Oregon Wants To Be Able To Impeach The Governor

May 24, 2017

The Oregon House approved a measure Wednesday that would create a process to impeach the state's governor.

The proposal isn't aimed at its current governor, Kate Brown. Supporters say it's a way to keep the state's highest elected official in check.

Rep. Jodi Hack, R-Salem, sponsored the resolution.

"This is a tool for accountability of the executive branch," she told her colleagues during a brief floor speech. "As many of you know, Oregon is the only state in the country that does not have the ability to impeach the executive branch."

Hack introduced a similar measure in 2015, shortly after then-Gov. John Kitzhaber stepped down amid a criminal ethics investigation. The measure died in the Oregon Senate that year.

This year's version was approved on a bipartisan vote of 51-6 in the Oregon House. It now heads to the Senate. If approved there, Oregon voters would ultimately decide whether to create an impeachment process. Voter input is necessary since it involves a change to the state's constitution.

Copyright 2017 Oregon Public Broadcasting.