Lull before the budget framework storm gives time to prepare for bills
Friday, February 1, 2019
This session started out much like every regular session, with folks hustling around the Capitol to talk to each other about their bills and catching legislators in the halls and elevators for brief conversations.
Now the slowdown comes, with committees getting their rhythms and additional legislative concepts trickling into the system as they become bills. This is my opportunity to find out which bills have some traction and begin a strategy to either support a bill or try to defeat it (in lobbying terms, “kill” it).
I met with Joint Ways and Means Co-Chair Rep. Dan Rayfield, D-Corvallis, who is new in this position. The Ways and Means co-chairs are referred to the budget writers, and Rayfield has begun working on the “co-chairs budget.”
After the governor has released a balanced budget, the co-chairs take up the next step. The co-chairs’ “budget framework” is based on projected revenues for the 2019-20 biennium. Each quarter, the state economist appears before the Senate and House Revenue committees and talks about those projections based on the state and national economy, political winds and world events.
The next scheduled release in late February will be the basis for all state budgets. We can expect a “budget framework” from the co-chairs in late February or March. The budget framework is a high-level look at the areas of the state’s budget where numbers are plugged in. This budget is not as specific as the governor’s budget but gives a more general view.
The budget framework release will signal to committees to begin bringing budget bills forward for a deeper committee discussion and public testimony about appropriate budget numbers. This is where the lobbying and advocacy really ramps up, and OSBA is encouraging you to be a part of it through its Oregonians for Student Success campaign.
Thanks to all of you who came out for the Clackamas Town Hall last week. I hope you continue to take advantage of the opportunities to influence your legislator and the legislative process. Lobby days are quickly approaching. Please check out the dates and get your group lined up to come talk to your legislator about school funding impacts in your district.
Keep connected with the education funding campaign with Oregonians for Student Success, where you can learn about events, send advocacy emails and learn how to receive campaign updates.