Governor Mark O. Hatfield's Administration
Legislative Message, 1965
Source: STATE OF OREGON LEGISLATIVE MESSAGE TO THE FIFTY-THIRD BIENNIAL LEGISLATURE MARK O. HATFIELD GOVERNOR SALEM, OREGON JANUARY 11, 1965
THE GREATER PROGRESS
Mr. President, Mr. Speaker, Members of the Fifty-third Legislative Assembly:
Forty days ago when I presented the biennial budget no one could foresee the havoc that was beyond the horizon. Many parts of our state have been torn asunder with the loss olives, millions of dollars in land and building damage, and inconvenience in travel, communications, heat, shelter, lights and water, as well as disruptions of commerce and industry.
The impact on the budget, both in terms of unexpected expenditures and the unrealized revenue, is not yet clearly known. Not enough facts are in; nor will they be, in terms of individuals, for some time an probably not before this legislature must make hard decisions.
But even in view of the temporary setback which the forces of nature dealt us, it does not appear that we need an increase in the income tax. Our generally high level of prosperity during the past six years have been such that not only can we liver within our income but, in so doing, we may reach out for worthwhile goals to provide our citizens with the Greater Progress.
It would be tempting, meeting as we are with the choice of disaster still ringing in our ears, to do only that which can be demonstrably connected to the immediate needs. But we would be untrue to our heritage if we did not apply ourselves to the long view, to chart a course for those whoa re to follow.
This is the eighth regular session of the biennial assembly with which I have enjoyed some association. When you convene two years hence my connection will be but momentary. My experience confirms what observers of the political scene have long known: that an ideal implanted in one session or one decade may not take root for years. It has been in this spirit that each of my message to you has contained recommendations blending factors of immediacy and intimacy. Some you have enacted; some you have deferred; some you have rejected; some you have improved. Such is the responsibility of each of us in our co-equal, coordinate branches of government; mine to recommend, yours to act, react, reject, modify or initiate on you own.
You have had my budget recommendations for over a month. Your joint Ways and Means Committee has been meeting for two weeks. You have access to the nearly 20,000 words of my previous messages and there has been placed at you desk a list of specific recommendations for you consideration at this legislative session. I trust you will give these recommendations the same attention they would have received had they been presented orally. My remarks today provide a perspective for these recommendations as we take a look at the Oregon that is and the Oregon we hope my be.
It will soon be twenty years since the end of hostilities in World War II. Some of the scientific leaps forward were undreamed of when the first atomic bomb was detonated. These advances in technology have far outpaced our social maturation. Thirteen Asian and 33 African nations have become independent since 1945. Yet, inadequate prepared ness for this new independence is the heart of some of today’s international frictions. We know how to produce more and more foodstuff from less and less earth with fewer and fewer hands but we have yet to learn how to handle its distribution without jeopardizing the market. We have raised our standards of living to new heights for the majority of our citizens, yet poverty prevails to such an extent we are watching a rebirth of a type of Civilian Conservation Corps of depression days. The ability of man to design and construct machines to do man’s work has been so successful that what might be a blessing fosters numerous dislocation of distressing personal impact.
Oregon has thus far been spared some of the headaches and heartaches of other areas of our nation. Because more people sought gold, or sunshine, or oranges, or Hollywood, we have not experienced the population explosion of our southern neighbor or of many other states. Our freeways are relatively effective, the air we breath is relatively clean, our scenery relatively unspoiled, our colleges and universities are not yet of multiversity magnitude. We stood enlightened and humanitarian civil rights action long ago. Should our population rations change perceptibly in the year ahead, the laws are on the books. In only one locality is there even the potential for sharp racial tensions and there a study in depth has charted a course for calm, deliberate, and effective action, preventive rather than corrective.
At this particular juncture in our history, we dare not be content with the status quo. Whether we like it or not, Oregon is in a competitive age, state with state, in my fields of endeavor. It behooves us to make the most of our assets, to correct our liabilities to the extent possible, to discover ways of taking full advantage of the opportunities as they appear.
There are those among us, and there may be a considerable number, who yearn for the good old days --- the days of the boardwalk, the horse and buggy, and the kerosene lamp. Some would prefer that the population shrunk back to what used to be. They want lights but not the dams to disturb the fish, inside plumbing but not the sewage charge, cars to get from here to there but no so many that traffic slows them down.
Today, Oregon is the geographical vender of the United States. An astronaut climbed our lava beds because it is thought they approximate the moon; off our seacoast, the depths of the ocean are plumbed to uncover their mysteries and oil is sought with new zest; at Boardman a space age enterprise prepares to make new testing and at Tongue Point the war on poverty becomes the activity of a facility built for another kind of war; the sky-lines of our cities change daily with new structures and the economic pulse of our larges metropolitan center is reflected though-our the state.
