State Budgets 2012: Oregon


To see more state budget news and information, visit State Budgets 2012

Budget Background:

  • Fiscal Year Begins: July 
  • Frequency of Legislative Cycle: Biennial
  • Legislative Session for 2012:  Convened February 1, 2012
  • Frequency of Budget Cycle: Biennial

Learn more from the National Association of State Budget Officers

Budget News and Information:  2012

3/15/12: State taps smoking prevention funds to help balance budget

Facing budget cuts, legislators reduced the amount of money going toward tobacco education and prevention before they adjourned, which set a dangerous precedent, according to advocates.  "Tobacco is one of the major cost drivers to the (healthcare) system," said Brett Hamilton, executive director of the Tobacco Free Coalition of Oregon.  "I recognize that Oregon, like the rest of the country, is strugling with the global economic recession and is facing numerous budget challenges for 2011-13.  But, the disproportionate cut (to the TURA account) is very short sighted.  Legislators are giving lip service to prevention."  

Hamilton was referring to the Tobacco Use Reduction Account which funds the state's Tobacco Prevention and Education Program.  Legislators diverted $1.5 million from that account into the state's general fund, which represented a 9 percent cut.  At the same time, other state programs only endured a 3.5 percent cut.

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3/5/12:  Oregon Legislators Adjourn 2012 Session with Final Flurry of Agreements

Lawmakers forged agreements on Gov. John Kitzhaber's remaining education overhaul bill, added protections against foreclosures and found money for the flood-ravaged Vernonia schools. Then the 2012 Legislature called it good Monday night and adjourned Oregon's first-ever annual session. 
It took five days longer than initially billed, a delay that cost taxpayers an extra $55,000 in per diem costs alone.  But the session, which ended shortly before 9 p.m., likely will go down as mostly amiable and productive. 

The final tally gave the governor a perfect four for four on his top health and education priorities. And lawmakers from both parties claimed bragging rights as they moved to separate corners to rev up their re-election campaigns -- today's the deadline to file to run in the May primary election. 
Republicans notched mixed victories on what they called their jobs agenda by expanding the number of tax-friendly enterprise zones around the state and ensuring that Facebook gets to keep the tax breaks it was promised when it built a data storage center in Prineville. 
Democrats won on establishing new marine reserves off the coast and on a foreclosure law that increases homeowner protections. That bill had been their top concern for the session.

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Budget News and Information:  Previous Budget Cycles

3/27/11:  Latest Oregon state budget, spending details to be released Tuesday

After a month of negotiating, key state budget writers from both parties say they've reached a compromise and are ready to go public with their two-year spending plan for Oregon.  A breakthrough apparently came when the group reached agreement last week on how much money to leave in the bank in case the state's economy goes in the tank again, and whether to tap a savings account to boost the state school budget.


3/8/11: Kitzhaber signs budget rebalance, 4 other bills

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber has signed the first bills of his term.  Kitzhaber signed five bills into law on Tuesday, including a package of measures that rebalance the state budget for the current two-year cycle, which ends June 30. The move prevents immediate cuts in state funding for education, public safety and programs for seniors and people with disabilities.

Read more: The Colombian

3/4/11: State rep. questions use of Ore. 'slush fund'

Oregon State Representative Gene Whisnant (R-Sunriver) believes he's found a significant source of money for the state's beleaguered budget.

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