Gov. Kate Brown’s budget proposal emphasizes education, healthcare

1201-kate-brownSalem, Ore. — Oregon Governor Kate Brown detailed a proposal this morning, on how $20 billion could be allocated in the next two years.

She proposed significant funds be driven toward education and healthcare. But with a budget shortfall of nearly $2 billion, Gov. Brown also gave ideas to bring in new revenue.

“I believe in a thriving Oregon,” said Oregon Governor Kate Brown said during opening statements in an address focused on the budget for the 2017-2019 biennium.

“It relies on a seamless system of education from cradle to career, and a thriving economy in every single corner of the state,” Gov. Brown added.

Education is a top priority, with a proposed–and record breaking—$8.6 billion dedicated to elementary and secondary learning. That’s nearly half of the $20.8 billion budget the state has to work with.

Gov. Brown said, “Every student ought to be ready for kindergarten, stay on track, and graduate, prepared to succeed in a global economy.”

Another $350 million is proposed for college campus security. Gov. Brown said, “Although I was able to protect key program areas that lift up struggling families, the budget includes significant cuts at a level that I find absolutely unacceptable.”

Despite those proposed cuts, the budget still represents a $1.7 billion shortfall.

The governor is expected to ask legislators for nearly a billion dollars in new revenue. She said, “Increases in tobacco taxes, hospital and insurance company assessments to help pay for healthcare, and fills other gaps by closing loopholes in the tax code.’

While Gov. Brown calls these changes a temporary solution, she said it’s a beginning. “I am however presenting this budget as the starting place, for a broader conversation with Oregonians and my legislative colleagues about how to best align our resources with our shares values and our vision for moving Oregon forward.”

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