Now, let us look at competitive factor that place barriers on the road to the Greater Progress. In some of these, courtesy, common sense and putting the public interest ahead of personal motives will meld completion into cooperation. IN other situations, the barriers are such you will have to make decisions of momentous magnitude, and significant consequence, requiring courage and statesmanship.
We face competition with the 15,000 public and private agencies in other states spending a quarter of a billion dollars annually to attract industry. There are those who would lure away our university graduates after our taxes have educated them. There are those who look with envy upon the abundance of our water, as they contrast our with their own lands. There are the elements themselves which we are still learning to control and use for human good, not human harm. There is competition within the structure of government which, if misdirected, can bleed taxpayers in needless duplication. There is competition for tourist dollars which can be won and retained by hospitality and coordinated effort. There is competition with the educational traditions that defy the cry for the changes necessary if we are to meet the gigantic enrollment challenge. There is competition for foreign markets.
There is competition that arises from the fact that ballooning population has increased our numbers at both ends of the safe scale --- more and more young not yet contributing to the economic sphere and more and more senior citizens with only nominal income, if any . . . both supported by the relatively smaller group in the income-earning age categories. This is the simplified economic root of the revenue prove of most state and local governments.
And there will e competition within this legislature as you face decisions together. There is competition for you ear and for the state’s purse string. To put this particular competition in context let us ever remember that the farmer’s problem, so real to legislators from a rural district, is a problem for us all by the time his produce arrives at the market place. The traffic congestion of Portland, in which a legislator from that area finds himself every work day of the week, merits the attention of each of us, just as those who live along a completed freeway have a moral obligation to those who traverse sub-standard roads.
Vocational training and rehabilitation measures and graduate research programs are all needed, not only in striking at poverty but adjusting to automation and attracting new industry. The backward and the gifted who compete for the teacher’s time are equally worthy of your time and action.
And the competition does not end with these listings. There is competition between party and party and within party itself. There may be competition between House and Senate.
The Greater Progress can be attained only if we resolve these potentials for stalemate and stagnation.
Oregon’s fertile fields can feed far more Americans that now benefit from our toil. Oregon’s water statesmanship can lead the way toward a morally justifiable, politically practical solution to the extremes of abundance and want. Oregon’s educational aspirations can make better use of all our resources while pushing ever higher our standard of excellence. Oregon can pioneer in county-city cooperation, in court consolidation, and in pacing the nation to more efficiently serve the overburdened taxpayer. Oregon’s state government can be reshaped to meet the needs of the day rather than carrying over the antiquated ways of yesteryear. Oregon can be known as a state that thinks so much of each individual that it extends a helping hand when one is down and out but always with an eye toward restoring his self-esteem by showing him how to stand again on his own two feet. Tomorrow’s Oregon, not dependent upon huge federal contracts or on a single industry, must constantly strive to diversify its economic life, seasonally and geographically. Oregon, not long from now, will be discovered by new millions as a great vacationland. It can be an Oregon whose planning for decades of development kept the air free, the water pure, the scenery visibly, the traffic moving, the school graduates staying, the labor force working, the whole population enjoying a distinctive way of life in an ideal setting and under conditions which would be the envy of the nation.
In this year of 1965 you have an opportunity to write an epochal chapter in the history of The Greater Progress of Oregon. It will require skill, determination, courage, and the cordiality of men and women who arte of good will. Not only will the Oregonians who have entrusted their destiny to you be appraising you efforts, but we will lobe visited this year by the 14 governors of the other Western States, who have honored me with their chairmanship, and by you legislative counterparts form throughout the nation.
The reputation of the State of Oregon has been build from our earliest days on a foundation of enlightenment, of humanitarianism and of conservation. Let us from this session, with the guidance of Almighty God, provide for our Oregon the dynamic policies which will achieve the Greater Progress. Toward this goal I invite you dedication --- and pledge you mine.
Mr. President, Mr. Speaker, Members of the Fifty-third Legislative Assembly:
Christmas Week, 1964, will live in Oregon’s memory. IN that week, we demonstrated anew --- for all the world to see --- the self-reliance and selflessness that have carried Oregonians successfully through the crises of the past.
We joined hands that week and the two short weeks since in a cooperative effort that has placed us far along the road to recovery from devastation of epic proportions. This response to nature’s cataclysm has reminded us again of our progress of the past and of the Greater Progress still to come, if we but find the common need and respond for the benefit of our commonwealth.
