Oregon Legislative Update

Co-Speaker Hanna Comments on Revenue Forecast

Oregon House Co-Speaker Bruce Hanna, R-Roseburg, issued the following statement after the release of the December 2011 revenue forecast, which shows an additional $107 million decline in expected general fund and lottery fund revenue for the 2011-2013 biennium:

“Once again we have a revenue forecast in decline because of continued economic difficulty across our state. Unemployment lingers near ten percent statewide, and it’s much higher in many rural counties. Forecasts for personal income, corporate income and lottery revenues have all dropped, and until we can create a climate in which businesses can grow, create jobs and help spur economic activity, we won’t be able to reverse this trend.

Many difficult decisions lie ahead. The legislature owes it to Oregonians to hold agencies accountable for living within their budgets while making sure the budget is based on priorities that reflect the most critical needs in state government. I remain committed to working with my colleagues and the governor to make any necessary adjustments to the budget and, even more critically, to stimulate the economy and get Oregon working again.”

The forecast, released by the Office of Economic Analysis, shows that employment is down an additional 3,348 jobs and personal income is down an additional $1.8 billion from the September forecast. Total anticipated general and lottery fund resources for the 2011-2013 biennium are now $306 million less than expected at the close of the 2011 legislative session. Hanna will be speaking to the Oregon Governmental Affairs Committee on Thursday, Dec. 8, in Salem. 

Legislature

Sen. Suzanne Bonamici, D-Beaverton, officially resigned from her seat in Senate District 17 this week. Democratic Party officials in the district will nominate between three and five candidates to fill the seat in time for the February 2012 legislative session. Commissioners from both Multnomah and Clackamas County will then appoint one of the nominees to fill the position. Both Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, a physician at OHSU, and Rep. Chris Harker, D-Beaverton, are seeking the appointment.

Rep. Vicki Berger, R-Salem, has meanwhile filed to run for her sixth term in House District 20. Berger is co-chair of the House Revenue Committee and sits on the Joint Tax Credit Committee. So far, no one has filed to run against her.

Measure 67

A new report shows that state reserves are getting most of the added business taxes in Measure 67 approved by the legislature to balance the budget in 2009. The Legislative Revenue Office released a report showing that the corporate tax increases generated 96 percent of the $261 million projected for the 2009-11 budget cycle that ended June 30. Last week’s report, based on tax returns through Oct. 31 of this year, indicated the increases added $349 million to state coffers for the budget cycle—just above the predicted amount. However, the report also shows that personal income tax collections from higher-end Oregon households fell far short of 2009 projections.

 

Questions or Concerns? Contact Matt Halvorson, Anthem Editor: mhalvorson@nwcua.org.

Posted in Advocacy News, NWCUA.