Oregon’s chief budget writers have gone way too far in balancing the budget on the backs of seniors, public workers and those we serve.
This is a first draft budget, with revisions to come in the months ahead. There is still a window of opportunity for us to effect change, but we must act on it now. Click here to send a message to your legislator.
Some budget specifics:
- Budget writers call for $455 million of cuts in pensions for seniors and public employees and only $275 million in tax increases to fill the budget gap.
- They do not specify any tax increases from the wealthy and big corporations who can afford to pay.
- They plan on pension attacks that the courts (and the legislature’s own lawyers) have already deemed illegal, making a potential PERS cash infusion more like a payday loan, since it will have to be paid back with compound interest when the courts again rule it illegal.
- They fail to tap into hundreds of millions of dollars of savings that are specifically set aside to meet the sort of short-term budget deficit the state is currently facing.
Despite its serious flaws, the co-chairs’ recommended budget is an improvement on the governor’s budget, which was built on zero tax increases for big corporations and the wealthy and nearly $1 billion in illegal PERS “savings.” The co-chairs are exploring ideas SEIU members generated that create more efficiency in public services. They have also fought for improved funding for the services our members provide and for our schools.
This budget does not reflect Oregon’s priorities. We cannot let the legislature knuckle under to the big corporations like US Bank, Bank of America and Wells Fargo that are part of the group leading the attack on seniors and public employees.
But this is just a first draft budget, with revisions to come in the months ahead. There is still a window of opportunity for us to effect change, but we must act on it now. Click here to send a message to your legislator. If we don’t fight back now, things will only get worse.