Posted: Fri, November 2 2012 at 6:41 PM, Updated: Fri, November 2 2012 at 6:50 PM
At the end of a dramatic week for United States residents on the east coast, post-Sandy victims are rebuilding their lives.
In Oregon plans are in place should we face a natural disaster, including a new bill on our current ballot.
Measure 77 changes the constitution, giving Oregon's governor power to declare a "catasrophic event" and removes his spending restrictions.
In the wake of Sandy's destruction... it's getting bipartisan support.
Harrowing scenes of destruction.
"Sandy they had a weeks notice," says Senator Alan Bates, "we're talking about things we'll have no notice on."
Four days after Sandy hit the east coast, the United States death toll sits at 98 people, and counting.
Senator Alan Bates, says Oregon's government is preparing for a similar natural disaster. "For the last 7 or 8 years we've been getting more information from the Department of Minerals and Geology that we're really at the precipice of time, and a tsunami in Portland is eminent within the next 100 years."
That's why the legislature approved ballot Measure 77 almost unanimously.
If passed, the Measure would amend the constitution, allowing the governor to declare
a "catastrophic disaster" and for 30 days be allowed to allocate money however he or she deemed worthy. "always there is the concern giving one person so much power, but in a time of emergency we don't have time for meeting together like that."
Despite that concern, and the Oregon Republican Party's official stance to vote no-- Republican State Representative, Dennis Richardson is behind 77."It doesn't matter if our governor is a democrat or republican, he's the governor and needs to be able do what he needs to constitutionally."
The measure doesn't just apply to natural disasters. A quick peak in the voter's pamphlet details numerous scenarios, from terrorist attacks to war."We hope the provisions of Measure 77 are never needed, but we don't have time to get together and talk about it."
Current law also requires the entire legislature to meet in person for such events. Elected officials say 77 moves Oregon into the 21st century. "This allows a smaller group to meet and electronically," states Bates.
Members of both parties hoping the Measure will put measures in place should something like sandy happen to the west coast.