Media Room

REMARKS AS PREPARED

Governor Kate Brown
SB 861 Paid Postage and CFR bills
Bus Project, Portland
Friday, August 2, 2019

Thank you to the Bus Project for your steadfast leadership and advocacy around paid postage legislation, campaign finance reform and hosting us here today. 

Later today, you will unveil a new name for your organization, but your continued efforts to help advocate for critical and vital defending democracy forms such as automatic voter registration and pre-registration will continue. I have been proud to have you as a partner. 

Thank you to the late Secretary of State Dennis Richardson and Steve from his team, who is here today.

Paid postage was a critical and necessary reform that brought Democrats and Republicans together. It’s an honor to celebrate this historic signing, while recognizing the great work Secretary Richardson did to pave the way forward on paid postage.

When we began this legislation session, I unveiled a robust defending democracy agenda. One that built upon the incredible achievements we have made with vote by mail and being the first state to pass an automatic voter registration law, and looked toward our future. 

While Oregon’s vote by mail system is one of the most innovative ways any state has increased voter access and participation, it was hobbled by something less modern: the postage stamp. 

Today, it’s time to make everyone’s mailbox a drop-box — at no cost to the voter. Frankly, the stamp is a functional barrier for voters with disabilities and rural voters who may live far from any drop box — not just for those under 40 who think that ink and a stamp are body art options, not voting necessities. 

Thank you to Senator Dembrow, former Senator Devlin, and others who championed this bill in previous sessions and helped us get here today.

Campaign finance reform in Oregon was the first pillar of my defending democracy agenda. Unless we take action, spending in Oregon campaigns will continue to rise, vesting more and more power to a wealthy few rather than a broad electorate.

Today, we take action to celebrate two bills that will have meaningful impact on campaign finance laws in Oregon. 

While my signature is not required for the referral, I will be excited to vote for it next fall. I wanted to acknowledge the great efforts by Patrick Starnes and Representative Rayfield and the entire coalition’s efforts to make sure Oregon voters get a chance to have their voice heard on campaign finance reform. 

This is something I’ve been working on for twenty years, and I’m so proud this legislative session we took a big step forward. 

We can’t stop. We have to ensure that no one person can buy a megaphone so loud it drowns out all the other voices. 

Thank you to Senator Merkley, Senator Wyden and Congresswoman Bonamici for being here today.

Those folks back in DC could learn a few things from our Senators, Congresswoman, and from the Oregon way. I’ve been proud to lend my support on the great efforts happening nationally and thank these two for being continued partners on the fight for voting reforms.

Now, let’s sign the bills!