Senate GOP pushes balloting for special session

Republicans initiate balloting for emergency special session
— Budget reductions should be based on common-sense priorities, protect education
By Senate Republican Office

Salem, OR — Republicans want to call the legislature into special session in order to mitigate cuts to education. Wednesday afternoon a bi-partisan group of members lead by Republicans officially put in motion the mechanism the legislature can use to call itself into special session. Republicans believe that the across-the-board cuts proposed by Governor Ted Kulongoski (D) are a draconian and blunt way to make the reductions necessary to balance the budget. “Callous over-spending by the majority party has created this massive shortfall, and some reductions are an unfortunate necessity,” said Senator Chris Telfer (R-Bend). “But these cuts should happen carefully and precisely reflecting the priorities of Oregonians, protecting the most vulnerable and investments in K-12 classrooms. That means the legislature must come into session and do what it was elected to do.”

Democrats wrote a budget last year that included a 15% increase in total spending, despite skyrocketing unemployment and a dire economic picture. The state revenue forecast Tuesday revealed that revenue collections have not kept pace with spending dreams, to the tune of a $562 million shortfall. Kulongoski responded by proposing 9% across-the-board cuts. These cuts translate to deep reductions to every agency and state service, regardless of importance or priority.

Senator Frank Morse (R-Albany) called the across-the-board cuts “mindless management of a crisis.”

A vote by the majority of State Senators and Representatives can bring the legislature back into emergency special session. Balloting begins at the request of one State Senator and one Representative. Members of the Senate Republican caucus, Senator Bill Morrisette (D-Springfield), and Representative Ron Maurer (R-Grants Pass) formally requested the balloting process Wednesday afternoon.

“Coming into session gives us the opportunity to protect education funding from unbearable cuts,” said Senator Bruce Starr (R-Hillsboro). “The devastating outcome of a 9% across-the-board in our local classrooms is unacceptable. We need to put this budget back in balance based on wise priorities that protect the things that matter most to Oregonians, like funding our classrooms.”

Ballots will be sent out by the Legislative Administrator Scott Burgess as soon as is practical. Upon receiving a majority of votes in both chambers, the Speaker of the House and President of the Senate are required to initiate a special session.

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Posted by at 07:16 | Posted in Measure 37 | 22 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Jim Ray

    When are you going to face the reality of the problem? PERS! If you haven’t got the guts to tackle the obscenity that is PERS, give up these stunts.

  • Bob Clark

    I’d rather have the cross aboard cuts because a special session is likely to tag us with new taxes and fees. My motto: the less the legislature meets the better. No doubt about it.

    • Ron Marquez

      Couldn’t agree more…..no special session.

  • Insider

    Yo, Republicans in the Legislature, YOU VOTED FOR THE 2009 SPENDING TOO! You may not have voted for the taxes, but those taxes have absolutely nothing to do with the budget deficit.

    And most of YOU VOTED AGAINST THE JOB-CREATING BILLS passed by the Democrats in 2009 and 2010: Jobs and Transportation Act, Health Care Jobs bill, Housing Construction bill, expanded small business loans, etc.

    Don’t you think anyone will actually look at your voting record when you make these ridiculous claims?

    Nice try, but no cigar.

  • a retired professor

    So now the Republicans want to protect education spending, K-12 at least. I guess maybe they want to pay off the teachers unions?

    But they’ll soon run up against the fact that then they’ll have to cut other things more, like state police and prisons. And when they try to cut welfare spending, they’ll run up against the stories about mental patients being cut off of their medications.

    Maybe it would be better if these guys were really in power, and then they’d have to face reality.

    • Jim Ray

      …And the reality is, PERS Has bankrupted this state, and not one stinkin’ politician has the balls to deal with it, bankruptcy that is. Witness the E-board granting PERS another 2.6 mil. yesterday.

