Governor's Recommended Budget (Spanish)
January 31, 2023
Good morning everyone. Thank you for being here.
From the moment I was sworn into office, I promised to take on the biggest challenges facing families and communities across our state – and to deliver results.
Oregonians are looking for action – real action – that makes a difference in their everyday lives.
That is why on my first full day in office, I declared a homelessness state of emergency and signed an executive order to increase housing supply by 80 percent.
In that same vein, today I present my recommended budget for the 2023-2025 biennium. You can see that the title is “mission focused" – and that's because my budget outlines a path to make significant progress on the three top issues of shared, statewide concern: housing and homelessness, mental health and addiction services, and education.
We must acknowledge that while Oregonians are demanding action on these priorities, our state is also entering into a very challenging and complex budget environment. About $3.5 billion of one-time funding, spurred by resources from the federal government, is about to expire. I believe, however, that we still have a path to make targeted investments thanks to years of prudent budget management to build historic reserves.
My recommendation in my budget is to keep the existing $2 billion of reserve funds in place, and then redirect $765 million that would have been automatically added to these reserves into targeted investments aimed at better serving Oregonians in these three key areas.
While my top priorities will be the focus of my remarks today, I want to emphasize that this proposal represents a balanced budget that includes investments in every agency to tackle other pressing issues across the state. Enhancing our historic investments in the state's water supply, fixing the public defense crisis, supporting Main Street revitalization across rural Oregon, implementing essential climate change policies, and making college more affordable – all of these important issues are also addressed within my budget recommendations.
I also want to highlight the expertise and work of the state's Racial Justice Council, which will have a strong, ongoing partnership in my administration. The council has been working diligently with the state Chief Financial Office and state agencies since August 2021 to ensure historically underserved communities had significant voices in this process and helped to embed equity in this budget. I will keep working in partnership with the Council to reduce racial disparities and transform how the state provides services to support all Oregonians.
Every Oregonian, no matter their race or zip code, deserves to have the same chances. My mission as Oregon's Governor will always be to deliver results and move the state forward to build the Oregon we all want to live in.
This vision for Oregon's future cannot be realized in one budget cycle. But this plan provides a roadmap for how we are going to reach this state's long-term goals:
Housing and Homelessness
The housing crisis is one of the largest emergencies we have ever faced in Oregon, and the human suffering it causes to individuals, families and communities is unacceptable.
We must act now to provide immediate relief to unsheltered Oregonians and to prevent thousands of families from becoming homeless.
- I'm recommending a significant investment in affordable housing production and preservation: $1 billion. That includes $770 million to build more affordable homes for both renters and new homeowners; $118 million to preserve existing affordable homes; and $4 million to support the replacement of old and inefficient manufactured homes to provide safe and energy efficient homes for households.
- I'm also proposing the creation of a new office called the Housing Production and Accountability Office (HPAO). The HPAO will provide technical assistance and support to local governments and housing developers working to reduce land use and permitting barriers that get in the way of building more housing.
- And as part of my Homelessness State of Emergency Declaration, I called on the legislature to invest $130 million as soon as possible in order to meet my goal of reducing unsheltered homelessness over the course of
this year. This budget expands on those early investments to rehouse and maintain housing stability for households moving from unsheltered homelessness into stable housing, provide ongoing homelessness prevention support, maintain shelter operations, create new permanent supportive housing, and more.
Mental Health and Addiction Care
These urgent investments will address the homelessness emergency facing communities across Oregon today, but it is only one piece of the larger strategy required to address this humanitarian crisis.
For our behavioral health system, my administration will focus on effectively distributing the $1 billion in investments made in the 2021 legislature when I was Speaker of the House.
We are starting to see results of these investments. Communities will soon see hundreds of new supportive housing and residential placements. The 988 call line has been launched to support anyone in a behavioral health crisis.
But we have more to do to build on what is working and create a connected system that can lead to hope, healing, and recovery.
That's why I'm proposing investments to disrupt the harmful and expensive pipeline of Oregonians who move from homelessness to jail or the State Hospital. My budget aims to do this by:
- Increasing local residential treatment options;
- Improving jail diversion services and enhancing intervention and outreach before patients are civilly committed
- Closing gaps in behavioral health services for children and older adults; and
- Expanding substance use disorder treatment for adults in custody.
We also must stop preventable deaths from substance use and behavioral health needs by:
- Providing more funding for 988 call centers to connect people with the nationwide suicide and crisis lifeline;
- Supporting mobile crisis programs, like CAHOOTS, to divert individuals from hospitals and jails;
- Investing in substance use treatment and services;
- Addressing gaps in treatment by providing start-up costs for residential detox and inpatient treatment; and
- Reducing preventable deaths associated with opioid use by continuing support for the harm reduction clearing house.
This work can't be done if we don't support our essential behavioral health workers and work to build a diverse and culturally responsive workforce. We must increase wages for community mental health providers. My budget proposes doubling the OHA's Health Care Provider Incentive Program, which would bring up to 1,000 new workers from diverse backgrounds into the pipeline by supporting loan repayment, scholarships, and other supports for licensed behavioral health providers and students.
And to address the staffing crisis at the Oregon State Hospital, my proposal includes support to fund a sustainable 24/7 staffing model, establish a health equity unit to address staff needs, fund the Complex Case Management Unit so the most acute patients can get the specialized care they need in a safe and appropriate setting, and upgrade the facility to improve safety for both patients and staff.
With these investments, help will be there when you or your loved ones need it.
Education - Early Learning, Child Care, and Accountability
Lastly, every child deserves a safe place to learn, and every family needs access to affordable child care. After years of pandemic disruptions, we have a lot of work to do to build toward that vision.
Child care is too expensive and nearly impossible to find for families across Oregon. And it is absolutely unacceptable that less than half of Oregon's 3rd graders have demonstrated grade-level mastery in reading during the last school year.
It's why my proposed budget includes:
- $100 million to support evidence-based, targeted literacy strategies focused on preschool and elementary school, and funding for literacy-focused summer programming for pre-school and elementary students starting this summer.
- And, to improve access to child care, a $100 million fund to build and upgrade early learning facilities.
- I'm also proposing an additional investment of over $100 million to increase wages for early learning professionals, expand access to Employment Related Day Care, and better serve more families with young children.
These investments can only make the desired impact for our children and students with focused leadership and increased accountability. All of our education investments must be paired with specific, proven strategies to ensure we know how the dollars being spent are connected to the education priorities that Oregonians care about and the outcomes that every child deserves.
To do this, there must be increased oversight to make sure local schools are staying on track. Financial reporting should reflect what is happening on the ground in schools each day and be presented in ways that are easy to understand for policymakers, parents, and the public at large.
We must be bold, focused, and mission-driven to ensure we are getting the results Oregonians need.
- Every Oregonian must have a roof over their head. That means building more housing, rehousing our homeless neighbors, preventing homelessness before it happens, and expanding access to homeownership.
- Every Oregonian who is ready to seek help for mental health and addiction challenges must have easy access to treatment – no matter where they live or what they can afford.
- Every Oregon child must have a safe place to receive a high-quality public education, and every family has access to affordable child care options.
This is the Oregon that I know is possible, and my budget was built to make progress on each of these critical issues.
I look forward to working with the Legislature this session to meet the needs of communities across our state.
With that, I'm happy to take your questions.