Monday, July 26, 2010

State Budget

The Oregonian began a sobering series on the Oregon state budget outlook for the upcoming biennium. 

The money quote:

For decades, we put ourselves at the same status level as Washington, our wealthier sister to the north. Now, Tapogna says, 'we are beginning to look a lot more like Idaho.'

The article put the magic number at 3.7 Billion, that is the gap to be filled by either tax increases or spending cuts. Given political realities, it is extremely unlikely significant tax increases will be passed. That leads to the question: How do we determine where spending will be cut? I’m assuming there is not $3.7B of “fat” in the budget. Therefore at some point we will have to tell someone who depends on state funding that they will have to make do with less. How do we pick who?

I ask because I believe this to be THE issue for the next legislative session and governor. How effectively that question is answered is how effectively state government will function, perhaps for years to come.

No comments: