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Oregon Revenue Forecast Underscores the Need for Congressional Action

News Release
May 20, 2020

Statement by Alejandro Queral, Executive Director of the Oregon Center for Public Policy

Today’s Economic and Revenue Forecast removes any shred of doubt that, absent congressional action to shore up state budgets, the public services Oregonians depend on are at risk of being eviscerated. With Oregon staring at a $2.7 billion drop in expected revenue in the current budget period, it is incumbent on all Oregon elected leaders — regardless of political affiliation — to demand swift action by Congress in extending aid to state and local governments.

At stake in this fiscal crisis is the ability for our communities to thrive. This is about whether teachers, state troopers, and health care providers will continue to perform their vital work. This is about whether foster children and adults with disabilities will receive the care they need. This is about whether, at a time of a public health emergency, low-income Oregonians will be able to continue receiving health care. Public services are always vital, but even more so during tough economic times like now, when more Oregonians turn to the state for help.

The harm to Oregonians from congressional inaction is likely to linger well beyond the public health emergency. Budget cuts means fewer state contracts to businesses throughout the state; it means layoffs to teachers and other public employees. As a result, less money flows into communities throughout the state, further depressing economic activity.

We appreciate the leadership from some of Oregon’s elected leaders who have already made forceful calls for congressional action. The time is now for every elected official in the state to call on Congress to take action in order to protect all Oregonians.