(Salem, OR) — Governor Kitzhaber today released his 2013-15 balanced budget, including $8 billion for education to put dollars back in the classroom, over $1 billion for core infrastructure investments to get Oregonians back to work, and major cost reduction initiatives to save taxpayer dollars. The Governor’s budget priorities are focused on high leverage investments to rebuild a strong, secure middle class and expand economic opportunity for all Oregonians.
“Oregonians have clear priorities when it comes to state spending – invest in children and education first; focus on job creation and innovation; and reduce the cost of government,” said Governor Kitzhaber. “My budget delivers on those priorities.”
The Governor’s budget is first and foremost an education investment budget. It is based on the premise that Oregon must deliver better results for students and better prepare our workforce for the new economy to rebuild the a strong, secure middle class and restore our shared prosperity.
More information available at: budget.oregon.gov
Highlights of the Governor's Budget include:
$55 million increase for relief nurseries, child protective services and community mental health to improve the health and welfare of children.
Early Learning Reforms
Realigns childcare, health care and pre-school services to ensure all children are ready to learn when they get to kindergarten.
$8 Billion for Education Reverses the trend of cuts and layoffs and better integrates
Early Learning, K-12 and post-secondary education and career training.
More Teachers and School Days for K-12
$6.15 billion plus $253 million in PERS savings to begin to reinvest in K-12 education, enough to hire an additional 500 teachers.
and Training Increases funding for Opportunity Grants to $113.7 million, expands dual credit and supports tuition equity to ensure every qualified Oregon high school graduate, regardless of immigration status, has access to affordable higher education.
Over $1 Billion for Core Infrastructure Projects Funds the Interstate 5 bridge replacement, water projects, university buildings, airport, marine and rail improvements, seismic upgrades, and technology infrastructure projects that get Oregonians back to work.
$90 Million for Proven Innovation Partnerships Increases funding for the Oregon Innovation Council, Signature Research Centers and maintains university-based innovation, agriculture and forestry research programs.
Workforce Training $10 million to better align programs with employer needs.
Removes barriers to private investment and job creation.
From Poverty to Prosperity Increases the Earned Income Tax Credit by more than 30 percent and funds Employment Related Day Care to help working families keep more of what they earn and move up the income ladder.
$865 Million in PERS Savings Adjusts out-of-state benefits and caps cost-of-living increases to gain system-wide savings and ensure the long-term viability of public retirement benefits.
$11 Billion in Expected Health Care Savings Over
the Next Decade
Implements health care reforms for better care at lower cost.
$600 Million in Avoided
Prison Costs Over the Next Decade
Reduces the cost of corrections through public safety reforms and investments in proven crime prevention and community corrections strategies.
Below is the response from Oregon House Rebpublicans:
The Governor has released his proposed Budget for the next two year cycle. Kitzhaber released the 2013-15 Governor's Budget Friday morning.
House Republican Leader Mike McLane of Powell Butte says there are elements of the plan that Republicans can support, but he's disappointed that the budget doesn't set aside enough in reserves to protect state services if revenue begins to drop again in Oregon.
However, McLane applauded the fact that Kitzhaber's budget reflects the need for reforming the state's retirement system, or PERS. He says House Republicans would like the changes to PERS to go even further than what Kitzhaber is proposing.