Portland, OR—Governor Kate Brown issued the following statement today on the state budget and upcoming May revenue forecast:
“One of the many challenging results of the COVID-19 pandemic is the dramatic impact on our economy. With many Oregon businesses restricted or shut down, travel suspended and jobs lost, we expect the revenue that we receive to fund state services will also be significantly reduced,” said Governor Brown.
“We anticipate a significant budget impact in the state revenue forecast coming on May 20, which will lead to some really difficult decisions. Our early discussions indicated this impact could be a reduction of $3 billion for the current budget period. We are exploring all available options to weather this recession, and I have directed state agencies to prepare prioritized reduction plans equaling a 17 percent reduction for the upcoming fiscal year as a planning exercise to explore all options. We haven’t made any final decisions, and the agency plans serve as important information gathering at this point. We know a potential cut of this magnitude would be extremely drastic.
“Whether the state will need to implement this level of cuts will be dependent on several factors, most importantly the need for additional federal funding to support state services, including our K-12 public school system. I will continue to work with Oregon’s congressional delegation in calling for more federal support. I will also work closely with Legislative leadership on the best ways to balance the budget. I am committed to doing so in a thoughtful, collaborative manner that explores all tools available.
“While these are uncertain times, one thing is clear: state employees are working many long hours to keep Oregonians safe and secure during this pandemic. In this time of crisis, Oregonians rely on state services more than ever, and cutting critical state services will be a last resort.”