Times are tough, and the state's budget is reflecting that. Local Representative Gene Whisnant of Sunriver says the plan unveiled by the powerful Ways and Means Committee Tuesday is responsible. House Republicans are celebrating a budget that reflects a pay freeze for state workers, and a much larger emergency reserve fund. " I think it's a very responsible budget in this economic recession and I think we've protected education, K-12 budget as best we can in this situation." Republican Representative Gene Whisnant says the $14.6 billion spending plan is close to what the Governor plan was; but this new plan actually proposes higher K-12 funding. Whisnant says they'll be tackling school funding first, probably in the next few weeks. He also says this is early in the session for Ways and Means to come out with its budget.