When I assumed the office of Governor in 1959, I referred to the political fact-of life that the executive branch of our state government included three elected Republicans and two Democrats, while the legislative branch was made up of a majority of Democrats. Today, we take note of a Legislative Assembly In which the legislative branch was made up of the majority of democrats. Today, we take note of a Legislative Assembly in which the Rotunda separates different majorities and the executive branch includes three elected Democrats and two Republicans. We are fortunate that Oregon’s history and progress have been wrought through the efforts of outstanding public servants from both parties.
In this hour we are again met to respond to the needs of the citizens whom we serve. Our deliberation will naturally be exposed to the glare of public scrutiny. WE must be determined to be equal to the task of working harmoniously toward our common goal of further advancement for Oregon. I pledge you my cooperation to that end.
A Blueprint for Action
At the outset, we must agree that Oregon cannot remain economically strong, not can it advance, through actions which deal only with the needs or frustrations of the moment. We must provide for the next decade and beyond, and not merely for the next day or the next biennium.
The spirit which has characterized our advancement into the dynamic sixties must be undergirded with new innovative and a renewed resolve that our future growth will be even more spectacular. It is within our power to forge a firm foundation for the creator Progress. History will view the structure which we erect. Let us make certain its architecture is sound.
STATE EXPENDITURES AND REVENUES
The outline of such a constructive program has been presented in the budget to which you were oriented for weeks ago. Since then, nature has unleashed destructive forces, the impact of which is still not fully known. It will be necessary to reappraise the revenue expectations for the next 30 months and the expenditure requirements as well.
Because of the timing of the recent crisis, the process of recasting the budget will necessarily be a cooperative one bout I know you will find in the printed budget will necessarily be a cooperative one but I know you will find in the printed budget a sound document on which we may build with confidence.
The budget document deals with a variety of imponderables, including matters yet to be resolved by court action. Despite this, and despite the costs of the December flood, it is my expectation that expenditures for general government purposes can be accomplished with no increase in General Fund taxes.
It is, moreover, appropriate to renew suggestions that we seek reforms in our tax structure, particularly those which would remove inequities.
Six Years ago I endorsed the general outlines of the recommendations presented at the request of my predecessor by a nationally recognized tax expert (John F. Sly). The Sly report has been repeatedly endorsed by legislative committees. The report insisted on at least two fundamental requirements: the broadening of our general revenue vase, and the repeal of the inventory tax.
The General Fund now drives more than 60 percent of current revenues from the personal income tax. Some believe our fiscal structure could be improved and the state’s revenue vase broadened through adoption of a sales tax. I have repeatedly recommended a more equitable alternative: the net receipts tax.
I renew my recommendation that the inventory tax be repealed or that it be phased out over a five- or ten-year period.
I also urge attention to a revision of a capital gains tax to permit increased investment in job-producing business and industry.
Congress has restricted the state’s freedom to tax interstate commerce. The prospect of additional federal legislation in this field makes it imperative that we take action to establish equitable ground rules for the taxation of multi-state corporations. I recommend enactment of model legislation to this end which has been commended by the National l Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws and the American Bar Association.
Tax Court Jurisdiction
To facilitate disposition of matters coming before it, I recommend that the Oregon Tax Court’s jurisdiction be clarifies and that this court be given status and authority fully comparable to that of the Circuit Courts.
THE STATES ECONOMY
A major component of our present favorable economic situation is the spectacular industrial and commercial growth which ahs resulted from efforts to improve Oregon’s business climate. Almost every month during the past year, new records of employment and per capita income have been established. Our advancement has become the bellwether of Pacific Coast states, and stands high in nation-wide comparisons. This rate of economic progresses a tribute to the efforts of many individuals and organizations, including the legislative as well as executive branch of state government. We must maintain the momentum and seek the tools of the Greater Progress.
Assistance in Industrial Development
Increasingly high standards of performance are demanded in providing useful information to firms seeking to expand in Oregon. Research, technical aid and guidance, economic development programming to assist local communities, and investment opportunity studies are some of the methods whereby our Department of Commerce can assist. By comparison with our neighboring states, Oregon’s small staff has done an outstanding job. This program must be sustained.
Oregon’s industrial development program has been marked by many outstanding successes. To incuse the Greater Progress in this field, we are development a program which will afford significant advantages to local development corporations in over coming financial problems which have been encountered in connection with establishment or expansion of small business firms. This program contemplates no enticements such as those which have been offered in other section of our nation. Within a short time appropriate legislation will be presented for you approval.
