With less than three weeks to go, at least one worthy initiative petition needs your help. IP 49, the No Fake Emergency petition, would make it tougher to tack an emergency clause onto proposed new laws in the state. It is still a bit shy of the 117,578 valid signatures it needs to appear on the November ballot.

Oregon law currently allows legislators to attach emergency clauses to any bills they wish. They’ve done so ever more frequently, so that this year most of what was signed into law was, by lawmakers’ standards, an emergency.

If bills contain no emergency clause, they go into effect at least 90 days after the end of the legislative session or Jan. 1 of the following year. Thus, many bills approved this spring should, by all rights, become effective next January.

The emergency clause changes that. With the clause in place, a law goes into effect as soon as it’s signed by the governor, at most 30 days after it is approved by the Legislature. There’s little chance for the public to challenge a law before it goes into effect.

IP 49’s supporters recognize reality, and they’ve made quick response to so-called catastrophic emergencies possible. Most often, however, it would take a two-thirds majority vote in both chambers of the Legislature.

If you think that’s a good idea, go to nofakeemergencies.com and follow the instructions.

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