Governor Ted Kulongoski’s “reset” cabinet has released its recommendations for rebalancing Oregon’s budget. The state faces more than a half-billion dollar shortfall in the current biennium, and all state agencies must make a 9 percent cut in their budgets over the next year. With no easy answers at hand, some — including the governor — are suggesting that Oregon’s public employees should pay a portion of their benefits, already among the most generous in the nation, to free up much-needed dollars. But union representatives for state workers cite a recent report showing that their members’ total compensation is on par with the private sector, and that public employees are being unfairly targeted in tough economic times.
Are you a state employee? Do you work in the private sector? How do you think the “reset” cabinet should address the budget shortfall?