SENATE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON BUDGET

 

 

June 20, 2002 Hearing Room E

2:30 P.M.     Tapes  4 - 6

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:            Sen., Steve Harper, Chair

Sen. Roger Beyer

Sen. Peter Courtney

Sen. Avel Gordly

Sen. Ken Messerle

 

MEMBER EXCUSED:            None

 

STAFF PRESENT:                  Ken Rocco, Legislative Fiscal Office

Sheila Baker, Legislative Fiscal Office

John Britton, Legislative Fiscal Office

Robin LaMonte, Legislative Fiscal Office

Steve Bender, Legislative Fiscal Office

Larry Niswender, Legislative Fiscal Office

Patricia Nielsen, Administrative Support

 

MEASURE/ISSUES HEARD:            HB 5091A - Work Session

 

These minutes are in compliance with Senate and House Rules.  Only text enclosed in quotation marks reports a speaker’s exact words.  For complete contents, please refer to the tapes.

 

TAPE/#

Speaker

Comments

TAPE 4, A

005

Chair Harper

Calls the meeting to order at 2:39 p.m.  Opens work session on HB 5091A, the omnibus disappropriation.

HB 5091A – WORK SESSION

027

Sen. Courtney

Comments about responsibility to help the next legislature to carry the burden so members need to seek new revenue sources.

045

Sen. Gordly

Asks how the public will be engaged in the process.  Comments work session is the starting point.  Urges adequate public notice of meetings.

060

Chair Harper

Explains there is short public notice because of special session.  Welcomes ideas and comments.

073

Sen. Gordly

Advocates for fuller public role in decision-making after criticism of the process.

100

Sen. Gordly

Requests response to her questions:

·         Whether cuts fall disproportionately on the poor

·         Whether there is clear understanding of the possibility of jeopardizing the state’s opportunity to leverage federal dollars

130

Chair Harper

Agrees.


 

135

Ken Rocco

Legislative Fiscal Office (LFO).  Presents overview of House package.  Refers to House Proposal (EXHIBIT A).  Reviews the 2001-03 biennium additions to budget gap totaling $879 million.  Reviews solutions proposed by House plan.  Reviews selective reductions (EXHIBIT B).

235

Rocco

Continues discussing across-the-board cuts (EXHIBIT B).

285

Sen. Beyer

Asks about breakdown of Emergency Fund (E-fund) reserve money.

300

Rocco

Explains.  Continues discussion about Oregon Youth Authority receiving appropriation of $1.3 million. 

310

Sen. Courtney

Asks about $38 million left in the E-fund and whether there is anything left for making adjustments in September.

320

Rocco

Responds there is nothing.

325

Sen. Courtney

Asks about fire season costs.

327

Rocco

Responds and explains.

335

Sen. Courtney

Inquires whether $10 million is quite low for the E-fund.

337

Rocco

Agrees it is low.

340

Sen. Courtney

Asks about PERS item.

345

Rocco

Explains there was a disappropriation in expectation of the PERS bill, but the bill did not pass.  Continues and discusses allocation of $100 million to agencies from salary adjustments not given.  Describes other Emergency Board (E-board) actions which are in this bill instead.

390

Sen. Gordly

Directs attention to human services program reductions.

400

Rocco

Refers to budget report and measure summary (EXHIBIT C). 

TAPE 5, A

010

Sen. Gordly

Asks about equitable distribution of budget cuts.

015

Rocco

Elaborates.

025

Sen. Gordly

Continues and asks about savings under budget note referring to freeze on hiring which restricts hiring to essential positions.

050

Rocco

Explains hiring freeze means many vacancies are being held open because of previous cuts, and budget note allows the assembly reports on which positions will be hired so the assembly can track savings.

060

Sen. Gordly

Asks when the Committee will find out.

062

Rocco

Explains it may be this weekend.

070

Sen. Gordly

Refers to human services portion which is reduced by $156.2 million general fund and $88.2 million federal funds.  Asks about impact of loss of federal funding.

090

Sheila Baker

LFO.  Explains $88.2 million is a net number for federal funds, which includes a combination of increases and decreases.

110

Sen. Gordly

Asks for list to illustrate what is in the $88.2 million reduction figure.

120

Baker

Offers to provide internal list to detail the line items.


 

125

Sen. Gordly

Continues and asks about $4.5 million in special purpose appropriations to E-board for mental health planning.

135

John Britton

LFO.  Explains the appropriations are moved out of the E-fund and into department budgets by this bill.

145

Sen. Gordly

Continues discussing co-payments for OHP clients.

150

Britton

Describes the three copayments approved by 2001 legislative assembly:

·       $2 copay for generic medications

·       $3 copay for brand name medications

·       Ambulatory copay

Explains this removes some from the copay requirements.

165

Sen. Gordly

Inquires about assumptions supporting decreases in medical assistance program eligibility.

180

Britton

Explains the note is based on Department of Human Services (DHS) forecasts of case load, which hasn’t changed much, but the mix of cases has changed.

190

Sen. Gordly

Asks about House discussions considering whether cuts in human services would fall disproportionately on programs serving the poor.

200

Britton

Responds.

205

Sen. Gordly

Asks who would not be served in food stamp outreach reduction.

215

Baker

Describes cross-over into Oregon Health Plan (OHP).

230

Sen. Gordly

Inquires about impact of reduction in employment-related day care.

240

Baker

Estimates 600 families would be impacted and offers more detail.

250

Sen. Gordly

Continues, referring to $1.5 million reduction to indigent defense services.

265

Rocco

Describes result of $48 million across-the-board cuts.  Refers to Agency & Program reduction handout (EXHIBIT D).

