CLOAKED IN eye-glazing bureaucratic jargon, Ballot Measure 2 has flown low enough on the radar screens to avoid detection from voters thus far. But if the voter initiative passes, say concerned legislators and environmentalists, it threatens to short-circuit the entire legislative process in Oregon.

Demurely titled "Administrative Rules Repeal," Measure 2 promises to expose every law under the Oregon sky to unparalleled tinkering by special interest groups, according to opponents of Measure 2. "Let's say you're a polluter and you don't like the new law that restricts you from polluting," explained Randy Tucker, spokesperson for progressive land-use organization, 1000 Friends of Oregon. "Instead of obeying the law," he continued, "it's easier to get rid of the rule."

Sponsored by Oregonians in Action, Measure 2 has set its sights on the administrative rules that detail the implementation of a wide spectrum of laws, from abortion to land use. While the state legislature designs the broad protocols for various laws, administrative bodies such as the Land Use Board of Appeals turn these laws into reality. By defining the precise terms of laws, like what qualifies as protected wetland or what is an allowable emission by an industry of a certain toxin, these rules are where the legislative rubber hits the road.

But Measure 2 would amend the state's constitution so that any agitated citizen, simply by collecting 10,000 signatures, could demand that the legislature review a rule. The sponsors of the bill, Oregonians in Action, claim that such access to administrative rules allows more input into the exact terms of the law. Even though the sponsors of Measure 2 insist that the initiative is a debate over legislative process, opponents have lined up along partisan lines.