Amusing bill of the day

Oregon House Bill 2785, by Representative Kim Thatcher, R-Salem. Excerpts follow.

SECTION 1. (1)(a) Every elected official or public employee who is required to swear or affirm to support the United States Constitution or the Oregon Constitution as a condition of office or employment shall take a constitutional competency examination within six months of taking office every election cycle for the position in which they have been elected or within six months of having been employed in the position that requires an oath or affirmation as a condition of employment.

(2) The constitutional competency examination required under subsection (1) of this section shall be developed and managed by the State Court Administrator.

(3)(a) Questions for the constitutional competency examination shall be developed by a nonprofit constitutional organization, selected by the State Court Administrator and a panel of six people chosen at random from a jury list specified under ORS 54.070. The State Court Administrator will provide a report outlining each of the proposed organizations, its advantages and disadvantages, and a summary of the preferred organization. Each person will have equal weight in voting for the organization, requiring at a minimum four of the seven agreeing for an organization to be selected.

(b) The nonprofit constitutional organization selected under paragraph (a) of this sub-section shall submit questions developed for review by the State Court Administrator and a panel of six people chosen at random from a jury list specified under ORS 54.070. A person chosen under this paragraph may not be a person who serves on the panel created under paragraph (a) of this subsection. Each person will have equal weight in voting for the questions, requiring at a minimum four of the seven agreeing for a question to be selected for inclusion in the test question bank to be used for the selection of questions for the examination.

(c) The panel specified in paragraph (b) of this subsection may develop potential questions for consideration for inclusion in the test bank and submit the questions to the selected nonprofit constitutional organization to be assessed for future inclusion in the test bank.

(d)(A) The State Court Administrator and the panel specified in paragraph (b) of this subsection shall meet every four years to determine if the questions in the test bank meet the needs of the State of Oregon based on economic factors and social factors.

(B) If the panel determines that different questions are needed for the examination, the State Court Administrator and the panel will suggest areas of focus, or suggested questions, to the nonprofit constitutional organization. These suggestions shall be submitted within three months of the initial meeting of the panel. No more than three months from the date the suggestions are submitted, the nonprofit constitutional organization shall provide

questions suggested for inclusion in the test bank to the panel. These suggested questions shall be selected for use, while existing questions shall be selected for removal from the test bank. Each person shall have equal weight in voting for the questions, requiring at a minimum four of the seven agreeing for a question to be selected.

(e) The pool of questions to choose from may not be less than 150 percent or more than 200 percent of the number of questions required for the examination.

(4)(a) The constitutional competency examination required to be developed as provided under subsection (2) of this section shall:

(A) Consist of at least 100 questions and no more than 200 questions selected from the test bank developed and managed by the State Court Administrator.

(B) Be at least two hours and no more than four hours in continuous length when sitting for the examination.

(C) Consist of two primary areas of study:

(i) The United States Constitution; and

(ii) The Oregon Constitution.

Share on Facebook

One Comment

  1. fortboise said:

    Oddly specific, and yet incomplete inclusion of test parameters in this proposal. Unless I missed it, they don’t get around to defining a passing grade. I have some experience in test design, but not in legislated design.

    I like the idea, though! If you’re going to take an oath to uphold something, you should be required to have some awareness of what it is you’re upholding.

    (Then I guess for people who want to swear an oath on the Bible, there should be a Biblical competency test, too?)

    January 29, 2011

Comments are closed.