Representative Bruce Hanna: Flat agency cuts are wrong

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.”