Oregon lawmakers must learn to live within their means, just like the rest of us do. Legislators need to address the state budget's structural deficit now so Oregon can have a brighter future.
In order to address the $1.4 billion budget shortfall, Oregon must balance the current budget by growing Oregon's economy, slowing the growth of state spending, and making sure our investments are targeted at improving outcomes. We must spend our tax dollars more wisely to achieve better results for Oregon students, and lastly, we must consider new revenues only after the runaway costs are under control.
It is time for some accountability in Oregon. We all want good schools, jobs, health care, safe communities, and an excellent quality of life. The question is, how do we get there? Oregonians and legislators must work together and find the solution to our state's challenges.
Please join us in urging our lawmakers to bring runaway spending under control.
To Oregon Legislators:
I am writing you to voice my concerns on Oregon's spending problem.
The state's current $1.4 billion shortfall stems from rapidly rising government spending, not a lack of revenue.
To address the state's budget deficit, we must:
• Balance the current budget by slowing the unsustainable growth in state spending, especially overhead costs. Our long-term budget deficits will only be fixed if you – our legislators - bring spending under control FIRST.
• Continue the growth of Oregon's economy. A strong job market is the most reliable way to generate new revenue for public services.
• Make sure state spending is actually targeted towards measurable outcomes. For example, compared to other states, Oregon ranks 18th in per student K-12 education spending but 48th in graduation rates, near dead last. We need to spend our tax dollars more wisely to achieve better results for Oregon students.
• Consider new revenues only after the state's unsustainable costs are under control and adjust taxes to provide new revenue for targeted investments that improve education and health care outcomes for Oregonians.
Once our lawmakers bring government costs under control, we can invest our tax dollars on things that matter most - like growing the economy and our children's future.
I stand with other hardworking Oregonians who want our state to make smart spending decisions that will improve future outcomes.