Oregon’s Greater Progress demands continuing and increasing attention in the important role which agriculture plays in our economy. A leading factor in this industry in the future, as in the past, is a vigorous, imaginative growth research program. Oregon will more and more become the “bread basket” of the West, and will be called upon to supply the demands of expanding populations here and abroad. Research to increase the productivity of our farms, to assure increased marketing opportunities, and to provide agriculturists with more equitable compensation for their efforts is important to the urban as well as rural community.
Our forest products industry is undergoing an almost unprecedented period of diversification. It is meeting the challenge of competition, both from other materials and other sources of supply. Timber tax reforms are proving their validity though increased conservation activities. There is need for further analysis of the apportionment of the costs of protecting valuable watersheds and rangelands from the ravages of fire.
Oil and Gas Exploration
The wisdom of our offshore oil and gas program has been emphasized in recent months. In October, 11 major oil companies bid $27.8 million for rights to lease federal offshore lands. In December, bonus bids on only a small portion of state offshore lands netted $42,600 to the Common School Fund. Rental fees will add $13,600 annually.
During the next two years, as much as $30 million is estimated to flow into our economic bloodstream from offshore oil activity, and this amount could double with discovery of oil in commercial quantities.
We are proud of the efforts through which approximately $12 million has been expended by private explorers to date in Oregon. This has benefited the state at large, and the coastal area in particular.
Highway transportation is so related to the over-all economy that growth of each is dependent upon the other. Spectacular accomplishments in our Interstate highway program should not obscure the necessity for action toward improvement of our secondary road system. Those who live in communities served primarily by the Interstate system must recognize the desperate need of other areas and for further means whereby the products of our farms and forests, the commerce of Oregon’s growing industry, and the increase in recreating-bound travelers may be safely and adequately accommodated.
The Highway Department estimates in excess of $1.2 billion would be required to improve all non-interstate roads to modern standards, including $500 million for state highways, $600 million for county road networks, and $175 million for city street systems. With an income for these purposes of only $20 million annually, the task might appear hopeless. However, at least half of the existing deficiencies can be tolerated for at time, since many of these roads carry only nominal amounts of traffic and render reasonably satisfactory service.
I have recommended that a start be made on correction of major highway deficiencies through provision of additional revenue approximating $118 million during the nest three biennia. In you consideration of this proposal, it is important to note that any change in the distribution formulae between the state and subordinate units of government will not result in additional total revenues. The plain facts are that more money is needed at all levels. User fee increases to support this expanded program are in such minimum amounts that the individual vehicle owner will still benefit through costs which hare comparatively lower than most other states.
In 1963 I pointed to the valuable contribution to our economy made by ports, waterways and related transportation facilities. The economic trade mission to Japan provided further insight into the necessity for correlating the development of these facilities. I would remind you that seven of the top ten customers of the Port of Portland alone are in the Far East. I again recommend a comprehensive study of present and potential relationships between these facilities and the Greater Economic Progress of our state.
Our natural resource wealth undergrads the entire economy and contributes to the well-being of each citizen. Oregon’s scenic and recreation resource enhance the out-of-doors experience of each resident and visitor. Wise use of these resources and planning for the future must continue as we seek even Greater Progress for our state.
Ultimate Water Needs
Vitally essential to continued development is an assured supply of equitable distributed water for all beneficial purposes. Suggested diversions to meet needs of other states make it imperative that Oregon provide realistic forecasts for the next century. In a world of many choices, we have no choice about water. It is a necessity of the hour and of all the years to come. The budget provides for accelerated studies, and I urge its speedy approval.
We must provide answers to the questions: How much is surplus and where is such surplus to be found” We must be able to positively identify: lands which need irrigation; requirements for fish, wildlife and recreation; needs of our urban and industrial expansion; for water quality control; and all other beneficial uses.
Our basic water code and the developmental work already accomplished place Oregon far ahead of other Northwest states in establishing basic criteria for the immediate planning task ahead.
Flood Plain Zoning
Oregon now knows the necessity of controls which have long been established in other areas of this nation. Much of the personal suffering and physical loss which occurred during the Christmas, 1964, floods might have been mitigated or avoided had the State Water Resources might have been mitigated or avoided had the State Water Resources Board possessed the authority to control the zoning of the flood plains of rivers and reservoir sites.
A responsibility of this magnitude cannot be left to local governments alone. The increasing encroachment of real estate developments, business establishments, agriculture, and transportation, demands that future citizens be protected and future damage curtailed through state implementation of flood plain and reservoir site zoning. Legislation to accomplish this will be submitted again for action.
Water Conservancy District Law
In a revised form to provide for more equitable application, I am resubmitting legislation to overcome some of the deficiencies of limited or single-purpose water districts. It is important that we apply the multiple-purpose water use concept locally as well as state-wide. With effective state coordination, a Water Conservancy District Law can be of great benefit in the use and control of our most important natural resource.
