John Kitzhaber on Budget & Economy
State recovering from Great Recession, but not every person
We currently measure economic recovery by two things: the number of jobs we are creating and the rate at which our state GDP--the creation of wealth--is growing. By those metrics we are doing very well in Oregon. We have gained back all the jobs we
lost during the Great Recession and--as measured by growth of the state GDP--Oregon had the 4th fastest growing state economy in the US in 2012.
But how does that translate to the well-being of our fellow Oregonians--to their ability to meet their
basic needs, to feed their children and support their families? The answer is: not very well. It is not that good jobs are not being created; they are--but not fast enough to replace the ones lost during the Great Recession. This is not something new.
It has been going on for a long time.
In the midst of this economic "recovery" a growing number of people are now trapped in low-wage and/or part-time jobs on which they cannot possible support a family--and with no hope of getting ahead.
Source: State of the State address to 2015 Oregon Legislature
, Jan 12, 2015
Budget to focus on people's futures, not taxes or problems
The resources we have are increasingly being spent on corrections, health care and the consequences of neglect, while our investment in educating children and building a better economy is decreasing. The first way we spend money is by investing in people
The other way we spend money is by taking care of problems after they have developed. We must change the focus from cutting budgets and raising taxes to investing in children, education and workforce development.
Source: 2011 gubernatorial press release "Inaugural"
, Jan 10, 2011
Bankruptcy reform: limit Chapter 7; protect states' role.
Kitzhaber adopted the National Governors Association policy:
The Governors are particularly concerned that bankruptcy reform legislation address the following issues:
Source: NGA Economic Development Policy EDC-21: Bankruptcy Reform 01-NGA2 on Feb 15, 2001
- Prevent Chapter 7 Use by Those with the Ability to Pay: Present bankruptcy law does not prevent use of Chapter 7 by those with ability to repay, nor does it require that debtors use Chapter 13, which would require them to repay creditors what the debtor can afford. The Governors strongly support federal efforts to prevent debtors from using Chapter 7 when they are financially able to pay some or all of their unsecured debts.
- Encourage Payment of Domestic Support Obligations: Bankruptcy interferes significantly with states’ ability to assist citizens owed domestic support and to collect unpaid domestic support owed them. The Governors strongly encourage Congress to ensure that any federal bankruptcy reform requires that domestic support obligations have the highest possible repayment priority, that all domestic support obligations be nondischargeable,
and that commencement of bankruptcy not prevent the continued collection of child and other support obligations.
- Give State Claims Parity with Federal Claims in Bankruptcy: Today, bankruptcy rightly gives certain preferences in payment to federal claims against the bankruptcy estate, but similar treatment is not always accorded state claims. The Governors strongly support congressional efforts to reform the treatment of state claims in bankruptcy to provide parity of treatment with federal claims.
- Protect the State Role: The Governors oppose efforts to preempt state authority to determine exemptions under state bankruptcy law. Currently, debtors have a right to choose between federal and state exemptions. The Governors support efforts to shape bankruptcy reform policy that protects the rights of states to determine their own standards instead of having uniform federal regulations imposed without regard for individual state needs.
Uphold commitments to states before other spending.
Kitzhaber adopted the National Governors Association position paper:
The Issue The major budget issue will be over the surplus and how big of a surplus there will be. How much will be dedicated to paying down the national debt, how much to tax cuts, how much to increase defense spending, what to do about key discretionary spending programs, and whether and how to change key entitlement programs, such as Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security? How these decisions are made could have significant impacts on the federal-state partnership, especially as they affect vital health and human services programs. What will happen to funding for priority state domestic discretionary programs for the federal fiscal year? When will Congress act?
NGA’s Position Before considering new spending initiatives or tax cuts, the federal government must first uphold its current commitments to the states.
Source: National Governors Association "Issues / Positions" 01-NGA8 on Sep 14, 2001
Page last updated: Jul 18, 2017