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Is the DEQ Budget Bill Constitutional or Unconstitutional?

On Thursday, the House Republicans pushed through, on a nearly party line vote, a DEQ Budget Bill which contained the following language in Section 6 of the bill:

"neither the Department of Environmental Quality nor the Environmental Quality Commission may expend any moneys for the biennium beginning July 1, 2005, to adopt or enforce rules that impose California auto emission standards on motor vehicles sold, leased or titled in Oregon"

Article IX, Section 7 of the Oregon Constitution states:

"Appropriation laws not to contain provisions on other subjects. Laws making appropriations, for the salaries of public officers, and other current expenses of the State, shall contain provisions upon no other subject."

The section has been interpreted for decades to specifically prohibit budget bills from containing policy provisions.

Please post your answer to the following questions:

1. Did the DEQ budget bill violate Artile IX, Section 7 of the Oregon Constitution?

2. Is it smart policy to prohibit the Department of Environmental Quality from adopting stronger emissions standards?

June 17, 2005 by Question of the Week
TrackBacks (0) | Comments (5 so far)
Permalink: Is the DEQ Budget Bill Constitutional or Unconstitutional?


1. Probably not.
2. Hell no.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jun 17, 2005 3:47:29 PM

Yup. Unconstitutional. Freaking conservatives.

Posted by: Benjamin Kaplin | Jun 17, 2005 6:11:28 PM

Sounds unconstitutional based on your two excerpts.

Return question. Does the caucus have counsel to address these issues? Seems like we might find such a person very useful......

I'm just sayin'.....

Posted by: Pat Ryan | Jun 21, 2005 11:39:02 AM


The Legislature has its own counsel, one that provides legal advice and guidance to all the members and the body as a whole...that's what Legislative Counsel is for. And according to LC, the DEQ amendment was unconstitutional. The legislature is supposed to follow LC's legal advice in these matters.

The interesting question, thus, becomes why the Republican leadership choose to ignore the legal advice and opinion of its own counsel, and instead listen to the legal advice of the lobbyist for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, who claimed this was in fact constitutional for obviously self-interested reasons.

Posted by: Jon Isaacs | Jun 21, 2005 2:51:27 PM

So to paraphrase Rummy, "You ignore the counsel that you have not the one you might've wished you'd had........"

Maybe we could charge 'em for wasting state resources if they wind up losing in court over this one.

We can always dream....

Posted by: Pat Ryan | Jun 22, 2005 12:52:54 PM

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