Measure 38

Explanatory Statement

Ballot Measure 38 abolishes SAIF, the public corporation that sells workers' compensation insurance to and administers workers' compensation insurance for the state and other public and private entities and administers the Industrial Accident Fund for that purpose.

On January 1, 2005, SAIF must stop selling new policies of insurance. The Board of Directors of SAIF is abolished and its authority transferred to the Director of the Oregon Department of Administrative Services (DAS). The DAS Director and the Director of the Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS) are required to prepare a plan for the cessation of workers' compensation retail insurance business activities by the state. Such plan must include reinsurance of liabilities of the fund and satisfy SAIF's obligations under its existing policies.

On January 1, 2006, SAIF must cease renewing policies of insurance, and the DAS Director must reinsure a portion of the liabilities of SAIF Corporation and the Industrial Accident Fund. The measure requires the State Treasurer to set aside 50 percent of any funds exceeding reserves and surplus necessary to satisfy future liabilities of SAIF ("excess surplus") to be used to satisfy SAIF policyholder claims and claims against the Industrial Accident Fund in litigation prior to October 2003, which may be ultimately adjudicated. The State Treasurer then must transfer 80 percent of the remaining excess surplus to the Oregon Priorities Fund created by the measure. Moneys in the Oregon Priorities Fund are continuously appropriated to the Legislative Assembly for the purposes of supporting schools and local law enforcement, providing prescription medications to seniors and the medically needy, and promoting job growth through workforce training.

On January 1, 2007, SAIF is abolished. The DAS Director must reinsure or otherwise resolve the remaining liabilities of SAIF and the Industrial Accident Fund, and sell all of SAIF's real and personal property. The State Treasurer is required to deposit proceeds from the sale of SAIF's property and any excess surplus remaining after all the obligations of SAIF and the Industrial Accident Fund are satisfied in the Oregon Priorities Fund.

The DAS Director and State Treasurer are authorized to contract with independent outside persons or firms to provide advice and assistance in carrying out provisions of the measure.

The Board of Directors of SAIF Corporation may not challenge any provisions of the measure or take any action that undermines or otherwise weakens the full implementation of the measure.

The DCBS Director is instructed to report to the Governor and the Legislative Assembly regarding the requirement that premium rates for workers' compensation insurance set by the department not be excessive, inadequate or unfairly discriminatory.

Committee Members / Appointed by:
Brian Boe / Chief Petitioners
Shawn Miller / Chief Petitioners
Jessica Harris Adamson / Secretary of State
Pat McCormick / Secretary of State
Sid Lezak / Members of the Committee

(This committee was appointed to provide an impartial explanation of the ballot measure pursuant to ORS 251.215.)