Pending agency cuts
By Peter Wong • Statesman Journal •
September 8, 2010
State agencies have received their targets from the
Department of Administrative Services for cutting a
total of $377.5 million to eliminate the latest
projected shortfall in tax collections.
Combined with $577.1 million from the previous
forecast, the total comes to almost $1 billion less
than planned in the current two-year budget that
lawmakers approved in mid-2009 and adjusted in
The pending cuts amount to 8 percent in the nine
months remaining in the budget cycle, which ends
June 30. They are on top of the earlier 9 percent
cuts, most of which took effect in July.
Most of the cuts fall within a handful of agencies:
$158.6 million from the state school fund, which
makes payments to 197 school districts; $104.5
million from the Department of Human Services;
$33.8 million from the Department of Corrections;
$20.6 million from state universities; $13.8 million
from state aid to community colleges; $7.8 million
from Oregon Youth Authority; $6.8 million from
Oregon State Police.
Some agencies are affected little — or not at all —
because they do not rely on the tax-supported
general fund. The allotment cut for the Department
of Transportation, for example, is $273,047.
Agencies have until 5 p.m. Sept. 14 to submit plans
for across-the-board reductions, which Gov. Ted
Kulongoski can make under the authority of a 1951
law. Plans will be posted on Sept. 16.
The governor will review them; so will lawmakers on
the Legislative Emergency Board, which meets
It is a time of high anxiety around our house. My husband cannot sleep for all the worry that his job may be cut in the next days, weeks, months. In his division one in seven are out of there; it's a given fact. Since the division is not large and since Michael is mid-management - a key target now, and if the Republican candidate for governor happens to be elected even more so - his position is vulnerable.
I am not talking about the cursed typecast of the American government worker bestowed upon him/her by fellow Americans. In this personal case I am referring to a group of highly skilled, well-educated professionals (my husband is one of the CPAs on staff) who lost 8% of the team last year due to budget cutbacks. The managers there, all the way to the top, are working managers who add value to the operation of Oregon state government.
Everyone is worried. Even those who have households with double incomes, large savings accounts, and paid-for homes. We are among the worried.....not among the latter group.
Today I got a wee bit of an escape from the stress when I looked out the window and saw Pilgrim lounging in the driveway. That is a wonder in itself since he is an old cat who was on death's door two months ago. When the vet met us on a Sunday afternoon he diagnosed Pilgrim's quick decline due to an upper respiratory infection. Pilgrim's temperature was 105, the highest that particular young vet had seen in his career. After a touch-and-go week spent at the clinic Pilgrim came home much improved. He's back to his old self now and more than appreciative of our care. Devoted to us.
Pilgrim is one of the four kitties who have selected our home as theirs, and who have beds in the garage where they sleep securely each night. One of those guys, Onyx, is the focus of Pilgrim's attention at the end of this short clip (sorry it is shaky, as I had to hold my arms up to get the shot from the window). And there are yet five more bona fide strays, one feral, that I feed each night in the backyard........In other words, we have a big family when you add in the pampered three indoor cats and our two large dogs. A dear dear family I love - hanging in the balance of what may or may not lie ahead. Please think of us with strong good wishes.