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Lane County Threatened With Two Lawsuits

The Lane County Board of Commissioners listened to public comment Monday before approving three ordinances that would effect Eugene's efforts to pass a sick leave ordinance. Commissioner Pete Sorenson was traveling and did not vote.
Rachael McDonald
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The Lane County Board of Commissioners listened to public comment Monday before approving three ordinances that would effect Eugene's efforts to pass a sick leave ordinance. Commissioner Pete Sorenson was traveling and did not vote.

The Lane County Board of Commissioners has been threatened with two different lawsuits. They have to do with citizen-backed ballot measures.

The vote was 4-1 with Commissioner Pete Sorenson voting no.
Credit Rachael McDonald
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A group that’s seeking signatures for three county initiatives says it will sue if the board approves an ordinance that would give it veto power over ballot measures. Meanwhile, an opponent of those measures says he’ll sue if the board doesn’t take action against them. Next month, the board will take up a proposal that gives it authority to bar measures if they’re not found to be of county concern.

Ann Kneeland is a Eugene Attorney and a member of Community Rights Lane County.

“It’s a case of government overreach—trying to get control of the what is the people’s independent power to write and pass laws.”

Kneeland’s group is circulating three proposed ballot measures. One would ban aerial herbicide spraying in Lane County. Another would ban use of genetically modified organisms in farming. A third gives Lane County residents authority to pass such measures. Meanwhile, attorney Stan Long says those measures need further review by the board. He says he’ll sue if that doesn’t happen.

 

Copyright 2016 KLCC

Rachael McDonald is News Director at KLCC. She’s been with the station for more than 10 years. Previously, she established the Richland, Washington bureau for the Northwest News Network. She also worked as News Director at KAZU in Monterey, California. Rachael has won numerous awards for her reporting.