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Oregon Wants To Be Able To Impeach The Governor


The Oregon flag waves beside the Oregon Capitol in Salem, Oregon, Saturday, March 18, 2017.

The Oregon flag waves beside the Oregon Capitol in Salem, Oregon, Saturday, March 18, 2017.

Bradley W. Parks/OPB

The Oregon House approved a measure Wednesday that would create a process to impeach the state’s governor.

The proposal isn’t aimed at its current governor, Kate Brown. Supporters say it’s a way to keep the state’s highest elected official in check.

Rep. Jodi Hack, R-Salem, sponsored the resolution.

“This is a tool for accountability of the executive branch,” she told her colleagues during a brief floor speech. “As many of you know, Oregon is the only state in the country that does not have the ability to impeach the executive branch.”

Hack introduced a similar measure in 2015, shortly after then-Gov. John Kitzhaber stepped down amid a criminal ethics investigation. The measure died in the Oregon Senate that year.

This year’s version was approved on a bipartisan vote of 51-6 in the Oregon House. It now heads to the Senate. If approved there, Oregon voters would ultimately decide whether to create an impeachment process. Voter input is necessary since it involves a change to the state’s constitution. 

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