Small Watershed Planning
Accrued savings in operation of projects already constructed afford graphic evidence of the value of the locally-sponsored, federal-cooperative Small Watershed Program. Acceleration of this program through supplemental state planning funds will help assure additional benefits at an earlier date than otherwise possible.
Air and Water Pollution
The carrying out of state policy governing air and water pollution has been handicapped by lack of sufficient funds. A strong state program, adequately financed, is the best assurance that local communities and industry will accept their responsibilities and that there will be no unnecessary and relatively expensive federal intervention.
Oregon’s leadership in development of outdoor recreation opportunities is challenged by ever-increasing demands upon our land and water vase, a fixed quantity upon which we must accommodate vastly accelerated future needs.
Recreation programs must be encourage and expanded at all levels, in accordance with the comprehensive state plan cooperatively developed during this administration. Particular attention must be given to the potential of federal public lands and state forests. A broadened state outdoor recreation policy will be presented for you approval.
While our state
S economy rests in part on our natural resources, in part on our physical facilities, and in part on our natural resources, in part on our physical facilities, and in part on our governmental policies, it rests most fundamentally on the skills and capacity of our people. The skills and capacities of our work force depends, in turn, on the adequacy of our educational system.
The ever-increasing complexities of tomorrow’s world demand that Oregon’s young people receive the best education possible today. Education has been a vital to our social progress and economic growth. It has also been the bulwark of self-government. Public expenditures for education are, therefore, properly and investment in our future. The budget recommendations reflect this concept.
We have anticipated increased enrollments in community colleges and in the institutions of higher learning. We have provided for increased state support of local schools. We have proposed commencement of a new program of graduate study in the Portland area, and increased funds for loans and scholarships.
Graduate Research Center
Two year ago your support was requested for a broadly based graduate study program in the Portland area that would enlist both public and private support and would be organized so as to qualify for participation in related federal programs. The 1963 legislature, recognizing that such an institution would be “not a substitute but should be complementary to the fullest development of the State system of Higher Education,” directed the State Board of Higher Education to prepare plans for a quality program of graduate education in the arts and sciences. I have included in my budget recommendations an appropriation which would permit the creation of the graduate research center. The program envisioned would place great reliance on non-state sources of revenue and would afford the flexibility of action such as is found in the Medical Research Foundation and its relation with the University of Oregon Medical School.
The statewide Community College system --- established and burgeoning during this Administration --- is a desirable means of widening the post-high school educational opportunities for the more than 30,000 high school graduates each year. We must make thorough preparation for our future needs so that we may provide the educational opportunity for each Oregon child that is adequate to his needs, his interests, and his abilities. In doing so, we must take steps to assure that these goals are achieved with efficiency as well as adequacy. Without analysis and planning for our educational needs, we will not gain the Greater Educational Progress we require. Half-way measures have proved inadequate. Therefore, to provide the coordination that is needed, nothing less than a unified department and obverting board will serve the purpose.
The Oregon Program
As the result of a Ford Foundation grant, during this biennium, there has been broad experimentation with programs designed to cope with the growth both of knowledge and of student numbers in our elementary and secondary schools. It is essential that we welcome the opportunities to devise the test new methods of coping with these twin challenges.
There is deviate about the most effective type of school district organization. We need a pattern for the administration of schools which will bring both local and regional ideas to bear on the solution of educational problems. We need to encourage cooperative efforts among school districts, facilitate the exchange of ideas, encourage local and regional identification and solution of educational problems, and provide for systematic study of curricular and instructional problems and the development and testing of possible solutions.
In this regard, I recommend amendment of current statutes to permit regional mechanisms to assist in these activities, and that the State Department of Education be requested to formulate a plan of continuing action to these ends for presentation to the 1967 Assembly.
Weaknesses in our social structure frequently are reflected in maladjustments that require our compassionate attention. You have at hand an interim committee report that focuses on the impact of the increasing versatility of machines in the processes of industry.
Each generation of at least the past two hundred years has been the labor of man replaced by that of machines at a rate which has seemed to threaten economic disaster. This rate of change in our generation seems to pose a new king of problem, but we dare not duplicate the error of the past in viewing the machine as an enemy. Although automation is a source of substantial labor-management friction, we must recognize its greater value in raising the standard of living by reducing costs of production. Our challenge consists of sharing the abundance that now is possible.
I suggest that our responsibility consists of two essential and complementary actions. In addition to an adequate educational system, we must provide adequate and realistic opportunities for the training and retraining of those displaced by automation. But, more important, we must provide an economic climate that will encourage the discovery and development of the new markets that are the prerequisite of expanded employment.
