Jayson Jacoby
The Baker City Herald

Oregon voters have some tough choices to make on the Nov. 2 ballot.

Measures 70 and 72, though, are easy ones.

Unless, of course, you don't think the state's military veterans should be eligible for low-interest mortgages, or you're opposed to the state saving tens of millions of dollars in interest payments on public construction projects.

We're confident, though, that an overwhelming majority of Oregonians agree with us that veterans do deserve that benefit, and that the state should save those millions.

We recommend "yes" votes on both measures.

Measure 70 is a straightforward matter, and one the 2009 Legislature decided to put on the ballot.

Currently, the Oregon Constitution allows certain veterans to qualify

for low-interest home loans from the Oregon War Veterans' Fund, which

was started in 1944.

To be eligible, veterans must have been honorably discharged, and have

served for more than 210 consecutive days or been in combat.

Measure 70 would expand the program's eligibility to include National

Guard members, others who served overseas, veterans who were in

non-combat roles, and surviving spouses.

Measure 70 also would eliminate the current requirement that eligible

veterans apply for a loan within 30 years of their discharge.

That limit has excluded many Vietnam veterans from applying for a loan.

Measure 72 would allow the state to use general obligation bonds to

finance certain construction projects for which the state, under

current rules, has to use higher-interest certificates of participation.

Measure 72 won't allow the state to borrow more or to go on a building spree.

However, had the measure been in place last year, the state would have saved $38 million in interest.

We're quite sure the state could use that money.