290

Sen. Gordly

Asks about impact of cuts within the judicial department.

295

Robin LaMonte

LFO.  Describes the reduction of service level in trial courts, including fewer hours the court offices are open.

315

Sen. Gordly

Refers to education reductions including a $9 million reduction to community college support funds, and asks about self-improvement classes affected.

375

Steve Bender

LFO.  Describes 3 categories of CC classes not affected by the cut:

·         Lower division university transfer courses

·         Professional technical classes leading to certificate programs

·         Developmental education classes such as GED and ESL

Continues self-improvement classes are the only ones affected, and many are preserved:

·         Workforce related classes to help with employment options

·         Health/safety related

TAPE 4, B

020

Sen. Courtney

Asks about potential undergraduate tuition increases.

030

Bender

Answers 1.6% is predicted.  Explains implementation of cuts.

060

Sen. Courtney

Asks about across-the-board cut.

065

Bender

Responds and explains.

068

Sen. Courtney

Discussion of priority cuts.

080

Bender

Discusses across-the-board cuts.

095

Sen. Yih

Asks about effect on funding to increase graduates from engineering school meant to provide workers needed by high-tech companies.

105

Bender

Responds it is not restricted from being affected by the across-the-board cut.  Explains there is some flexibility in making the cuts because the whole is lumped into one appropriation.

135

Sen. Yih

Recommends cutting more in administration, services and supplies than educational programs.

145

Sen. Courtney

Asks for details regarding State Police and Corrections.

155

Rocco

Advises agencies are not restricted or directed how to do cuts.  Refers to selective reductions (EXHIBIT B).

175

Larry Niswender

LFO.  Describes effect on State Police from second special session.

185

Sen. Courtney

Asks about forensic labs.

190

Niswender

Describes.

200

Sen. Courtney

Inquires about further cut which may take troopers off the road.

205

Rocco

Advises it is possible.

215

Sen. Courtney

Asks if LFO knows how the cuts will be made.

217

Niswender

Responds he doesn’t know.

220

Sen. Courtney

Asks about SB 1145 (1995) cut to program.

228

Niswender

Answers it was $1 million of $4.5 million, and in this plan there is an additional $1.6 million reduction.

240

Sen. Courtney

Inquires about details of effects on counties.

245

Niswender

Explains.

250

 

Discussion of bed space reductions due to budget cuts.

290

Niswender

Continues and explains inflationary allowance reduction based on reduced jail populations.

295

Sen. Courtney

Asks about reductions in bed space for corrections and institutions.

335

Niswender

Elaborates.

345

Sen. Courtney

Asks for details about reductions in transitional services.

350

Niswender

Explains it is one-third, or $1.75 million from three areas.

369

Sen. Courtney

Inquires about gang funding.

372

Niswender

Explains it is not reduced.

375

Sen. Gordly

Asks about funding for domestic violence and sexual assault services grants.

380

Niswender

Responds the House plan did not reduce that funding.

400

Sen. Gordly

Requests explanation of summary reductions for administration.

410

Rocco

Explains they are about 10% of what was remaining in those appropriations.

420

Sen. Gordly

Discusses elimination of Oregon Progress Board.

430

Rocco

Explains the working document.

TAPE 5, B

020

Sen. Gordly

Asks about Community Development office reduction.

022

Rocco

Explains there are no cuts except to the Racing Commission.

030

Sen. Yih

Inquires about proposed reduction to group homes.

045

Britton

Explains calculation of savings.

080

Chair Harper

Advises the Committee will hear an overview from Legislative Revenue in another work session.

105

Sen. Courtney

Asks for frame of reference including the other two special sessions.

125

Rocco

Explains LFO worked with agencies, and at some point selected cuts were limited and agencies were given discretion for across-the-board cuts.

135

Chair Harper

Asks for public testimony.

145

George Fultz

Association of Oregon Counties (AOC).  Expresses concern for counties who deliver human services.

160

Gina Furman

Director, Oregon Association of Community Mental Health Programs.  Expresses concern about cuts to alcohol and drug programs which have already sustained $2.7 million in cuts.

185

Chair Harper

Asks if the association would rather see specific program cuts.

188

Furman

Responds the clients should be considered.

195

Ralph Groener

American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).  Represents most agencies.  Offers perspective of three approaches:

·         Capital improvements funding

·         Support House plan

·         Educate the public about the budget process

375

Sen. Messerle

Agrees and summarizes efforts toward economic development.

400

Groener

Responds and suggests simplifying fees and regulations.

TAPE 6, A

005

Chair Harper

Disagrees about property tax reductions, because they are an advantage for people who keep the money.

010

Groener

Suggests broadening the base.


 

020

Bruce Bishop

Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems.  Testifies and reiterates concern over reductions of $3 million in diagnostic related group (DRG) payments to hospitals, because it is disproportionate to specific hospitals.  Continues there is a federal match so it becomes a total $7.5 million reduction in Medicaid funding.

050

Paul Snider

AOC.  Urges the Committee to keep in mind the property tax.  Discusses SB 1145 which created certain expectations.

090

Chair Harper

Advises the Committee will meet again at 10 a.m. tomorrow morning.  Adjourns the meeting at 4:38 p.m.

 

Submitted By,                        Reviewed By,

 

 

 

Patricia Nielsen,                        Marjorie Taylor,

Committee Assistant                        Administrator

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

A – House Proposal for budget reductions, staff, 1 p

B – Proposed Special Session 3 Selective Program Reductions, staff, 4 pp

C – HB 5091A, Budget report and measure summary, staff, 29 pp

D – Agency and Program proposed reductions, staff, 7 pp