“Today’s revenue forecast is a testament to the resiliency of Oregonians and to how we—as a state—have been able to manage the COVID-19 pandemic by working together.
“Oregon workers and business owners have risen to the challenge, by following health and safety guidelines and continuing to go to work, helping our economy to begin recovering from the impacts of this pandemic while preventing large-scale outbreaks. By working together to keep major sectors of the economy open, including construction and manufacturing, we have kept Oregonians working and businesses operating, all while keeping people safe at the same time.
“This does not, however, take away from the massive impact that this disease has had on our communities, particularly its disproportionate impact on Black, Indigenous, People of Color, and Tribal communities and those dependent on the service economy.
“While revenue projections are up for this biennium, the revenue forecast did not balance our upcoming budget, and we must tread lightly. We still face structural inequities, as well as fluctuations in health care spending related to ongoing COVID-19 response, at the same time we face a serious budget deficit. In addition, many of our critical pandemic response efforts, from testing to personal protective equipment, have been funded with CARES Act funding, which expires at the end of the year. We urgently need congressional action to provide direct help to local governments, businesses and families so that we can all continue to provide critical services to Oregonians during this crisis.
“Oregon has a history of being smart with our reserves and saving for a rainy day. We cannot abandon this approach in the middle of a pandemic, with cold and flu season rapidly approaching. Or while response and recovery efforts to a historic statewide fire emergency continue, and the costs of those efforts to save homes and lives continues to grow. We must prepare for the costs of continuing to provide critical services in the next biennium––from health care to affordable housing to wildfire readiness and response.
“This year, we must celebrate every piece of good news we can get. But even with the welcome news of increased revenue projections, my commitment remains to make prudent financial decisions and position our state to manage unforeseen economic challenges that may come our way.”