SALEM, Ore. – Oregon is looking at a significant budget shortfall amid the pandemic, Gov. Kate Brown announced Monday.
“With many Oregon businesses restricted or shut down, travel suspended and jobs lost, we expect the revenue that we receive to fund state services will also be significantly reduced,” Brown wrote in a statement.
Those troubles could be to the tune of $3 billion for the current budget period.
State agencies are being asked to create prioritized budget reduction plans for the upcoming fiscal year, equaling a decrease of 17%. This is being done as a planning exercise to explore all options, Brown said.
“We haven’t made any final decisions, and the agency plans serve as important information gathering at this point," she said. "We know a potential cut of this magnitude would be extremely drastic.”
Many factors will go into determining what level of cuts is necessary. Brown also said more federal funding will be needed to support state services, including the public school system.
“While these are uncertain times, one thing is clear: state employees are working many long hours to keep Oregonians safe and secure during this pandemic. In this time of crisis, Oregonians rely on state services more than ever, and cutting critical state services will be a last resort,” Brown said.