Which Budget Is Best For Oregon?

Right now, Oregon Legislators are deciding how to fund our schools, senior care, and other critical services for the next two years. You can help them out by choosing which budget direction you think they should take. Pick your budget option, and then click “Select” to email your choice and a personalized message to your legislators.

Budget 1

Teacher and students in a classroom

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Who Pays:
Retired seniors
K-12 students
Low-income families
Medically fragile seniors
Middle-class families
K-12 Schools: $6.15 billion budget
Additional, significant teacher and staff layoffs
Even higher class sizes
Fewer school days
Elimination of additional valuable programs
Health Care:
Maintain current funding level for senior services, no increase for higher caseload
Human Services:
Reduces eligibility for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, support for struggling families, from five years to three years
Caps Employment Related Day Care (day care for low-income working parents) at 9,000 families
Pensions for seniors and public employees:
$800 million from capping cost of living adjustments for seniors and PERS recipients at $480/year until 2055 and beyond.. Only 1/3 of this goes to the state’s General Fund; the rest goes to local governments.
NOTE:
A similar anti-retiree proposal has already been ruled unconstitutional. If pension changes are found to be illegal, the state would have steep legal fees and would have to repay the retirees with compound interest, leading to deeper cuts to schools and other vital services.
Higher Education:
Tuition increases at community colleges and universities
Closing Tax Loopholes:
$0
Agency Efficiencies:
$0
Tapping Reserve Funds:
$0

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Budget 2

Unhappy middle-class family

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Who Pays:
Retired Seniors
Middle-class families
K-12 Schools: $6.55 billion budget
Fewer teacher layoffs
3rd largest class sizes
No additional schools days cut
Health Care:
Maintain current funding level for senior services, no increase for higher caseload
Human Services:
Maintains five-year eligibility for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, support for struggling families
Caps Employment Related Day Care (day care for low-income working parents) at 9,000 families
Pensions for Seniors and Public Employees:
$450 million from capping cost of living adjustments for seniors and PERS recipients. Only 1/3 of this goes to the state’s General Fund; the rest goes to local governments.
NOTE:
A similar anti-retiree proposal has already been ruled unconstitutional. If pension changes are found to be illegal, the state would have steep legal fees and would have to repay the retirees with compound interest, leading to deeper cuts to schools and other vital services.
Higher Education:
Limited tuition increases at community colleges and universities
Closing Tax Loopholes:
$270 million from capping and ending tax breaks for wealthy households and large corporations
Agency Efficiencies:
$50 million from tough standards on private contractors
$50 million from improving collections from tax cheats
$30 million from reducing middle management

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Budget 3

Teacher calling on a student with her hand raised

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Who Pays:
Wealthy Households
K-12 Schools: $6.9 billion budget
Begin hiring back teachers
Lower class sizes
A full school year
Begin to add back art and music programs
Health Care:
No cuts to homecare for seniors and people with disabilities
Pensions for Seniors and Public Employees: $311 million by extending the payment schedule on the fund’s liability, prosecuting Wall Street investors who defrauded the fund, and no longer paying exorbitant fees to Wall Street managers.
Human Services:
Provide Employment Related Day Care for all low-income working families who need it
Improve protection of abused and neglected kids
Maintains five-year eligibility for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, support for struggling families
Improve protection of abused and neglected kids
Higher Education:
Roll back tuition hikes, invest more heavily in Oregon Opportunity Grants for low-income students
Closing Tax Loopholes:
$500 million from capping and ending tax breaks for wealthy households and large corporations
Capping deductions for households above $250k
Capping Mortgage Interest Deductions for mortgages above $400,000
Closing loopholes that let big corporations shelter profits overseas
Agency Efficiencies:
$111 million from tougher standards on private contractors
$101 million from improving collections from tax cheats
$66 million from reducing middle management
Reserve Funds:
$217 million from tapping half of the funds available in the Rainy Day Fund and Education Stability Fund

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