Representative Bruce Hanna: Flat agency cuts are wrong

HANNA COMMENTS ON PROPOSED AGENCY REDUCTIONS
By State Representative Bruce Hanna,

SALEM—House Republican Leader Bruce Hanna (R-Roseburg) had the following to say regarding agency reduction plans to rebalance the 2009-11 budget:

“Across-the-board reductions are the wrong solution to re-balancing the state budget. The state’s current leadership mismanaged this budget from the very beginning. They have failed to protect critical services, despite $8 billion in new government spending and $1.6 billion in job-killing tax and fee increases. “The Legislature has already cut education funding, but has provided huge spending increases to several state agencies. Across-the-board reductions will only protect those agencies at the expense of our schools.

“The Legislature can’t afford to wait for ‘further analysis’ or yet another taxpayer-funded bailout from the federal government. We should immediately convene into special session, make the tough decisions, and re-prioritize spending to protect the most essential programs in education, public safety and human services from devastating cuts.

“A rebalance will require difficult and perhaps even unpopular choices. Republicans are willing to engage in dialogue and make those difficult decisions. Through items such as remaining other fund ending balances, common sense policy changes, and a freeze on all state employee salaries- concepts outlined in the Back to Basics Budget- there are enough resources to hold education and other critical services harmless.”

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  • Insider

    Bruce, WHERE ARE YOU GOING TO CUT IN ORDER TO FILL THESE BUDGET CUTS? Don’t keep floating around generalities, but name the specific cuts you want to make.

    Without specifics, it sounds like the same lame course that the Republican Legislature pursued in 2002 when they presided over five completely useless, costly special sessions. They had no answers, only empty rhetoric.

    I sure hope the Democrats don’t follow that Republican history.

  • Jim Ray

    Somehow I’m getting the impression that guys in the legislature (2) with the same name are full of crap and are limp wrists. PERS-OEA! Repeat after me~~~

  • Ron Marquez

    This budget fiasco will result in the political posturing you see here until the situation is so dire our legislature will realize the only way out is more revenue (read more taxes).

    Act now and cut the roughly 8,000 state employee jobs needed to fill the $577 million dollar hole. And be prepared for more job cuts when future revenue forecasts show the situation is really far worse than it is now.

    • Jim Ray

      Job cuts,using a quote from Ralph Kramden, is but a mere “bag of shells”. Firing enough state employees to equal the real monster(s) to blame for Oregon being bankrupt is impossible. Sorry, not interested in bullshit bandaids like M’s 66 & 67.

      • Ron Marquez

        …..” the real monster(s) to blame for Oregon being bankrupt”…..

        Who are “the real monsters”, Jim ?

        The special interest groups will lobby furiously against any program cuts affecting them and the political will to make such cuts is non-existent.

        Cut the state employee jobs now.

        • Jim Ray

          Do you not read any comments< #2 above> “PERS-OEA! Repeat after me~~~ ”

          Sure, cut the jobs, but you’re pissin’ in the wind, which is on yourself, if you believe that state job cuts is anything more than a mere “bag of shells”!

          It’s time for war against PERS & the OEA!

          • Ron Marquez

            …..”Do you not read any comments “PERS-OEA! Repeat after me~~~ “…..

            I do read the comments and I missed this from #2 above. Knowing you expect perfection, I promise to be more thorough in the future. And I do agree on PERS reform but until we have a Chris Christie type in the governor’s chair, it’s not going to happen.

            …..”but you’re pissin’ in the wind, which is on yourself”…..

            Not if the wind is at my back.

            …..”bag of shells”…..

            Shotgun shells should be effective.

  • valley p

    Why is it Republicans always say cut cut cut and then when it comes time to do so say “wait a minute, not so fast?” Get real. To be consistent they should be arguing for deeper cuts.

    • Ron Marquez

      I believe Hanna is arguing for targeted rather than across the board cuts. Nevertheless, I don’t think you could get this or any partisan legislature to agree on what programs or how many jobs to cut.

      As much as I dislike meat axe budgeting, in this case across the board is the way to go.

      • Jim Ray

        Base Line Budgets, anyone-anyone? Of course not so declare bankruptcy!

      • valley p

        Yes, that is what he is arguing. And it is inconsistent with Oregon Republican orthodoxy. Schools are bloated with overpaid teachers, so why spare them cuts? Prisons are over staffed with unionized guards. Cut their budgets and stick prisoners in tent camps behind electrified barbed wire . Hannah is engaged in political cynicism and nothing more. Stand by your guns. Cut cut and cut more. Double the across the board cuts Kulongowski is proposing. And while you are at it drill baby drill, with even less regulatory oversight. Go for it. Live your dream.

        • Ron Marquez

          …..”And it is inconsistent with Oregon Republican orthodoxy”…..

          How so ? Republicans have always argued for prioritizing government services. The only difference between the two parties are what the priorities are.

          …..”Schools are bloated with overpaid teachers, so why spare them cuts?”…..

          If that’s true, I agree they should share in the pain. Note that Hanna is advocating protecting schools from further cuts.

          …..”Prisons are over staffed with unionized guards. Cut their budgets and stick prisoners in tent camps behind electrified barbed wire.”…..

          I actually favor the Joe Arpaio approach. Make prison the last place an inmate would want to return to. No electrified barb wire though.

          …..”Double the across the board cuts Kulongowski is proposing.”…..

          By the time the biennium ends, that may be what’s actually needed. No guarantee that deeper (maybe much deeper) cuts may be needed.

          …..”And while you are at it drill baby drill”…..

          Yes, the spill in the gulf is an environmental disaster. However, until new energy technologies prove economically feasible, if we want energy independence from OPEC, we must continue to drill.

          Our dreams are probably not terribly different. How we get there is where we differ.

  • Anonymous

    An across the board cut is the ONLY cut that the Governor has the legal authority to implement without an act of the legislature. Arguing against it is just political posturing.

    What the Republicans needed to do was make a stronger case for their special session on the grounds that without it, the only thing the Governor can do is a flat cut. They tried to communicate this reality, but utterly failed with their messaging. Now the democrats control the issue, and as such will control the final outcome.

    • Mary’s Opinion

      The problem is so simple. Most Oregonians with common sense and a little thoughtful thinking could see what was happening not just in Oregon but at the national level as well. In an economy where you don’t know from one day to the next if you’re going to have a job and income, you scale back your budget and spending and try a little harder to save in case you do lose your job. No, not the government. Increase the budget, raise taxes and suddenly it’s OMG we can’t pay for all the committments we’ve made. What is the matter with these elected officials? What was wrong with keeping the state budget at the previous biennium level? And why are cuts always made in safety, education and services to the most vulnerable of our population? I’m really sick of the threats. It’s time for polititions to get out of the unreality of their political bubble or be voted out of office.