Oregon’s “Budget Holes” Revealed for All Oregonians to Consider.

News Release
January 3, 2002

As Governor John Kitzhaber tours Oregon explaining the State’s fiscal crisis, Oregonians with access to the world wide web can see the extent of the problem on two government websites. The Oregon Departments of Administrative Services and Human Services have posted on their websites lists of budget reduction options under consideration by the Governor.

“State officials at the Departments of Administrative Services and Human Resources have done Oregonians a tremendous service by showing us-and the rest of the world-the full extent of the cuts that the Governor and legislators will be considering in the coming weeks,” said Charles Sheketoff, executive director of the Oregon Center for Public Policy. “In many states these sort of decisions are made behind closed doors and out of the public view. In Oregon, our sunshine laws cast light on the tough matters facing our elected leaders.”

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On November 30th state economists forecast that Oregon’s general fund revenues for this biennium will be $720 million less than the Legislature thought when they developed the budget earlier last year. With increased demands for health care, cash assistance, prison health care, and to allow for some additional cash reserves as a cushion for continued revenue decline, the Governor is in the final stages of piecing together a budget proposal that will be $900 million less than the budget approved last year.

“Those who doubt the Governor and others who are saying we have a serious budget problem ought to go online and look for themselves,” said Sheketoff. “These lists show that the Governor and legislators are facing some very difficult and painful choices unless they begin to address the revenue problem with revenue solutions.”


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