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Oregon Budget Proposal: Program Cuts, No New Taxes

File photo of the ''Oregon Pioneer'' sculpture that sits atop the Oregon State Capitol in Salem.
Chris Lehman
/
Northwest News Network
File photo of the ''Oregon Pioneer'' sculpture that sits atop the Oregon State Capitol in Salem.

The chief budget-writers for the Oregon Legislature have released a spending proposal that includes cuts to state programs. The proposal issued Thursday outlines how lawmakers might bridge an expected budget gap.

Revenues continue to grow in Oregon but the cost of providing services is growing faster. That adds up to a $1.8 billion shortfall for the two-year budget cycle that starts in July, according to the co-chairs of the legislature's budget-writing committee. The proposal would mean cuts to state-funded programs like education, health care and public safety.

Democratic Rep. Nancy Nathanson, who helped craft the plan, said those cuts probably won't sit well with Oregonians.

"I believe we'll start to hear from them once we start to have our public hearings that this is not adequate,” she said. “It's moving backward."

Nathanson and her Senate colleague Richard Devlin said they drew up their plan without proposing any new revenue sources. They said those conversations are ongoing and a bipartisan agreement on tax increases is far from a sure thing.

Copyright 2017 Northwest News Network

Chris Lehman graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He landed his first job less than a month later, producing arts stories for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana. Three years later he headed north to DeKalb, Illinois, where he worked as a reporter and announcer for NPR–affiliate WNIJ–FM. In 2006 he headed west to become the Salem Correspondent for the Northwest News Network.