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
www.leg.state.or.us/thatcher [email protected]