With successful programs to these ends, there will still be individual cases of dislocation and hardship for which the state must stand ready to provide the hand up to regained self respect and self-reliance.
War on Poverty
A part of this effort must be our full cooperation with the federal Economic Opportunity programs. Pending enabling legislation by this body, Oregon is in the first group of states receiving grants under the federal legislation adopted in 1964. We need this addition to our over-all effort to achieve fully productive citizenship for each individual.
Oregon’s accomplishments in working with the program have been numerous. One of the first job training centers has been established at Tongue Point. Six job camps have been approved with more likely in the immediate future. A proposal for Women’s Training Center in Portland has been accepted and a contract is now being negotiated. The possible use of job camp enrollees for consecration and development work on state lands is being explored. Work study programs have been approved for a number of Oregon colleges and universities. A neighborhood youth corps program has been approved for Portland. The Department of Education has received a grant to promote a voluntary assistance program for needy children. The University of Oregon has been notified that it will receive a contract to train VISTA volunteers.
Although Oregon’s statues relating to the civil rights of our citizens afford more comprehensive protection that that provided by federal law, I know you share my concern for deepening the sprit of brotherhood that transcends differences of race, religion and nationality. Without such a spirit, the legal language loses its meaning and purpose.
While we enforce the law, we must also involve our communities in a substantial effort as self-appraisal and community-education aimed toward the ultimate eradication of discrimination, whatever the form it takes. A number of Mayor’s Commissions on Human Rights and voluntary citizens commissions have been established for this purpose. I am urging every major community to consider whether such an organization would not be helpful in dealing with present problems and in planning for action that will preclude the development of others.
We need a cooperative state and local effort, if equal rights and local effort, if equal rights and equal opportunity are to be a reality in Oregon.
The State has long regulated commercial activities. The purpose of such regulation has always been to assist the flow of commerce by such devices as regulating the use of scales and establishing minimum standards of sanitation. In recent years, however, the development of deceptive commercial practices has suggested the need for an office in state government whose focus would be on identifying such practices and developing appropriate means for dealing with them. The budget for the Department of Commerce unclouded funds for a Consumer Counsel.
Un unresolved social concern continues to mitigate against truly harmonious labor-management relations. One-third of Oregon’s work force still lacks adequate protection against the losses from industrial accidents. Necessary benefit increases have not been made, even though there has been general agreement on the need for such increases.
Through the disposition of their initiative measure, the public can be considered to have expressed its desire that employers be permitted a chore in providing brokerage. This van is accomplished while at the same time providing adequate protection for the workmen. Any action to permit diversification in coverage must carry with it the authority and responsibility for the state to review claims in order to assure uniform protection whatever the source of coverage.
The industrial Accident Commission has worked with alvor and management in developing necessary remedial legislation. I urge you favorable consideration of these joint recommendations.
In our public assistance programs, major emphasis has been directed n support of four concepts aimed at the replacement of dependence with independence. These have taken the from of job training, case classification, enforcement of support laws and tight rein in eligibility determinations. Additionally, we have attempted to arrive at an acceptable definition of essential medical services, with the payment of reasonable compensation to medical vendors for such services.
In line with these goals, I have recommended an increased budget for medical care and will present legislation to extend community work and training programs into state and federal agencies and give employable recipients increased work incentive through allowing them to keep a larger share of their earnings. Such action will foster the Greater Progress in a program which has already demonstrated its relative effectiveness in the fact of nationwide trends toward caseload increases.
Medical Assistance to the Aged
There is extensive speculation that Congress may soon adopt a program of medical care for the aged through the Social Security System. In the meantime, Oregon may be justifiably proud of action taken there under the stimulus of Kerr-Mills legislation. Three years ago, some 4,200 Oregonians applied and qualified for such assistance. By the end of the next biennium, it is expected that 19,200 of our citizens will be eligible under the expanded state program. We cannot relax these efforts while the national program is still in the speculative stage.
Council on Aging
Although the average age of our population is falling, the length of the average life is increasing. We are facing a new group of social needs as a result of this lengthened life-span. The role of government in service to our senior citizens is a new challenge to which we still have not found an entirely satisfactory response.
I cannot share in the opinion that there need be no further planning or study in relation to this challenge. It is my earnest recommendation that we continue the existence of the Council on Aging and that we strengthen its capacity to meet its responsibilities constructively.
