February 23, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 23, 2012
Jared Mason-Gere (503) 986-1907
House Democrats Stand up for Oregonians’ Priorities in Budget Rebalance
Democrats Stop Proposed Cuts to Schools, Senior Services, Prisons
SALEM- The rebalanced state budget will protect vital public services that Oregonians rely on, thanks to efforts from Oregon House Democrats. Ways and Means Co-chairs released a budget document that protects funding for K-12 public schools, early childhood education, and senior services. The re-balance also prevents a proposed closure of the Santiam Correctional Facility, and adds back some state financial aid money for college scholarships.
“We’ve accomplished our goal of prioritizing the services Oregonians need,” said Rep. Peter Buckley (D-Ashland), House Democratic Co-Chair of the Joint Ways and Means Committee. “We came into this session pledging to hold the line against cuts to schools and ward off draconian reductions to the safety net. These are programs that middle class families are relying on to make it through this recession, and I’m proud that we were able to stand strong to protect them.”
“This budget isn’t perfect. But it’s a pretty good deal given our circumstances, and we were able to work in a bipartisan fashion to come up with something we all could live with that keeps the most vital services intact,” said Buckley.
“House Democrats were creative and we wrung every possible dollar out of state agencies to ensure funding goes to on-the-ground services Oregonians are counting on,” said Rep. Tina Kotek (D-Portland). “We insisted on leaner government. We eliminated excess middle management and bureaucracy. With budgets as tight as they are, we are maximizing every dollar to prevent teacher layoffs, keep communities safe, and keep seniors in their homes. Our efforts protect services, and protect jobs.”
Legislators entered the February Session facing a $300 million dollar budget hole.