Oregon House Democrats

Contact: Amelia Porterfield
January 18, 2012                                                                                

House Republican Jobs Agenda Doesn't Add Up

SALEM – Oregon House Republicans today released their agenda for the February 2012 session, a plan more about tax giveaways than standing up for small businesses, middle-class families and vulnerable Oregonians.

According to their own math, the Republicans’ plan proposes to give away $4 billion over five years in tax breaks, putting services such as in-home care for seniors, K-12 education and critical public safety programs at risk.

“We’ve seen many of these proposals before,” said House Democratic Leader Tina Kotek (D-North/Northeast Portland). “Instead of helping small businesses get access to capital so they can grow or investing in much needed infrastructure upgrades that create jobs, the Republican plan would give tax breaks to those looking to renovate vacation homes while cutting revenue from capital gains. Under the Republican plan, Oregonians would see more cuts to critical services and layoffs statewide.”

The House Republicans' proposals would require $800 million in cuts every year for the next five years. This could result in thousands of layoffs statewide. Many rural communities, already reeling from cuts from federal timber payments, would be hit the hardest. Cuts of this magnitude could result in the firing of 3,350 teachers, entirely eliminating Oregon Project Independence, in-home care, and other programs for seniors, and closing ten prisons, resulting in the premature release of 5,500 inmates and thousands of layoffs at prisons in rural communities.

“While economic growth has been improving in Oregon over the past year, our budget is still in a precarious position,” said Ways & Means Co-Chair Peter Buckley (D-Ashland). “We have worked to protect jobs statewide through this budget crisis, but middle-class families have already seen the impacts of layoffs in their communities because of budget cuts. The Republican agenda released today would only cause the unemployment rate to rise with more layoffs of police, firefighters, teachers and front line health care workers.”

House Democrats are committed to helping Oregon businesses create jobs and keeping our economic recovery on track. We’re just not willing to accept that new tax giveaways for the rich will get us there. Middle-class families have sacrificed enough.