment under the United States, or under this State, shall be eligible to a seat in the Legislative Assembly; nor shall any person hold more than one lucrative office at the same time, except as in this Constition [sic] expressly permitted; Provided, that Officers in the Militia, to which there is attached no annual salary, and the Office of Post Master, where the compensation does not exceed One Hundred Dollars per annum, shall not be deemed lucrative.

Article III, Section 1: The powers of the Government shall be divided into three separate branches, the Legislative, the Executive, including the administrative, and the Judicial; and no person charged with official duties under one of these branches, shall exercise any of the functions of another, except as in this Constitution expressly provided.

An exception is made in Article XV, Section 8 for those who are members of or employed by the State Board of Higher Education or a school board to allow them to also be elected as member of the legislature (i.e. the Legislative Assembly).

SJR 34 of 2013, as approved by the legislature in late June, would add another exception: judges would be able to teach in schools operated by the State Board of Higher Education and serve in the National Guard as well.

A person serving as a judge of any court of this state may be employed by the Oregon National Guard for the purpose of performing military service or may be employed by the State Board of Higher Education for the purpose of teaching, and the employment does not prevent the person from serving as a judge.

The amendment was approved unanimously in the Oregon Senate on June 25. The House, on the other hand, approved it on a 36-23 vote that broke across party lines.

R
D
Totals
Yes
6
30
36
No
20
3
23

Proponents note that judges in the state can work as part-time teachers for the two private law schools in the state, while opponents expressed concern about judges being employees and receiving two paychecks from the state.

Below is the audio with photos of the House members heard in debate on the measure from that June 25 floor vote. SJR 34 will be appearing on the November 2014 ballot.

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