OBA 2011 Legislative Agenda – Redesign

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Making Oregon an even better place to live and do business is a goal we all share. From our K-12 and higher education systems, to state courts and prisons, to services for the poor and elderly, citizens and businesses in Oregon depend on state government for many important services.

Everyone acknowledges the difficult fiscal realities our state faces, both short- and long-term. Our first priority is to redesign the delivery of state services to deal with the funding deficits we face with current and future budgets. With a per capital income that has steadily declined for a decade and state government costs that are projected to continually increase beyond our revenues, the only solution that will put Oregon on stable ground is to redesign what services the state offers and how it offers them.

Service Delivery Redesign

The legislative concepts described below are aimed at addressing both short- and long-term budget challenges, while at the same time accomplishing our primary goal of ensuring delivery of important, quality services to our citizens. At the top of the list of essential services are K-12 and Higher Education. Look for our education agenda in forthcoming issues of the Balanced Voice.

Public Safety

The cost of Oregon’s Corrections system is one of the most rapidly growing areas of state government. Mandatory minimum sentences have created a system that cannot utilize proven alternative incarceration programs that would reduce costs to the state while keeping the public safe and reducing recidivism.

Labor Costs

Public employees do essential work in our state and we deeply appreciate their work. OBA will seek to be a constructive partner in working with the Governor, the Legislature and the public employee unions to address public employee costs.

Stabilize Revenue

Oregon’s reliance on income taxes results in an unstable revenue source for essential state services. OBA supports a package for revenue stabilization that includes amending the kicker law and making key investments that will create a revenue environment that encourages economic growth.

Redesigning state services is a significant task, and accomplishing it will require working closely with elected officials from both parties, our dedicated public employees, advocates, and the broader business community. We look forward to working in partnership with you.

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