State leaders announce plans for cutting costs


Gov. Kate Brown at Port Celebration    Members of a state budget committee have presented their plans for cutting costs.
  The plan came in the form of a letter to Senate President Peter Courtney and House Speaker Tina Kotek.
   This is in response to the budget shortfall the state is currently facing.
  It listed out proposals such as hiring freezes; reviewing Lottery Commission administrative costs; managing bond costs; increasing current and future employees' share in PERS; improving management of public employees' health care costs; not creating new programs that have no money to support it; and others.
  Earlier this week, Governor Kate Brown announced she was signing an Executive Order to implement a short term statewide hiring freeze and other cost saving measures.
   "I'm calling for an all-hands-on-deck approach to protect Oregonians from these cuts and address the budget deficit. That's why I'm taking immediate actions to cut costs and find savings."
   The freeze is in effect May 1 through June 30.
   This Executive Order also requires state departments to reduce travel expenses by 10 percent and to review office space and leases.
   WEA is continuing to monitor the state budget situation and provide feedback to legislators.
   The WEA Executive Committee met with Senator Mark Hass this week to talk about state revenue, and the WEA Government Relations Committee talked with the Oregon Business Council's Jeremy Rogers recently to learn more about elements of the state budget.
   To read the letter of proposed cuts, click here.