The phrase that keeps running through my head this week is “calling the question.” In many of the issues we are confronting this session, there have been years of debate. That’s not necessarily a bad thing — in fact, it is a vital part of the process. But at a certain point, you’ve got to call the question, put the issue to a vote, and move on.
One example of this is the proposed bridge on I-5 over the Columbia River. It is a large and very difficult project, and the development of the proposal has been far from perfect. But the need for the bridge is clear, and the debate has been vigorous. It’s time to act, to vote, to move forward.
But an even more important issue is education and our willingness to put our money where our mouths are. We all talk about how vital it is for Oregon to invest in the next generation, but we end up debating on and on about every side issue imaginable. My goal in the budget for this year is that we finally call the question. Are all sides involved actually ready to give a little and truly invest in education this year?