One of Oregon’s largest state agencies wants a big funding increase next year.
The Oregon Health Authority arranges medical care for low income people, operates state mental hospitals and even oversees medical marijuana programs.
That all comes with a huge price tag: More than $2 billion in state general fund tax dollars in the current budget cycle.
In a funding request for the upcoming two years, the agency wants to increase that to more than $3 billion.
One reason for the eye-catching number: Some federal funding sources for health care programs are set to phase out over the next year.
Agency director Lynne Saxton also says the number of Oregonians eligible for assistance with medical coverage is trending higher than projections. Oregon lawmakers will consider the funding request during the 2017 legislative session.