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Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

Measure To Create Impeachment Process Advances In Oregon Legislature

M.O. Stevens
Wikimedia Commons -

Oregon would no longer be the only state without an impeachment process if some state lawmakers get their way.

The Oregon House voted Tuesday to advance a measure that would ask voters to create a way for the state legislature to remove the governor and other statewide elected officials from office. It comes in the wake of the February resignation of Governor John Kitzhaber amid an ethics probe.

House Democratic leader Val Hoyle says lawmakers need every tool available to deal with potential wrongdoing by top officeholders.

"All of my constituents and people that I talked to about this bill thought we already had it,” Hoyle said. “And I do feel that most people in Oregon feel that we already have this power. We do not."

Hoyle says the impeachment process would be rigorous enough to prevent it from being used frivolously.

The measure now advances to the Oregon Senate. If it's approved there, it would go before Oregon voters in November 2016.