Early budgets get double-digit increases despite claim of $4 billion deficit

Press release from the Senate Republicans

Legislature living in paradox of spending increases, budget shortfalls

Salem, OR — In spite of massive deficits in state revenue projections, budgets beginning to arrive on the Senate Floor for agencies, commissions and boards are showing double-digit increases over the 2007-09 Legislatively Adopted Budget.

“We have done nothing to decrease the cost of government,” said Senator Frank Morse (R-Albany). “On one hand we are telling the public we are going to increase the cost of government, but on the other hand we keep saying that there are going to be all these painful cuts. We are building a foundation for failure by passing these budgets with spending increases. We are simply conducting business-as-usual when it comes to government’s spending habits.” Watch Morse’s floor speech here, or by going to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_QYVQ0PyRE.

The Senate has voted on several agency, board and commission budgets over the past week, all of which contained double-digit increases over the 2007-09 Legislatively Approved Budgets
“¢ Oregon Mortuary and Cemetery Board — 20.1% increase
“¢ Board of Naturopathic Examiners — 27.8% increase
“¢ Occupational Therapy Licensing Board — 21.9% increase
“¢ Board of Radiologic Technology — 20.2% increase
“¢ Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology — 13.2% increase
“¢ Veterinary Medical Examining Board — 24% increase
“¢ Board of Chiropractic Examiners — 12% increases
“¢ State Board of Clinical Social Workers — 14.1% increase
“¢ Board of Licensed Professional Counselors — 25.5% increase

“The faster the economy shrinks, the faster government seems to grow,” said Senator Ted Ferrioli (R-John Day). “It is no wonder Governor Kulongoski and Legislative Democrats have proposed more than 118 new taxes and fees for this session. They are bent on increasing government spending at any cost.”

Republicans continue to call for a budget that is based on careful priorities and reductions to spending. Oregon families are reducing their budgets, government should do the same. Creating jobs continues to the number one priority according to Senate Republicans.

“While families are slashing budgets and desperately looking for jobs, how can the Senate propose double digit increases in budgets with a straight face?” said Jason Atkinson (R-Central Point). “Our unemployment rate is growing like a weed. We have yet to make any real effort at chipping away at our unemployment rate and creating lasting jobs. How many more hundreds of thousands of Oregonians are going to be unemployed before the Governor and Legislative Democrats realize that it isn’t government spending we need to protect, but working Oregonians?”