The 2013 Legislative Session is about to end. It’s tragic to realize it was run without a carefully considered plan. There were multiple concessions given to powerful political forces, such as “the coalition of the status quo,” but what did this legislative session really accomplish?
Did we fix the PERS crisis without violating the PERS contract with our neighbors and friends who are retired teachers and public sector workers? No.
Did we budget within our current forecasted resources and set aside a substantial ending balance to protect the budgets of our schools and government agencies if the revenue forecast falters, like it did in 2011 and so many times before? No.
Did we focus our attention on and pass rational legislation that will both manage and protect our forests while making Oregon more economically competitive, innovative and welcoming to job creating small businesses? No.
What do Oregon’s Democratic leaders have to show for the time, effort and expense consumed by the 2013 Legislative Session?
We will end this session with the standing ovation of one hand clapping — NO PLAN for expanding Oregon’s economy and gross domestic product, NO PLAN for attracting job-creating innovation, entrepreneurial start-ups or private capital investment, and NO PLAN for solving the PERS crisis and doing so without violating the PERS contract.
The bipartisan successes of the 2011 Session were universally ignored during this session. Total Democratic Party control of the House, Senate and governor’s office has not well-served Oregon citizens.