February Revenue Forecast: A sigh of relief, but Legislators need to choose the right priorities

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Today’s revenue forecast will give Oregon’s legislators the information they need to make decisions about how to protect our schools and the critical services that low-income seniors and struggling families depend on.

With budgets already slashed to the bare minimum, the relatively good news from the forecast will make it easier for legislators to protect the priorities that Oregonians share. The existing budget framework was written to accommodate a bigger drop in the forecast than the one we saw today.

For many months, advocates for schools and basic human services have worked with legislators to find savings in state operations. These savings mean that frontline services for those who need them most will be preserved.

Despite the news today, we’re still living with consequences of years of budget cuts that have taken their toll on Oregon’s students, seniors, and middle-class families. K12 students are forced to learn in dangerously overcrowded classrooms, long-term senior care has been slashed, and the safety net for the unemployed has been cut.

The budget decisions made by elected leaders should reflect Oregonians’ priorities. Legislators should work to preserve the very things that make the state a place where businesses and families can thrive.

Today’s revenue forecast means that we can breathe a small sigh of relief, but it’s now time for lawmakers to invest in what matters: Oregon’s schools, critical services, and support for middle-class families.

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