  • skippy

    Republicans have a long history of not supporting funding for public schools. There will be no special session. Their reaction to a correction in the revenue forecast is an overblown response. It is right out of the same old playbook. Their voting history is going to be exposed by Democrats in races all over the state. If they really wanted to help the school kids in Oregon they would push for kicker reform and a robust Rainy Day Fund. It’s about jobs, jobs and jobs. Their votes on job creating bills has already been noted higher up in the thread.

  • Rupert in Springfield

    This is absurd.

    The Republicans accompanied by that portion of the population possessing a brain said that the Democrats increasing spending on nonsense nitwitery in this economy was dumb.

    The brain posessing crowd also said it was obscene to be handing out pay raises to state workers, as well as hiring more at a time when revnues would likely fall.

    Well guess what? Revenues fell, and the only politician on the planet that can make Bush2 look like a Mensa member, our governor, was suprised.

    To be calling a special session for this is inane. The revenue shortfall was predictable, known and obvious. The Democrats are the majority, they want across the board cuts – go with it. Hang it around their neck like the albatross it is and point out all the shiny new government make work jobs Ted spent our money on that necessitated these cuts.

    That Republicans should be calling for a special session to avoid the predictable wall everyone could see the Democrats were driving us into is absolutely idiotic.

    No special session – let fools face the consequences of who they elect.

    • valley p

      “The Republicans accompanied by that portion of the population possessing a brain ”

      “let fools face the consequences of who they elect. ”

      Uh oh. We have now moved from conservatives calling most Oregonians idiots and “retards” to accusing them of being brainless fools. What next?

      • Steve Plunk

        It’s foolish and idiotic not to recognize the failure of Democratic policies in Oregon. Conservatives have been warning of this day for many years vindicating their intelligence claims.

        Now that it’s more polite and sugar coated how about addressing the underlying issue.

        • valley p

          Its equally foolish and idiotic not to recognize that Republican politics has offered nothing constructive in Oregon in over 2 decades, which is why you keep losing elections. When your whole focus is cutting taxes, its hard to make your case for there being too much spending. you lack a marketable concept with respect to what government is for and how it should be managed and funded.

          • Ron Marquez

            …..”which is why you keep losing elections.”…..

            The reason Republicans keep losing elections is because the public employee unions know the Dems are their buddies and will continue the largess they enjoy.

            I don’t believe the Republicans are any more fiscally responsible…..the money will only be spent on different priorities.

            The only real change will occur when Oregonians over dose on election night and elect a Chris Christie type governor.

            Don’t hold your breath.

      • Rupert in Springfield

        >to accusing them of being brainless fools.

        You are saying you are not brainless on election night?

        Puh-lease – if they have a D after their name thats all that matters to you. You dont even look at what they say, as with the AZ law, whatever it is, if a D says it you agree.

        • valley p

          Me personally? I normally fill out my ballot well in advance of election night. Beyond that, you and your party have made it much easier for me to select. It used to be that Republicans ran intelligent people with moderate views who knew how to govern: McCall, Packwood, Hatfield, Paulus, Fronmayer. In those days I did have to think a moment or 2 before voting, and probably 25% of the time I voted R.

          But these days….well….you have gravitated to the extremes. So include me out.

          Yeah…the Arizona law. This must be your latest Rorschach test for me since you keep going back to it. I’ve looked at it. Logically it relies on ethnic profiling. I’m not interested in investing street cops with an explicit or implied mandate to enforce laws by race. Its what Hitler did after all, and you always seemed concerned about Hitler when it comes to the left. We have a long national history of trying to get away from ethnic profiling. And from most accounts, professional cops are not all that thrilled about the idea either.

          If we all had to have national id cards, and we all had to show them every time we encounter a cop, then that would be somewhat even handed, though cops would still pull over dark skinned people at a higher rate.

          • Ron Marquez

            Dean,

            I like the idea of national ID cards although it would likely create a thriving black market for those who couldn’t get a card legitimately.

            As far as cops pulling over more “dark skinned” people, I trust the law enforcement community to protect me. If, in the process of doing that, they pull over that group at a higher rate, I’m willing to believe it’s with good cause and I support it without reservation.

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