Juvenile Lawlessness and Crime
As was pointed out in my message in 1963, juvenile lawlessness and crime are increasing continuously and relentlessly. To any of our youth --- with increased mobility, material resources, broken homes --- fail to understand their responsibilities and duty to their community and country and, in fact, to themselves. They are well-informed about their privileges and rights and how to make excuses, but know precious little about ideals, obligations, law and order. In order to protect this free society, we need strong, effective law enforcement and court procedures and decisions in juvenile cases as well as adult cases. This call for strong, effective and realistic laws. A law violator young or old should know that the inevitable consequence of his criminal acts will be identification, arrest and punishment.
Our juvenile code must be strengthened so it reflects the responsibilities of a youthful offender as well as his rights and liberties. The code should reflect a firm, positive attitude in support of the law and order that is fundamental to a free society. We owe this to the vast majority of our fine, responsible young people as much as to the tarnished teenagers whose patterns of misbehavior require our official attention.
Our highway dead provide tragic testimony to the need for legislation which I have urged on two previous occasions and aging recommend toady. Oregon’s traffic toll in the last year alone was 576 lives, plus an economic loss of over $103 million.
It is a sad commentary that nearly 50 per cent of the accident resulting in fatalities involved alcohol to carrying degrees; that excessive speed was also a factor in 35 per cent of such accidents; and that over one-quarter of all highway accidents were directly or indirectly caused by mechanical imperfections.
I call for speedy enactment of laws granting implied consent for submission to appropriate tests; for establishment of maximum speed limits in addition to the basic rule; and for compulsory periodic motor vehicle inspections.
I also call for consideration of reflected license plates as an additional safety measure.
The State as Employer
As one on Oregon’s largest employers, state government itself has great interest into economic welfare of thousands of workers. It is appropriate that public acknowledgment be made of valued services performed, while recognizing existing inequities in this employer-employee relationship.
Recruiting and retention of able state employees has been difficult during this biennium because of the substantial discrepancy between state pay levels and those of other government and private employers. Recently instituted changes in the pay of classified state employees make it an urgent order of business for this Legislature to correct the inequities of omission. I am confident you will wish to adjust retroactively the salary schedules of other state employees, such as the State Police, academic personnel, and other unclassified employees.
Non Salary Benefits
While that state has been remiss in meeting competitive salary schedules, it has been even more negligent in keeping pace with non-salary employee benefits.
Legislation authorizing the Civil Service Commission to enter into group insurance contracts is urgently needed. This is the same authority already available to local governments.
The Budget includes recommendations for the beginning of a program for state participation in payment of premiums on such insurance. Although the proposed initial contribution is small, it is a beginning. Your concurrence in this recommendation will establish an important principle.
Six years ago, I spoke of the need for a more manageable state government. In 1961 I submitted a specific blueprint for reorganization of the Executive Branch. Only one of the specifics --- the creation of Mental Health Division (and that in a modified form) --- was adopted by the fifty-first Legislative Assembly. The 1963 Legislature created the Department of Commerce, substantially as I had proposed it.
The need for continued effort is clear both with respect to organizational arrangements and the substance of state programs.
Reorganization of State Agencies
Awhile the 1961 guidelines for thorough-going reorganization are available and equally valid today, I would urge your especial attention to the creation of a Department of Public Safety, combining the police, military, civil defense and motor vehicle functions in a single agency. The inter-relationships of these agencies are significant and continuing. Their unification will contribute to increased effectiveness in the performance of their responsibilities.
The creation of the Mental Health Division in 1961 augmented the intensifies treatment of mental illness initiated with such dramatic results in 1959. The community Mental Health Clinics which are steadily expanded to permit early diagnosis and treatment in the home rather that in an institutional environment would have been impractical without the organizational change.
A reorganization of similar scope and major program change in the administration of our corrections responsibilities are indicated.
To assist in carrying out rehabilitation, the ultimate goal of Oregon’s penal and correctional institutions, I urge you favorable consideration of legislation sponsored by the Board of Control to create a corrections Division within that agency. This new division will be responsible for over-all administration and direction of the total corrections program within the state, including the parole and probation activity, much in the same manner as the Board’s Mental Health Division now successfully directs the mental health programs.
Additionally, the Board of Control has proposed an we system of work release within the proposed Corrections Division, whereby qualified inmate would be permitted to obtain private employment privileges while serving their employees. Properly constituted, such a program can be of great value both in reduction welfare and other costs and in providing assistance toward ultimate self-sufficiency without prejudicing opportunities for others in the labor market.
You have before you a number of worthwhile suggestions relative to the state’s important fish and game resources. One proposes the combining of our two present agencies, a recommendation I have previously made. We can no longer afford the luxury of divided and duplicating responsibilities in this field, and the public has grown weary of continuing conflict between supporters of the Game Commission and Fish Commission. A cc combined fish and game department is a must.
