Rep. Helfrich: Protect Kicker, Fully Fund Schools

From Oregon State Rep. Jeff Helfrich:

Budget conversations are ramping up as we get closer to the session’s end. The recent revenue forecast was great news for taxpayers and budget writers alike. If projections hold, Oregon taxpayers will receive a $5.5 billion kicker, the largest kicker refund in Oregon history!

It’s hard to say what that means exactly for you, but earlier this year, when economists estimated a $3.9 billion kicker, Oregonians with an income of $33,000-$58,000 could receive about $820 back.

This revenue forecast means that legislators also have more money to invest in critical needs around the state. Budgets reflect priorities. That’s why I was proud to help introduce HB 3627 last week to fully fund our schools to the tune of $10.4 billion. District leaders and teachers have told the Legislature they need at least $10.3 billion to maintain the current service level. Yet the Governor’s Recommended Budget only asked for $9.9 billion, and Legislative leaders have offered $10.1 billion.

It’s time to give our students and teachers what they need!