SALEM, Ore. – This morning, Oregon’s Office of Economic Analysis reported that tax revenues coming into state government are higher than previously projected. The state has over $900 million in extra revenue.
In the meantime, rising crime rates are impacting Oregonians across the state, from shootings and theft in the Metro area to illegal marijuana growth in Southern Oregon.
With the excess revenue, Senate Republicans are pushing to spend $60 million on Oregon State Police to help local law enforcement with general public safety needs and to combat illegal marijuana grows.
“Crime is on the rise,” said Senate Republican Leader Tim Knopp (R-Bend). “The Governor continues to double down on letting criminals out of prison, while several bills are working through the legislature that will make our communities more dangerous. We must invest in public safety.
With the excess revenue, Republicans will also pursue a $50 million appropriation to fund forest thinning operations around the state.
“Decades of forest mismanagement has left our forests overstocked ready to explode with a single spark,” Knopp continued. “We must act in a bold way to ensure Oregonians are protected from devastating wildfire.
“We must also be responsible with this money. We need to reserve more funds for the next downturn. We also need to look seriously at giving Oregonians a tax break. The government has buckets of money, but inflation is pinching the pockets of working Oregonians. As Democrats introduce bills to increase taxes, Republicans are looking at ways to cut them.”