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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 Writers Get Down To Business This Week

Chris Lehman
Northwest News Network

Budget writers in the Oregon Legislature are getting down to business this week. And soon the public will have a chance to weigh in on how to bridge an expected $1.8 billion budget hole.

Revenue is going up in Oregon. But so is the cost of providing state services, as well as the number of people needing those services. It adds up to a significant shortfall if the state wants to continue providing the same level of services it does now.

Government cutbacks are likely, but the legislature may also consider proposals to increase taxes and head off some of those cuts.

Much of the nitty-gritty details of the upcoming two-year budget plan are hashed out in legislative subcommittees that meet dozens of times over the five-month session.

Starting Friday, lawmakers will kick off a seven-city series of hearings to get public input on how to shore up the budget.