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Think Out Loud

Budgeting for Hard Times

What are your reactions to Governor Kulongoski’s proposed budget?

Governor Kulongoski laid out his vision of state spending for the next biennium today. He remains optimistic, but he was clear that Oregonians face some hardships in the coming months. ?We should prepare for worse? With a volatile economy and diminishing federal support, we must change the way we finance and deliver state services,? he stated in a message (pdf) included with his long awaited budget proposal.

The specifics will come when the legislature hammers out a final budget, but in the governor’s proposal the state would provide healthcare to 95 percent of Oregon?s children and dedicate 54 percent of the general fund to education. He would also cut back on human services and raise taxes for corporations, hospitals, and smokers.

What do you think Oregon residents must pay for? And what could be cut, even if the cuts might be painful? Are you a schoolteacher who is relieved to hear education spending would not be cut? Or a senior citizen who is concerned about what cuts may mean for services you depend on? What are your priorities for state spending during this recession?


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