Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Another Day At The Office

Things are really heating up over at the Legislature today. Actually, it's been the last 2 days. Hot exchanges going back and forth around Ted's shiny new budget are coming out in legislative press releases. People falling all over themselves to get in their two cents. If it wasn't so tragic, it would seem funny...

Senator Ted Ferrioli
Oregon State Capitol
900 Court Street NE, S-223
Salem, Oregon 97301

December 1, 2008 503.986.1950


SALEM - Senate Republican Leader Ted Ferrioli (R-John Day) had the following to say after the Governor released his 2009-11 budget proposal on Monday:

“The state has almost $1 billion more to spend this budget cycle than last, so Oregon can make do with what we have if we prioritize, pay for what is most important and invest in our economy. After we protect education, public safety and the most vulnerable, we should be providing low-income families with tax relief so they can make ends meet. The Working Family Tax Relief plan that I proposed would provide relief to those that need it most and create almost 20,000 permanent, private sector jobs.

“The Governor’s answer to 133,000 unemployed Oregonians is taxes, taxes and more taxes. While the Governor recognizes that families have been changing their lifestyles and spending in the face of a struggling economy, he fails to recognize that government must follow their lead. Government has been spending at a break neck speed, creating unsustainable program growth despite almost $1 billion more in revenue. Now is the time to counter that tax and spend mentality with common sense and fiscal responsibility. But the Governor’s response is to increase spending even further on earmark projects and pork barrel spending, paid for by massive borrowing schemes and asking Oregonians to shoulder at least seven new taxes and fees.”

900 Court St., N.E., Room S‐203
Salem OR  97301
Contact:    Robin Maxey     December 1, 2008
                   (503) 986‐1605    

(SALEM) – Senate President Peter Courtney and Senator Margaret Carter, the new Senate Co-Chair of the Joint Ways and Means Committee, said today they are concerned that the budget proposed by Governor Kulongoski this morning cuts too deep into the Department of Corrections and the human services safety net on which more and more Oregonians must depend during in an economic recession.

“We cannot allow the people who are the most vulnerable in these times to be put into the street. We can’t let dangerous felons be released into the street,” Courtney said. “Throughout this crisis there has been a lot of talk about Wall Street and Main Street. We also need to be focused on making sure families on Oak Street are safe; that they have food on their table; daycare for their children; and that our senior citizens have the long-term care they need.”

Carter said too many times policy makers lose sight of what the state budget is all about.

“When I see a spreadsheet, I see people,” Carter said. “I see the faces of single parents who work two jobs and still depend on food stamps to feed their children. I see the faces of foster children and of those in our mental health system. I see the faces of Oregonians who have lost their jobs and have no where else to go for help.” Carter said. “We can’t turn our backs on the people who count on us the most, when they need us the most.”

The Oregon Department of Human Services reported last month that the number of families receiving Temporary Assistance for Need Families has increased by 16 percent in the last year and that, since October 2007, 29,000 additional families have been added to the rolls of those receiving food stamps.

In September alone, an additional 14,000 Oregonians joined the ranks of the unemployed, the pair noted.

“It’s ugly out there,” Courtney said. “We need to explore every option and we absolutely must protect those who can’t protect themselves – our children, our elderly and those with multiple disabilities. Oregon will rebound from this crisis, but there has to be bridge so that nobody gets left behind.”

“We’re all in this together and we will get out of this by working together,” Carter said.


December 1, 2008
CONTACT: Nick Smith


SALEM—House Republican Leader Bruce Hanna (R-Roseburg) today had the following to say
regarding the release of the 2009-11 Governor's Recommended Budget:

"The state has nearly $1 billion in new revenue for the 2009-11 budget, yet we have a state government that taxpayers can't afford. Thanks to the unsustainable spending passed in 2007,which Republicans repeatedly warned against, the Legislature is now facing painful decisions in the months ahead.

"The Legislature must identify the core functions of government and sustain the programs and services that are most important to Oregonians. That's why House Republicans will continue to call for prioritized spending that adequately funds education, public safety and vital human services. Democrats must be prepared to sacrifice their pet projects. "The Governor's budget doesn't reflect reality. It's balanced on imaginary revenue including tax increases that haven't yet been approved yet. Democrats can't tax, spend and borrow out of the mess they created. Throughout 2009, we will work with Democrats to develop a more responsible state budget. However, we will oppose saddling Oregonians with reckless tax increases and uncontrolled debt.

"Rather than passing another unsustainable budget, the Legislature must focus on putting more dollars back into the economy and more dollars back into the pockets of low-income Oregonians and working families. We must create an environment where businesses can survive this recession, create new jobs and lead Oregon to recovery."

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