2012 Session Offers Accomplishments, But Nearly Every Jobs Bill is Left on the Table
SALEM— House Republicans adjourned the 2012 session this evening by rebalancing the budget without raising taxes and achieving bipartisan compromise on health care and education reform. The Republicans expressed deep disappointment Democratic leaders wouldn’t join them in passing solutions to Oregon’s unemployment, such as those in the “50,000 Jobs in Five Years” plan.
“With 190,000 unemployed Oregonians, the Legislature’s inaction on jobs and the economy is inexcusable,” said House Republican Leader Kevin Cameron (R-Salem). “Nonetheless, House Republicans continued to work with the Governor and legislative Democrats to find common ground on other issues. We’ll continue to provide leadership on the economy and we won’t rest until more Oregonians are back to work.”
Despite their disappointment House Republicans say they’re pleased to have reached a rebalanced budget plan without raising taxes or raiding reserves. The plan also avoids drastic cuts to essential services, while making significant money-saving reforms to state government.
“The ‘give and take’ required to reach this rebalance plan illustrates that, even in highly partisan times, elected representatives from different parties and differing viewpoints can work together and accomplish the people’s work,” said Joint Ways and Means Committee Co-Chair Dennis Richardson (R-Central Point). “With the right leadership in place, Oregon can, and should, continue on the path to sustainable spending and long-term budgetary reform.”
However, House Republicans say Oregon will suffer higher unemployment as long as its elected officials refuse to take bold action on the economy, from sustainably utilizing the state’s abundant natural resources to making its tax and regulatory environment more competitive in a global economy.
“The 2012 session offered two alternative visions for the future of Oregon’s economy,” said Deputy Republican Leader Matt Wingard (R-Wilsonville). “We offered the ‘50,000 Jobs in Five Years’ plan because Oregonians deserve better than the same policies that have failed to put Oregonians back to work. We will continue to pursue these bold solutions until we have the votes to put Oregonians back to work.”