On behalf of the Oregon Business Plan, OBC’s Poverty Reduction Task Force has been active the past two years in advocating state policies and investments aimed at reducing poverty in Oregon. In this effort, the task force is working with community organizations long involved in advocating for poverty reduction.
The task force supports Business Plan recommendations to strengthen education attainment and career skills, build up rural economies where poverty is most severe, and enact policies to make the social safety net work and to make work pay. Learn more inside about the OBC poverty reduction initiative.
In the 2016 legislative session, the task force and its community partners successfully focused their advocacy on increasing the earned income tax credit (EITC) for low-income families with young children, resulting in passage of HB 4110.
The 2015 Legislature adopted an even larger number of policy and budget recommendations to help reduce Oregon’s high poverty rate.
These included reinvestment in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), expansion of employer related day care, increased child care tax credits, and continuation of the Individual Development Account program that helps low-income families build financial security. See our 2015 summary of poverty reduction proposals and how the Legislature responded. More Inside »
OBC is taking a deep dive on Oregon’s fiscal future with a new policy tool to analyze different revenue and spending scenarios.
Built from public data and spreadsheet algorithms, the tool allows up to a 10-year look in biennial periods at revenue and spending based on differing revenue and expenditure assumptions and policy choices. Users of this tool can dial up weak to robust revenue scenarios and different levels of spending that these revenue scenarios allow for various public costs.
More than 1,100 business, government, and nonprofit leaders attended the 14th annual Oregon Leadership Summit December 5. The gathering at the Oregon Convention Center tightly focused on Oregon’s fiscal challenge in the coming biennium and beyond.
Despite a resurgent economy and growing revenue, state government is looking at a $1.7 billion projected budget shortfall in the next biennium due to even faster growth in costs for Medicaid, public employee pension obligations, and services to an expanding population.
In his welcoming address framing the challenge, Patrick Criteser, Oregon Business Plan chair (shown above), recommended an approach to the shortfall that focuses on growing the economy, slowing the unsustainable growth of government expenditures, and stabilizing and increasing tax revenue for targeted investments. Those include early learning, high school and college completion, and healthcare.
This approach is discussed in greater detail in the Policy Playbook for 2017. For more on the Summit, including links to the event’s policy documents, slide presentations, photos, videos, and media coverage, please go to the recap page at the Oregon Business Plan website.
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