Republican Leadership Budget Blueprint

At 1PM today, March 4, 2013, Republicans from the House and Senate released the Republican Leadership Budget Blueprint.

Key differences between the Republican Blueprint and the Co-Chairs’ Budget include:

– Republicans propose no new tax increases; Democrats propose $275 million in tax increases;

– Republicans support reasonable PERS Reform outlined in the OSBA proposal; Democrats offer “PERS Lite”, just two out of seven proposals;

– After PERS savings, Republicans propose $7.15 billion for K-12 Education; Democrats propose $6.75 after their minor PERS “reform”;

– The Republican K-12 proposal reverses the trend of less and less for education as a percentage of the state budget;

–  Republicans prioritize saving for the future and possible downturn by funding the Rainy Day Fund and Ending Fund Balance.

House and Senate Republican leaders today offered an alternative 2013-15 state budget proposal with no new taxes on Oregonians, and puts more dollars into Oregon classrooms. Republicans say their budget reflects reasonable PERS reforms to restore a full school year and reduce class sizes, and also establishes larger reserve funds to protect critical services throughout the biennium.

“We developed this blueprint in the spirit of co-governance, which produced the most fiscally responsible budget in many years,” said Rep. Dennis Richardson (R-Central Point), Vice Chair of the Joint Ways and Means Committee. “Our budget continues bipartisan reforms that were put in place in the previous biennium. It also recognizes savings from PERS reforms that the Governor and key education groups are asking the Legislature to adopt.”

Republicans say they’ll continue to work with Democrats on developing the final 2013-15 budget, but expressed concerns about the Democratic Co-Chairs’ budget outline.

“The Co-Chairs budget is balanced on assumed tax increases, assumed cuts to our corrections system and cosmetic PERS measures that merely kick the can down the road,” said House Republican Leader Mike McLane (R-Powell Butte), a Ways and Means member. “We’re prepared to work with Democrats on a budget that doesn’t hurt our economy or our public safety, but one that sustains services throughout the biennium. Republicans will work to make K-12 schools the highest priority in the state budget, and we’ll continue to call for reasonable PERS reforms that help our school districts over the long term.”

Today’s Republican news conference is available at: