Oregon Tribes Gain New Option for Tribal Deposits and Financial Voice in Ballot Measure Analyses

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Oregon Treasurer worked in partnership with tribal officials during 2013 session. Two major bills approved by the 2013 Legislature will improve the standing of Oregon tribes regarding financial matters

Senate Bill 18, introduced by the state Treasurer, will provide voters a more complete picture of the financial consequences of the measures on their ballots each election. Voter pamphlets provide statements of the financial impact of each measure, and Senate Bill 18 allows those analyses to mention potential financial impacts to tribal governments.

The Treasurer sits on the Financial Estimate Committee, which researches and drafts financial estimates.

The Treasurer also provided assistance in the drafting and analysis of Senate Bill 351, which allows tribal governments to join other Oregon government entities and utilize the Oregon Short Term Fund for deposits. That fund is administered by the Oregon State Treasury and is an option for more than 1,000 government entities including cities, counties and school districts.

The bill was introduced by Sens. Arnie Roblan, D-Coos Bay, and Ted Ferrioli, R-John Day.

The Oregon Short Term Fund stood at $11.5 billion as of June 30 and gives local governments and the state a place to keep funds in between when revenue is collected and when bills become due. Many governments are property tax-based and thus collect the majority of their revenue at one time of the year.

“I was honored to partner with Oregon’s tribes to help provide a new financial option, and to give them a formal voice in financial estimates for ballot measures,” said Treasurer Wheeler. “Oregonians deserve to have the full picture before voting on any ballot measure, and recent initiatives have shown that the potential impact to tribes and public can be significant.”

Oregon’s system of direct democracy gives citizens a chance to reform their government via the ballot – and is built on the expectation that voters get full and accurate information about ballot measures before marking “yes” or “no.”

Reyn Leno, Council Chair of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, said Senate Bill 18 is the right policy for tribes and for the State.

Oregon’s nine federally recognized tribes contribute a great deal to the Oregon economy, especially in rural areas.  These contributions coupled with expenditures on governmental programs including health care, public safety, education, and social services provided by tribes lessens the burden on federal, state, and local programs.  This is why we feel it is appropriate and necessary for Oregon’s citizens to get the full picture from the Financial Estimate Committee by including impacts upon tribes in their estimates.”

The Oregon State Treasury protects public assets and saves Oregonians money through its investment, banking, and debt management functions. State investment policies are overseen by the Oregon Investment Council. The State Treasury also promotes public outreach and education to help Oregonians learn strategies to save money, invest for college and make smart financial choices. You can track Treasury-related news on Twitter at @OregonTreasury.

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