On economy, for now Oregon has reserves, says governor

“The revenue forecast should not come as a surprise given the uncertainty in the European economy and the recent political turmoil in our nation’s capital over raising the U.S. debt ceiling and developing a long-term debt reduction plan.

We planned for this possibility in the past legislative session — and we have reserves set aside. But it is absolutely essential that we continue our efforts to get the private sector economy going and put our people back to work. Too many Oregonians are struggling, and critical health, child, and family services have already been cut significantly.

The Legislature budgeted reserves of $147 million in General Fund Ending Balance; $46 million in the Rainy Day Fund; $15 million in the Education Stability Fund; and $299 in additional reserves. The next two revenue forecasts — in November 2011 and February 2012 — will determine whether these reserves are adequate or whether we need to consider additional strategies.

To ensure that we are fully prepared to meet the future, I will be meeting with the bipartisan legislative leadership to consider contingency plans and with agency directors to reemphasize the importance of prudent spending.”

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