Senate Republicans comment on revenue forecast
Salem, OR – Senate Republican members of the Senate Revenue Committee commented on news that state resources have declined another $35 million, for a total of a $342 million shortfall since the close of session last year.
Senator Chris Telfer (R-Bend)
“We are now down more than a third of a billion dollars in about eight months. At what point do we admit current state polices are failing? Our economy and our revenue forecasts will continue to get worse until lawmakers get serious about putting families back to work. Today’s numbers prove that the lip-service paid to job creation in Salem is not enough. It is time for lawmakers to act. Senate Republicans are pushing an agenda that will put families back to work by doing things like freezing new rules and cutting red tape until our economy is back on track. Now is the time to act.”
Frank Morse (R-Albany)
“We are experiencing the pains of Oregon’s boom-and-bust revenue cycle that over-performs in good times but leaves gaping holes in bad times. Forecasts like this one are ‘exhibit A’ for why we need a robust state savings account that forces lawmakers to set aside funds when things are good. Until that happens, Oregonians will continue to suffer from tax increases and cuts to core services. I don’t think there is anything more important for this legislature to deal with then establishing a state emergency fund.”
House Republican Leader Comments on March 2012 Revenue Forecast
SALEM—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 Co-Speaker Bruce Hanna on Latest Revenue Forecast
(SALEM) – Oregon House Co-Speaker Bruce Hanna (R-Roseburg) issued the following statement after yesterday’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. Yesterday’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.”
The full forecast and an executive summary, released by the Office of Economic Analysis, are available at http://www.oregon.gov/DAS/OEA/economic.shtml.