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Government and Politics
Dispatches from public radio's correspondent at the Oregon Legislature. This is a venue for political and policy coverage of the state government in Salem and its impact on the people of Oregon.

Oregon Budget Proposal: Program Cuts, No New Taxes

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Chris Lehman
/
Northwest News Network

The chief budget-writers for the Oregon Legislature have released a spending proposal that includes cuts to state programs. The proposal issued Thursday outlines how lawmakers might bridge an expected budget gap.

Revenues continue to grow in Oregon but the cost of providing services is growing faster. That adds up to a $1.8 billion shortfall for the two-year budget cycle that starts in July, according to the co-chairs of the legislature's budget-writing committee. The proposal would mean cuts to state-funded programs like education, health care and public safety.

Democratic Rep. Nancy Nathanson, who helped craft the plan, said those cuts probably won't sit well with Oregonians.

"I believe we'll start to hear from them once we start to have our public hearings that this is not adequate,” she said. “It's moving backward."

Nathanson and her Senate colleague Richard Devlin said they drew up their plan without proposing any new revenue sources. They said those conversations are ongoing and a bipartisan agreement on tax increases is far from a sure thing.