Lebanon, OR—Governor Kate Brown today met with Oregon veteran community leaders and called on the Legislature to support additional investments in veteran services and to provide a home for every veteran in Oregon. Speaking to residents, staff, and veterans' advocates at the Lebanon Veterans' Home
, Governor Brown announced the following:
“In a difficult budget environment, I am proud that we were able to almost double funding for veterans efforts in my proposed budget. This has always been the starting point and over the last few months, I have heard from veterans across the state about how we can best support veterans and their families. Thanks to their input, I am proud to stand shoulder with our veterans to support General Fund resources for current services and an even greater level of investment with Measure 96 Lottery Funds.
“With these additional resources, I am calling for further investments in veteran services and a focused initiative to end veterans’ homelessness in Oregon. Together with a broad group of public and private partners, we must continue to fund affordable housing and homeless prevention efforts to ensure every Oregon veteran has a roof over his or her head.”
With a better than expected revenue forecast by the Office of Economic Analysis,
an additional $200 million in state revenue decreases the previously projected budget gap in the next biennium from $1.8 billion to $1.6 billion. With that increase in revenue and veterans’ community strong advocacy, Governor Brown supports using General Fund for current veteran services and ensuring that new Measure 96 Lottery Funds investments be fully focused on expanding services for Oregon veterans for their health, education and economic opportunity.
Governor Brown also today directed the Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs
and Oregon Housing and Community Services
to combine forces and work with front line partners to marshal state, federal, and local resources with nonprofits, faith-based organizations, and others to expand veterans' housing.
Several regional communities including the City of Eugene, Lane County, the City of Portland, and Multnomah County have shown a pathway with focused innovation and collaboration to ensure a home for every veteran. Governor Brown called on state leaders to invest in similar, proven local initiatives to expand homeless prevention resources and permanent affordable housing options for veterans and their families throughout Oregon.