Oregon Ballot Measure 70 is one of three amendments to the Oregon Constitution that were referred from the legislature for approval by the voters.  While I am somewhat careful in how I look at any attempt to amend the constitution, these amendments are all small changes that will modernize the constitution without making drastic changes.  That is a good thing.

Ballot Measure 70 would expand the availability of home ownership loans for Oregon veterans through the Oregon War Veterans’ Fund.  A yes vote would extend the home loan program for Oregon veterans  and increases eligibility for non-combat veterans, National Guard veterans, and the veterans who served after September 11th.

The Oregon Constitution currently provides that Oregon combat veterans may receive low-interest home loans from the Oregon War Veterans’ Fund. These veterans must have received an honorable discharge and must have served for more than 210 consecutive days or been released because of injury or disability.  This measure amends the Oregon Constitution to make loans available to more
veterans, including National Guard veterans, others who have honorably served overseas and veterans who have not seen actual combat.  Many of these veterans have served our country, putting their own lives at risk for us.

However, in today’s military, we are using more of the services of national guard and reservists, who may serve over time, but not necessarily for 210 consecutive days.  This measure reflects this reality and would make the low interest home loans a lifetime benefit and would increase the number of honorably discharged veterans and surviving spouses who are eligible for the low-interest loan program.

The number of veterans who would be affected by this is likely small, but it would be an important gesture to make for them.  There is no real opposition to this measure.  It simply updates the constitution to reflect the realities of those serving in today’s military.

Please join me in voting YES on Oregon Ballot Measure 70 in the upcoming November election.