FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 13, 2009
Contact: Michael Cox (503) 986-1904
Republican Leadership Refuses to Make Good Faith Effort to Balance Budget
SALEM - Oregonians deserve more than business as usual from the House Republican Leadership, said House Majority Leader Mary Nolan, in response to a news release from the House minority calling on the legislature to protect programs for seniors at the expense of all others for both the remainder of 2007-2009 and the 2009-2011 biennium.
“Instead of coming to the table in a good faith effort to help us craft responsible solutions to the challenges we face, the House Republican Leadership has been content to sit on the sidelines,” said Nolan. “The Republicans’ so-called plan means kids get shut out of schools, troopers are not patrolling our highways and Oregon slips further. We’re not going to let that happen.”
“Democrats have laid out a specific plan to deal with the very severe budget cuts we have to make this biennium,” said Ways and Means Co-Chair Peter Buckley. “The plan included public hearings the last three nights as we work on prioritizing those cuts.”
“Instead of coming to any of the three hearings and offering balanced proposals, the House Republican Leadership seems more interested in dividing Oregonians and pitting seniors against school children,” said Nolan.
Nolan said the House Republican Leadership has not offered a list of cuts or sources of new revenue to balance the budget, nor have they said how they plan to fund education, healthcare or public safety. So far this session House Republicans spoke against the state’s economic stimulus plan and against measures to protect the state’s budget.
“THE BUDGET SHORTFALL WE FACE IS REAL, AND SO ARE THE CUTS WE MUST MAKE,” SAID NOLAN. “THESE ARE DIFFICULT TIMES AND HOUSE DEMOCRATS ARE READY TO PROVIDE SERIOUS LEADERSHIP. WE’D LIKE A SERIOUS PARTNER.”