Measure 61

Proposed by initiative petition to be voted on at the General Election, November 4, 2008.

Ballot Title

Creates mandatory minimum prison sentences for certain theft, identity theft, forgery, drug, and burglary crimes

Result of "yes" vote

"Yes" vote creates mandatory minimum prison sentences for certain crimes, including burglary, forgery, theft, manufacture/delivery of methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, or methylenedioxymethamphetamine, under specified circumstances.

Result of "no" vote

"No" vote retains current law, which does not require that persons convicted of the crimes specified in the measure serve mandatory minimum prison sentences.

Summary

Measure creates mandatory minimum prison sentences for specified crimes for which current law does not require mandatory minimums. Requires 36-month minimums for identity theft, first degree burglary, and Class A felony manufacture/delivery of methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, or methylenedioxymethamphetamine; 30-month minimums for Class B felony manufacture/delivery of same specified controlled substances. For offenders with one or more prior felony convictions, or two or more prior misdemeanor convictions, measure requires 18-month minimums for first degree forgery, motor vehicle theft; 14-month minimums for first degree theft, second degree burglary. Prohibits reductions in sentences required by measure. Sentences must be served in state prisons, not in county jails. State must reimburse counties for pretrial incarceration costs for persons sentenced under measure. Other provisions.

Estimate of financial impact

The measure will require additional state spending of $8 million to $10 million in the first year, $67 million to $88 million in the second year, $122 million to $178 million in the third year, $164 million to $247 million in the fourth year, and $161 million to $274 million in each year after that. The measure does not require additional local government spending.

The measure will require the state to borrow between $1.1 billion and $1.3 billion to build new prisons between 2010 and 2017. The state will repay those amounts plus interest of $709 million to $844 million over 25 years.

The measure requires state payments to local government of $2 million to $5 million in the first year and $10 million to $19 million each year after that.

The measure does not affect the amount of funds collected for state government.


Explanation of Estimate of Financial Impact

The measure

The measure sets new minimum sentences for certain drug and property crimes. The measure also directs the state to pay local governments for the cost of holding defendants in jail until they are convicted.

State impact

The costs of the measure are due to keeping more criminals in prison for longer periods of time. Those costs include: running prisons, providing temporary prison beds, supervising criminals after they are released from prison, and building more prisons. Other costs include: providing foster care for some children whose parents are convicted of the measure's crimes, providing lawyers for defendants who cannot afford legal counsel, and defending the state against inmates' lawsuits.

The measure will cost between $8 million to $10 million in the first year, and increase to between $161 million and $274 million per year after the fourth year.

The state will borrow $1.1 billion to $1.3 billion from 2010 to 2017 to build new prisons. The state will repay those amounts plus interest of $709 million to $844 million over 25 years.

Local impact

The measure does not require additional spending by local government.

The measure requires the state to pay counties for the cost of holding those accused of the measure's crimes in county jails before they are convicted. The state does not currently pay this cost. The state will reimburse the counties for the cost of holding prisoners from $2 million to $5 million in the first year and $10 million to $19 million each year after that.

Implementing the measure

The current prison population is around 13,600. When the measure is fully implemented, it could add between 4,100 and 6,300 inmates to the prison population, depending on the number of people convicted of crimes under this measure. The total cost of the measure could change depending on the length of time to build new prisons, inflation, and the cost to hire and train new prison staff.

The measure does not identify a funding source. Today the costs of prisons are paid for out of the General Fund, which comes from income taxes. The General Fund is also used to pay for public education, services for vulnerable citizens, public safety, and other programs.

Committee Members:

Secretary of State Bill Bradbury
State Treasurer Randall Edwards
Scott Harra, Director, Dept. of Administrative Services
Elizabeth Harchenko, Director, Dept. of Revenue
Debra Guzman, Local Government Representative

(The estimate of financial impact and explanation was provided by the above committee pursuant to ORS 250.127.)