More than 60 percent of voters in partial returns said yes to preserving a temporary tax on hospitals, health care organizations and insurers to pay for Medicaid expansion. The assessments in House Bill 2391 from the 2017 Legislature are expected to raise $673 million, enabling about 350,000 people in low-income households to stay on the Oregon Health Plan.
Education advocates, including OSBA, were supporters of Measure 101. Students are better able to succeed in school when their health needs are being met, and education advocates wanted to protect vulnerable students in low-income households.
Because Measure 101 was a referendum on a bill already passed, a yes vote protected the status quo. School district budgets have already accounted for the law, and no changes will be needed.
The Legislature can now devote all its energy to looking forward. The short session that opens Feb. 5 will include debate on a bill that would make class size a mandatory bargaining issue. OSBA has strongly opposed the bill, calling it a “budget buster.”
Measure 101 supporters gathered Tuesday night at a rally at the Holocene nightclub in Portland to cheer on election results. (Photo by Jake Arnold, OSBA)