Read the Budget Summary Document (pdf)
A Sustainable Budget
Together over the last four years we have worked hard to rethink how government works in Oregon, seeking new ways to invest in our children, expand access to health care and improve our economy.
Because of that work we have an opportunity today to significantly invest in our system of public education and ensure our children have a fair shot at the American dream. We also have the opportunity to invest in rural Oregon and improve the safety of our communities.
My proposed 2015-17 budget is about priorities, not programs. It is driven by the principle that we all want the same things. We all want to be able to meet our basic needs and the needs of our families. We want to believe that we have the opportunity to achieve our full potential, that hard work is rewarded with a better life, and that we can leave our children better off than we were, both economically and environmentally.
This budget is also part of our strategic 10-year Plan, aimed at leveraging our state resources in ways that improve the lives of Oregonians and ensure prosperity for all. It is a true equity budget because the goals and outcomes will ultimately help to reduce disparities and increase equity throughout the state.
We’ve come a long way. Four years ago, we faced daunting challenges: double-digit unemployment, soaring health care costs and a $3.5 billion budget gap. We came together as Oregonians and took those challenges head on, creating a new model for health care that will save the state $3 billion over the next eight years, reforming our education system and realigning our public safety system to prioritize the safety of our communities over simply building new prison beds.
Oregon has created more than 100,000 new jobs since 2011, we secured a historic $1 billion investment in education over the last two years and we have dramatically expanded access to affordable health care. Today 95 percent of Oregonians have health insurance coverage.
But not everyone has shared equally in Oregon’s recovery. Oregon is ever evolving. Our cities and towns have become rich with growing communities of color who enhance our lives with deep traditions, new languages and broadening perspectives. Additionally, our rural communities are steeped in a long history of hard work and strong values. However, despite these important contributions to Oregon’s foundation, parts of rural Oregon and communities of color still face double-digit unemployment rates and there is more work to do to meet our commitment to the class of 2025 that they all obtain a high school diploma.
By emphasizing partnerships and regional community-based investments we have put Oregon on a track toward prosperity and opened up an opportunity for significant additional investments in our children. The decisions we make today will determine the Oregon that they inherit from us. Together, we can and will make their future bright.
Governor John A. Kitzhaber, M.D.
Vision: Oregonians are equipped with the knowledge and skills for rewarding careers
● Develop a seamless education system spanning birth to college/career
● Prioritize and invest in strategies proven to raise student and social outcomes
● Build statewide systems of support and accountability
My budget includes $808 million in targeted investments in education from birth to postsecondary education and training. These investments will accelerate progress toward our 40-40-20 goal: that by 2025 all Oregonians will have a high school diploma or its equivalent, 40 percent will get at least two years of post-secondary education or training and hold an associates degree or technical certificate, and 40 percent will hold a bachelor’s degree or higher.
The budget funds all-day Kindergarten and early learning initiatives that will build a bridge from age three to third grade, ensuring that in four years 95 percent of Oregon children are reading at grade level in third grade. It makes investments building a similar bridge from ninth grade to college – including investments in STEM and CTE – ensuring that Oregon students are on track to graduate and have a pathway into a meaningful career. And the budget includes more funding for community colleges than they’ve seen since the Great Recession.
Economy and Jobs
Vision: Oregon has a diverse, dynamic economy that drives job creation and prosperity for all
● Streamline efforts to attract, grow and support businesses
● Coordinate with local government and private sector
● Develop a dynamic, resilient workforce
● Create better opportunities for people to transition off of public assistance and into living wage jobs
The budget also includes investments that will grow our economy and ensure that our economic recovery reaches every corner of the state and lifts up rural Oregon as well as historically underserved populations. Building on the success of our Regional Solutions Teams, the budget includes new resources to aid in the development of water resources statewide, including the Umatilla and Klamath basins as well as an expansion of our regional economic development strategies. This includes $30 million to retain and create jobs in Oregon through a Working Forests and Working Farms Finance Initiative.
The budget seeks to “make work pay” by smoothing the path up the income ladder toward the middle class. A series of investments will help ensure that hard work is actually rewarded with a better life; that when low income Oregonians earn more in their paycheck, they have more resources to support themselves and their families. In addition, the budget includes a substantial investment targeted toward housing for homeless children and families.
Vision: Oregonians enjoy good health and the best possible quality of life
● Fully implement Coordinated Care Models
● Focus on prevention of chronic diseases
● Strengthen long-term care service system
● Improve access to healthy housing and nutrition
Many of these investments are made possible because we were able to limit the growth of our prison population, reduce public pension liabilities and develop our network of coordinated care organizations. My budget aims to expand the coordinated care model to cover more public employees and make it available to small businesses to lower costs and improve their competitiveness.
Vision: Manage Oregon’s natural resources to sustain the economy and environment
● Improve air and water quality
● Conserve and restore natural habitats
● Reduce exposure to toxins
● Build strong, sustainable communities
Vision: Oregonians are safe and secure wherever they live, work and play
● Invest in youth and families
● Prioritize proven prevention strategies
● Improve coordination with local communities and citizens
Vision: Government is responsive, accountable and trustworthy in meeting the needs of Oregonians
● Streamline Government Services to Foster Collaboration
● Improve Government Engagement, Transparency and Accountability
● Utilize and Accelerate Best Practices and Partnerships