The Oregon Legislature referred two matters to voters in the Nov. 6 election, and we recommend "yes" votes on both Measure 77 and 78. Both amount to little more than housekeeping.
Measure 77 would amend the state constitution to allow the governor to declare a catastrophic disaster - in the case of a massive earthquake, for instance. Currently, the governor has only statutory authority in such cases, which could make it difficult to direct state dollars to emergency services and other critical needs.
Measure 78 makes minor wording changes to the constitution, clarifying the separation of the legislative, executive and judicial branches. It replaces masculine pronouns in referring to the Secretary of State with gender-neutral ones. The current office holder, by the way, is Kate Brown.