In still another respect, we need to be taking the steps that will prepare us for the organizational needs of the future. The date processing revolution in which we are already engaged poses a special challenge is already affecting working relationships between agencies and between governments and we have not yet begun to tap the full capacity of equipment already available. Your support of an intensified and long-range approach will permit Oregon to achieve the benefits implicit in these technical developments and help assure that our continuing reorganization is in keeping with the best of the option of the future will hold for us.
In 1960 Oregon citizens favored an amendment authorizing Legislative submission of broad Constitutional revisions. The 1961 Constitutional Revisions Commission produced a notable document which was subjected to extensive hearing by the Fifty-second Legislative Assembly. While this action did not result in the hoped-for referral, it does provide a basis for further consideration and completion of an essential project.
One of the needed changes in amendment of the constitutional provision for a temporary Governor during the absence from the state of the elected Chief Executive. It has been indicated previously that there is no reason for such an anachronism in this era of almost instantaneous communication and rapid transportation. I also urge against referral to the people of a constitutional amendment to designate the Secretary of State, and official who like the Governor is chosen by statewide election, as the next in line of succession.
So that it may be placed beyond the context of personality or incumbency, I recommend that this proposal be placed on the ballot in 1966 with an effective date of January, 1969
It should be a matter of note that the wisdom of our statutory provisions relation to succession in cases of the incapacity of a governor have been applauded by other states and students of government.
Although the apportionment of seats in this assembly is in nearly precise accord with provisions of recent Supreme Court decisions, the apportionment of our representation in congress is far from this standard. I would urge you action to reduce the imbalance that now exists. It is to be preferred that this be you action that to face the possibility of judicial action that might place all candidates for the national House of Representatives on a statewide ballot.
Political Party Organization
In the year just closed there was considerable discussion of the election process and of organization of our major political parties. One of the issues is the length of our political campaigns. When the primary election is in May and the general election in November --- as you well know --- the campaign is arduous and exhausting both physically and financially. I suggest that, except for the Presidential preference primary and the election of delegates to the national party conventions, our primary elections be held in mid-September rather than in May. With present means of transportation and communication, the shorter campaign should bring the issues into sharper focus.
You will also wish to clarify the statute relating to the selection of alternate delegates to the national party conventions.
Crisis in Local Government
I suggest to you that because we have too many local governments we do not have enough local government. Within 50 miles of this Capitol there are seven county seats, dozens of cities and school districts, and literally hundreds of special-purpose districts. Each of these has limited resources and a geographical and legal jurisdiction that is not fully matched with the basic need for local government. THE artificial and often arbitrary boundaries contribute to a lack of needed coordination in treatment of common problems --- as in zoning and law enforcement and fiscal planning.
In a few places there are the beginnings of an effort at finding the path toward Greater Progress in local government. Here in the mid Willamette Valley, in the Eugene-Springfield area, and elsewhere the need is clearly felt.
If there is to be the possibility of preventing the further erosion of local responsibility for local government it must being here with the steps that will result in the reduction of the number of counties, the consolidation of city and county government where this is appropriate, the simplification of the pattern of special districts, and the expansion of the taxing authority of local government so they may be equal to the needs of this day.
This is no simple prescription. This is a call to a fundamental revision of the whole fabric of local government. It cannot be done at this legislative session but you can set the wheels in motion that will bring us to a program of action leading to local governments equal to the challenge of our time.
THE THINGS OF THE SPIRIT
While this message has focused on many of the material needs of the people of Oregon and on the administration requirements of the government, it is essential that we maintain a concern for the things of the spirit. Our cultural heritage, the preservation of the ethical and moral standards to which we owe more than lip service, the encouragement of the creative and performing arts, the simple acts that beautify our homes and our communities –-- these, too, are essential to the Grater Progress of Oregon.
Oregon’s natural beauty is a powerful incentive to those planning vacation or seeking to establish or expand business enterprises. It is a source of spiritual sustenance and contributes to the well-being of all our citizens. Each has a right to expect state leadership in the conservation and protection of this heritage, and to insist that man’s activities in both rural and urban areas do not detract from or deface it.
I do not propose a State Theatre or a Beautification Commission, or been an Official Custodian for our morals. Rather, I suggest that while we tend to the affairs of this government we join with all of the people of this state in renewed support of those endeavors that strengthen the spirit and enhance the beauty of Oregon.
May we resolve that our undertakings will serve us well for tomorrow and for the tomorrows beyond tomorrow. Let us seek the wisdom and guidance of Him in whose sight we would be worthy of the stewardship we holed. Then we may have confidence that our actions have achieved the Greater Progress that must be our goal.