Representative Kim Thatcher: Announces Core Functions Law

Rep Thatcher Announces Core Functions Legislation for 2010
State Representative Kim Thatcher,

(Salem) With the special legislative session just around the corner, today State Representative Kim Thatcher (R-Keizer, Newberg, St. Paul), announced she is drafting legislation to prioritize funding for Core Functions of State Government. “Our current system of budgeting isn’t working,” explained Thatcher at the monthly meeting of the Taxpayer Association of Oregon. “Instead of agencies pestering lawmakers for more and more money, we first need to establish what the Core Functions of Government are and then decide how to divvy up the pie.”
“We are faced with a huge budget shortfall once the federal stimulus dollars go away. Now is the time for us to be looking at doing less with less,” said Thatcher. Her legislation calls for a bi-partisan task force to develop the list of Core Functions and then implement a new system of performance based budgeting.

Jason Williams with the Taxpayer Association said,”Oregonians are frustrated about the current tax measures going on the ballot in January. They deserve to know that their tax dollars are being spent on priority services.”

“Government cannot and should not do everything,” said Steve Buckstein, Senior Policy Analyst at Cascade Policy Institute. “Determining Core Functions is a positive step toward more accountability in state government.”

In addition to establishing the Core Functions, Kim Thatcher told the audience, “several other states have successfully used this type of legislation in their budgeting process.” She added, “it would also call for measurable outcomes and setting priorities requiring each agency to have a mission and objectives to accomplish that mission.” Earlier this year, Kim Thatcher was able to pass landmark legislation to bring more transparency to state government.

Representative Thatcher has come up with a preliminary list of Core Functions. They include:

1. Protecting people and communities through law enforcement, courts and corrections.

2. Providing for an educated citizenry ensuring all children receive an equal opportunity to achieve academic success.

3. Encouraging job creation and entrepreneurship by removing regulatory barriers to job production.

4. Helping those who can’t help themselves using a safety net of social services.

5. Building and maintaining the infrastructure to accommodate transportation and utilities.

6. Managing public property and natural resources including protections for air, water, and soil while protecting the rights of private property owners.

7. Requiring state agencies to conduct the public’s business in an efficient, transparent and accountable manner.

Each member of the House of Representative is allowed to introduce one bill for the special legislative session in February 2010. The Core Functions of Government measure will be Representative Thatcher’s priority bill.

900 Court Street NE H-472 Salem, OR 97301 503-986-1425 [email protected]

State Representative Kim Thatcher,

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Posted by at 06:00 | Posted in Measure 37 | 10 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Jim Ray

    When is our good Representative going to address the FACT that the upcoming “special session” is Unconstitutional? In fact there is NO crisis as defined in the Oregon Constitution that would allow for a long ago called “special session”.

    Sure there is a “funding crisis” but there is ALWAYS a “funding crisis” IOW known as out of control taxing & spending and in FACT it is the FAULT of PERS.

    Yes indeed the REAL “Crisis” is PERS. Declaring Bankruptcy is the only way out of the PERS “crisis”.

  • Anonymous

    This isn’t very California of you Kim.

  • Anony Also

    Incidentally, the Ways & Means process already looks at established Key Performance Measures for agencies when making budgeting decisions.

    I wonder if this proposal would add to the existing KPM functions, replace them, or bolster the existing benchmarks. How would this proposal have more “teeth” than the current system?

    By the way, if you look up budget reports for various agencies on the legislative website, they all say “See attached Key Performance Measures form.” But there’s nothing attached. Maybe this could just be made more accessible for starters.

  • Duck fan

    Core functions. Police, schools, social services … Require efficiency …. DUHH! This is really helpful.

  • jim karlock

    How about a corollary that no government agency subsidize people making more than the median income.

    • eagle eye

      What do you mean by “subsidize”? What kind(s) of situations do you have in mind?

      e.g. are you saying that children of people who make an income above the median, should not be eligible for subsidized public schools?

      • jim karlock

        What do you mean by “subsidize”?

        Transportation (cars are not subsidized)
        below market,low cost land
        fee wavers
        tax abatements
        and many more


        • Duck fan

          eagle asked a good question. How about free public schools? That is the biggest expense of state and local government.

  • Mark Fitz

    How about his one.

    Education is the highest priority of the budget as mandated by the Oregon Constitution. The Oregon Constitution mandates adequate funding which would place this budget item ahead of everything else including mental health, roads, and economic development efforts.

    How about when tax increases fail at the ballot box this is the last department to see a cut. In fact we should ammend the Oregon Constitution to require an across the board cut prior to any cut in education.

    In short, if Education is the priority it should be the PRIORITY.

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