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Oregon Forecast Sets Stage for Budget RebalanceSalem-News.com
Statements by Senate President Peter Courtney and several other state officials.
(SALEM) - “Revenue is down a little, but it will fit within the co-chairs’ budget proposal. That means we can move forward with a budget rebalance that will keep our schools open and criminals behind bars. It means we will take care of our seniors and provide services for people with disabilities and our children.
“Economic indicators are up, but the recovery is still fragile. It is important now that the Legislature do its job. We need to adjust the budget and finish our policy work on time.”
Statement from Co-Speaker Arnie Roblan on March Revenue Forecast
Following today’s release of the March 2012 revenue forecast for general and lottery funds, House Co-Speaker Arnie Roblan (D-Coos Bay) issued the following statement:
Today’s revenue forecast brings into focus that Oregon’s economic recovery, while steady, is too slow for Oregonians who are struggling to find a family wage job. As we work in this February session, I am committed to passing legislation that will create more jobs on the Coast and across Oregon to help bolster this economic recovery. In Oregon, we have shown that leadership that focuses on solutions, not partisan battles, can produce results for our citizens – we need that same kind of leadership at all levels of government – particularly in Washington DC.
Now that we have the forecast, we will finish our work rebalancing the state’s budget using the Co-Chair budget framework. I am committed to ensuring that our work on the budget this session prioritizes protecting the middle class while being mindful that further job losses will only cause additional economic harm. We must make the tough choices to cut waste while focusing on outcomes that protect services Oregonians depend on in this tough budget environment.
House Republican Leader Comments on March 2012 Revenue Forecast
House Republican Leader Kevin Cameron (R-Salem) had the following to say regarding the March 2012 economic and revenue forecast:
“This revenue forecast should help pave the way for a bipartisan plan to rebalance the 2011-13 budget. Thanks to Republican efforts to set aside significant reserves in 2011, we can avoid cuts to schools and other essential services this session.
“Oregon’s economic recovery remains uncertain. House Republicans will continue to insist on budgetary reserves that protect essential services through the remainder of the biennium. It is also critical to implement budget reforms that reduce spending and require state government to live within its means.
“Whether a revenue forecast is up or down, it’s clear that too many Oregonians are out of work. Even as we begin to pass critical deadlines for the 2012 session, House Republicans will continue to offer solutions to Oregon’s unemployment through our “50,000 Jobs in Five Years” plan and other measures that effectively promote private-sector job creation.”
Statement from Senate Majority Leader Diane Rosenbaum
Senate Majority Leader Diane Rosenbaum released the following statement this morning following the release of the March 2012 Revenue Forecast:
“Today’s forecast gives us the next piece of information to do our job of balancing the budget during this short February session. One of the major reasons for holding annual sessions was to allow the full Legislature to make budget adjustments in tumultuous times. We will continue to budget prudently in order to protect the most critical services that Oregonians rely on.
This session is about taking care of big picture items. This means advocating policies that cut waste and improve government efficiency so we can protect the critical services many middle class families and the most vulnerable rely on. This also means supporting Oregon’s small businesses that will help our state economy grow and create jobs.
We are almost one week into this session and we are on track to deliver actual help for Oregon families and small businesses that are depending on us.“
Co-Speaker Bruce Hanna's Statement on Latest Revenue Forecast
Oregon House Co-Speaker Bruce Hanna (R-Roseburg) issued the following statement after this morning’s release of the March revenue forecast, which showed anticipated tax and lottery fund receipts have dropped another $35.1 million from the original close of session forecast. Today’s forecasted decline brings the total drop to more than $342 million since the biennium began less than eight months ago.
“This makes fifteen straight quarters where Oregon has seen less-than-anticipated tax receipts. This continued trend is a result of our devastated economy, especially in rural communities throughout the state. Oregon once thrived because of its abundant natural resources and our responsible approach to a resource-based economy. That is no longer the case, and our state’s unemployment consistently lingers above the national average. As long as we battle perpetually high unemployment and lower than average personal income levels, we’ll have a growing need for services and a dwindling income tax base.
“I appreciate the hard work put into keeping our budget balanced, and am grateful for the safety net of our Rainy Day Fund and remaining ending fund balance. Prudent budgeting helped prepare us for this ongoing trend. But balancing the budget isn’t enough. Our focus must be on job creation. It’s that simple.”
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