Below is a press release from Sen. Witsett’s Office. 3-28-07:
Voices Join Whitsett Calling for State Police Dedicated Funding
Public Safety within Our Means
Salem, OR — House Republicans have joined Senator Doug Whitsett (R-Klamath Falls) in calling for dedicated funding for the Oregon State Police without raising taxes or fees on Oregon families and small businesses. Whitsett and House Republicans Wednesday called on legislative leadership to pass House Bill 3535 or Senate Bill 798, which would provide 24-hour police coverage on Oregon highways. Both bills set aside 1% of General Fund revenue for the sole purpose of funding the Oregon State Police Patrol Division.
“Safety is, and should be, the first priority of Oregon’s citizens and their representatives,” said Whitsett. “Dedicating money from our existing revenue ensures that Oregon highways, families and neighborhoods are safe, and we can do it without raising taxes or fees.”
The State Police Patrol Division has been reduced by over half of its patrol officers during the last 25 years, while Oregon’s population has increased by 38%. This bill provides a budget of nearly $140 million for the Oregon State Police Patrol Division, an amount almost double what they received in their last budget. This provides the long overdue stable revenue source necessary to restore the patrol division to a force adequate to serve Oregon’s needs.
“Oregon’s checkbook has never been as full as it is today,” said Whitsett. “Like every Oregon family, government can certainly live within its means and adequately provide for essential services. Oregonians are looking for this type of responsibility and accountability from their government.”