SALEM, OR -- State lawmakers have their work cut out for them when they meet in February. Governor Kate Brown announced a number of cuts when she released her proposed state budget, last week, to account for a $1.7 billion shortfall. If Measure 97 had passed, supporters say it would have brought in an additional $3 billion a year.
But, voters soundly rejected the measure, which would have increased corporate taxes in the state. Tania Hunt and her group Children First advocated for M97. She tells KBND News she's disappointed with the result but voters learned some important lessons. "I think voters did express deep concern for education funding in the state. And also, I think our voters in Oregon now understand that Oregon's corporate taxes are lowest in the nation, which is incredible considering our children are going without."
Hunt supports former Governor John Kitzhaber's call for businesses to help fund education. "I do think they will," she says. "Whether or not they will step to the table to posture and to defend, or whether they will step to the table to really be a part of the solution to the degree that's needed, is yet to be seen."
Governor Brown proposes increasing cigarette and liquor taxes to help raise revenue. Business groups met in Portland Monday to outline their own strategy.