Economists may tell you the recession is lifting, but you’d never be able to tell in Oregon. The latest forecast says that the state is more than a half billion dollars short for the current budget cycle. Governor Ted Kulongoski has asked all state agencies how they would cut nine percent out of their budgets. The Department of Corrections proposed closing three prisons — something the governor said he would not accept. However, the biggest cuts will be felt by schools and human services.
In the case of the Department of Human Services, some cuts are off the table, like the ones that get matching funds from the federal government. A spokewoman at DHS says the agency has been very disciplined staying within its budget and weathering a variety of cuts — along with increasing demand — over the last two years. But, she said, this mandated nine percent cut was simply too big to be able to hold many vulnerable Oregonians who depend on their services harmless.
Do your children go to public school? How will your school be affected? Do you rely on regular help from Project Independence or other program for people who are elderly or disabled? What are your biggest concerns about the proposed cuts?
- May Corp: Oregon Project Independence client
- Bruce Goldberg: Director of the Oregon Department of Human Services and the Oregon Health Authority
- Peter Courtney: Senate President, co-chair of the Emergency Board
- Max Williams: Director of the Oregon Department of Corrections
- Scott Herbert: Co-owner of AquaCare + Critter Hut in Pendleton
- Greg Thede: Superintendent at the Klamath County School District
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OPB | Feb. 22, 2017